Fear and Loathing Is Not A Great Brand Image

I know Apple is one of the most loved companies in the world. I know that my girls and my friend Howard have ridden Apple’s stock from pre-split $20s to 10-15x returns I know that the Apple lovers will hate me and flame me for what I am about to say.

My brand image of Apple these days is fear and loathing. I am afraid to upgrade to a new version of iTunes because it might make my music and video unusable or it might brick my iPhone. I am afraid to upgrade to Leopard because it might brick my MacBook.

I have a brand new iPhone sitting right next to me on my desk that I can’t figure out how to unlock and jailbreak now that it comes pre-loaded with 1.1.2 firmware. So it just sits there on my desk making me hate Apple more every day

Cable+itunes logo means I'm screwed-damn

Apple is an old school company. Instead of forcing Verizon to open up like Google does, they make a sick consumer unfriendly deal with AT&T here in the states and then proceed to replicate it around the world. Thank god there are governments in other parts of the world that are willing to stand up for the rights of the consumer

I fear Apple and I hate them. As much as Microsoft. Who I’ve hated for years.

Long GOOG. Not Long AAPL or MSFT

#stocks#VC & Technology

Comments (Archived):

  1. csertoglu

    Fred-I think it’s dangerous to be thankful for government regulation just because it suits our need this one time. I do think antitrust is a rare area where regulation has been good, but in the case you’re pointing to, the European governments’ stance has caused more stifling of innovation and friction against opening up of markets than not. It’s almost ironic that France is forcing Apple to open up. I wonder if they would have if Apple had been a French co.BTW; I always root for openness! http://csertoglu.typepad.co

    1. fredwilson

      Good point. Google did more to get verizon to open up than our corrupt politicians who are in verizon’s pocketsFred

  2. Hank Williams

    I feel your pain.I don’t hate apple, but I am troubled by lots of stuff they do. I believe Steve is a brilliant product designer, but I do think he is not a good person. Not a guy I would want to have lunch with.That said, relating back to my post yesterday, Apple’s success is not accidental. And as I said yesterday, and you are affirming here, apple has *no* web 2.0 mojo. But they are wildly successful. Why is that?The reason is that web 2.0, while an important trend, is only one of several (many?) that will drive the future of consumer experiences with technology. You call it old school. But there are principles beyond whether or not you can tag something or blog it, that drive much more important parts of the product matrix. I’m not saying things may not change, but right now, apple (steve) truly understands one of the critical elements.One of my personal hero’s, Don Norman, wrote a book years ago called The Design of Everyday Things. In it he makes a forceful case for why function always trumps form. He catalogs the problems in the design of products. Interestingly, years later he wrote another piece (I think it was a book but cant remember the title) where he conceded that form can indeed be as important as function.My point is, apple has figured out not just how to serve needs, but to delight people in doing so. Coverflow is useless. But, in some ways, it seems to have the capacity to touch the human spirit.Great product design is more than tags, blogs, widgets, and raw interaction. Great product design is about soul. Unfortunately, its difficult for billion dollar companies to express that. Apple, at least in some ways, does.

  3. Jerry

    Fred: I’ve said it for years. Apple is worse than Microsoft because it makes you fall in and then repeatedly breaks your heart. Like the pretty girl who teases you. Give me Bill Gates’ boring, plodding, predictable narcissism over Jobs’ erratic, passionate, heart-wrenching narcissism every time. The real redeeming quality of Apple is their ability to show the world the potential for technology to work well. The problem is they never quite live up to that potential. So go ahead. Buy an Apple product, kiss the pretty girl, just know that at the end of the dance, you’re going home empty handed.

    1. fredwilson

      That is so trueNothing worse than a jilted loverFred

  4. crawford

    Paint by number sets in the hands of children.Picasso with a single brush, one jar of paint, a blank canvas.Both yield art. But, face it, they’re not the same. Acceptance is the first step.I love this stuff.

