Apple's CEO was off his presentation game today, but that's OK. The SVPs were doing just fine. I think they all need to tone it down a bit and stop using so many awesome amazing stupendous tremendous adjectives. Apple's days of Barnum and Bailey are over. They are a highly respectable design and engineering company and now would be a good time for them to act like it. Like Zeiss. Like Raymond Weil. Take a cue from some old school Europeans. Apple is very righteous to call out California and they do represent us well, but have a walk through Johnnie Ive's house why don't you. Awesome and stupendous are not the adjectives that come to mind. World class design does, and it's not always about fun fun fun, but perfection in harmony.
I take the cue that Apple understands this, and there is some element in their presentation, in the duality of this double launch that they serve colorful spontaneous markets and 'space grey' markets. You know me, I'm definitely in the space grey realm, but I also wanted to hear them say what they said specifically. Yes I do carry a lot of secure and important information around on my phone and no I do not want my fingerprint to ever leave it.
I was pleasantly surprised by the presentation of the iTunes Festival. Bravo. A free concert streamed live globally. Take that, NBC! Apple *is* a big media company and a serious facilitator on the technical end. I was amused and entertained by the clip which had a very Cirque du Soleil feel to it. That's a classy kind of wildness and it is appropriate for Apple as an upscale designer kind of firm. Apple is feeling very global eurotrash these days, in a good way. I like that their edge is not edgy for its own sake, but that they are moving with confidence. Yes, this is our new designer retail store, 8 times the size of the old one, go see it if you have time. So very Porsche Design.
So right now the Apple SVPs are looking good, and enthusiastic and this is the right way for them to be. But I think they have established a casual precedent that cannot be maintained forever. One billionaire CEO in jeans and a t-shirt is one thing, but four multi-millionaire global corporate officers in casual clothes? I don't want to call them disingenuous, because I honestly buy that they are passionate about their products and exacting in their designs. And really, when you compare the flawless pressing of their casual shirts to that of the 3rd party game presenters, you know that they are meticulous about their casual image. But I gotta think these guys really actually do appreciate caviar and private jets, things they deserve in spades. This casual act is starting to wear thin. Let Google have that - that's all they've got. Now, OK I know that they are probably wearing Ecco shoes, and if there are $200 denim jeans, that's what they're wearing, but really? You guys don't eat hotdogs and hamburgers. Give us a break, huh? Quit acting like you never dress up, and use some adjectives representative of the confidence you actually have. Quit acting like the leaked picture of the gold 5s is going to destroy your shareholder value, or that if fanboys hate, you're going to take them seriously. (Did they really have to mention the antennas in the steel frame of the 5c?)
Think about it for a moment. Recall the film 'Helvetica'.
It is impossible for me to imagine that fewer than 90% of Apple designers have seen this film. I bet they speak about it with reverence, and have considered at length how their products influence the thought process of creative people. This is the seriousness I appreciate in Apple, and I'm sure they appreciate in themselves. It's OK for them to come out and say so.
I like what Apple has become, a design and engineering world leader. I really do hope they begin to act just a little bit more mature. I think Apple can produce a pink plastic and brushed grey aluminum products, but they should quit acting at times like a jiiterbugging teeny bopper just because such people buy their products.