LOVE the Products. Love the Company.

From Applepeels:

Yes, Apple is capable of greatness, but as so many customers have told me over the years, “love the products, hate the company.”

Those who haven’t gotten to that point, probably just haven’t been using Apple’s products long enough.

WHAT!? No, no, NO!

If you’re going to dispense or drink the koolaid it reads, “LOVE the products. Love the company.” C’mon get it right. 🙂

David Sobotta (of Applepeels) and I both worked for Apple. We never met. But, I find myself nodding at so many of his postings. David had so many cool sales roles it’s dizzying. Me? I was a large business Systems Engineer based in Tulsa and plunked down in the middle of one of the largest VARs in the mid-west (servicing SBC, John Deere, Pizza Hut, Williams Companies, BSW Architects, Helmerich and Payne, BP Amoco, publishers out the yaya, ad agencies out the yaya). So, we both have some interesting perspective on the inner workings of Apple albeit from very different angles.

To be sure, Apple had and will continue to have it’s wonky times. I lashed onto the mothership between Jobs’ stints and actually have no huge complaints about my time with Apple. To this day I really only have one recurring gripe:

Apple really should consider the overwhelmingly positive benefits of creating a space for the ADC Developers to talk openly and in full-view of Apple about pre-release technologies. With all the emphasis on all things “social” and with all the chops they’ve built on the Global Crossing forums software… This would be so easy to do!

I’ve now been through the Newton, Panther, Tiger and Leopard launches as a paid-and-in-good-standing Select Developer (probably wasn’t called that back in the Newton day… whatever). The difficulty I’ve experienced in not being able to discuss this stuff with other in-good-standing developers (outside of the WWDC) is clearly harming Apple’s ability to lead in the clutch. It’s clearly harming my ability to build and deploy stuff ’cause I can’t cross pollenate until the damned OS is post launch and the NDA expires. That’s messed up Apple! I have to hand it to Microsoft. They treat their developers reasonably well and actually WANT them to discover, learn and share with one another particularly in the lead up to launch times.

Remember when OSX came out? There was a long, dry spell before apps came out in any really large numbers. It doesn’t have to be this way. Being able to discuss this stuff (even under a watchful eye) would do so many good things relative to the quality and quantity of apps at the pivotal launch times. Stuff would actually be on the shelf at launch specifically designed for Leopard. (OK, OK. Not all of us can be Wil Shipley and write a Delicious Monster version 2.0 ready and waiting on Leopard. Maybe one of these days. But, not me, not now.)

I’m as passionate about Apple now as ever before (I’m currently driving thee Mac laptops, six Xserves, two XServe RAIDS, a 30″ display, annual .mac, iPhone, AppleTV, all manner and make of Apple software, a dual G4 and a and yes, the ADC Select membership and a recovering AAPL shareholder to boot). I bleed Apple. Trouble is, I think David’s right. Apple knows all of this and they know our passion is the secret sauce. They can abuse our relationships and not give an inch… and they’re banking I’ll still pony up the money for the next great thing. Looking at that list above… David has a point.

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