  5. TJ

    A couple of months ago I tried MacOS for the first time. I’ve been running Windows since the ’95 version first came out, and I’ve also been running SuSE and then Debian (my Linux love) for a few years.What I hate about Microsoft is the fact that I have to use Windows Server to actually be able to get a good/stable operating system. Why in tarnations the regular versions aren’t as stable beats me. I used to kill an XP in under 45 days (Okay… so I want my system to actually work and handle MY MULTITASKING, which is within human [and RAM] limits). Now I can use a Windows Server for 6 months before it dies off on me and begs me to reinstall it.’nyways, I installed MacOS on my Intel PC and tried the OS for the very first time. I was bought, I admit it. It felt really right. Instead of having to think “Now if I were a dumbass MS engineer, where the hell would I hide the function that does this and that…” I’d go… “Now if it were me… where the hell would I have put that function?”.That was the biggest learning curve. Like I said: I loved it, I was bought! “I’m getting me a MacPro in a few weeks, I promise”.And then came Apple’s bricking of iPhones. And I stopped… And thought about how much I “loved” their OS. And realized their OS is running on the iPhone. And that who’s to stop Apple from deciding in the future that I’m not allowed to hack something on my MacPro and set it up the way I WANT IT and do UNSAFE stuff to my OS… because I just don’t care what they say and want to use MY PRODUCT, MY WAY!My conclusion (and sorry for the language): Fuck it. I am not paying this company a lot of my money considering it’s doing a 180 on its public approach. I’d rather buy myself a much cheaper PC, install me a Debian, run Windows under VMWare on it, cause I need it for part of my work, and just enjoy the friggin Google Cloud for Email and all.I can’t give money to a company that wants to limit my use of their products. I’m sorry. Apple may be considering that their hardware is part of the Apple Cloud of computing, which they can rule at will, and I am not going to give them a friggin penny to help them support this misconception of their. If you sell hardware to me, it’s mine!Same goes for their stupid music store with their stupid limitations. I end up downloading music online the *other* way and buying the CDs of bands whose music I actually like and still listen to 3 weeks after the download. Just like shareware.

  6. Vijay Veerachandran

    I hate them to core. I own a macbook now and I just hate them more for that. Gone the days of apple fan boys. My friend own IPhone and definitely they are not happy for paying 600$ – 400$ and still bricking it.

  7. PXLated

    ” So it just sits there on my desk making me hate Apple more every day”As my mother used to say…Gad.

  8. howardlindzon

    dont waste the energy. use the blackberry and throw the brick out. apple doesnt care. they’ll make more 🙂

  9. Jevon

    I am starting to wonder when we will all make the move to Ubuntu or something similar. I have a lot of friends who are switching to it from Vista, and a lot of musicians are using a specialized version of it that is great for audi editing, etc.The experience and app availability on Linux is now easily where it was with OS 10.2 or 3, and it really is even more stable and open.At the very least, I am stopping my kneejerk reaction everything apple comes out with something. I am not going to just buy it the way I seem to now.

  10. markslater

    I am disgusted at the durability of the ipod product (all of them) i have 3 different Ipods sitting next to me that dont work, wont work, and cant be fixed. Do they purposely do this? And no one on this planet will convince me of their DRM approach – dont care how amazing their brand is. i challenge any apple lover to honestly defend these two issues i have.

    1. fredwilson

      DRM is cancer to any brand that touches it.Fred

  11. RacerRick

    I think we’re seeing the anti-apple feelings growing.Which means it’s time for me to buy APPL and ride it down to the doldrums where I will inevitably sell at the exact point that it will take a flyer back up to its all time high.

    1. fredwilson

      I think the opposite is true. There’s plenty of upside left in apple’s anti consumer strategy. But it will catch up with them eventuallyFred

  12. charlie crystle

    I used to hate Microsoft too. Until I realized it had no effect on them.

    1. fredwilson

      That’s true. And my loathing of apple will have no effect on them either. But I feel better having exprssed itFred

      1. Charlie Crystle

        Yeah, me too.

