So we opened in Glasgow last Saturday with lots of rock concert fanfare and a queue that started forming at midnight Friday. Then on Tuesday we followed up with a free concert by The Dykeenies, which drew a big crowd of young kids. As our correspondent Hugh from GlasMUG reports: “Most of the crowd were 14-18 iPod gen kids, who were shopping like mad in the store before the gig.” Music to my ears, Hugh. We also gave out free 10-song iTunes downloads and made it look like a backstage pass. (Photo below.)
Now look. I know we’ve got Apple faithful who go back thirty years with us and who kind of resent the fact that we’re changing and drawing younger kids. You can’t believe how often I get email from geezers bitching about how they went into an Apple store and it was full of kids friggin around with their MySpace pages and harshing the vibe and these noobs don’t even know who Burrell Smith and Andy Hertzfeld were, they don’t know the history of the company and how Woz designed this super elegant circuit for the Apple II.
Or they start up these petitions to save their precious Apple key which isn’t there anymore on the new Apple keyboards, to which all I can say is, once again, do you guys really have so little going on in your lives that you can get this worked up over a friggin computer keyboard? There’s a war in Iraq, AIDS in Africa, genocide in Darfur, born-again Christians taking over our government and erasing our liberties — and the big thing in your life, the thing that makes you really angry, is a tiny change on a computer keyboard? Seriously? Really? You can’t believe how many emails I’ve received about this. Grown men and women. Mostly men. Writing me long emails explaining why this tiny symbol on a computer key is such an integral part of their life and vital to their sense of well-being. Jesus Christ on a popsicle stick. You know what? Go buy a Dell. What’s that? Yeah, I didn’t think so. So shut up.
Look. Geezers, we love you. We do. But you’ve got to stop being so constipated. The world changes. We’re changing with it. We need you to move along with us and adapt too. Bokay? And we need to bring in loads of new customers and especially we need to bring in this new generation of young kids. Otherwise we’re just stuck selling to you guys and let’s face it, you’re going to start dying off soon. Or at the very least you are going to retire and start living on fixed income and spending most of your money on Depends and medications, which will leave you very little disposable income for buying our beautiful machines. So building our company around you is simply not a wise move, demographically speaking.
With the young kids the hook we’ve got into them is the iTunes store and the iPod. Pretty obvious strategy really. With kids the hook is always music. That’s why the whole iPod thing was such a brilliant maneuver. Because it brought us across the generational divide. The iPods get the kids into the store. Once inside they can look at those beautiful sleek expensive iMacs and lust after them. Remember, geezers, when you were in high school and college and the biggest purchases in your life involved vinyl LPs and stereo gear? Remember when you would spend hours in record shops? Remember how much you cared about some new album? Remember standing in the hi-fi shop, lusting after the Linn LP12 turntable or the Quad speakers and telling yourself if you ever got some money you were going to buy a set-up like that? Same today for these kids. Our stuff is what they aspire to own. So we bring them in with free rock concerts and we prime the pump with 10 free iTunes downloads to get them using our system. They start out with an iPod and then they save their pennies and buy a Mac Mini or an iMac. Or an iPhone. We’re their record store, and their hi-fi store, and their TV store, and their phone store.
The biggest things in a teenager’s life — other than cars and dope — they can get from us. Not a bad business to be in. Yeah, we don’t get the enterprise market. We don’t get to sell to IT departments who beat us up on price and squeeze our margins to zip and choose their servers based on which company (HP, Sun, IBM, Dell) is giving away the most freebies this week to win business. Boo hoo. We’ll deal with it.
(Photos by Kath, the treasurer and foreign minister of GlasMug; sent to us by Hugh.)