The Peter Principle
Wharton marketing professor Peter Fader provides today’s object lesson in why an MBA may be a tremendous waste of your time.
Fader is asked his opinion of the iPhone, the AppleTV and Steve Jobs and manages to get just about everything wrong.
He even breaks out our old friend, Artie MacStrawman.
I think that when this phone actually hits the market, some of the grand visions of Steve Jobs has as well as some of the Apple zealots are going to be rather disappointed.
Use of the term “Apple zealots” should automatically disqualify you as an impartial judge of the company, let alone passing yourself off as someone competent enough to be teaching marketing to anyone other than members of the Microsoft management training program.
In fairness, it’s quite possible that Fader got his ass kicked by some Mac users back in grade school and has never gotten over it. If that is the case, the Macalope would like to apologize to Fader on behalf of Mac users everywhere.
Asked if $500 is too high for the iPhone, Fader says:
Well it’s not going to be too high for the first few hundred thousand people who just have to have it. You can charge them anything and they’ll pay anything.
Ah, those must be those craaaaazy Apple zealots! Of course we’ll pay anything! We’re Steve Jobs’ butt monkeys!
NEW ORDERS HAVE BEEN RECEIVED FROM APPLE HQ. REPORT TO CINGULAR RETAIL OUTLETS TO RECEIVE NEW DEVICE. BRING LARGE BILLS. THAT IS ALL.
Please. This kind of childish crap can be refuted with two words: G4 Cube.
Also, while it’s not at the same level, the Macalope would like to point out the time when we came together as a community and stood up and said “No!” to iPod socks.
But for the mass market, if they really want to create something that is anywhere close to what the iPod did, it is very expensive.
Right you are, Petey. Because it’s not like the original iPod was considered too expensive.
Not to mention that Fader’s concern seems rather foolish with today’s revelation that the $500 will include 18 months of service as AT&T attempts to go for the market share gold. [Scratch that. AT&T sez no. (link via Daring Fireball and Jared Rice in comments).]
And, I think on the feature side, it doesn’t really have that many features.
Are we talking about the same phone? The one that’s an iPod, a phone and a breakthrough internet communications device? The phone with a full web browser? That phone?
Did you see that interface? That’s a feature. A feature you will use every single time you touch the phone. And it’s a feature none of the other phones have.
The problem with Fader’s analysis of “features” is he’s looking at some checklist he’s thrown together of “features” such as “upgradeable memory” and “removable battery” and “FM tuner” and, well, golly, the iPhone don’t got none o’ those.
Well, yes, dumbass, that’s going to happen when you just count “features” of other phones (many of which no one will give a crap about when they see the iPhone’s interface) and don’t count features of the iPhone that are less tangible.
As an example, which of these two features are more important to you?
- An FM tuner.
- The ability to just guess how something works and be right about 99% of the time.
The Macalope’s thinking #2 is just a tad more important, is not on Fader’s list of “features” and will be one of the big differentiating factors bewteen the iPhone and pretty much every other phone on the market.
On Steve Jobs, Fader says:
He’s a brilliant man but he’s of course very mercurial…
Of course! He must be! Someone wrote it on the bathroom wall at CES!
…he’s unpredictable and he’s very private.
“Unpredictable”? Really? Then why is Fake Steve so dead-on all the time? Jobs is, actually, fairly predictable. If you have enough imagination.
As far as I know there were no announcements about the Mac. That really is the bread and butter of the company.
Actually, no, it’s not really, love chunks. The iPod generated about 48% of the company’s revenue in the last quarter compared to 43% from Mac products.
And it’s a signal that they’re not going to be developing or supporting it as much as they used to.
That is simply a load of crap. While the iPod is overtaking the Mac as Apple’s most prominent product, the fact is that Steve Jobs chose to roll out the iPhone in dramatic fashion and that says nothing about the company’s support for the Mac.
How is it that Microsoft can go five years without a major update to Windows and Jobs fails to devote time to the Mac — after devoting almost all of his WWDC keynote to it just five months ago — and Apple’s suddenly dropping the Mac?
The interview is really an indictment of Wharton’s marketing department and if the Macalope were dean he’d call up Knowledge@Wharton and have them pull the thing immediately.