  13. Austin

    You’re all crazy!I’m long AAPL, Long GOOG, you don’t really care but here’s why.I walk into an Apple store with a broken Video iPod, they tell me the disc is not mounted and frankly the likely hood it became unmounted itself is slim to nun! (So clearly I broke it) He says you can wait 2 weeks to have your new iPod engraved or walk out of the store with a new one today.Long story short, I walked in with a broken iPod walked back out with a new one. A broken iPod I clearly broke!Second, tell me any where else in my home town, I can go for a live product demonstration to better understand my software or hardware! I know you have to wait or come back tomorrow, but maybe they need to change their business model on this practice somehow?!And the Apple iPhone, You can’t always get it right the first time around. Consumers have been patient when it comes to cell phones, because of the usual 2 year contract and they will continue to be patient, for a few more years.One thing they did get right was GSM. I think that is self explanatory for any world travelers, Check out this GSM map of the world and you can see that Europe has the best coverage, highest data speeds and the US only has a handful of cities with the fastest connections, San Diego, Columbus, etc.http://www.coveragemaps.com…Yellow is the Fastest!

  14. crawford

    Fred (and all members of the He-Man Apple Haters Club)Here’s another voice and POV re Apple and cloud:http://radar.oreilly.com/ar

    1. markslater

      so assuming from your post that you fall on the apple lovers side – care to share with us exactly your POV on their DRM strategy?

      1. crawford

        Hi Mark,My personal view is that I’d like to see DRM go away. But, honestly and truly, I’m not qualified to speak to their strategy.

  15. markslater

    someone should create an open letter to Steve Jobs from all of your readers and commenters – and put it up on the point (thepoint.com) or one of those other services and let it do its thing. Would be interesting to see where it goes.

  16. rick gregory

    Hate you? No. I just pity you. On many things you’re rational, insightful and fun to read – it’s why I’ve subscribed to the RSS feed for almost as long as AVC has existed. But on the issue of Apple products you’re irrational. Microsoft earned some of that fear and hatred by being the arrogance that their massive power brought and by proving to have nightmarish upgrades (Windows ME anyone?) and being riddled with security flaws that can expose your computer to heinous things.iTunes? Where’s the real-world basis for being concerned that your music will be deleted or made unusable? 10.5 the same way. I’m not talking about the edge case… any upgrade involving millions of people will have issues so, yes, you can find someone somewhere who had an issue. But there’s simply no basis for those fears. The iPhone? Yes, if you want to hack it there’s the reasonable possibility of a problem. Bu then, you KNOW that risk going in. I get that you didn’t buy the phone, but Apple is very clear about the limits put on it. If someone chooses to hack the firmware or the hardware… well, that’s a risk of real hacking.Sorry Fred, but on Apple I just tune you out – let me know when you’re going to apply the insight and logic you do elsewhere to Apple… that might be interesting.

    1. fredwilson

      At some point a number of years ago I could buy songs on itunes and then strip the drm from them so I could listen to them on my other digital music systems. Then apple released a new version of itunes and I could no longer do thatSame thing just happened with 1.1.2 firmware.Apple forces their customers to use their products the way they want them to not the way I want toThat’s why I detest apple.Maybe you don’t care about freedom to use what you rightly paid for how you want toI doPassionatelyFred

      1. Stephen L. McKay

        Fred,You are so right on this subject! To all who don’t get it, just imagine if a very few years ago, you bought an RCA (CRT) telivision, and it would only receive analog signals from NBC, which was an RCA owned company!You always nail it on these things Fred, and for those of us old enough to really make the analog, old media comparison, we hear you!Thanks,Steve

