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Imagine Apple Existed


This is where I write about what interests me.

Imagine Apple Existed

James Stratford

I want you to suspend your disbelief. Suspend your cynicism and just go with this for a minute.

Imagine there was a company that made computers but they didn't kowtow to anyone. Imagine they made their machines with serious, unabashed pride in what they do. Imagine they talked about design and engineering. Imagine they had the courage to charge an honest premium for their products so that they weren't hamstrung by wafer-thin margins. Imagine they made their computers from single slabs of aluminium to near-military grade tolerances.

Imagine they turned down licensing a third party operating system and developed their own. Imagine they cared about what it was like to use their computers more than they cared about market share. Imagine they were willing to suspend development of major new shiny, easily-marketable features for a whole development cycle and just focus on under-the-hood improvements.

Imagine this company decided they could do better than Walmart, Best Buy, PC World or the rest and they set up a chain of specialised, bijou stores. Imagine they didn't have their computers run screen savers promoting the virtues of their machines and just left them unlocked for the customer to play with.  Imagine the people that worked there actually knew about the products and didn't work on commission. Imagine genuine experts in creative fields were hired to show hobbyists and professionals alike what their hardware and software could offer.

Imagine that company felt they could make a computer that could fit in your pocket too. Imagine they weren't afraid of carriers. Imagine they put the user first and built from that point backwards. Imagine their phones weren't displayed as non-functioning plastic facsimiles that told you nothing about what you were buying.

Imagine this was a company that bought its manufacturing partners new equipment just so they could machine holes in aluminium small enough to be invisible until light was shone through them just to make a great-looking power indicator. Imagine they used glass and aluminium not because it was cheap but because it was desirable to the customer.

Imagine this company's senior corporate leadership was made up of the same people that designed the products. Imagine they were willing to cannibalise their own product lines because they knew they could create something new that offered a superior experience. Imagine they had the courage to ignore vehement criticism by an ignorant, click-baiting press and call time on a dithering plugin developer. Imagine they had the confidence to force that same developer to re-write their flagship program from the ground up using a modern API framework because it was the only way to kick them into the new millennium.

Imagine that aside from all the technical prowess, this company cared about people. Imagine it mattered to this company how people experienced their products. Imagine they sought to make computing accessible in every meaning of the word. Imagine they spent time agonising over how to make sophisticated machines simple to use. Imagine they said 'no' to a feature because it was powderpuff not progress. Imagine real time was spent making complex devices usable by the blind, deaf and motor-impaired. Imagine this company's CEO took pride showing the assembled press how autistic children were learning using his company's products because that was the type of company this was.

If this company existed, there would be those that refused to believe it. Years of learning to see through the marketing nonsense of other major multinational companies would predispose them to thinking this must be PR rhetoric.  These people would mock this company because they couldn't overcome their cynicism and believe it was as simple as it seemed. They'd call this company's customers sheep for being so gullible as to buy into this myth of a better experience. It would be easy to join them.

Even the most discerning of readers have to swim against a tide of bias to get any information. Large South Korean companies spend billions of dollars manipulating and cajoling the very people the public trust to bring them journalism in their media and good advice in their stores. Sadly, even many that would consider themselves 'tech-savvy' are naive of this influence.

Imagine someone was like you. Imagine they hated BS; they hated scare-mongering; they hated impenetrable jargon; they hated creaking plastic machines and cheap-feeling hardware; they hated tolerance of buggy software. Imagine that person set up a company and they happened to be a business genius.

Imagine Apple existed.

 …but I digress.