newbie response

Curry curry at kagi.com
Tue Jun 4 19:30:01 CDT 2002


Loren Rivers wrote:

>> That's possible. Apple is a highly rational organization (just because an
>> observer disagrees or fails to understand the reasons for their decisions is
>> does not make Apple irrational). If they thought HyperCard was going to make
>> more money than whatever else they could do with those resources, they'd be
>> all over it.

Rob Cozens wrote:

> You must have seen a different Apple than I, Loren...or talked with
> different people.
> 
> I put it to you that to this day Steve Jobs and Phil ("HyperCard is
> just a rolodex") Schiller have absolutely no clue as to A. what
> HyperCard was really all about or B. how many Mac sales were were
> lost forever when Claris made the decision to make people pay for
> HyperCard.  HyperCard 3 (Quick Time Interactive) would have been
> Apple's premier app, and in the words of Gil Amelio (to K. Calhoun),
> "this [QTI] is what Apple is really all about."
> 
> Apple traded Amelio & QTI for Jobs & colored computers.

Yes; although we may have different opinions in the end, logic clearly
dictates that just as a observer's disagreement or (perhaps) failure to
understand reasons doesn't mean Apple is irrational, so neither does the
fact that top people at Apple didn't think HC was a big winner mean that
Apple is rational.

In fact, I think with just a little objective data we could make a good case
for Apple being irrational, or more specifically, the toplevel leadership
management being irrational--I think the people working at Apple lower down
have always had a lot of good ideas. I haven't done the research to say for
sure, but my guess based on what I have seen is that the modernization of
the Mac OS was slowed down a bit because the big bosses were busy on more
important things like the absolutely best translucent color and what size is
best for a perfectly round mouse. (No, there is no possibility that a round
mouse is impractical. Now, what size and what color?)

Then, we are able to come out with a modern OS quickly by building on an
existing modern OS, but what, you want stuff like reliability and the same
standards of logical user interface based on research that the old Mac had?
Get out of here, this is not the old Mac OS, don't you get it? We're going
to give you an OS that doesn't crash and has pretty colors, and the proper
response from you is to be EXCITED!

And guess what, the Mac media mostly said, yeah it has a little bit of this
or that, but it is exciting. So, the chance for reasonable, calm discussion
about specific merits is sometimes lost and the head honchos at Apple get
the mistaken impression that what they do is rational, so they keep doing
it.

I enjoyed my round mouse. It looks neat, but was useless. It might be a good
toy for cats or something, but I didn't wait for Apple to stop pretending
and denying; I went out and bought an oval mouse. Later, lo and behold,
finally Apple has gotten the message after maybe 10 billion emails, and the
round mouse is gone.

Eventually, they may get everything right, but it lags behind and wastes a
lot of time and effort that users must give for feedback rather than for
productivity. It surely couldn't be efficient economically, either.

The reason? Irrationality. Plain and simple. And yes, it's very likely that
the reason people at Apple dumped HyperCard is that they just didn't
understand it, not that we didn't understand them. After all, HC was lagging
behind about color, perhaps that gave them a bad initial impression that
nothing else could overcome, because aren't the fine distinctions of color
shades more important than what it does?

Another guess--such things are in a very different perspective for people
that have things done for them rather than people who do things themselves.
I think the best leadership and top management would be people who have done
and still do things for themselves and make things--creative yet practical,
and people who are reasonable and listen, although they have vision.

Without that, we have some great strides along with some great messes and
some huge lost advantages and opportunities. And that just isn't as rational
as it should be, any way you cut it.

Curry





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