MacDevCenter    
 Published on MacDevCenter (http://www.macdevcenter.com/)
 See this if you're having trouble printing code examples


Think Different About Market Share

by Derrick Story
08/31/2001

Dear Mac Reader,

O'Reilly editor Chuck Toporek recently posted a weblog titled, "Apple, Market Share, and Who Cares?" In his writing Toporek responded to a roundtable discussion on SiliconValley.com where the question was posed, "Does Apple Matter?"

From my perspective, asking if Apple matters is like pondering the importance of the Internet. (Of course, it matters!) But others felt that it was a worthy subject and many interesting issues were raised.

Toporek's summary of the roundtable hits the nail on the head. Regardless of market share, Apple matters because it innovates. We all know the laundry list of breakthrough contributions: QuickTime, FireWire, the trackpad, iMovie, and colored plastic. Apple put the 3" floppy drive in computers, then they took it away. USB was going nowhere until Jobs put it in the iMac. The list goes on.

Imagine personal computing without Apple. Quite honestly, I'd probably have a different job, and it would probably be one that I like less. To impact an industry as dramatically as Apple has done with "only" a 5 percent market share is phenomenal.

In my mind, this discussion boils down to a "quality" vs. "quantity" comparison. Michael Dell can puff out his chest and claim he is an innovator. But in reality, Dell is a businessman focused on the bottom line. Jobs is an innovator who has learned that the bottom line matters.

To subscribe to the Mac newsletter (or any O'Reilly Network newsletters), visit http://www.oreillynet.com/cs/user/home and select the newsletters you wish to receive in your user profile (you'll need to log in with your existing O'Reilly Network account -- if you don't yet have an account, you'll need to create one).

When Steve Jobs returned to Apple, he reunited with ad agency Chiat/Day. Together they produced my favorite television commercial of all time: "Here's to the Crazy Ones." I've ported the QuickTime version to my Visor PDA, and I play it whenever the world tries to knock down my creative efforts. Funny that a former poet carries a television ad around in his pocket for inspiration. But it works for me.

So when it comes to Apple and market share, I believe we need to think differently. As long as Apple has a large enough customer base to survive and continue to innovate, the rest is just the meaningless shuffling of paper.

Until next time,

Derrick
O'Reilly Network Managing Editor
derrick@oreilly.com


Reference URLs:

Apple, Market Share, and Who Cares?

"Here's to the Crazy Ones" text

The Crafting of Think Different

Download for "Think Different" QuickTime Video


Feature Articles

Latest Additions to Mac Directory
New titles are constantly added to the Mac Open Source Software Directory. Here's a listing of the current additions, plus a look at the new UI improvements we have planned.

Mac OS X's Preferences System (and More!)
After tying up a few loose ends from the previous column on "Writing an Address Book Application" in Cocoa, this article will explore a couple ways to save the data for the address book program between launches, and then examine memory management issues and Mac OS X's preferences system.

Font Management in Mac OS X -- Part 2
What's different about font management in Mac OS X? Well, for one thing, there aren't many tools right now. Here's a look at Mac OS X's font technology and some help for managing those libraries.

DOCTYPE Explained
The DOCTYPE element, in the head of your document, tells the browser what kind of HTML is used to describe the file. The better you match the DOCTYPE to your code, the more accurate your work will be rendered. Here's an introduction.

Danny Goodman Talks About HyperCard
Through a series of e-mails with Scott Widney, Danny Goodman reveals much about the history of HyperCard and possibly some insights to its future.

Hypercard and Python
Hypercard was once a killer Macintosh application, a hypertext GUI design toolkit. Will a similar development tool work for Python?

O'Reilly Network Mac Devcenter Top Five Articles Last Week

  1. Mac OS X's Preferences System (and More!)
    After tying up a few loose ends from the previous column on "Writing an Address Book Application" in Cocoa, this article will explore a couple ways to save the data for the address book program between launches, and then examine memory management issues and Mac OS X's preferences system.

  2. Latest Additions to Mac Directory
    New titles are constantly added to the Mac Open Source Software Directory. Here's a listing of the current additions, plus a look at the new UI improvements we have planned.

  3. Introducing the Mac Open Source Software Directory
    This directory of open-source software for the Mac has more than 100 entries and will continue to grow in the coming months as new titles are released.

  4. Building a Simple Java Application in Mac OS X
    The word is getting out that Mac OS X is a terrific development platform for Java. In this article, Daniel Steinberg shows you the basic steps needed to develop a simple GUI application.

  5. Mac OS 10.1
    Online version of the Mac Newsletter for August 17, 2001.


TalkBacks

Article: Hypercard and Python
Python is the heart of PythonCard
From: kasplat

In answer to the question "why use Python?" the answer is so that we can leverage the power of Python, the Python Standard Libraries, the ability to wrap C code, work equally well across a large number of platforms, etc. PythonCard does not use a subset of Python or try and recreate HyperTalk. I was a HyperCard developer for ten years and loved HyperTalk, but I've moved on. I wasn't aware of Revolution, it looks nice, and I hope they do well.

However, I think Python is simply a much better language than HyperTalk ever was and Python has the best user community I've ever encountered for a language. Frankly, at this point in my life, I'm through with using languages controlled by one company. Even Java suffers at the hands of Sun.

It doesn't hurt that Python and PythonCard are free. I'm not saying people shouldn't continue to use a tool that can run or import HyperCard or uses a variant of the HyperTalk language. PythonCard won't be importing HyperCard stacks anytime soon. Freedom of choice is a good thing, so use what suits you. What we hope to do with PythonCard is take the good parts of HyperCard and what we've learned in the 14 years since HyperCard came out and build something much better that we can use for the next ten years or longer.

ka


Return to list of Mac Newsletters.

Return to the Mac DevCenter.

Copyright © 2009 O'Reilly Media, Inc.