      2. Aaron

        The DRM thing… you think that’s just Apple? Apple gets into frequent fights with music companies over its fees – they want Apple to charge more than 99c per song so that they can get greater royalties. Apple has done so – for DRM-free music. Nothing is stopping the music companies from offering their entire catalogs, DRM-free, at the higher rate… but they don’t want to.As for “I used to commit a federal felony with each iTunes song I bought, but now I can’t”, well… 😉 I think, of all people, you knew and understood the terms of use when you bought the songs. The fact that you can “get away with” violating them for a while has never been a promise that they will never be enforced (or made enforceable). (I’m only half-joking about the federal felony thing – if you buy a CD and rip it to your hard drive, or remove DRM from a media file, that is a federal felony. We live in an era of overcriminalization.)How do you and your partners react when it finds out that third parties are infringing upon the intellectual property of companies in your investment portfolio? If your reaction is, “IP should be free, so no biggie,” that’s fine, but if not, how is this different?For the record, when choosing new machines, I presently will buy whichever system best serves my needs, at a competitive price. Right now, that means I have a Mac sitting on my desk and, for other times, a Wintel notebook running Vista. I’m not afraid of either being “bricked”, and my past experience makes me much more concerned about upgrading Vista than about upgrading Mac OS.

        1. fredwilson

          I’ve been very vocal about not liking ip any more than drmAll of this stuff stifles innovation and is badFred

  17. jeremy

    “I am afraid to upgrade to a new version of iTunes because it might make my music and video unusable”my itunes doesnt even support podcasting. i REFUSE to upgrade.

  18. Joe Lazarus

    It’s more of a love / hate relationship for me. I love the design of their products, the simplicty, the elegance, and the intuitiveness. Jobs knows how to make a sexy product like no one else and for that, I love Apple. I own an iPhone and a MacBook and like both for the most part. However, Apple’s business practices are old school, like you say, and that’s just lame. I hate their closed mentality. I hate the arrogance. Their attempts at lock-in are as evil as Microsoft’s.It’s sad really. Apple is leaving a lot of money on the table. As much as I like their hardware and interfaces, I’d be willing to spend a lot more on their software and services if they’d open up and be less evil.

    1. fredwilson

      We have nine macs in our house and three iPhones and countless iPodsSo my fear and loathing are matched only by my appetite for their productsFred

      1. markslater

        i truly feel your pain. music loving family, tech users/consumers – bless you!

  19. Ethan Bauley

    Agreed.The “jilted lover” comment was genius.Using their products is like dating an insanely hot, intelligent woman…that is a true narcissist.My loathing hasn’t reached parity with my appetite but it may.

  20. Stefano Buliani

    I love Apple. However, much to my chagrin, I have to agree with you Fred. Apple is digging its own grave with all this locking mumbo jumbo.The market has bet too big on the iPhone’s success. http://thebigdeal.wordpress

  21. Micah Baldwin

    Fred, if you want to jailbreak the phone, here are steps:http://jailbreakme.com/1.1.2/ (how to downgrade to 1.1.1)http://www.tuaw.com/2007/11… (how to jailbreak 1.1.2)I really go back and forth on apple and apple products. I have just made the move to be completely mac, but now am struggling to find a really good outlook/entourage solution.I used to always say that mac was good for play and windows was good for work, slowly that is ringing truer.

  22. fewquid

    The sad thing is that Apple have a huge opportunity to grow their market share and at this rate they’ll blow it. A lot of die-hard MS folks are having trouble with Vista. A Mac running decent VM is a great solution (one I’ve been using for 6+ months). But their incessant stupidity regarding customers will catch up with them.Speaking from experience, the developer experience working with Apple is actually worse than the consumer experience. I’d take MS as a dev partner over Apple any day. How scary is that!

  23. Travis T

    In the purely capitalistic sense, apple and jobs are brilliant. Let’s face it, they’re not in it for altruism, aapl’s in it for the money… Google isn’t a hardware company, they’re a software company (maybe you call it a web company). With a software company that has no experience building commercially viable hardware for resale (yes, I know they have the google search appliance, and they manufacture their own hardware for internal use), having an open platform like android is really the only play where they’re going to be able to out execute apple.You could classify me as a mac fan boy for sure. I’ve spent way more on macs that I would have ever considered on a pc. But, for the money, I’ve got a superior development machine that runs unix and comes stock full of all the command line utilities I’ve grown to love from *nixe’s plus a fantastic user experience. I will agree with you though, upgrades are not always the smoothest process on apple’s. Their upgrades certainly have their weaknesses.

