It was said to be the biggest announcement yet from Steve Jobs and everyone at Apple.
“We want to kick off 2010 by introducing a truly magical and revolutionary product today.”
Wow, that is a big deal. Something revolutionary is never a bad thing, magical is a little weird (which btw, what is up with all the magic talk coming from apple?). The tension and hype in the room was undeniable, people were waiting with great anticipation. First, Mr. Jobs wanted to recap where Apple has been before he talked about where they are going. Announcing that Apple is now worth an estimated $50 billion dollars and has sold over 250,000,000 iPods, Steve Jobs seemed to be laying the foundation of a take over. Everything was about to change in the next 2 hours, at least that is what we thought.
“iPad, that sounds like a women’s hygene product” that was the common response heard around the world on twitter. Even to the point of having #itampon trend on twitter. Wow, that doesn’t seem to be what they were going for. Not only was the name a let down, the product as a whole seemed to be a let down. The only redeeming quality of the iPad was the price, starting at $499 (some said it would be anywhere between $800-$1000). On a day that was going to change the history of technology and revolutionize the game of publishing, people walked away very disappointed. It left me to think about hype and how it can be more of a tool to failure then a means of excitement.
From the onset, apple could not win, at least not today. People were hyping this product, this day, this event, as the greatest thing to happen…well since 2007 when the iPhone was announced. The media and tech coverage was enough to make you think that the president was going to be speaking there and he was going to have the solution to happiness. Instead a man in a black turtle neck tried to deliver happiness in a 0.5 inches thin 1.5 lb tablet. It is a recipe for disaster. Hype can turn very dirty and can lead people losing a lot of trust. I have seen this with music, people, events, and products. The hype machine builds you up and then lets it go.
I think hype is overrated.
Maybe we should be more concerned about delivering content, or for that matter, what we promise, then hyping ourselves and products up to the point of failure. I have seen this happen many times, heck I have done this myself. You can get so caught up in “what you are selling” that you realize you are in way over your head. The worst is when we over hype ourselves. Watching #itampon trend on twitter today reminded me that it is more about what God has done with a worthless sinner who is incapable of doing anything good on his own, rather then a guy that likes to make you think you have it all figured out.
Don’t buy the hype…