Professional writers have to write. Sometimes they write crap.

by david

So a friend of mine posted this link to Facebook yesterday.  I followed the link. I read the article. It seemed to make some sort of argument. It was at least argumentative. But man, was it pointless. I mean, really, read the thing and try to tell me what point this guy is trying to make. I’ll wait.

How Apple plays the pricing game – Business – Bloomberg Businessweek – msnbc.com.

See what I mean? This article seems to be based on an observation: “hey, they price these things in tiers” and then another observation, “you know, an iPod touch is an iPhone without the phone.” And you know, both of these observations are pretty much unassailably true. But them being true doesn’t mean that they’re interesting. Nor does adding in some other truisms along the lines of “today’s innovation is tomorrow’s antique” and “prices come down over time”* create a narrative.

*those aren’t quotes from the article, but they’re implicit in his writing.

Look, I won’t take this whole article apart because that’s not worth my time or yours. But I’ll point out two flaws that basically undo this dude’s entire “point”:

1. Suggesting that iPod Touch buyers are getting a bad deal because the iPhone is cheaper is just dumb. The iPhone is only cheaper if you disregard the two-year commitment to an expensive phone plan. And 30 seconds at the iPhone table in an Apple Store will make that clear. It’s right there on the signage with the other price information. It’s like comparing the price of a racing bicycle to the price of a gas-powered scooter.

2. Let me quote:

“Apple also obscures references by making its products look like nothing else, from the first iPod with a unique scroll wheel to the current iterations wrapped in gleaming aluminum. Apple seems wondrously unique, until you consider aluminum is the same material you wrap leftover fish in and then it hits you: Apple is disguising itself so you can’t compare prices. Is the new $99 Apple TV box a good deal? Who knows? It looks like nothing else on the planet.”

This aluminum comparison is ludicrous. It is EXACTLY the same as saying that you haven’t adequately considered your purchase of new leather boots unless you’ve considered the pricing and quality of a McDonald’s burger because they both came from a cow. WTF?

This article smacks so much of something that was written for the sake of writing something. Look at my own blog and you’ll see examples of that. But this guy gets BusinessWeek’s logo attached to his drifting and ill-conceived time-killer.

This sort of article is the stock-in-trade of most business and technology writers. This one is just so in-your-face with its lameness, it actually led me to spending thought on it and writing about it. And now, if you’re still reading, it led to you spending thought on it. I guess I’ve at least salvaged something from his article.

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