Yesterday was MacWorld, where Steve Jobs announced some great products. I've already ordered my Apple TV and will likely give the iPhone a serious consideration. I like many things about Apple, but some things still baffle me about the Apple fanatics.
What I found hilarious was the Apple Punditry and their predictions and reactions to the Keynote. In an IRC channel I was in during the Keynote, someone typed 'Applegasm' to reflect their feelings.
Why does Apple create such zealotry? I have no idea. But I find it hilarious.
Take the case of Daring Fireball, written by John Gruber, who as far as I can tell, has a career writing down his thoughts about Apple. I've never met John, but I'm sure he's a nice guy that I would enjoy having a beer with (so if you read this John, I owe you a beer, or maybe a whole six pack). He's regarded as a leading Apple Pundit by the blogsphere.
Let's look at his predictions for Macworld Expo 2007:
New User Interface Theme to Replace Aqua in 10.5 (wrong)
iPod Mobile Phone (correct)
New MacBook Pro Form Factor (wrong)
New Sub-Compact MacBook (wrong)
iTV, Along With Apple-Branded Flat Screen TVs With iTV Built-In (½ right, Apple TV yes, flatscreens no)
Dual Quad-Core Mac Pros (wrong)
Demo of Adobe Photoshop CS3 Beta (wrong)
Roz Ho From Microsoft’s Mac BU - universal binary versions of the Office (wrong)
’07 Updates to the iWork and iLife suites. (wrong)
Higher-Speed AirPort Based on 802.11n (½ right, launched, but not in keynote)
So, out of 10 predictions, 1 fully right, 2 about ½ right. Batting .200 there John. Not enough for the big leagues. And he's considered one of the top Apple pundits.
Again, nothing against John, but the web punditry and second guessing of every move by tech companies is a bit silly. Not only do the web pundits make silly predictions, they find reason to try to tear apart every new tech announcement with smug certainty.
Zune didn't kill the iPod in 3 months? No 1080p on the Apple TV? Product is not open-firmware, open-source, and under $20? OMGWTFBBQ!
My professional life has been one long study in what technology can and can't do. I have found that focusing on what hardware and software can't do is basically useless. Focusing on what can actually be done and works is the only real way to examine technology.
Too often I hear smart people say things like "I won't buy X because it doesn't have [vaporware stage technology]", instead of looking at working features and how they fit the actual needs. Kinda of like refusing to buy a car because it doesn't fly and you 'really want a flying car' even though no flying cars exist. Don't get me started on the silliness of people buying 1080p TVs under 60"...
My only guess is that web punditry is a form of tech porn that some people enjoy. Based on nothing, their opinions seem to be worth about the same.Posted by michael at January 10, 2007 07:44 PM