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The Tao of Steve September 22, 2007

Posted by sk in Apple, Microsoft.

Elizabeth Spiers has an interesting post that explains the attitude of some Apple fans such as the one I wrote about in my previous post.

I blame Steve Jobs [for] seduced me into buying his sleek machines, even if their delicate organs seem to fail with alarming regularity, like the beautiful consumptive heroines in Victorian novels.

Steve–we’ll call him Steve because he seems like a first-name-basis kind of guy–is the human incarnation of the average Apple product: He’s good-looking, he overpromises, and he’s notoriously temperamental. He evokes the feel-good indie populism synonymous with the company’s brand and manages to retain a solid reputation as a creative person while managing a $118 billion business.

The image is, of course, a facade. The dollar-a-year salaryman has been rewarded with at least one corporate jet.

We forgive Steve in a way that we won’t [Bill] Gates. We do this because outward appearances are important to us, and the products are a reflection of how we think of ourselves. Apple products are stylish and innovative. (We’re stylish and innovative!) We love Steve for the same reason. He’s creative and he seems appealingly antiestablishment. (We’re creative and antiestablishment!)

Mind you that Elizabeth herself is a huge Apple fan. Paul Thurrott has this to add:

I think this hits it on the head. What’s interesting, of course, is that the bad parts of Mr. Jobs’ personality–his prickly defensiveness whenever one suggests that an Apple product is lacking in some way, for example–seem to ooze down to the fanatics as well, as if by osmosis. You can see it in their vitriolic emails and their rabid and sometimes illogical defenses of the company in online forums. As the saying goes, they are a minority, but they are a very loud minority.

I think I should make it clear here that I don’t think Microsoft is perfect. The company makes a lot of mistakes and it’s not a “convicted monopolist” for no reason. I also think Apple makes some really good products. The iPhone (whether I think I need it or not) is revolutionary in my opinion. What I can’t stand is the attitude of these Mac fanatics. I know it doesn’t justify my vitriolic in my previous blog post, but my intention was to show what happens if one lets emotions get in the way of objectivity. It’s not pretty. I mentioned this even in my Windows and crapware post. I hope the “blogger formerly known as cotton” is listening.


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