No. THIS is who Apple engineers for
So in the closing keynote of this year’s MacTech conference, Andy Ihnatko gave what started out as a neat little bit about how it’s cool that in a world where things are focused on simpler and more reliable, there are things like the Raspberry Pi that allow you do do things that aren’t simple or reliable or even sane…
…and then it turned into one of the most vomitously elitest and ablest things I’ve ever seen. To the point where not flinging my phone at him was taking real effort. Had he morphed into Richard “if you can’t program you don’t count” Stallman, it could not have been worse. Literally.
I’m not going to even try to rebut what he said. It was a whining litany of “you suck because I’m not important” that showed that at the end of the day, while he is erudite, well-spoken, and a bit of a raconteur, he has no idea of what either an engineer or a designer are, and he definitely has a remarkably shitty perception of design.
But there is one thing I need to say.
No, Apple is in fact, neither designing, nor engineering for you. They do not care about your overwrought crying about the keyboard on the new MacBook Pro, nor are they going to build some fucking nerd computer for you so that you can have your Thinkpad keyboard, 128GB of RAM, Quad-SLIC video cards, a 35" touch screen and whatever the fuck else you think they should make. By all means, buy a Dell, use Windows and shut the fuck up. Because here is who Apple is designing for:
This is the Apple I want. The Apple that views a wheelchair as being equally important as two legs. That Sady Paulson should be able to edit video herself, without needing someone to pilot the program for her. That a blind parent can take a picture of their child by themselves without needing someone else to do it for them.
That products should be usable by these folks out of the fucking box. That from day one, people who use wheelchairs and people who can’t see and people who can only reliably move their eyes and their heads are just as important as folks who don’t have to deal with any of that. That people who just want to use a program, and people who can’t program but can do all sorts of other things count as much as someone who thinks “real” engineers are unwashed socially inept goons who view bathing and pants as evil.
That they matter as much as some anvil who forgot that Steve Jobs wanted computers to be toasters. That he hated both slots and computers designed for burning hay piles who have never forgiven Apple for making computers easier to use than their precious Apple II’s and for de-emphasising nerds.
That billions of people who will never ever be a part of a “maker” culture also “own” their stuff. That those people count and are just as much “real” computer users, even, occasionally, “pros”. That if things are done right, they will never, ever, need a nerd or a sysadmin friend or a consultant to come to their house to help them use a computer or buy the right fucking light bulb. That they will just be able to do the things they want to do and never have a fucking clue about what’s going on inside their computer.
The Apple I want? Is the Apple designing computers for those people.
If being that Apple means that over-ego’d nerds like you get left out in the cold?
Buy a fucking jacket.