Smart People & Stupid Ideas

Scott Berkun’s monthly essay is on the topic of why and how Smart People defend Bad Ideas. [here]

I have been in and seen people in these situations many times in my life. One of the great faculties we as human beings have is that which allows us to make decisions and then defend them.

But because you have arrived at an idea, doesn’t mean that it is the right idea. New evidence, further discussion and growing experience will affect the answer you give to the same question at ages 20, 40 and 60.

However, where I see this happening most right now is at Apple. To say it is a new phenomenon would be ignoring history. Steve Jobs Computers and Electronic Gadgets, Inc. has had a history of saying “we’re right and the customer is stupid.”.
Eventually, this attitude will catch up with them, and they will get to spend 4-5 years clinging to life, until they are able to generate a new whizbang gadget to pull them back from the edge. I am starting to see the rumblings of discontent from the Apple Fanatic community: Apple is their friend until they wander “off-message”. Then they are loose cannons that must be silenced.

Smart people defending stupid ideas. I know that some folks from Apple Inc have stopped by to read my postings. The question is whether they are brushed off as the ramblings of a lunatic who doesn’t use an Apple computer (YET!), or if it has sparked some internal conversation.

If Apple has not noticed the rumblings of discontent, then they are far more insular than I have heard them described.

Apple, let the other people out in the world who use and love your products talk about them freely. Let someone else invent the idea for a change. Steve Jobs will not live forever; and based on Apple’s success without Jobs, I believe that you need to apply an old ad slogan to yourselves now:

Think Different

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