All those side trips have taught me a few things about each culture. While we humans are much the same the world over, some cultures have a decidedly different perspective about business. Leave it to the French to figure out the best kept secrets in business.
Apple’s Lock-in Secret
French authorities raided Apple’s offices recently looking for ways the U.S.-based company is locking in customers to the Apple App Store.
Yes, dear friends, Apple is guilty as charged. The company works feverishly to lock in customers to force them to use Apple’s add on products, too.
Alright, force is probably too strong. Encourage? Yes, we buy Apple products and we’re encouraged to buy more products from Apple because they all work and play nice-nice with each other.
French authorities are concerned that customers don’t have an ability to switch once they purchase apps from Apple’s App Stores.
It’s true. Once you buy an iPhone you cannot buy an app from Google Play and run it on your iPhone. Ditto for Microsoft’s Windows apps, and BlackBerry apps.
Oh, the humanity! Where is the outrage, people!
The problem is just as bad in the U.S. Although we can buy a Mac and run Linux and Microsoft Windows (and various flavors of Unix) all at the same time if we want, we’re not able to tear out the Mac’s Intel CPU and drop in a new AMD CPU without major surgery. What’s with that? It’s lock-in.
I like the bucket seats in Wil’s Porsche Carrera. Can I get those same seats and drop them in my father’s Buick? No. Can. Do. That’s lock-in, people. It’s outrageous.
Leave it to the French to uncover one of the most well kept secrets about American businesses. The product lock-in. Can you put the doors of a Kenmore washer or dryer on an LG washer or dryer? No, and that’s just wrong. Everyone knows it but no one does anything about it. Except the French.
It’s the 21st century. Shouldn’t all products be mix and match, commoditized and componentized so everything just works together, from one manufacturer to another?
If it’s good enough for the French it’s good enough for us.