Monday, 8 December 2008

Lawrence Lessig and Seth Godin need to bone up on Apple

I've been obsessing about all things Apple for almost two decades, but I've only started writing about it recently. Conversely, since the meteoric rise of the company, many who have been writing about other things for many years have only recently weighed in on Apple... And it shows.

Two books recently caught my eye in this regard, and I'm happy to offer a hand in getting the facts straight. Firstly, digital marketing Guru Seth Godin's new tome, "Tribes," which gushingly describes how we may all become leaders. One of Godin's favorite leaders turns out to be Steve Jobs, whom he returns to over and over again to illustrate almost every conceivable facet of leadership.

Of course, I agree with Godin, as far as adulation of our dear leader goes, but then, tragically, inaccuracy strikes, and pedantic Apple fans like myself are forced to object. Godin claims: "Steve Jobs was wrong about the Apple III, wrong about the NeXT computer, wrong about the Newton. Insanely wrong. You know the rest." Well, for the record, Jobs didn't invent the Newton. In fact, one of his first executive decisions upon his return to the company was to kill the struggling PDA division. If we were to be charitable, we might assume that Godin means that Jobs was wrong to scrap the Newton - but how does he know this? If that's what he means, it's a pretty weak argument. And in fact, there are plenty of better examples of Apple getting it wrong that Godin could have chosen: the G4 Cube, anyone?

The second text that caught my eye was from the (otherwise brilliant) Lawrence Lessig, who oddly argues in his new book "Remix" that the Apache web server is subject to "fierce competition from proprietary server companies such as Microsoft and Apple." Apple? Really? Last time I heard, Apple was using Apache as it's web server solution for Mac OS X. Besides which, (sadly) few would seriously consider Mac OS X as a platform for web hosting.

Know any more high profile writers who could benefit from some Apple fact-checking? Let MacPredictions know.


  1. Not really much of a blog if you only update it once a month...

    And then when you do you go off topic and just bitch about how someone doesn't know as much as you do...

    Well if you know so much... give us some predictions!

    Guess you're not going to approve this, but seeing as this is mainly meant for your eyes that doesn't matter.

  2. Fair point, Jan. I've been remiss in posting of late - but I promise to sort that out this weekend.

    Didn't mean to sound bitchy about Lessig and Godin - I admire both of them.

    Thanks for your comment - it's actually very encouraging feedback :)

  3. Well Graham, what a gracious way to respond to my frustrated rant. Your blog just has such a promising title it can be annoying not to find anything new there on my daily wander around my favorite bookmarks. Your thoroughly enjoyable earlier post had me hooked.

    However you vindicated yourself brilliantly with two worthwhile posts on my favorite subject. I guess I'll have to keep you in my list now and try to be a bit more patient ;-)