Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Apple, Steve Jobs and Criticism.

'By the way, what have you done that is so great? Do you create anything or just criticize others work and belittle their motivations?'

Dear Steve

Sorry to disappoint you, but I am an educator, philosopher, technologist and erm Dad. Consequently I don’t really get to create much; though I still feel I have the right to criticise. Adults use criticism in debate, frequently (though not always) without resorting to stuff like the above. I’m sure Ryan Tate is a big boy and doesn’t need my help, nevertheless I do worry about Apple CEO’s who respond to criticism in this way.

Dude, you run a company that sells expensive toys that are long on promise but short on results.

A few weeks ago a small incremental difference between OS versions on the iPod touch caused my team to sh*tcan a major assessment round and go back to pen and paper. A few weeks before that, the loss of an ITunes password caused a data access problem and the associated panic on those same touches; the tales continue. I let the guys work up a solution on Apple products in the belief that stuff like this wouldn’t happen. My team got sold on these ideas by an educator who can’t tell the difference between selling Apple products and promoting good ideas. Sound familiar Steve ? You can’t seem to tell the difference between Apple and freedom. Perhaps you guys need to set up a self help group.

Over the years I have been told;

You can’t be creative – you don’t own a Mac

You’re not a serious educator – you don’t own a Mac

You gotta be a music pirate because you don’t own an iPod (WTF !)

I wait with interest for the day someone calls me a pervert because I don’t use an Apple branded product and live in the Job’s endorsed, walled garden.

Freedom has a good deal less to do with products, porn access, battery life, or product choices than it does with engagement, opportunity and sharing. I don’t believe that any one group or organisation can or will ever be able to exercise the kind of vision needed to determine what requires censorship and what does not; What requires proprietary control or not; What requires platform control or not; What requires special licensing or DRM - on this last point I especially don’t trust major shareholders in Disney.

I am growing to resent a market approach by Apple which still trades on the cool, credibility and value of creative industries without having been a significant stakeholder for some time. I despise Apple’s involvement in education, placing it in the same category as Microsoft and McDonalds.

Don’t like porn ? Go live in Australia; I understand they have filter systems to help people like you.

Sometimes I get to shape things, occasionally I get to change things. Very occasionally I get to change lives for the better, for real. I do this without the help of Apple or your good self.

You want to talk about freedom and creativity ? Go and take another look at what Apache has done for the web and your business.

You are right about one thing though – Flash is a pain in the ass. But I really didn’t need to be told this by an arrogant puritan who mistakes freedom for revenue.

Belittle you ? Why should I ? I can’t wait for the next brainfart from channel hubris on planet Jobs.

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