Connecting to the Community With Information

I have a couple of posts concerning the blogging and the correct level of transparency, and how companies treat the sharing of information and levels of transparency and secrecy, depending on their focus on their partners. Robert Scoble has a post Why Microsoft outplays Apple long term discussing the iPhoneDevCamp and the lack non existent participation in the event from Apple.

Scoble updates his post to say:

UPDATE: John Dowdell notes that there may be a few Apple employees there, but they aren’t telling anyone they are from Apple. That changes his opinion of Apple, for the worse.

I think this fits in with the strategy that I have seen used by Apple. Apple doesn’t seem to be focused on their partners, Apple appears to be focused on Apple. I have heard from sources that were ‘partnering’ with Apple that it is a difficult relationship, and that Apple will change the rules of the engagement without really notifying the partners, or notifying them in the last minute when changes can’t really be made.

You hear people applaud Apple for their secrecy, and vilify Microsoft because of too much transparency. I think that Apple is as secret as it is, because it isn’t concerned with partners. Apple doesn’t seem to worry about sharing / spreading information about what they are working on.

Robert thinks that this strategy will not benefit them long term. Being a content developer, I tend towards distribution of information. Giving people good solid content so they know what they are working on, only helps build the marketplace.I am not saying that Apple needs to throw open their doors, and give people whatever they want, but give out the appropriate information at the right time. Apple has done well so far, but I agree with Robert, I am not sure how this strategy will work for them long term.

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3 Responses to “Connecting to the Community With Information”

  1. IPO - Initial Public Offering Blog » Blog Archive » Connecting to the Community With Information Says:

    […] I have a couple of posts concerning the blogging and the correct level of transparency, and how companies treat the Read full story… […]

  2. Opal: Vegan Momma Says:

    I’m curious How did he know they weren’t there? I’ve heard different stories from others. Even if they weren’t there I don’t think it’s fair to assume they should attend all community conferences. I would have loved to attend the WWDC conference.

    Apple & Microsoft has different approaches of handling this so to be fair you really can’t try to use the same rules with Apple.

    I much prefer Apple’s approach on keeping their mouths shut until the product is out the door. I can think of a few Microsoft products that were cancelled before they hit the market which shafted developers who spent a lot of money developing those products.

    Apple is not trying to be Microsoft, and I think that is one reason why they are successful. You don’t need a majority to “win” in business. Apple has shown that to be the case I’ve done the same, on a much smaller scale, with my business.

    I’ve always been curious about Mac’s, but I was a Microsoft lady I lived and breathed it at work and at home, and frankly I didn’t want to take the time to learn the technical aspects of another OS.

    I had a lot of misconceptions about Mac’s and many of my opinions changed when I actually started working on them. I actually started a tech blog, a few weeks ago, it’s all about Mac’s. 🙂

  3. Thomas Says:

    Opal – My understanding is that the sign up for the event did not indicate Apple employees. Some did recognize a couple of Apple employees, but they did not admit they worked with Apple. I see this as a missed opportunity to engage with the audience, from an Evangelism point of view.

    I think Apple doesn’t talk much about projects under development because there doesn’t seem to be a concern with their partners. Companies like Microsoft and Adobe have big partner eco-systems and need to be open to ensure that partners and customers have a good understanding when new products are released.

    I agree that Apple is successful, but they are successful in a limited market. In that market they kick butt, but as you mention in the broader marketplace, Apple lags. You are right you can be successful in a smaller niche and still do very well.

    Honestly I do not have that much experience with Mac’s. I come from an Enterprise background and when you are dealing with large networks you typically don’t find Mac on corporate networks, unless it is some type of creative department like advertising.

    I will have to take a look at your tech blog, see if I can learn something about the Mac world.


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