A few weeks ago, when I pulled my MacBook Air out of my bag someone said something like: “Ahaa, so you too have converted to Apple?” I was slightly offended by the remark which was probably not intended to be derogatory. Apparently bankers are not supposed to have Apple computers. The death of Steve Jobs made me reflect on my loyalty towards Apple (and a few other things I am not going to write about)
Twenty Years Of Apple
My first experience with Apple goes back all the way to 1983. A friend of mine lent me his Apple II for a while. As a student and later on the salary of my first job I couldn’t afford an Apple and worked both in the office and at home on a PC. In 1991 I joined the think tank of a large consulting company where everybody had Apple computers. I could pick whatever computer I wanted and opted for the brand new PowerBook 170. I never looked back.
All the work I have done advisor for the NBR in 1993 was written on the PowerBook 170. Later the majority of the documentation needed to set up ABN AMRO Bank (Romania) SA was written on the same computer. I still have it. Later, for other jobs in Romania, Russia and Hungary I insisted on using Apple. And now, at Raiffeisen, I also use Apple. It became a sort of condition from me to be able to use Apple for my work. When you are the CEO (or COO or Head of IT as were the cases in the past) it is probably easier to ask for this. So, I have been a loyal Apple user for over 20 years. PowerBooks were followed by MacPros, Apple Cinema Displays, iPods, AirPorts, Apple TV and iPhones.
I Don’t Understand It Myself
Personally, at times, I am surprised myself about my almost unconditional loyalty towards Apple. I cannot think of any other brand that I feel so attached to. I love my Nikon cameras and lenses and would never consider changing to another brand (yes, I know, it is a Leica in my picture on the About Me page) but it is not the same. I will always choose Campagnolo parts for my racing bikes, but it’s still not the same.
It is not so that I immediately need the latest model of any Apple product. I am still using the first version of the iPad and haven’t felt the need to buy the latest. I am not religious about using Apple either and switched from Apple’s Aperture to Adobe’s Lightroom (still feel a bit guilty though) I am also not militant about it. If others prefer to torture themselves, that is their business. I don’t fully understand where my loyalty comes from. There is definitely more to it than the fact that Apple has excellent products.
Life After Steve Jobs
I have never met Steve Jobs, I have seen videos of his product launches and have read about him. I admire his achievements and agree with a lot of what he said. I gave a book about him – “The Innovation Secrets of Steve Jobs” – to our senior staff in order to challenge and stimulate them. I admire Steve Jobs in the way you can only admire people you don’t know.
It was sad to hear of his death. Will it change my loyalty to Apple? I very much hope not and don’t expect so but time will tell. It is up to Apple to maintain their standards and values and this is one of the few things only the CEO can do. Some would argue this is the most important responsibility of the CEO. I would agree and believe this is something that is not always understood. Maybe I’ll write about this some other time. First I need to put in my order for a new iPhone 4S!