The Day the Apple Fell


Dear Apple,

We had a good run.  It’s hard to express how disappointed I am.  I truly thought you cared.  I was wrong.  I get it now.

It began in 2007.  One of the most exciting days in 2007 was the day the first iPhone hit the stores.  I’ll be honest.  I was skeptical.  I used the PC.  I worked in Windows.  But your new phone intrigued me.  I had friends at work that got the first phone.  With pure envy and interest, I got my hands on one, and it made me want one terribly bad.  But I was not sure it was for me.  For over a year, I regretted not being one of the first to own this awesome phone.

Then came July 2008.  I slept in my car outside of the cellular store to get my hands on a iPhone 3G.  My life changed.  This was MY phone!

  • June 2009 – camped outside the cellular store to get the iPhone 3Gs.
  • June 2010 – camped outside the cellular store to get the iPhone 4.
  • October 2011 – camped outside the cellular store to get the iPhone 4s.
  • September 2012 – camped outside the cellular store to get the iPhone 5.
  • September 2013 – camped outside the cellular store to get the iPhone 5s.
  • September 2014 – camped outside the cellular store to get the HUGE iPhone 6 Plus.
  • September 2015 – camped outside the cellular store to get the iPhone 6s Plus.
  • September 2016 — I am now getting too old for this overnight camping…. So i said “Maybe I can skip getting the iPhone 7 Plus”.  By October, I’m regretting it.  By the first of November, I’m buying the largest storage on the iPhone 7 Plus.
  • November 2017 – I’m learning how to do this….. I sign up for the Apple Upgrade program and get the iPhone X (the screen was too small – i missed my 7Plus size)
  • September 2018 – Thanks to the Apple Upgrade program, I sit in my warm room, and wait for my iPhone XS Max to be delivered

This is just the “PHONE” part of the story.  What you don’t see in this story is that the iPhone 3G was so amazing to me, that I decided to buy an iMac.  Goodbye Windows.  Goodbye PC.  The iMac was awesome.  Everything looked amazing on the beautiful glass screen.

Then came the MacBooks, the phones, the iPads, the watches, the iPods, the AirPods, the Apple TVs.  Please note, I had the Apple Nano which i turned into a “watch” with the strap and case – before Apple Watch was even a dream in Cupertino.  I had the first Apple TV that was grey and had storage on the machine.  Nothing like the small black boxes we use today for Apple TV.

What I’m trying to say is this….. I sit here with dozens of devices connected to my Apple account:

  • 1 iMac
  • 1 MacBook Pro with Touchpad
  • 1 MacBook Pro
  • 1 MacBook Air
  • 1 MacBook
  • 4 iPad Pros
  • 2 Apple Pencils (1 first generation, 1 second generation)
  • 3 Apple Watches
  • 2 AirPods
  • 2 iPhone XS Max
  • 1 iPhone 8
  • 4 Apple TVs – one 4K
  • And a laundry list of iPods, ipodNanos, products, cases, etc.

Why am I telling you all of this?  You can see it on my account for yourself.  The reason I am telling you this is that when i bought the MacBook Pro with Touchpad, I bought the AppleCare that was available.  Let me also tell you that I am one of those Apple followers that takes special care of my products.  My laptop does not have stickers.  There are no scratches.  I’m the guy that will clean the laptop often – because it needed to look new and shiny.

But two days ago, something happened.  Maybe something in my office hit it.  Maybe it just had enough of being used daily for two years.  Regardless, I walk into my office and see the screen in the picture above.  I wanted to scream but I was unable to make a sound.  My screen was fractured.  And I needed a replacement ASAP because I have taken my MacBooks to speak at over 41 events in over 5 continents, and multiple countries, in the last 6 years.  I knew I would be leaving this weekend for San Francisco for another speaking event and I needed this machine.

I drove over and hour to the closest Apple Store (Northlake Mall, Charlotte, NC).  I spoke to the store and found that the AppleCare I purchased was not good enough to cover a broken screen.  I would have to agree to $475+TAX ($510 total) to fix this machine.  I spoke with the manager, and expressed that I’m not just a dude that bought a MacBook, I’m a guy that has invested THOUSANDS in Apple to have 23+ active products, and I would really appreciate any support or help that I could get.  I wasn’t asking for a free replacement.  I wasn’t asking for 50% off.  I was asking for anything.  The cold response given was a simple “Nothing we can do”.   This was followed by a statement that they can cover anything done in the store but when it leaves the Apple Store doors, there’s nothing they can do about it.

Is there a positive side of this event?  The only thing I can say is this store worked hard to get me my laptop back in two days.  But…. when I went to pick this laptop up, I carried an iPad Pro 9.7 (256GB) that my 11-year-old daughter was using but would no longer power up.  After looking at this, and taking my $510 for the laptop, the store tells me that there’s nothing that can be done for the iPad and I can replace it for $379.  I tried my hand again, asked for anything they could do to help out a loyal Apple follower.  I expressed that in two days time I have now spent another $889 at the store.  The answer “sorry sir, nothing we can do”.  I even had two ‘kind’ managers talk to me nicely, sit and pretend to care, and then walk away saying they appreciate me for “paying for their salary” (Yes, one lady named Julia LITERALLY said this to me) with all the products I bought.

