“I’m a Mac.” There’s no way around it at this point. I became “A Mac” about 5 years ago when my Dell laptop died. That was in the days of Windows ME and Windows XP and I, frankly, was frustrated enough with the operating system that I was open to “become a switcher.” And right now I’m on my 3rd Apple laptop…first a Macbook, then a Macbook Pro, and now another. And I love them. They are not without their own sets of problems, but the operation of the computers makes more sense to me. Really, I don’t have much against PCs. I just set a PC up for my mother-in-law. I can find my way around them. I’m even writing this post on a PC.
But I have been amazed at Apple Computers over the last decade. The iPod. The iPad. The unibody construction. The lack of a floppy drive years ago. It has seemed that, outside of gaming and power computing mathematical stuff, Apple has been at the leading edge of the industry. Take a look at the iPod. You may or may not have an iPod, but most people out there will call MP3 Players, “iPods“…whether they are iPods or not. And, look at the iPad or the iPhone. Neither is without serious drawbacks, but every phone or tablet PC that comes after it will have to be “the iPhone Killer” or “the iPad Killer.” Apple got there first.
Apple has a knack at building things people WANT to use. They do SEXY well. They seem to understand the market. And, furthermore, they seem to be very focused on controlling the user experience (too controlling for anyone who wanted to try to use PC software or use “apps” not found in “the App Store“). I, for one, have found the operation of their equipment intuitive. I’ve got my iPod Touch and my MacBook Pro. I covet (in an unhealthy and unholy way) the iPad but am holding off until the second generation in the hopes of some improvement.
So, how is Apple able to do this without assuming that Steve Jobs walks on water…which it seems some persons assume?
This is from “The ever-arrogant Apple” over at Ken Segall’s Observatory.
“Following the Antennagate news conference, certain critics quickly concluded that Apple was acting like its usual arrogant self,” Ken Segall blogs. “I couldn’t agree more.”
“How dare Apple think they can make this problem go away with a free case that makes the problem go away,” Segall writes. “They need to suffer more than that.”
“It’s gotten to the point where Apple doesn’t even try to disguise their arrogance,” Segall writes. “They’re a company that creates devices other companies should have created, follows standards only when it pleases them, shuns research to create only the products they’d like to use themselves — and then won’t even let outsiders tamper with the platforms they’ve created!”
“Look what they’ve done to poor Adobe, yanking away their right to spend more than three years figuring out how to run Flash on mobile devices,” Segall writes. “Look what they’ve done to the world’s developers, telling them to write specifically for iPhone rather than just port over apps designed for less capable phones. Compounding their sin, they have the unrelenting gall to insist that apps meet some basic standards for quality and reliability. With their “our way or the highway” attitude, Apple takes choice away from customers, forcing them to settle for a library of only 225,000 apps.”
What can churches learn from Apple? Here are a few things:
- Have a goal and stick with it — I’d say Apple’s is user experience. They’ve never been shy about letting PCS have the faster processors.
- Stay focussed on your goal/vision and don’t be afraid to let those things die that stand in your way of doing ministry–like Apple did with the floppy and with Adobe?
- Don’t just “think different” but “think ahead”--Apple has, at least for the past 10 years led, led the way in some significant areas. I’m not saying they’ve done it best. I’m just saying they did it first.
- You don’t have to be all things for all people — Apple has never sought the high end programmers or those seeking a truly budget computer. They’ve let other companies take the lead here. And that’s fine. Find your niche.