    1. vruz

      depends on which definition of capitalism you are basing your comment on.if you have a look at his writings, Adam Smith had a very high sense of ethical behaviour.it’s not altruism, it’s just as easy as respecting consumers rights.bending the law to advance your power is not capitalism. it’s unethical, illegal, or both.

  24. vincentvw

    I think these kind of sentiments really depend when you enter the market. I’m still on an iBook, which I bought just before the Intel-macs came out. It’s perfect, no hardware problems, and I expect it to last for another 1-2 years. A friend of mine caught be bug and bought the most expensive Macbook Pro 17″, however while it was 1st gen. He was never unhappier and couldn’t wait to get rid of it. Overheating, etc.The iPhone, to me, is the same deal. I’ll prefer to wait for at least second gen, and I expect Apple to sort out all the problems. But, personally, I never want to use a device that enslaves me to a mobile-provider for 2 years.The point is, that I don’t think Apple is a good 1st gen company. Leopard = best to wait; iPhone / iTouch = best to wait; Intel-macs = good time to get one; etc. So while your complaint is perfectly valid, my opinion is that you are too focussed on 1st gen products.

    1. vincentvw

      The same applies to Robert Scoble, btw.

  25. ben s

    thanks for using your blog as a platform to try and get these apple-deovtee’s out of their trance. they are so hypnotized by jobs and apple and hate microsoft so much that they just dont want to see the realities of the walled garden they are living in.oh btw, there’s an at&t ad next to this post.. hahaah – http://screencast.com/t/nht

  26. Ben

    Don’t buy their products then.

  27. Shivering Timbers

    Fred: There are four Macs in my home, and a bunch more at my company. Both my wife and I carry iPhones.I don’t like everything Apple does (the iTunes DRM is my personal hotbutton), but I tend to the attitude that–to paraphrase Winston Churchill–Apple is the worst electronics company in the world, except for all the others.Much of what you’re complaining about boils down to “Apple won’t let me do everything I want with their products.” And I certainly agree that, all else being equal, a more open product is better.But all else isn’t equal. There is a very real cost, in the form of engineering and design compromises, to making a product more open and extensible. The more different things it can do, the worse it will perform each task. At some level this is one of the core problems with Windows and Office: feature and platform creep has rendered them bloated, slow, and unusable.A big part of Apple’s genius is understanding what typical customers really need (as opposed to what they think they want), stripping off the unneeded features, and optimizing the total customer experience around what’s left. They also understand that “total customer experience” includes the buying experience, physical and interface design, and post-purchase support.So I deal with Apple by taking their products, services, and limitations as a package deal; and recognizing that competing products come with limitations of their own (such as the fact that my old Treo crashed constantly and was so flimsy that it was falling apart). The perfect product does not exist, and in my calculus having to sign an AT&T contract and losing third party software was worth the trade-off for a phone which works and has a reasonable user interface.Others may disagree, but don’t hate Apple for not making the perfect product for you. Just don’t buy it. And don’t hold it against Apple that the compromises they had to make are not the same design decisions you would have made. Instead, fund a competitor and see if you can do better.

  28. isfan

    Hallelujah. With you 100%. I had an iTouch on my xmas wish list but recently crossed it off. Why? I’m pissed … not because my old ipod broke but because I’m sick of being tied down. I bought my three girls generic mp3 players … no way I was going to spend $ on Nanos or Shuffles when they’ll probably lose them. Why can’t I transfer music for them from itunes? I now have to jump through hoops and set up a different system.Industries should go through a swinging door effect. At first, the door should be closed because someone needs to build an end to end system for it to work properly. People go to the back door to get their fix. When it is no longer of value for consumers, that door needs to open. We are at that stage now. The world outside of Apple’s closed door will move on and leave it behind like it almost did several years ago. Companies start failing exactly when they appear to be on top.I’ve been out on a limb on this topic for a while … happy to see I’m not alone.

