Friday, August 22, 2008

Steve Jobs Won't Read Your Blog / Won't Read Your Letters - So Don't Ask Him To.

This blog turns 5 years old today ...

One article stands out amongst all the others as my most popular. It still remains as one of the top DIGGs on DIGG.COM. It remains as my top traffic draw for this website and my top one day and three day traffic draws (47,800 & 131,000 respectively).

That article:

The 5 Things Steve Jobs Has Misled Us About In The Last 30 Years

That title was somewhat misleading on purpose to illustrate an inflammatory title can make a story popular. It was a writing experiment I did to see if I could write an article that I technically didn't agree with my subject matter and make it convincing. I wrote it more to warn the Mac community of how dangerous it is to deify Jobs. Soon after that story, health concerns started to arise and Apple's stock was dramatically affected.

In this article, I wrote:

Steve Jobs is getting an awful lot of praise and recognition as of late for being a multi faceted, immensely talented CEO ... and no doubt; he is. Most of all; he is visionary. I don't dispute the deistic award bestowed upon him; "Possibly the greatest CEO in the history of the corporate world" by Businessweek magazine.

Steve Jobs is also a role model and an inspiration to me and to my daily activity. My work ethic (which some close to me would say is impressively complex and detailed) is based not on making money, but inspiring my customers (or anyone whom I meet) creatively. Apple Computers give my customers the power to create and the promise to dream big and make those dreams come true. The money follows.

So ... why am I bringing all of this up?

I need Steve Jobs to contact me about something ... I want Steve Jobs to contact me about something ... I have tried every means I know how to contact Steve Jobs regarding this something ... but I know he doesn't care about little ol' me in South Carolina and will never even see this blog entry. I've come to the realization .... he is a God of sorts ... someone only accessible by prayer - only visible through imagination and carefully directed and mysterious appearances.

What is that something I want him to contact me about? And why me?

I'm in a crisis situation in my home town of Greenville, South Carolina. I live in one of the biggest Mac markets*, highest per capita income areas* in the country ... yet there is no remotely reasonable Mac sales OR service presence in my area. I service Macs part time (about 3 customers per week) and make the occasional sale (about 2 Macs a week, 100 a year).

* Greenville, South Carolina has one of the highest concentrations of marketing and advertising jobs per capita in the country - beating out every other major metropolitan area in the South. One advertising agency of note is Erwin Penland who runs Dunkin Donuts, Wachovia, Verizon, and Ringling Brothers promotions and advertising campaigns.

* Greenville, SC has 70+ Corporate Headquarters with more than 75 Fortune 500 companies including BMW, Michelin, Hubbel, Scansource, Microsoft, and IBM. The average annual household income is $72,500, and Greenville retail sales continue to boom with a 39% growth rate over the past six years.

* Many corporate executives have homes here, some higher up in Apple make their home here. Families of well known Mac Peripheral maker Griffin Technology live here. Golf Pros live here.

* The Greenville area is home to Clemson University, Furman University, and nearby to Wofford and Winthrop - a combined 250,000 students and faculty - not counting wealthy alumni who are Mac users. Greenville is also home to Greenville Technical College - one of the most respected community colleges in the south.

* Greenville SC is 120 miles from Atlanta GA and 120 miles from Charlotte NC - all three cities have I-85 - a major highway running south to north - running straight through the center.

* More and more music and movies are being produced here - Edwin McCain locates his studio (and home) here (and uses all Macs). The movie Leatherheads was recently filmed here. The Celebrity Golf Pro Am is played here

* Greenville, SC has the #1 cellphone market per capita in the country

My local CompUSA is gone. A local business called iPlace has been very wishy washy on their service record, their business location*, and direction. Their service techs are slow, incompetent, and they are understaffed - understaffed because of the volume of business they bare.

Small consultants like me are full of business - but I'm hard to locate and so are they. We deal mostly by reputation and word of mouth because our schedules are full and our advertising budgets are thin.

Since my trial with Bidzirk, my presence has diminished in my area because of lost business partnerships with small PC shops not wanting to be associated with me due to the high profile of the litigation that was brought against me (and later dimissed). These PC shops have stopped servicing Macs, for the most part, and are not allowed to service them under warranty any way.

Fortunately, Best Buys are now carrying Macs on a limited basis, but they still don't have a technician in this area.

