So one of our young PR guys, whose name escapes me because I never actually learned it, was just in a meeting flipping out because he’s been reading comments on all the tech blogs all day and they’re pretty much all really nasty and negative and hating on us. Meanwhile Katie and I are just sitting there, totally Zen, drinking our smoothies and gazing out the window. The guy keeps going on about these blog commenters and finally Katie looks at me, as if to say, Should I explain? And I give her my Zen nod and she informs the guy that we don’t need to impress anyone on the tech blogs — the kind of people who post on those blogs are not our customers anyway. The people we need to worry about are soccer moms and fanboys. And this press release we put out today will take care of both of those groups perfectly. The young kid goes, Well, if I can be frank, that statement was utter bullshit, and everyone saw right through it. Katie just took a deep sigh and explained to him that sure, the blog geeks saw right through it, but once again, those freaks are all using Android anyway and we really don’t care what they think. The kid persisted so finally I cleared my throat and explained it to him myself.
I said, Young acolyte, have you ever heard of a novel called Anatomy of a Murder? If not, you should, because (a) it’s a good read, and (b) it contains one of the best pieces of advice about selling or marketing that you will ever get anywhere. The deal is this. An army guy gets arrested for murdering an innkeeper; he says the innkeeper raped his wife. The main character is the lawyer who defends the killer and succeeds in getting him acquitted. At one point he tells the defendant (or maybe it’s in the narration to the reader, I can’t remember) that the defendant is a guy that the jury is going to like. They want to acquit him. They’re looking for any reason, no matter how implausible, to find him not guilty. So all the defense has to do is give the jury an excuse to do what they all already want to do, which is acquit. It can be utter horseshit, completely ridiculous, and it won’t matter. The jury is just looking for permission to acquit the guy.
So it is with us and the fanboys. They want to buy our products. They just don’t want to lose face. Like that jury, they want to acquit us. All we need to do is throw them something they can latch on to so they can say, See? Apple recognized the problem and fixed it right away, what an awesome company, always looking out for customers, blah blah. So, as far as the Apple faithful are concerned, we’re done and done.
The soccer moms are slightly different. They’re not paying attention to any of this shit at all, and have just maybe kinda vaguely heard something from someone somewhere that there was some problem with the antenna. They don’t know what it is, exactly, or how it all works, and they don’t want to know, because they’re busy running to yoga class and picking up the kids after school and they’d really like to get that new iPhone 4 because it’s like really good or whatever and one of the other moms got it and she said it’s cool but supposedly there’s something with the antenna but she hasn’t experienced it. All we need to do for them is do something, anything, so that words gets around that yes there was some kind of problem but Apple did something, anything, and now everything is okay.
And if you don’t believe that there are consumers this clueless, trust me — I was visiting Apple stores when the iPad shipped (in disguise, of course) and I saw, with my own eyes, and heard, with my own ears, a woman say to a salestard, “Why does this one cost more than this one?” And the salestard had to explain that one had more gigabytes which meant it could store more movies and music. Then the woman said, “And do I need to get a contract with AT&T?” This was the first week of product shipment, when we were only shipping WiFi-only devices. Ahem. And yes, despite the fact that she had obviously done zero homework, and had likely never heard of any of these tech blogs that were foaming at the mouth non-stop for months about every tiny detail of the iPad — yes, despite her ignorance, she walked out with an iPad. The expensive one.
And yes, Virginia, there really are loads and loads of these technotarded people, and you know what? They are by far our best and biggest customers. Our whole business model is based on selling to them.
So take that, blog commenters. You can debate and argue 24-7 on this external antenna and the Anandtech investigation and how many dBs of attenuation you can get when you wrap an iPhone 4 in latex and shove it halfway up your butts. Have fun! Go wild! Knock yourselves out. But by Tuesday, when all the regular folks come back from the long weekend of cookouts and hanging out on the beach, this non-issue will have been eliminated by our non-repair, just wait and see.
Meanwhile, peace out and namaste. I honor the place where our bullshit and your need to believe in us become one.