The Unsinkable brian cork™

Brian Patrick Cork is living the Authentic Life

apples are good for you by design

November21

why, you, that collective you, ask, do I, the infinitely singular me, love Apple products so dearly?

it’s not as simple as being an “Apple Fanboy”. while its an apt first impression that’s shallow thinking, on both sides. however, coming to a point of appreciation for a company like Apple, its people, and products, takes time. there must needs be a process that tracks experience, acumen, and perspective. some people understand that a reason to deeply love a Porsche is because of the unique “paper-tearing” aspect of sound generated by the power-plant (engine [or “motor” if yer English]), or the smooth if not hypnotic motion realized by the hands sweeping around a Rolex watch.

there is no mystery, thus no surprise, that the United States favors the iPhone, while the masses that surround us must accept an Android device. while we may not always be the smartest people by grade point average, we do amass the most wealth, and evidently insist on a higher product standard. we also appreciate beautiful and well-crafted things. no… we insist on such quality.

consider the spot, called “Pencil”, beautifully written and art directed. it has Bryan Cranston, aka Walter White of “Breaking Bad”, the hottest (by demand, and less so appearance) actor on the planet, doing the voice-over. and, it has a killer demo to visualize just how thin the new iPad really is. a genuine marvel of technology enhanced by the aesthetic that compels utilization.

innovation + technology + beauty + desire + utilization +  utilization = productivity.

I made that up, but it’s an undeniable formula for success.

for most of this 60-second ad, this cleverly photographed commercial focuses on that classic tool of artists, writers and composers – the everyday No. 2 yellow pencil. Cranston goes on about how this simple object can be a powerful tool that transforms how we work and share, as the camera zooms in on a pencil sitting horizontally against various backdrops. that is, until the big reveal – a hand (almost akin to a Davinci painting) comes in the last couple of seconds to pull something obscured by the pencil – Apple’s new iPad Air.

the clever “Pencil” ad points to the various ways that the iPad has become an enabler of content creation. like the yellow pencil, it “can be used to start a poem, or finish a symphony,” Cranston’s narration says.

“It has transformed the way we work, learn, create, share,” he intones. “It used to illustrate things, solve things, and think of new things. It’s used by scientists and artists, scholars and students. It’s been to classrooms, boardrooms, expeditions, even to space.” And we can’t wait to see where you’ll take it next.”

just beautiful, graceful language.

Apple always understood that coolness is an appeal to our imagination and passions, defining who we are and who we want to be. its greatest ads were always poetic, and aspirational. I uses aspirational instead of inspirational because the ads compel us to take action that can make us better tomorrow than we are today.

action creates activity. activity becomes defined by creativity and ingenuity. its all sublime within its symmetry.

Apple ads at their best connect with us viscerally because of their optimism, and appeal to our self-esteem. They encourage us to dream and pursue, and not just follow, our dreams. What can be cooler than technology enabling the possibility of creativity and innovation.

“Apple has over four hundred (400) of the world’s highest grossing stores, while Samsung has succeeded in large part by spending $4.2 billion a year on advertising – four times that of Apple.”

by comparison, Google’s Motorola (that reads odd in the context of how we have always known Motorola, eh) has announced it’s selling a down market discount model, the Moto G, for what reviewers call the “ludicrously cheap price tag” of $179 without a contract, certain to accelerate what Steve Jobs derided as “race to the bottom pricing.”

meanwhile Apple is designing, delighting and pricing its way to the top. Apple’s latest cell phone introduction proved that the company’s core customers are frantic to buy its most expensive model – the 5S, while demonstrating ambivalence toward its less expensive 5C. this is not the “glass half full or a simple opinion. this is a demonstration of genuine power to move people to identify with excellence.

the gold 5S has been a massive, worldwide product phenomenon, flying out of stores largely on design and appearances. some Wall Street analysts call this high margin sales surge a failure, noting that Apple is losing market share in developing markets by failing to sell a cheap phone. they’ve got it backwards. when customers clamor for your top line product everywhere that’s a good thing. let someone else sell more compact cars if you can dominate the world market for BMWs or Teslas.

