Friday, April 29, 2005

How not to win friends and influence people

This hasn't been a good week for Apple, it seems the only two friends in the corporate world are Intel and Genentech. Maybe Intel still dreams of getting additional Apple business beyond the Xserve RAID. Genentech has been a large Apple customer for years and has been able to get some level of support beyond other customers because of the relationship with Steve so isn't like uninterested parties are coming to Apple's aid.

If you're trying to win friends among the folks who write, a good way not to do it is to ban someone's books from your stores. The Lincoln Star has an article "Apple has a hissy fit" in which it asks the following.
So why is Apple Computer Inc. so touchy these days?
In its latest fit of corporate pique, Apple pulled all copies of dozens of books published by John Wiley & Sons Inc. from the shelves of its 103 stores, the publisher said. Apple was unhappy with an upcoming book on its chief executive and co-founder, Steve Jobs.
This post, "Apple: Think Difficult" was on Motley Fool.
Still, recent headlines made me wonder whether Apple -- once the epitome of the scrappy underdog and, for some, arguably the technological champion of those who believe themselves to be free thinkers, or at least free from Microsoft's (Nasdaq: MSFT) Windows -- is being downright difficult at the moment. Nobody likes a whiner.
The article goes on to say the following
...playing the role of a corporate heavy may start to alienate its customer base, especially the core that really identifies with the "think different" slogan. To those people, trying to block books and removing them from the shelves has an awfully oppressive feel, I'm sure, and "oppressive" and "think different" are hardly synonymous.

Look out, Apple. The company shouldn't lose sight of what many of its customers believe it to be.
To me this is good advice. Some's of Apple best potential customers are starting to pick up a little different image of Apple. This comes from "The Washington Square News," NYU's student newspaper.
However, if I were to pick one company that exemplifies this obsession with maintaining control, it would be Apple, especially with CEO Steve Jobs' attempt to have an iron grip on everything.

Jobs' greatest role as Apple's CEO is managing the company's image, which he does through a paradoxical combination of nearly flawless subtlety and brute force.
Perhaps Apple might have once again managed to find a reverse tipping point. The stock is down, Tiger is getting mixed reviews, and yet another reseller is suing Apple. Even Dan Gillmor seems to have gone off the deep end with his most recent post. Perhaps he was pushed over by Apple's relentless pursuit of some of its best fans over the alleged leaking of "trade secrets."

For much more on Apple check my ApplePeels blog.