December 15, 2009, 1:45 AM — If there's one thing that techies don't like, it's marketing. It drives them bonkers to think that people make decisions based on things that seem irrelevant to them! And I think that's a big part of why Apple drives a lot in the hard-core tech crowd nuts. Ever since Steve Jobs return, the company has been a master of marketing, and for many geeks, that reeks of falseness. Thus, blood pressures will no doubt skyrocket as Apple, its CEO, one of its products, and one of its ad campaigns take Brand of the Decade, Marketer of the Decade, Product of the Decade, and Campaign of the Decade honors from AdWeek. As President Obama learned, you can face a backlash from too much praise; but Apple has a decade of actual money-making to point to as vindication.
Of course, if you're the king -- if you're the one who defines the product spaces you compete in -- people are just as eager to see you fall as they are to lift you up. That explains the contradictory tendency to praise, say, the iPhone to the skies, and simultaneously look to each new smartphone as the thing that's going to make the iPhone obsolete. The Angry Drunk, in foul-mouthed but wise words, discusses this somewhat baffling phenomenon and why it's misguided. As he so aptly puts it: "Has anyone ever seriously made a comment such as 'The new Vizio HDTV is totally a Panasonic killer'? No, they haven’t and if they did they would be laughed at. But somehow, if a device connects to a computer then we’re living under Highlander rules." Well worth a read.