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Doug's Mailbag: Apple Products and Steve Jobs Impressions

With Apple surpassing Microsoft in market sales, Doug asked what are readers' favorite Apple products and is Steve Jobs a genius or control freak? Here's some of your responses:

I think the truth is actually something of both.

There's no question that Steve Jobs has a mind for controlling everything that he goes after. If he could, I have no doubt that he would control even more. However, any one person only has a certain span of control; to attempt more is just not going to work successfully. Where Steve's genius comes in, I think, is his ability to discern products and services that will appeal to a passionate audience, and to attract very smart people to come alongside and work diligently on them until they're polished to a high luster.

Apple has not had an unbroken record of success since Jobs' return as CEO. The Mac Cube, for instance, looked great, but had some fundamental problems that were never fixed.

Overall, though, Apple has a reputation for bringing exceptional products and services to market. The fit and finish of Apple hardware is really hard to match in the arenas where they compete. Apple services, like iTunes, are market leaders for a reason -- they're better than the competition, and they just work.

If it sounds like I'm an Apple fanboy, I'm not. I simply recognize that Steve Jobs is exceptionally successful at what he does, and the company he's (re)built has done its work really well. And that market cap is evidence of that success.

Apple products are too locked down for my personal taste, but they're the game in town that everyone tries to imitate -- the most sincere form of flattery.

Yes. He is an unprincipled one.

I think that Jobs is both a control freak and genius. I think he is a control freak because he is a genius. He has a vision of how things work, and has forced everything in that direction.

It's hard to say which one of my Apple products is my favorite, but it may be MobileMe. It seamlessly and effortlessly connects with no problems. I sync everything between Macs and my iPod without the hassle of physically doing it myself.

I truly believe that the thing that has kept Apple from being the home desktop/laptop king is their prevalence in the schools back in the '80s. I remember using the old II e/g s and thinking that they were way easier to use than the PCs. My computer tutor told me that they couldn't be any good if they let little kids use them, and I eventually adopted that attitude. Then, through necessity, I bought and used a Mac mini. One thing led to another, and now I am one of those annoying Mac converts.

You always come up with thought-provoking topics and provide insightful views that instigate intelligent, educational feedback.

In my collection of electronic wizardry, there are a couple of iPhones, an iPod, a MacBook Pro and an iPad. Of these, the iPhones are my most often used Apple products, while the iPod seldom sees use. My least favorite is definitely the iPod. The iPhones completely fulfill every use I would have for my iPod. On the other hand, no one product qualifies as my favorite. I love the use of Apple's MobileMe to keep all critical information in sync across almost all my Apple devices. In addition, it allows me to access that information from any Web browser on any system. For me, this advantage is so powerful that I have already moved all my contacts, calendar and task information to my Apple gear.

I promise, sometime in the near future, I'll write you about the path that lead me into the Apple world and the synergy I get from adding a little Apple to my daily PC usage.

It is politically incorrect to refer to people at Steve Jobs' level of wealth with negative terms like paranoid, control freak or crazy. Those terms are only used to describe people with far smaller nest eggs. For people at Steve Jobs' level of wealth we use the term eccentric as the first part of a compound positive term. For example, we would describe Steve Jobs as an eccentric genius, an eccentric leader or even an eccentric motivator… you get the idea. Personally, I view Steve Jobs as an eccentric genius, ever revolutionizing the lives of people living in the information age.
-Dr. Dave

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Posted by Doug Barney on June 04, 2010


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