  29. loring

    Any company that claims to own brand loyalty, corner the market on uber-hipness, while trying to shut down dissenting voices, deserves to be called shitty, no matter how many cult-fans they have. Apple has been filled with creeps for close to 30 years. Doesn’t mean iMac, iPod, iPhone are bad products, it just means the company’s creepy. Just like Facebook with its Beacon plans. Just like Google/YouTube for bouncing the Egyptian human rights campaigner. The first companies to claim they do no evil or are cool by nature are the first that should be suspect.

  30. Dave

    um…like the Google Video DRM? They only stopped using that service cause no one was buying.

    1. fredwilson

      They also bought youtube which puts them miles ahead of apple in my bookFred

  31. kenberger

    Hey Fred,When are you implementing BoAVC (BOA?) or the like?A Craigslist-style flag to nominate a “Best of AVC” post?This post would be a BOA, to me.Come to think of it, I recently heard of a service you put in the feedflare and readers can rate the listing. This way, when a newcomer comes by and just wants to get the “Best of” rather than trawl around, they can do it. Can’t remember the name.

    1. fredwilson

      I’ll look for itThanks ken

  32. Vega

    “I am afraid to upgrade to a new version of iTunes because it might make my music and video unusable ” what? hello? They were the first to offer music with reasonable DRM (just remember the early wma-infested stores) and have been pioneering DRM free major lable music. I just don’t get that sense of entitlement. They don’t owe you DRM-free music. They would love to be able to sell it to you, but they had to get approval from their business partners, the record labels.” I am afraid to upgrade to Leopard because it might brick my MacBook” Leopard bricking MacBooks? You just made that up, didn’t you? While upgrade to Leopard wasn’t error-free for everyone, so was the upgrade to Tiger or any other OS-upgrade in the history of Computer, for that matter.Quit the whining. Apple didn’t demand for you to love them. They just happen to make products that focus on the user more than on technology. Sometimes they make better choices, sometimer not so good ones. They owe you nothing. But this hate thing is just ridiculously childish.Btw: I also don’t buy the bricking conspiracy theory. I think they made the update, found out it didn’t work with hacked baseband modifications and didn’t want to waste more time and money to adjust their software to the needs of users who didn’t respect their license agreement in the first place.

  33. Ted T.

    Blaming Apple for DRM is just silly — DRM has been forced on Apple by the record labels from the beginning — Apple’s great achievement has been getting them to moderate their DRM demands (and in the case of EMI, drop DRM altogether).As several posters have pointed out iPhone 1.1.2 has long been jailbroken and your fears of Leopard are pure nonsense.Is Apple frequently arrogant? Yes. Do they have a “we know what’s best for you” attitude? Yes. Does Jobs have a huge ego? Yes.But the Apple of today is also fairly quick to acknowledge and correct its inevitable mistakes. They are also the most consumer centric major company out there. They design their products with usability in mind, rather than loading them with money making crapware, like your average Windows PC.

    1. MReddy

      Actually, Lenovo is the most consumer centric company running, and this is a fact. Sure Apple makes computers that provide aesthetic pleasure. However, when you have to ship the computer away for 3 weeks for hardware failure, do aesthetics still matter? If you do some research, you’ll find out apple buys the shoddy hardware. Using Apple for over 15 years, I know from experience.However, I am done with Apple.After the Intel transition, the customer service has deteriorated rapidly. Whereas before I could have my computer repaired in a reasonable amount of time while dealing with pleasant representatives, now I have to suffer with incompetent individuals who are on par with Dell. And, Dell is probably better, because regardless of how sloppy their customer service is, they ship you back a computer within 3-5 business days.Soon I will purchase a Lenovo system with a dual boot OS-X, yes it can be done, and Fedora. Good bye shitty hardware, hello piece of mind.

