What broke the Apple

- A new Apple’s Keynote went by, still missing the vibe –

Broken Apple

– image from flickr -

Show’s over, curtains closed, the audience slowly exits the theatre: let the buzz begin.

Once again the biggest question going around is “What happened to Apple?” and the included payload “They’re not innovating anymore”

Im not sure Apple was always innovating as much as the audience use to perceive it, but I’m sure whatever they did was totally better communicated.

I look like an idiot every time I step on a stage: I’m shy (even if I learned how to conceal it), and I’m extremely uncomfortable while speaking in front of more then 3 people and I guess I can understand how hard can be for those guys now to try to pull off a show like their founder did. Please, next time: just hire an anchorman, it might give back the rhythm and the entrainment it’s totally lucking today.

People are smart, users are lazy: a common way of saying in our field while creating a new product is often “Nobody will read all that stuff, you need to guide them in another way”. It’s a matter of engagement and I guess Cupertino forgot about it. Jobs used to tell people “this is your problem, and this is how you solve it”, the tech-nerdy stuff would come later.

I’m a developer and I find beauty and pleasure in a mess of letters, numbers and odd words that makes others just go “yawn” and look at me in with a crazy face. I understand them even if I’d love to be able to ship whatever I do just saying “you totally need to use this software, we builded it using this cool new cutting edge technology which is so much better than before, even if it’s hard for you to perceive it”. That’s what Apple is doing! It’s great to know how the product enclosure is been machined to a “remarkable” precision, how many times it gets polished, the level of detail they were able to achieve, how many new chips are in there and how many bits developers now can use. But as a user I’ve no clue of what all that fuzz means, and worst of all how it will be good for me in anyway. Unfortunately you don’t get people going WOW for a tech sheet, unless they’re crazy, nerds or both.

Color plastic case is not innovation, a slightly bigger lens, multi-shots and all the camera jazz are not innovation when you’ve Lumias out there betting it all on that single function of a smartphone.

Stuff like iBeacon or that new M7 motion coprocessor for the 5S are at least as innovative as the motion sensor was for the 1st iPhone, or compass and gyro were for the 3GS. Problem is: you don’t surprise people anymore simply tilting your device and showing the interface will diligently follow. Been there, done that.

my 2 cents.

Rumours: the noise deafening the fun

- Today (or tomorrow, depending on where you are), supposedly, Apple will unveil it’s new products and I’m missing the vibe. -

I probably own more apple products than underwear, and I feel old if I think I “remember when the keynote use to be magic”.

I can’t believe apple lost so easily what made the event worth following it, and I’m not talking about Steve Jobs.

Mr Jobs was a great showman for sure, and his presence gave great power to the whole thing, he was great at making slow keynotes fun anyway to watch, but there were some of them magical, for a nerd like me. And that’s what (at least) I was waiting for, but no more.

I was laying on my stomak, with a cut in my butt (yeah, it ain’t funny), still in pain for the surgery and still thrill was growing while waiting for the keynote to beguin. The one presenting the 1st iPhone. Jan 9th 2007, 8 days before my birthday. I was like a kid at Christmas, finally someone made the phone I was wishing for since the nokia 7650 come out. And I was expecting it from nokia! But it wasn’t nokia… well, too bad… Actually I didn’t really care, as long as someone finally got rid of those tiny keyboards and used the whole space for the screen(ok it wasn’t the 1st, but it finally had a decent software), and it made it for humans! Wished but unexpected, the appearing slide was like taking the lid of a xmas present.

But now, it’s like we found where mom keeps all the presents and we just roam freely in there spoiling all the surprise. I suppose someone might like it that way.

I’m not a business expert at any mean, so I don’t know if it’s a marketing thing or apple lost all the ability of keeping its secrets, “frankly I don’t give a damn”. I just wish that waiting could be back some times.

There, I feel old again.

Code is like Wine

-  These are some random thoughts born out of a discussion with a non IT guy in front of a beer and a nice Tarte Tatin. Get it as it is: some kind of brain fart, and in my twisted mind didn’t look bad as a blog’s 1st post. -

Tarte Tatin

the Tarte Tatin itself

No, you don’t need to decant it… as someone suggested me, and it’s not about ageing either. It’s more about how it’s made, and those that make it.

Just like pretty much everything on in this world you can have it cheap, you can have it great and all the possible shades in between. The difference: that’s pretty much up to you. What’re you looking for and what are you expectations about it.

Someone might buy a bottle of wine just to get drunk. That’s fine, it’s his goal, a cheap wine can do the job.

A more cultured person would probably look for a more full and complex pleasure, something coming from a good if not great bottle of wine.

It’s a a matter of scope.

You can’t buy a cheap bottle of wine, stick it in your wine cellar and hope to have a great drink in a decade or so. It just doesn’t work.

In the same way you can’t buy cheap code and hope it will be the base for the growth for a great IT product.

It’s not a “all or nothing” thing either: there are great wines, like the italian “novello” or french “bojole nouveau” that are ready in a couple of months and they’re ment to be great for a short period of time.

I come from a wine making family, I was the one breaking a 3 generations tradition. I remember the love and passion driving my dad and grampa while they were producing what in the ancient times was known as gods’ drink.

I  now see that the same love, passion and drive in great coders I’m lucky to meet along my journey in the IT world and somehow it’s makes me feel like I didn’t totally depart from my family’s traditions.

They’re both craftsmanship, both a human work, both alive and needing care.

And you know what they say: “Life is too short to drink cheap wine”