Unfortunately, last week I posted this:

Eechie wah wah ... it's happening all over again. I would have never let any of this happen in one of the stores I did Apple Rep work for 9 years ago. This is the typical Apple department in Best Buy retail stores: broken displays, boxes out of order or looking to be picked over, items on display that aren't in stock, items on display right next to clearance items, dirty peripherals, unupdated computers (10.5.2 is not only old, but a security risk) ... it makes me sick that MY Greenville South Carolina Best Buy can't do better for the 1000's of monthly dollars in sales I am forced to send their way because they are the only game in town. Apple retail, where are you?

The "Apple Store Within A Store" at Best Buy in Greenville SC is currently manned by the same guy that worked the ASWAS @ CompUSA. He's a pleasant guy, but 4 out of every 10 of my customers come from his bad consulting. A few years back - I serviced dozens of iMacs because he sold customers Mac OS 10.3 without telling them to read the instructions about updating your firmware. Who knows how many Mac users with old Macs have converted to PCs because of him being unable or unwilling to give them good advice.


I contacted the Managing Director for The McGarey Group - developer of this project in Greenville - where IFOAPPLESTORE.COM indicates Apple has an interest in locating.

She was unsure if Apple is locating in their development or if they are looking somewhere else. So goes the story with every lead I've followed.

I've even spoken to a guy who jokes he's in the "Top 20 @ Apple" - his word is that Apple just isn't interested in this area at this time.

I'm sure that many have sent Apple a letter for them to build an Apple Store in their area - but in my area it makes no sense whatsoever for there not to be one.

Maybe I'm asking for the wrong person. Maybe Steve Jobs doesn't really exist. Maybe he is God.

Dear Lord,

I know you don't work this way, but could you just call me @ 864905APPL. Please bring an Apple Store to Greenville South Carolina. I would like to be the manager or an Apple genius. Please look after all those less fortunate Mac owners in Greenville South Carolina. Amen

* I know Apple has all of this research - I just don't think they've heard it from a local person or anyone who knows the Mac market as well as I do here

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David H Dennis said...

Just a thought ... you really don't need to reach Steve, you need to reach the person in charge of Apple Stores in your region.

I don't know who that is, but I'll bet some of your friends at Apple would.

Sounds like the quality of Best Buy is pretty uneven - the displays in my local store in the Pittsburgh area are actually pretty nice. The staff isn't as competent as real Apple stores, though.


FYT said...

So far, I have contacted all of the appropriate people.

The developer mentioned in the story has made a presentation with some if the marketing data I used here ... but her nor her team are Apple users or as close to the apple community as I am.

I actually have several contacts within Apple and am friends/acquaintances with the CEO's of large Apple developers.

FYT said...

and a comment on your Best Buy...

You have an Apple store there ... they maintain a higher standard in order to compete with the "real deal"

Anonymous said...

About 6 or 9 months ago I ran into the same situation at a BB in Tigard Oregon. The Apple display was filthy, chocolate smeared on the screen on one of two sabotaged, un-bootable iMacs, dust bunnies everywhere. And nobody cared when I pointed these things out, not even the manager of the department or manager of the store.

So I emailed Steve Jobs and told him the condition of the display and compared the situation to the brand-damaging fiasco at Sears. I said the Macs at Best Buy were pearls cast before swine.

The next day I was contacted by the regional manager for Best Buy, the regional manger for Apple and the general manager for the specific store.

They were tripping over themselves with apologies and created a team that went out to assess the situation and fix the problems.

Sometimes Steve Jobs does listen.

FYT said...

Thanks for sharing ...

Its hard to know whether your response was from Steve Jobs or from management at Best Buy (even though you got no initial response)

I know he responds and actually responds often ... I', also sure he is deluged with email on a daily basis and selects and chooses who he responds to based partly on the positive PR Apple will get.

This situation is different though, in that, it has little or no meaning to Jobs personally - its hard to see the truth and full aspect of what I'm saying by relying on numbers fed to him on the other side of the country. A presence in a town few outside the south have heard of doesn't seem like a priority.

Anonymous said...

For all of Steve Jobs' talents he always has been and always will be an A-hole. Of course, he can't read all the letters, but he has time and time again demonstrated that he has a tin ear.

FYT said...

I would never term Jobs an "a-hole" - I think he maintains the perfect balance of cool - coolness is all about confidence - something Steve has gained with age.

I know he listens - but its only at times he knows the blogosphere, MacUser, and the mainstream press will cover it.

Unknown said...

grow a pair and start your own company.

business plan then investors; a simple S-corp will do