Apple does a lot of things right, especially since Mr. Jobs righted the ship. Yet it still boggles my mind that each and every year the announcements from Apple’s WWDC make front page news around the world. The New York Times, CNN, and every major media outlet fall over themselves regurgitating the key-note ‘announcements’. Does this surprise only me? Hello? It’s a campaign rally…
Possibly, it touches a nerve, I participated in the early conferences, when Newton was released, for example, or NEXT was all the saving rage. I remember clearly the circus-like atmosphere Apple produced for its developers, we were chomping at the bit (16 at the time) for a multi-threaded operating system. Maybe the NEXT OS was finally something that would play well with Windows, and we could finally sell something. Windows was eating Apple’s lunch, everywhere, and as an Apple faithful, the future always seemed just out-of-reach. At the time our sect was a self-contained band of developers, and a small group of passionate users. The faithful have since taken on Tea-Party or Green Bay Packer type proportions, thanks to the iPhonePadGadgetMac. Crafty, very crafty.
I’ve come to realise that what the press should be watching (or listening to), isn’t what Apple has to say, but how Apple chooses to say it. Like any good politician, their basic strategy has worked for decades, they’ve mastered generating buzz. It may seem relatively ‘recent’, but they’ve been perfecting buzz-craft since the inception of the first Mac. Apple has been setting the WWDC as a target each year, not just for the press and the developers, but for each and every employee at Apple. On one hand, I can’t think of a more manipulative use of smoke and mirrors, yet on the other, imagine how this must focus attention from the inside of Apple. Everyone is ALWAYS working for THIS conference, every single employee works to contribute to the success of this conference.
Can you think of another company that has such focus? I can’t.