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Tue 25 Feb 2003
A Mac Business Toolbox
Category : Technology
I've created a guide to sites that people might want to look up if they're thinking of using OS X to create business applications.
PCs are already doing a very good job in business. (Here's someone who thinks Macs won't make it in the corporate world. But Mac-Mike is fun. It's worth looking him up now and then.) So when I say that Macs can do a better job, I must remember that there are quite high standards the Mac has to surpass.
I believe the problem is : the PC industry doesn't understand that we're really in The Understanding Business, rather than in the technology business. Technology is a means to an end - to help people understand information better. But that tail has been wagging the dog for far too long.
With OS X, former Unix/Linux/Java geeks are re-discovering the sheer tactile joy of using a Mac, notably Titanium PowerBooks. Will the venerable Macintosh Way of good interface design inspire these people to create applications that are not only powerful but simple and usable by normal people?
Remember how Steve Jobs placed a BMW motorbike and a grand piano in the lobby of the place that served as office for the original Mac team? They were meant to inspire, to serve as examples of great design. When you work on an iBook or a PowerBook or an iMac, you see little touches that remind you that there are people who still care about craftsmanship. It's a bit of a let-down if you put in sloppy work in return.
Businesses like to talk about excellence and delighting the customer. It means that spriritual things, like care and craftsmanship, do make business sense. So, if you take this thought through the end, we have to suffuse everything we do in business with the care that come from good design - from design of business processes all the way down to the design of technology. That's why the Mac matters. When you buy into the Mac culture, you buy into a certain way of looking at the world. A way which can infuse a business with a vigour. And wouldn't that be good for business?