Monday, October 4, 2010
when you realize the joke is on you
To: Steve Jobs/Apple Computer
Re: Well played, Sir. Well played.
Can you hear that sound? It's a lone, slow clap that reverberates against the walls and ceiling. It's sardonic, almost mournful. The applause is hardly celebratory; it's recognition of a brilliant, methodical practical joke at our expense. We don't like having egg on our face, but we can certainly salute the complexity of the Rube Goldberg machine that delivered it there.
As we've noted before, the COI podcast is largely recorded on a MacBook Pro using GarageBand software -- a program that all Macs include out of the box.
When the laptop failed the first time, we thought it was simply a byproduct of our hard-living style, as we carted the machine between the BoCoCa Arts Festival and Planet Connections Festivity.
The second and third times, we thought we certainly were suffering some ill luck, but clearly a visit to the Genius Bar and hardware replacements would allow us to return to the brisk release schedule of the Spring without a second thought.
But now, as the laptop is about the return to the shop for the fourth time in three months, we realize what you've done. And we must tip our caps to you. As has been documented elsewhere, whether it's your absurd response to phones that don't work, or shipping computer displays that look like crap, you have taken a captive audience and milked them for all they're worth. You built a cult of fans who paid premium prices for high-concept, high-design computer products that "just work." Once that niche appeal became mass appeal, you cut corners to increase profit margins, with the inevitable results that more and more units per production run failed miserably.
Idiots like me lose weeks at a time in productivity because we're waiting for your well-meaning but overwhelmed service departments to repair inferior products. And because my investments in your closed software ecosystem have forced me to throw good money after bad, I have no choice but to sink even more money into your declining product line -- I'm bailing water from a sinking ship with no lifeboat in sight.
So as I type these words from the new iMac I bought in order to keep productive for the week while my defective laptop heads into the back room once again, I can do nothing but applaud your evil genius -- charging more and more while providing less and less.
You magnificent bastards.
PS: Long story short -- the COI podcast is delayed. Again.