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David Heinemeier Hansson

May 9, 2024  2024 年 5 月 9 日

Hating Apple goes mainstream

This isn't just about one awful ad. I mean, yes, the ad truly is awful. It symbolizes everything everyone has ever hated about digitization. It celebrates a lossy, creative compression for the most flimsy reason: An iPad shedding an irrelevant millimeter or two. It's destruction of beloved musical instruments is the perfect metaphor for how utterly tone-deaf technologists are capable of being. But the real story is just how little saved up goodwill Apple had in the bank to compensate for the outrage.
這不僅僅是關於一個糟糕的廣告。我是說,是的,這個廣告確實很糟糕。它象徵著每個人對數位化的所有厭惡。它為了一個微不足道的原因慶祝一種有損失的、創意的壓縮:一個 iPad 脫落了一兩毫米。它破壞了心愛的樂器,這是一個完美的比喻,說明了科技人員是多麼地對音調遲鈍。但真正的故事是蘋果積攢的好感度有多少少,足以彌補這種憤怒。

That's because Apple has lost its presumption of good faith over the last five years with an ever-larger group of people, and now we've reached a tipping point. A year ago, I'm sure this awful ad would have gotten push back, but I'm also sure we'd heard more "it's not that big of a deal" and "what Apple really meant to say was..." from the stalwart Apple apologists the company has been able to count on for decades. But it's awfully quiet on the fan-boy front.

This should all be eerily familiar to anyone who saw Microsoft fall from grace in the 90s. From being America's favorite software company to being the bully pursued by the DOJ for illegalities. Just like Apple now, Microsoft's reputation and good standing suddenly evaporated seemingly overnight once enough critical stories had accumulated about its behavior.
對於那些見證過微軟在 90 年代從富有聲望一蹶不振的人來說,這一切都應該會讓人感到非常熟悉。從成為美國最受歡迎的軟體公司,到成為被司法部追究非法行為的惡霸。就像現在的蘋果一樣,微軟的聲譽和良好地位似乎在足夠多的批評性報導累積後一夜之間消失得無影無蹤。

It's not easy to predict these tipping points. Tim Cook enthusiastically introduced this awful ad with a big smile, and I'm sure he's sitting with at least some sense of "wtf just happened?" and "why don't they love us any more?". Because companies like Apple almost have to ignore the haters as the cost of doing business, but then they also can't easily tell when the sentiment has changed from "the usual number" to "one too many". And then, boom, the game is forever changed.

I think this is bound to come as a bigger surprise to Apple than it would have almost any other company. Apple had such treasure chest of goodwill from decades as first an underdog, then unchallenged innovator. But today they're a near three-trillion dollar company, battling sovereigns on both sides of the Atlantic, putting out mostly incremental updates to mature products. Nobody is lining up with a tent to buy a new iPhone any more. The Vision Pro had at best a mediocre launch. Oh, and now the company is even the creator of cringy ads, introduced by a cringy CEO.
我認為這對蘋果來說會比幾乎任何其他公司都更令人驚訝。蘋果擁有幾十年來的良好聲譽,一開始是一個弱勢者,然後是無可爭議的創新者。但如今,他們是一家近三萬億美元的公司,在大西洋兩岸與主權國家對抗,推出的產品大多是成熟產品的增量更新。再也沒有人排隊帶著帳篷買新 iPhone 了。Vision Pro 的推出至多是一次平庸的發布。哦,現在這家公司甚至是尷尬廣告的創作者,由一位尷尬的 CEO 介紹。

Not that this is a mortal wound or even a story anyone is likely to remember in a month. But it is an early indicator that Apple's run on easy street is over. And that's going to require a new approach, which Apple probably won't embrace until they've embarrassed themselves a few more times (like they did with another cringe ad from a little while back).

Everything is great until it isn't.

About David Heinemeier Hansson

Made Basecamp and HEY for the underdogs as co-owner and CTO of 37signals. Created Ruby on Rails. Wrote REWORK, It Doesn't Have to Be Crazy at Work, and REMOTE. Won at Le Mans as a racing driver. Fought the big tech monopolies as an antitrust advocate. Invested in Danish startups.
身為 37signals 的共同所有人兼首席技術官,為弱勢群體打造了 Basecamp 和 HEY。創立了 Ruby on Rails。著有《重啟:成功企業的真實之道》、《工作無須瘋狂》和《遠距工作》。作為賽車手在勒芒 24 小時耐力賽中獲勝。作為反壟斷倡導者與大型科技壟斷公司抗爭。投資丹麥初創企業。