When my daughter was very young she came home from school one day and referred to a girl in her class by the color of her dress, her height, where she sat and assorted other descriptors. The girls was black. We are white. My daughter never used skin color to describe the girl. She hadn’t yet been polluted.
Yearly Archives: 2008
Steve Jobs made two big announcements yesterday at Macworld Expo, Apple’s annual technology tradeshow. The first was about a new notebook called the MacBook Air. The new MacBook was delivered to the stage in an interoffice-size envelope demonstrating its amazingly thin profile. Great theater.
The other big announcement was an iTunes movie distribution service, which will turn out to be a mistake if you ask me.
Apple is a technology company. An electronics and design company. Getting into media and media distribution dilutes the company’s core competency. I know, I know — Apple is making some nice coin with iTunes, but it is truly reducing the focus of the management team. Each year Apple spends more and more money managing lawyers and biz-dev people – money that would be better served going into product development.
Will the cult that is Apple start to see some cracks? A quote from the New York Times today on the new movie service reads “But the risk for Apple is that consumers may not like the limits placed on their movie viewing,” a point referring to the amount of time in which renters must view the movie before it times out. Apple has always been about expanding capability, not creating limits. Steve Jobs knows this. That’s why the iPhone was such a success. Creating limits for consumers is where the cracks begin. Nice computer. Movie business? Not so much.
Memo to the music industry.
Joe Nocera, a business writer for the New York Times with some serious marketing smarts, wrote Saturday that Starbucks Howard Schultz (who has reclaimed the reigns at Starbucks) doesn’t get it. Mr. Nocera thinks big changes need to be made in order for the ship to be righted. I disagree.
Mr. Nocera also thinks the Starbucks international growth plans are not a good idea. Here, too, I disagree. Starbucks is seen as a “cool” American brand. In a world that is increasingly growing tired of the American commercial way, Starbucks remains an icon that holds positive sway.
Apple was recently sued in Britain for selling songs in iTunes at an inflated price to that of the rest of Europe. (A song in the U.K. cost the equivalent of US$1.57.)