Thursday, September 25, 2014

A Wakeup Call for Apple?

I suppose there are still globalization evangelists out there who like to preach that, in a highly-connected world, a good day for Apple is a good day for everyone. The fact that they never seem to consider that this proposition has an equally invalid inverse would suggest that these guys are incredibly stupid by even the most generous standards or that they know full well that they are pulling off a con of "global" proportions. In either case today is a day when the chickens of that inverse proposition have come home to roost. As reported on today's BBC Business news (and probably just about everywhere else) Apple stock took a 3.5% dive in the wake to the catastrophic mismanagement of the latest release of the iOS operating system. That dive has now reverberated across Wall Street; and, according to my latest global spot-check, it is being felt by just about all other major markets, with the possible exception of Japan.

The irony is that it was hard not to see this as a train-wreck about to happen. Those of us who rely of OS X when it comes to doing "real work" know that Apple software development expertise has been on the skids for several years. For the most part we were willing to accept the hypothesis that Apple had decided to put all of its best talent into the software side of its mobile business, a process that some of us like to call "iOS-ification." In the current situation, the bad news may be that this hypothesis is true, meaning that, even where their most-used software is at stake, Apple simply cannot muster the talent for reliable software development. This may be because "the best and the brightest" no longer want to work for Apple (which may be for any number of reasons, including the absence the the charismatic Steve Jobs); but another explanation is that our whole approach to education has been reduced to such a shambles that, in any area of expertise, "the best and the brightest" are no longer that good and are no capable of much more than pale energy-saving brilliance.

In other words the whole reaction to both Apple stock and global markets in general may simply be a matter of shooting the messenger. It may also involve the significant amount of trading that is now enabled by software, rather than human judgement. In other words not only has the messenger been shot; but also it may well be the case that no one is around to read the message!

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