  34. riposter

    Living in fear sucks. I’d give something else a try.

  35. yolospat

    Do you fear and loath google too?

    1. fredwilson

      No. They haven’t done anything to me yet that has caused me to spend hours and hours dealing with its repurcussionsFred

      1. Joe Wang

        You’ll soon. If you want to talk about evil. Go with a company that proclaim itself of not doing evil a few years ago. Now that is funny.I have a very simple advise for all the haters out there. Life is short, don’t use product that makes your life miserable. Even if sometimes you love but if there is a chance that you’ll not like it, ditch the product and use something else. Simple.I’ll continue to run my Linux desktop, Mac OS notebook, play music with my iPods and communicate via my Blackberry.

  36. Woo_Pirate

    Up until Apple started bricking iPhones, I was all set to buy a Mac. After spitting on their customers, though, I’ve put that purchase off.I don’t trust Apple.I still want a Mac, and I’ll probably still get one — but now, when I do purchase one, I’ll do so with the knowledge that I won’t be treated with respect by Apple.I think the company might have jumped the shark with it’s bricking policies.

    1. fredwilson

      Exactly. I don’t trust them.Fred

  37. Dave

    This isn’t just Apple. This is getting to be the “norm” for a lot of consumer devices and software out there. I wrote a blog about my frustration with it just a few days ago: http://www.steelsphere.com/… (after my wife’s iPod battery died, which got me raging)This isn’t Apple’s fault entirely, this is the CONSUMERS fault. If people would stop @#$#@ buying expensive pieces of garbage that have DRM and are being bricked, then the companies would stop making them. But everyone goes all weak-in-the-knees for some glossy finish and goes out and WAITS IN @#$#@$ LINE OVERNIGHT for something that they regret later. STOP IT.Start doing research – start letting reviewers try some things – stop jumping at every little shiny toy that’s out there. Reward the little guys who ARE making open devices that might not be as shiny as your iPod, but that do the things you want it to do.And the whole Apple vs. Microsoft thing is crap. That’s successful marketing by Apple, giving legions of geeks a chip to put on their shoulder so they can feel good about themselves and have something to blog and bitch about. Don’t be sheep. These companies aren’t “evil.” They are capitalists. And if you think that capitalism is Evil, then I dare you to quit your job and drop out of society yourself – but I bet you fancy a paycheck and like eating like the rest of us do.

  38. Caryn


  39. Grammar Guy

    *Whom* I have hated for years. (ignoring fragment)

    1. fredwilson

      ThanksI could use an editorFred

    2. kenberger

      @Grammar Guy- “who” was correct in this case. “whom” is frequently misused, like you’re trying to do. Look it up. (he didn’t say “for whom” or “to whom”).

  40. lauramoncur

    These things take time. Steve Jobs didn’t “force” the music industry to cooperate with him. He showed them how to profit in the digital world.The same holds true for the cellphone industry.I’m sorry it’s not happening fast enough for you, but be patient. We’ll have an iPhone that we can use on any network soon enough, sans jailbreak.

    1. fredwilson

      Do you know when? I am dying to get that asapFred

  41. jackson

    I just wanted to be the 69th comment. Get it…..69………he he….

    1. fredwilson

      I knew I could count on you not to have an opinion on this debate!

  42. BigDaddy

    I love both AAPL and MSFT. At least they create something.

  43. Walnut Creek Kango

    This is my second attempt at leaving a comment, and I can’t figure out what I’m doing wrong. I went through this with a comment to another post, and thought the issue was resolved. Please let me know what I can do to ensure my posts go ‘live.’All I want to say is that I share the other commenters’ general disappointment with Apple, and your sense of frustration. I too have been afraid for months to download the newest versions of iTunes, and I’m STILL stinging over the exclusive contract with AT&T for the iPhone.

    1. fredwilson

      Looks like whatever you were struggling with you figured outThanks for hanging in there and leaving a commentI appreciate itThanksFred