Michael Welsh But low end companies have a much easier time moving into the premium space than premium brands have moving down to gain market share.

Brian Patrick Cork I can’t speak for the company, but I’m reasonably certain Apple does not equate market share with profit. A smaller number of people can buy their products and generate more revenue than competitors.

aesthetics and design is the new digital divide. most techies, analysts and bloggers simply can’t fathom why Apple soaked up 56 percent of the profit in the world’s mobile markets during the last quarter. sure, Apple boasts a rich, diverse ecosystem (phones, tablets, laptops, content, software, etc.) and powerful and versatile chips, but that’s not what’s driving extraordinary sales. design is what is winning over Apple cohorts – that subtle combination of materials, weight, lines, and how it feels in your hand.

it’s the same elusive quality that gets women to blithely pay $5,000 for a Prada handbag or a man to gladly fork over $6,000 for a Breitling watch.

finally… Apple’s biggest innovation by far has been magically transforming everyday digital devices into iconic things we desire on a deep, primitive human level.

peace be to my Brothers and Sisters.

brian patrick cork

The Truth: apple changes the world Before its technology is in your hands

March8

It’s all about perspective.

Business writers love hyperbole (I’m not one of those – I’m just saying…).

To wit…

…The ground will swell. The paradigm will shift.

But, what if occasionally a new tech gadget comes along that really does shake up society?

Apple’s iPad, may just be such a one-device-to-rule-them-all.

This is the vital difference between “rolling boulders up hill”, and “rolling boulders down hill”.

The timing certainly makes sense.

The iPhone is three years old, the U.S. economy is rebounding (I recognize this is a relative term), and gadget demand is pent up amongst Americans who held off on toy upgrades during the recession. By spring we’ll no doubt be past the holiday sales of the black-and-white e-readers that still look vaguely like medical prostate screening devices. I still like my Kindle (read more about that here: evil wireless empires (and their minions): a prudent and optimistic comparative Analysis), mind you, but it won’t surf the net or track my email like the iPad is designed for.

The world is recovering from its Wall Street hangover, and it’s looking for a new tech party invitation. The Apple iPad will be the guest of honor. Laura DiDio, an analyst at Information Technology Intelligence, has predicted the Apple iPad will be “the next big thing”.

I find that trite and obvious. However, it’s likely going to be true, for awhile, because we WANT it to be so. And, Americans must have progress. And, it’s gotta be big and profound. That’s our way. How we “roll”, as it were.

Other manufacturers such as Dell (DELL) and HP are preparing tablets, too, but Apple is the one to watch because Apple is best at making radical new hardware formats undeniably cool.

Yes… The “Jesus Tablet” will be available in April (there were some production delays that took it out of March). NOTE: I use “Jesus” instead of “Moses” (relative to tablets, eh) because Jesus was an actual trend setter, like Steve Jobs is, today – and, it’s all part of the setup around me trying to make a point, here.

But, there are going to be some other unexpected ripple effects as the iPad is skipped across a veritable sea of technology change in the coming year (Hey… I actually just engaged in some of that aforementioned hyperbole).

And, as that happens, the iPad, like the Ten Commandments, and the Bible, will change the world in at least six ways (I know the Bible changed the world in more than five ways. Just work with me, here):

Off we go, then…

Magazine and Newspaper publishing will bounce back as consumers rediscover paid subscriptions. Sorry, Chris Anderson, but not everything will revert to free. It’s no mistake Time Inc.’s (TWXSports Illustrated invested in a provocative dictating controlling what, and how, you want to watch on television. Rather than being a device to watch television, the Apple iPad is more likely to be an interactive advertisement opportunity. So, watch how all of this directly impacts mobile, and mobile devise-oriented advertising creativity. Here is an example:

Nielsen noted this trend of “concurrent media usage” this spring, in a $3.5 million study that recorded what hundreds of people actually do when commercials air. apparently when television advertising spots came on, people picked up laptops, magazines, or cell phones and did something other than watch the television screen. Expect that trend to accelerate when you (and everyone else) have an Apple iPad in your lap.

