by Jeff Jarvis
Howard Stern may have pooped on podcasts, but he said this morning that when he saw the video iPod he realized that is a medium for him. I liked hearing that. I said a few months ago in an open letter to Mel Karmazin that I hope Sirius does not fall into the trap of other media and think of itself as its pipe. Instead, Sirius is creating content I’ll pay for and it should deliver it to me any way I want it.
When you think about it, satellite radio and iTunes are the best positioned in the new world for pay content — for the golden fleece of the added content revenue stream: money from the consumer. Print content is pretty much all free by now. Networks and cable and program producers and all bound up in their mutually destructive deals. But iTunes enables the sale of content and Sirius is producing content worth paying for and neither is trapped by their histories.
Business Week starts a blog about Apple… and the first post is about Dell. It’s been eight years since Michael Dell was asked after a speech at a Gartner conference in Orlando what he would do if he were in charge of Apple Computer. His answer: Shut the company down and give the money back to shareholders.
Now remember these were the days before the iMac, the iPod, and OS X. Apple was typically described with adjectives like “beleaguered” and phrases like “on the ropes.” Steve Jobs was only about two months into his time as “interim CEO” and had inherited a big stack of challenges from Gil Amelio.
What a difference eight years can make. That’s what I thought when I saw the news that Dell Computer had warned for the second quarter in a row that its revenue and earnings will fall short of expectations. Now that it’s approaching $60 billion in sales, its finding growth isn’t so easy.
As we are required by blog law to say at moments such as this: Heh
: Glad to see the Apple blog. Just one request: Add a blogroll to the many other good Apple blogs out there, each from a different perspective. Or add a feed of their headlines. Start here (where they should also add such a blogroll). And yes, I know, I’m a fine one to speak: What happened to my blogroll? I’m just disorganized, lazy, and overworked; I’ll get to it.
The loyalty of the Apple cult is magnficent to behold. Presidents and Popes and every brand alive should wish for such devotion. I complained about Apple’s iPod rollouts and the Knights of the Round Dial came out in force, as always.
To answer some of them: The issue here is that some loyal Apple fans spent their hard-earned money to buy Nanos when, if they had known the new product was coming out, they would have preferred to get that. But now they can’t because all the hard-earned money is gone. And that is no way to treat your best customers.
Apple knew it was coming out with the video iPod when it came out with the Nano; sorry, guys, but I don’t buy that this was sudden divine inspiration made flesh/plastic/chrome. And don’t tell me that the rumor mill should be counted on as a source of information; it flip-flopped — and if they had gotten it right, Apple would have sued them.
I’m also unhappy that I bought a Treo 650 and had to commit to two years on Sprint — for me and my family — when they later came out with the Treo 700 with EVDO. But considering the considerable amount of time between those products, I am assuming that when the 650 came out, they were not sure when and whether the 700 would follow, having to not only do technical work to make high-speed happen but also make deals with Microsoft and Verizon. I made my choice.
But Apple knew full well they’d have two products coming out and I hope this was not a cynical act just to pump the quarter’s sales at the cost of customer happiness. For if you keep doing that, you won’t keep your customers’ fervent loyalty forever. Your crusaders are armed and can turn on you.
I’m not turning on Apple. I love my Nano and would’t have bought the video iPod. That’s not true for others and they feel let down today.
But I still do with I had a damned forward-delete key.
My son is mad and has a right to be. If he and other Apple fans knew the video iPod was coming in only a few weeks, they might have bought it instead. They should have had a choice. Jobs is gaming his community for no good reason.