Guy Kawasaki, the motorcycle designer and former Apple employee, has come on as a consultant to help us with this green stuff. Guy’s attitude, which I think is the correct one, is that all of this green stuff and global warming stuff is mostly about marketing. In other words, you really don’t need to do very much. You just need to get on message and stay on message. The difference between the companies that get high praise and the companies that get put in the doghouse (like Apple) really isn’t that great. The difference is mostly about advertising and messaging. Guy is the master of this concept. He calls it “hollow marketing.” I think he’s doing a book on it, with Shel Israel collaborating.
So Guy came over yesterday and we spent about an hour hanging upside down in our gravity boots, doing an ab workout and trying to think different about green computing. It’s not as easy as it seems. (Both the ab stuff and the thinking.) Guy’s a great guy for dreaming up ideas. But I’m really much better at non-thinking. Like my ideal situation is to have other people come up with lots of ideas, and I tell them all that each idea is total shit. If they come back with a refinement of an idea I figure they must be really super passionate about it, and as you know the key to doing anything really super in life is to be super passionate, and that’s what we are all about at Apple is the passion. So if I sense there is real passion behind an idea I’ll take that idea and do some non-thinking about it in the Tassajara meditation room for a day or two and see what its karma says to me.
So. Long story short. Guy and I didn’t really come up with much. Let’s face it, it’s hard to get passionate about green stuff. It’s like trying to be passionate about wool socks. I mean, wool socks are great. I like wool socks. Especially with Birkenstocks. I just don’t get a boner thinking about them. Nobody holds up a pair of wool socks in a store and goes, “Whoa, check these out! Hell yes!” There’s no sense of childlike wonder in wool socks, that’s for sure.
So what’d we dream up? Well, we can use more low-power-consumption chips from Intel. That’s not exactly a big breakthrough. We can put a hand-crank on our MacBooks like the One Laptop Per Child machine. Maybe as an option. We’ll make it shiny white plastic and sell the crank for a hundred and twenty-nine bucks and patent the connector so other companies can’t make a knock-off for two bucks. That was it. Mostly we just hung there trying to do upside-down crunches and bumming out about how old we’re getting. Well, it was day one. You have to start somewhere.