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by: Bernard Teo

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Wed 11 Jan 2006

The Pundit's Dilemma

Category : Commentary/PunditsDilemma.txt

The dilemma faced by every management pundit is, how to account for Apple's success in music, digital convergence and personal/home entertainment - pummelling their competitors, Creative (not so creative) et al, into rivers of red ink - when they're basically following the very same philosophy that the pundits have long derided.

You can have it one way or the other. But not both. One must be wrong. So which way is it?

In Clayton Christensen's case, it's to go into denial. "I think it will allow them to survive for a bit longer", says the author of The Innovators' Dilemma (which I happened to think is an important book to read). But what do you make of it when he says that "Apple will soon fail again with their proprietary technology"? As if Microsoft's is not proprietary.

Blackfriars gave a very good retort, e.g. that Microsoft is the true case study for the lessons in The Innovator's Dilemma.

While watching Steve Jobs' demos of the iLife apps in the MacWorld Webcast, I was thinking that these pundits are not so smart, after all - if they can't tell the difference between what is commodity and what is not, what needs to be "commoditized" and which areas are more desirably kept proprietary.

The Intel Core Duos are commodities. So are the disk controllers, flash drives, power supplies, etc.

What is not a commodity is the genius to put everything together so you can set up a web site in five minutes. And bring joy to the life of Grandma across the Internet.

Try making all these work. Instead of just talking about it. It's like herding cats. Things are always breaking into entropy. It takes love, care, passion. And empathy.

Looking at iWeb, it makes so much sense. That's why we cheer Apple on. It's about the triumph of the human spirit. It's the pundits with their cookie-cutter, lemming-like, soul-destroying responses who are the real dime-a-dozen commodities.

Posted at 2:17PM UTC | permalink

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