To colinng’s earlier musing about buying advice - step back to look at the big picture here -
Isn’t there a better way?
What if a company consistently maximized the best interests of its customers, instead of short term profit?
Would customers rally to that company, tell their friends, and steadily increase its business?
Would this minimize marketing cost, and maximize value for customers?
Would operating this way grow a powerful player, and maximize long term ROI for shareholders?
Instead of the marketing tricks most manufacturers play - fattening margins instead of customer satisfaction, isn’t it possible to earn better margins because satisfaction is maximized?
Why shouldn’t building the best value win in the marketplace?
If customer and manufacturer are collaborative partners, rather than adversaries, shouldn’t they both be able to achieve more of their goals?
Right now, it’s clear many manufacturers do many things to fool customers into paying more, while holding back configurations that would better satisfy them, at lower cost, and with less junk.
Why doesn’t a Mac mini have an ssd socket? Why isn’t MacOS available on iPad Pro? An ssd socket costs 25 cents, MacOS is already running on iPad inside Apple.
But doing these things would not be ‘good marketing’. Giving customers what they most want would indeed cavitate Mac and accessory revenues. They would buy fewer of these things. So, not good for short term profits on some products.
But - Customers want more utility, not more possessions.
If you can do in 1.5 oz what used to take 4lbs, it’s simply better. If one keyboard could cover 4 machines, instead of needing one for each, it’s better. If features could be added free by ota, rather than constantly buying replacement hardware, it’s way better.
And if done right, simplification, and cost reduction, can lead to increased audience, faster upgrade cycles, and in turn, even bigger revenues. That is what iPhone history proved.
Minimalism is an emergent ethos for consumers.
Minimalism does not mean sacrifice. It does not mean less utility,
it means less junk to bring you that utility.
this new ethos is squarely in conflict with how manufacturers traditionally milk profit. They want you to buy more junk. It’s not that they want to abuse customers, it’s just that they have to sustain profit, and the better way to achieve this isn’t always obvious or easy.
This fundamental reality is why it took an upstart to drive the EV revolution. Gas car makers want you to buy gas, and spend a lot on repairs of complex combustion engines, and have to replace cars more frequently. Only Tesla, with no legacy gas cars to lose, was willing to do the daring deed, and the heavy lifting.
But boy, does this work. Tesla is worth 10 billion more than GM now, and they spend almost nothing on marketing. Their delighted customers are their force of nature driving this change.
And this is why traditional keyboard makers don’t want you to have TextBlade. It disrupts their traditional sales. It will never come from them. It has to be done by a disruptive new innovator, with no legacy cash cow to lose. Which is why we patented the hell out of it.
The Apple that disrupted their own iPod and Mac sales with a new product - iPhone - that was the Apple that did daring deeds, and won our hearts, and grew to a Trillion dollar company.
That was a different company than the one that nudges dbk to part with $3000 for an optioned-up iMac with older storage tech and a wimpy small screen, when much better tech is available right now.
All these complicated soldered and locked configs, are all carefully contrived to cajole folks to buy multiple costly things, when less stuff would have actually met their needs better.
Look within this thread at how dbk agonized over these deliberately complicated choices. That is Apple’s marketing at work. And it is not their best work. At their best, they have held our hand, and walked us into a brighter future, together. Making our lives better, and making lots of profit doing it.
Look at this thread again after that screen arrives.
When you see dbk’s shock at how much 4K screen he can get for his money - 4 times the size of the iMac for thousands less -you’ll get a sense for why Apple stock is now down 400 billion dollars - smaller than Google, Microsoft, and Amazon.
For a consumer like dbk personally, it’s not just those sales that diminish, but along with it, the unquestioned trust in the brand. That took a long time to earn, and is worth defending.
It’s not the China consumer market shrink that’s doing this, it’s the slowing of Apple’s daring deeds that used to reliably stimulate new demand. This would have been unthinkable before, but it’s happening now. And it’s not for lack of talented engineers. Apple has a lot of awesome people.
It’s the result of operational excellence that focuses on margins and steady product lines, instead of aggressive innovation that obsesses on joy. It’s a culture change.
Margins don’t produce joy. They milk it.
But joy ... produces margins.
This is how we think.
Customers who have TextBlade, talk about that joy. That’s the source of our conviction.
This is our hyper focus. It’s messy, and hard, and complex. And it’s very, very exciting.
And any customer who helps us do it, is part of why it’s happening.
Thanks to all of you for that.