Now companies and big governments are analyzing network graphs in real time thanks to Facebook. They can test people's reaction on real time to anything.
I don't believe that Apple's success is just about Advertisement, I use their products a lot because they are very good products.
When I was a kid I did not have money so I bought all computer gear myself looking for the best deal, then I also used my own OS(gentoo with everything super optimized). I used to joke with my friends about how Apple was all about Advertisements and nothing about quality, and people was so stupid.
Then I grow up, I started working on my own and I suffered so much for my conscienceless. First I had to change to a stable Debian because gentoo was killing me, then I had to change to standardized hardware too as it was doing my life miserable.
One day I bought a mac as a luxury because I had made some money with my company. I started using it a lot, it was so simple and it did not made me spent as much time as Linux. I made some numbers and it made sense to buy more Apple gear. It worked great.
I made tons of money buying "expensive"() stuff.
What makes Apple great is that is is one of the only companies that get how real people work, read this book:
Now, I am not a fanatic of Apple, I would love other companies doing the same(like doing my computers on metal) but it is not easy. In my experience companies without engineers on place do not know how to create things. Those that have engineers on place do not understand humans well enough.
()expensive is losing a customer because you could not fix something on time. Expensive is paying an engineer to pay for something that should not be broken in the fist time.
The problem is that engineers are not very good at UI design. Both from UX and aesthetic standpoints designers are capable of making a better product. A good designer will give a consistently better result than a good engineer in terms of usability, UX, aesthetics and modularity.
Read the preview of this book:
The part that says "what do you get when you cross a computer with an airplane".
Cooper first writes something we all like to hear: programmers actually control the fate of most high tech businesses. But then he makes a compelling argument that we're really horrible at what we do.
The ideas in this book are difficult to swallow, but once I got past my own ego I learned a lot from it. Not every programmer is a design idiot, but most of us are. Good design requires study and training. Intuition alone only gets you halfway there (unless you're Steve Jobs, and he's not a developer).
The Inmates are Running the Asylum by Alan Cooper
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