Thursday, 10 June 2010

I was alone, I took a ride, I didn't know what I would find there.

I rarely blog about Steve Jobs and Apple. I think the obsession with Apple in the United States and Kingdom is symptomatic of an intellectual malaise that stretches from marketing to politics. Deconstructing the yearning for a killer app it's not hard to critique and conclude it as end-of-empire-futility. I mean, how can we belch on about authenticity in brands when as far as I know most advertising people couldn't care less about the supply chain details any further than a POS shelf wobbler because surely it hasn't passed you by that the newspapers harp on about productivity and the best selling apps are all games?

That doesn't mean I don't think Steve Jobs is anything less than the Henry Ford of our times. I dislike his editorial perspective which he's entitled to have and implement but the bottom line is I've loved buying and using his products. I see the MacBook Air as the Volkswagen Karmen of our age. It's so beautiful that I intend to buy a few so I can use one for as long as I'm able to.

That doesn't mean I think an app is going to save marketing. The malaise is too deep, the wilful blindness too pathological, and apart from all that I don't think we're in the business of the blockbuster any more. I think marketing doesn't get it, that more 'one to one', is de facto less 'one to many'. This is the why I fall asleep with gratuitous use of 'awesome' and 'cool' app tweets. I mean really. Shut up already.

Any hoo: Steve did an hour and a half interview which I felt should compensate for ever reading any more tweet links about him for a couple of years at least and I was right. It's a great chunk of what he's about along with some really great revelations about his business. The one I most liked is that app usage is overtaking search on his latest products. Which to me is obvious when a traditional keyboard is not available as per iPhone and iPad. Quicker to use a tool than finger dab the screen. This is interesting to me, but y'all gotta get with the program that the killer app is the operating system. The rest are tertiary ecosystem bricks, and one I talked about in my quick podcast over here.

I could mention that I didn't really know about his lisp before, that someone ought to tell Steve that the half mast jeans and 80's sneaker look is the least coolest thing he does.I'd be pushing for Boot Cut, Rock & Republic denim with some cowboy boots since keeping his weight up is not so easy now, but the polo neck and frameless Lennon glasses work well with that. 

These are inconsequential matters. Even though I'm not a die hard fan boy gushing on the bulletin boards I feel I've paid him a better compliment here than I've read anywhere else and truth is you don't need to listen to me. Listen to him. I heard him reply 'we're having fun' when someone asked him about his business successes recently. Who else says that? Nobody right?

You can see that the most trivial agenda item (though not ignorable) is the quarterly report. It shows clearly, but in the final analysis of Apple, I need to remind you, it's not about the technology, it's about the human and rest assured advertising and marketing world: The malaise is inside us. There is no app for that, though watching Steve the human being below is a start.

Henry Ford of our times. I think Oscar Wilde said that first.