Wednesday, March 23, 2005

They, We, Apple, and Me

Fred the VC recently posted his opinion that Apple has become a "they" company. The post has drawn much comment and trackback, a significant portion of which argues that Apple was never a "we" company, but has always been a "they" company. I'm posting to add to that portion.

In particuar, I'm posting to contribute further evidence of Apple's they-ness. Check out this Guardian article, which describes the greedy and arrogant manner in which Apple's iTunes tried to deal with independent record labels in the UK, and elsewhere in Europe. When I first read the article, I was saddened, but not surprised, by Apple's attitude.

Talking of "we" companies, my favorite example is Flickr. But the reason I started using Flickr is that it is a "me" company: it provides exactly what I went to it for. Then I realized that it is a "me-plus" company: it provides more than I went to it for, because Flickr knows about online photos far better than I ever will. Then I realized that it is a "me-plus-others" company: I have got a lot more out of the work of fellow Flickr-ers than I expected to.

I could provide many data points to support my claim that Flickr is a great "we" company. But I'll restruct myself to two. The first of them is Caterina's most recent post to the wonderful Flickr blog. The second is Betsy's intense plea to Yahoo not to ruin Flickr. (I did blog it recently, but Betsy is very insistent.)

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