Here's a few Apple cores leftover for you that I posted on iBiblio's "Notes from The Lab"...
First off, I thought Randall Stross
hit up a good point on the value of "cool" in his 'Digital" Domain' column "After 20 Years, Finally Capitalizing on Cool'
in yesterday's New York Times
. Stross hits a good point that Apple has cornered the market on 'cool', which is so hard for companies to attain for their products.
Second, the article hit me a bit because I believe that if you don't have the attache' of "cool" within your product line, yourself, your company, it is awfully hard to produce it. You need to have it within your culture. If you have it in there, no matter what slumps that your company, you yourself, or group may endure, you can always access it.
If you haven't developed "cool" over time, it can be hard to make the shift to 'cool' when you need to access it to launch that new product, stage in life, or conversation that can take you to the next level.
I liked this comment that Stross grabbed from Paul Saffo
, the research director of the Institute for the Future, "hipness is the only asset that matters." I also liked his description of the Apple v. Microsoft comparsion.
"Apple is well positioned for the future...The company that is in a word, cool...Apple has 6.4 Billion in cash, a seemingly small sum next to Microsoft's $64 Billion. But it is Microsoft, the poor little rich kid, who must be envious of Apple. All of the billions in its coporate treasury, all of the personal billions of the co-founders Bill Gates
and Paul Allen
, all of the money in the world, cannot buy the ability to fathom the metaphysical mystery of cool."
I agree that Microsoft has the loot, but I liked that analogy because it supports the better opportunities that Apple has for long-term growth. Now, Is "cool" that valuable?...
Well, if you look at the $295M profit in it's first fiscal quarter compared with $63M the year before, I would say that the "cool" attache definitely works. However, with the buzz on the iPods and Desktops hitting the mainstream, the question now looks like it's going to shift to how do you maintain "cool"?
Second, here's a great review of the iPod Shuffle from Danny Evangelista of the San Francisco Chronicle on SFGate
....Evangelista is upset about the lack of a visual screen and a touchy switch, but he's a fan of the 512MB, the design, the "touch" navigation system, and most of all the price. Check it out...iTunin',BD