by | Oct 3, 2012 | Marketing | 2 comments

For the past few days, I’ve been struggling with trying to make my Apple computer operate in the PC world. It has not been fun. Some software just isn’t made for a Mac. And some Mac software just doesn’t play nice with PCs.  Yet, because a project I’m working on is a collaboration with folks on PCs, I’ve had to spend hours languishing in telephone service desk limbo to get the kinks worked out. I’m nearly there. I have hope.

I’ve been an Apple/Mac evangelist since 1988. I started in desktop publishing, which, at the time was the term for state-of-the-art graphic design. (OK, so now I’ve managed to really date myself.) The truth remains that most creative types, writers and graphic designers included, grew up pouring their brains and dreams into an Apple interface.

Conversely, much of the corporate world lives in the PC universe. Accountants, office workers, and blue suit with red tie middle managers spend their lives in front of a PC screen.

Generally, the two worlds don’t collide.  We line up on either side of the divide and dig in.

Then last year, I was forced kicking and screaming to work on a PC machine.  It was unpleasant after 20+ years of professional effort to be lost in front of a computer. Nothing was where it was supposed to be. I couldn’t find anything. I couldn’t make the darn thing do what I wanted it to do. Calling for help for the simplest of tasks was embarrassing, unpleasant and it wasted a lot of my time.  Eventually, I got used to it. I found that the PC did some things well, even, (gasp!), better than my beloved Apple. But for the most part, my Apple at home still made my heart sing.

I wonder what this says about us as the human race that we have so much difficulty with change? And what else it says about the power of strong brand identities? Even though laptop PC’s are generally one-third of the cost of the brand new 13-inch Apple MacBook Pro on my desk, I wouldn’t even consider buying a PC. I spend way too much of my life in front of a computer to compromise with a system that I just don’t like. Sorry, PC people. That’s just how it feels to me. And as a consumer, feel is everything. Isn’t that right, marketers? How the product makes a customer feel is what drives the purchase.

Yet, this week, I’ve been stymied and crippled by the inadequacies of both PC and Mac engineers to make their products talk to one another. And so, out of self-preservation, as well as marketing bravado, I propose that the PC people and the Mac people learn to like one another. Please, software developers, make versions that come complete and operational for both systems.  Please cross-train your help desk folks on both computer languages. Please build a bridge across the chasm. Haven’t we got enough separation in our lives? If we can’t make peace in the Middle East a reality, can’t we at least make peace on our desktops?


  1. Andrea Carroll

    Again…a very interesting blog. I’m very much aware of the frustrations when pograms or computers are not compatible. Jim has to open a number of items for me as my computer is not able to open the new docx.

  2. Roberta L Hecht

    Lovely, as well as thought provoking. Especially with reference to your last line.