Just a generation or so ago, prior to personal computing and the internet, the world was less complex, less complicated, easier to navigate. What Apple has done for customers is unique among technology and gadget companies. Apple simplifies the complicated edges of an increasingly complex world. Here’s how.
The KISS & Curate Method
Anyone in business or government knows the value of the so-called KISS method. ‘Keep it simple, stupid.‘ Trite? Yes. But effective.
Look around at the world today. From government to education to medicine to personal mores to entertainment, we’re faced with more complicated choices.
The internet has become the misinformation superhighway which requires users to tread carefully or be swept away in a sea of titillating images and false facts.
What does Apple do about that that is so beneficial to the growing number of the company’s customers?
In a word, curation. It’s curation vs. open. It’s balanced management vs. constantly changing standards and trends.
Take a look at curation to see if it fits Apple’s positioning within the technology industry, and within our own lives.
curate 2 |ˈkyo͝oˌrāt| verb [ with obj. ]
select, organize, and look after the items in (a collection or exhibition): both exhibitions are curated by the museum’s director.
• select acts to perform at (a music festival): in past years the festival has been curated by the likes of David Bowie.
• select, organize, and present (suitable content, typically for online or computational use): nearly every major news organization is using Twitter’s new lists feature to curate tweets about the earthquake | (as adj. curated) : a curated alternative to the world’s most popular video portal.
Apple’s form of technology curation, the Disneyland effect, or the so-called walled-garden, is often viewed negatively by today’s technorati elite. Apple and the company’s products and services are viewed as controlling, while competitors contrast that with products that are open, which is better.
Open vs. Closed
While choice is good, and I’ll defend to the death someone else’s freedom of choice, choices abound to the point of technological anarchy, a digital chaos which only further complicates our lives.
For better or worse, Apple’s approach to technology products, particularly under the Steve Jobs era, has been to simplify the complex, de-mystify the complicated, by producing products that delight users.
Instead of forcing customers to consider a long list of bullet points extolling the latest and greatest details and aspects of RAM, CPU, GPU, Wi-Fi, storage, Bluetooth, and all the industry buzzwords, Apple seeks to keep the entire purchase and user experience simple and pleasant in what is becoming an increasingly negative and complex world with a bewildering array of product choices.
Though I would prefer that Apple take a stronger stance on personal privacy, here’s a good example of where Apple does the right thing regarding customers.
Customer vs. Product
To Google, you’re the product, not the customer. Google gives you free apps and services in exchange for personal information about you, your purchases, your online viewing habits, your purchases, and much more. That information is sold to advertisers who pay Google to target messages to your lines of interest.
Wait. Doesn’t Apple sell advertising, too? Yes, and the differences in approach could not be more glaring. Apple asks advertisers which demographics they want their ads to target, and Apple targets the ads based upon data they gather. That data isn’t easily or often shared with advertisers. Why not? Because you are the customer and Apple respects that. Google does not.
Which companies would you prefer to help you navigate the increasingly complicated, complex, and often polarizing technology industry? Apple? Or, Google, Microsoft, Samsung, Amazon, et al.