Wed 30 Apr 2003
Category : Commentary/simplicity.txt
It's the aftermath of the iTunes Music Store launch. A quick glance through the articles indexed by MacSurfer shows mostly gushingly favourable responses from the PC-centric business press. What could they say? This is show business and, if it's good enough for Sheryl Crow and The Eagles, saying anything else would quickly push them out of their depth.
But they also waste no time in reassuring the PC users that it'll soon work them also, Apple's market share being so minuscule it's not worth a consideration. (Maybe Apple should make it work for the other Mac users around the world before doing that.) But let's not argue about that.
What I'm looking for is whether this is going to be the breakthrough that will finally help the masses "get" (as in "do you get it?") Apple. I mean, it's not Everyman who will ponder about Zen and Simplicity and Karma.
I really think that this is Apple's big problem. Ironically for the maker of "the computer for the rest of us", it's such a radically different way of thinking that it has aroused such hostility over the lifetime of the company. But I believe, like many Apple fans, that such a thinking will win out - eventually. Because it has enough truth about it and, like the child of the sixties that I am, "it'll make the world a better place."
The signs are encouraging. Listen to an unlikely source, "Storage Supersite", for this gem of perception :
"Above all, the new online service, the iTunes software, the iPod and even this integration appear simple to the user - an attribute that sometimes seems to have a bad name in the technology business. We're used to comparing long check-off lists of features (unsurprising in a market founded on frequent upgrade cycles)."
"We're used to ..." Just because we're used to doesn't mean it's right. Difficult technology can be made simple to an end user. Apple has kept this mantra going. What is needed is care, and a willingness to put doing the right thing above mere commercial gain. I think Apple's continued ability to survive is proof enough that God exists.