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The paradox of personalisation 

From Zizek’s Trouble in Paradise, pg 57. This isn’t necessarily the case but it’s a claim that holds true in the absence of personal tech skills and a disposition to  exercise then: The paradox is that, the more the small item (smartphone or iPod) I hold in my hand is […]

the obsessive secrecy of Apple

From Battle of the Titans loc 543. I’m intruiged by non-disclosure of non-disclosure agreements: why stop there? Surely this could be grounds for an infinite loop? More seriously, I wonder how this effects the framing of the proposition to potential staff: is there a performative element to this in order […]

the psychology of business for punks

I wrote last week about the notion of ‘business for punks’ propounded by the founder of BrewDog. This little snippet from Battle of the Titans reflects a similar ethos. Is Silicon Valley full of people who understand themselves as ‘doing business for punks’: is this the ethos underlying a commitment to […]

The Platform Wars

From Battle of the Titans, loc 113-127. This dynamic seems likely to intensify with time: A lot of what we buy via Apple’s iTunes store—apps, music, movies, TV shows, books, etc.—doesn’t work easily on Android devices or at all, and vice versa. And both companies know that the more money […]

the origins of apple as a luxury goods company 

From Jony Ive, by Leander Kahney, pg 104: Jobs aimed at making innovative products again, but he didn’t want to compete in the broader market for personal computers, which was dominated by companies making generic machines for Microsoft’s Windows operating system. These companies competed on price, not features or ease […]

organisational minimalism

From Jony Ive, by Leander Kahney, pg 101-102: Much was about to change in how Apple was run, beginning with the product lineup. When Jobs returned to Apple in 1997, the company had forty products on the market. To appreciate the baffling nature of Apple’s kitchen- sink strategy at the […]

imagining the apple ecosystem 

I found this description of work undertaken in the apple design lab, long before the design of the iPhone, extremely interesting. From Jony Ive, by Leander Kahney, pg 54-56: The idea was to explore a suite of mobile products even further off in the future. Brunner and his team felt […]

Why does the iPhone matter to us?

My initial impressions of Bernard Stiegler were far from positive, largely ensuing from the sheer incomprehensibility of his writing. However this essay by Mark Featherstone (HT Emma Head) has reminded me why I bought Stiegler’s books in the first place after a few people explained the themes he addresses in his work. […]

Is this how the Circle got started….?

The ApplePay system aims to kickstart the so far slow-moving market for mobile payments, which banks and credit card companies have struggled to get people to adopt, but could also give Apple growing power in the payments industry. “ApplePay will forever change the way all of us buy things,” said […]