The Mac in Me

06 July 2007

When Matt Heerema called me the poor-man’s Gruber I realized I should probably explain my preoccupation with all things Apple.

Firstly, I’ve been a Macintosh user/owner since the mid-80’s – most of my life. I’ve used every OS since version 6, and can recollect, without help from Google, the major changes in each revision. So I have a lot of personal history with Apple products.

Probably the biggest reason I’m such an Apple loyalist, though, is because I subscribe to the idea that technology should (and can) be as simple as it is powerful. Whether it’s the iPod or Mac OS, everything Apple produces seems designed to compliment – not hinder or add-to – my lifestyle.

Because I’m a perfectionist, I’m also very keen to the attention to detail Apple gives to their products. They’re polished, complete, and picture-perfect. Apple never rarely releases anything to the public without it having the white-glove inspection, and red-carpet treatment.

It’s not all about the hype, either. Their great communication is only possible because of their insanely great products. Take, for instance, the iPhone commercials: Notice the lack of bulleted lists of features, pricing, and on-screen graphics. They’re just 30 seconds of the product, and the interface – center-stage, no CG and <a href=""iphone"&tag=cnetfd.vid">no trickery</a>.

That’s not to discredit the awesome marketing team behind Apple’s campaigns. Whether TV spot, billboard, online graphic, etc.; there’s no confusing Apple message when promoting. Each ad is like a mini-movie – executed perfectly. Script, timing, story, continuity, style, tone … it’s all well-thought out.

I love ‘em. I love their style, their mission, and their model.

Of course, Apple’s not perfect. That attention to detail I mentioned isn’t always utilized in every release. Quality control has seemed to suffer as Apple’s popularity has grown. And lately the Mac OS is more an interface mash-up; anything but congruent. Actually, Apple frequently ignores their own interface guidelines, I guess in the name of innovation.

In that way, though, the company is even the more relatable. The truth is, if Apple didn’t have flaws I’d be worried. It’s the human element, imperfections included, that generates both its beauty and defect.

For me, the Mac, iPod and iPhone are easy to champion, because if I were to start a company it would look like Apple.