Augmented-reality views of the world will increase. If you missed this trend, it’s simple: Augmented reality puts computer graphics on top of live video feeds (similar to the yellow line you see on the field in NFL games). Here is an example:

iPhone users can already download applications that overlay a video feed from their iPhone camera, providing floating arrows on the screen showing you, say, the distance to the nearest New York City subway station. With a larger screen, provided by the iPad, such video overlays on reality will become even more compelling. Expect iPhone and iPad app developers to take advantage of this new platform that will enable them to create tools that might include giving construction workers 3D instructions at job sites.

Social Networking and Social Media will reach the next plateau. Look for iPad and iPhone developers to look for ways of providing consumers with product reviews that float over items on sale at the mall – or, serving daters a visual display of the job history, FICO score, and criminal record of that cute guy or gal they meet at a bar, or Church speed-dating events (yes, they are really doing that).

Telecommuting may finally take off. If you hate your commute and care remotely about the environment, then why do you still sit in traffic for two hours each day? Because society has decreed face time is better than phone time. But when Apple tablets make portable video truly accessible, plane tickets and poor coffee in cars may become things of the past. In truth, I feel this is a weaker example. I do believe the virtual work=place is inevitable. But, that will be driven more by technologies we can’t envision, just yet (because steve Jobs has not unveiled them, yet.

Service Providers. The earlier iPads aren’t expected to have video capabilities (at least the one we tested didn’t). However, eventually, two-way video on tablets will push communication costs even lower. I suppose, technically, you can already do portable video today, if you’re willing to walk around town with a laptop flipped open near a Wi-Fi zone. But, by and large, our North American infrastructure still can’t accommodate simple two-way video on the go (Clear might be trying hard to change that, but we still aren’t, well, clear, whether Clear is a scam, or not). Add an iPad with built-in Webcam, and suddenly video calls are as easy as holding up a mirror. You better believe AT&T (T) and Verizon Wireless (VZ) are sweating about the advent of Skype video in subway trains or on Hawaiian beaches. Perhaps Apple will throw its partner AT&T a bone by holding off on iPad Webcams for a few generations. Or it will throw AT&T under the bus by cutting an iPad deal with Verizon Wireless, a scenario at least under consideration earlier this year. My guess is that Verizon comes on-line with the iPad by 2011. And, by the way, Verizon is getting very aggressive, as evidenced by their recent deal with Google and the Nexus One (we’re trying that out, ourselves, through T-Mobile and Google Voice).

That’s sort of my point here… Apple brings technology on-line that you did not know you could not live without. However, I want to make you aware of a few more possibilities before I end this post. Quit rolling your eyes. All of my readers know I’m right. So, you might as well surrender to the truth, here. Apple is deploying technology today under a master plan, and within it’s own terms, of how Steve Jobs wants you to use (his) technology and be more productive. In the end, it affects Apple’s stock. and, now you understand the ultimate brilliance of Jobs, setting the example, beginning years ago, of taking his executive pay in the form of Apple stock.

Perhaps it’s too much to hope for: a world where Apple provides low-cost, two-way video anywhere that saves print journalism while reducing phone costs, augments reality while cutting your commute – even brings humanity closer together while stopping traffic jams and pollution.

You set the example; and, you lead the way.

Just no “padding”-while-driving, please.

I wonder if pad-centic terminology will go Verb like Google has?

Peace be to my Brothers and Sisters.

Brian Patrick Cork

What’s All This About?

"What am I looking at?", you might wonder.

Lots of stuff.

Meanwhile, here, I discuss events, people and things in our world - and, my (hardly simplistic, albeit inarticulate) views around them.

You'll also learn things about, well, things, like people you need to know about, and information about companies you can't find anywhere else.

So, while I harangue the public in my not so gentle way, you will discover that I am fascinated by all things arcane, curious about those whom appear religious, love music, dabble in politics, loathe the media, value education, still think I am an athlete, and might offer a recipe.

All the while, striving mightily, and daily, to remain a prudent and optimistic gentleman - and, authentic.

brian cork by John Campbell





photos by John Campbell

 

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