I’m disappointed.  That’s all I can say.  I don’t want to be an Android guy.  I have to use Windows for my work for over 25 years, but I chose not to use it for my personal use.  I would prefer not to use PC / Windows for my personal laptop, but what do I do?  I have been a loyal Apple follower.  I have been one of your biggest marketers.  I have helped friends buy your products.  I have helped friends and family decide to take Apple over competitors.  I have stuck with you through it all, and I am typing this on my updated MacBook Pro, watching my Apple TV, looking at my iPhone XS Max, wearing my latest Apple Watch and glancing over at the latest 2018 ipad Pro with the keyboard and 2nd generation pencil laying on my desk.  And STILL I am disappointed.

I know you’re so filthy rich, you’ve made more money than any other company on the planet, and you don’t need a guy like me to survive.  But it still hurts to know that after 12 years of loyalty, all I get is a handshake and a scripted “We are sorry that we could not do more” from your store.

It makes me want to get the new Samsung Fold when it comes out.  It makes me want to sell my Apple MacBook and be able to afford two or three highly loaded PC laptops.  But I know you Apple… You are sitting up on top of your ivory tower smiling because you have given me a taste for a great product.  I’m addicted.  I’m hooked now.  Apple has been a drug for me and you know that there are millions of us that can’t stop buying your products – no matter how badly you treat us and disrespect us.  It’s a shame and it’s sad.  I’m no longer your target market.  You’ve GOT ME.  Now you are able to spend your energies being good to those people that are NOT the “early adopters” so that they are as hooked as me.  Shame on you.  Shame on you for forgetting those that have given so much to make you who you are today.

I wonder what Samsung, Microsoft, Google, or Dell would do in a situation like this?

I’m disappointed.  You let me down.  I thought you were different….

Jumping back on the horse

You got to check out the site of my friend, and partner in a mentoring session to take him to new experiences as a speaker at conferences. Tony Gutierrez is going to experience exponential growth and you will be wanting to hear him speak before long….keep your eyes open for him!

How Did The 80’s Affect You? (please comment!!!)

KeepCalm80sIn the 1980’s, the world was introduced to so many new things: CDs, MTV, Sony walkman, Pac-Man, VCRs, PCs, the Apple Mac, and by 1989, Tim Berners-Lee was getting started on a new invention he called the “World Wide Web”.

With that said, I NEED YOUR HELP!!!! 

I want your inputs on all the things that stand out when you think about your memories of life in the 80’s.  I need your memories to be things that people remember (e.g. Alf, Pac Man, cassettes, Back to the Future, Rubik’s cubes, hair-bands, Swatch watches, etc).

I will give you some help as you reminisce:

  • What was your favorite song from the 80’s?
  • What was your favorite musical group?
  • What are your favorite electronic ‘gadget’?
  • What games did you like?
  • What was your favorite movie?
  • What is your favorite quote (either from movie, song, or book) from the 80’s?
  • What 80’s song/movie/title/quote most accurately describes your day to day life at work?

I’m pulling this information together to support an article and presentation I am doing this year.  Please comment below and let me know what you remember the most!!

Thank you in advance for sharing your thoughts with me!!!

The Mike Lyles 2013 In Review

The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.

Happy New Year 2014 to my followers!!  What an Amazing Year 2013 was for me…. My ultimate goal in life has been to touch as many lives as possible with my writing, speaking, and work.  In July 2012,  I started a blog, that by the end of 2012 had nearly 2000 hits.  But I wanted more.  I end 2013 right on the edge of 10,000 hits.  I can’t wait for that moment to come, but it’s only the beginning for me.  Whether folks come here to read my leadership and management articles, they come to learn more about software testing, or they come for something else; my simple goal is to always have something interesting for everyone to crave when they come to this site!

Whether you come to or you come to (M.I.K.E.), I hope to see you more this year than ever!  Let’s share an awesome year in 2014!

Here’s an excerpt:

A New York City subway train holds 1,200 people. This blog was viewed about 7,800 times in 2013. If it were a NYC subway train, it would take about 7 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

Happy Thanksgiving 2013

Happy Thanksgiving to all my blog followers!  Through the past few years, my connections on this site, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and other social media has grown so fast – consisting of family, friends, co-workers, new friends met in the testing world, leaders, speakers, and some folks who have decided to follow me (and make me feel like I’m someone important!)

In 2013, I am so thankful for:

  • My family for supporting me all of my life & encouraging me, most importantly for understanding all the times I put into my career and my speaking/writing
  • My long time friends – especially ones that have been there many years!  I wouldn’t take anything for the times I had growing up.  I met so many great friends – most of you are here on Facebook now!
  • My church friends – thanks for welcoming our family in with open arms and for giving me so many opportunities to be part of it
  • My new friends – who have became very close friends – my network of friends is growing so fast that it’s hard to believe sometimes.
  • My co-workers – who make work fun instead of just a “job”.  We’ve had ups and downs over the years, but after a long time, it feels good to love the work we are doing – and we’re just getting started on great things!
  • My testing friends – I have learned so much from so many – and I hope that in the past few years I have been able to return the favor
  • The publications and magazine folks – who gave me a change to write, even when I was not even known in testing and the literary world
  • The conference folks – who gave me a chance to speak for them, especially to STP for giving me the opportunity to teach an all day course and most importantly on the opportunities that are coming in 2014!

I love the many quotes of Zig Ziglar, especially the ones around being grateful.  He had a quote that said “Among the things you can give and still keep are:  Your Word, Your Smile, and A Grateful Heart“.

I pray that everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving – be grateful for what you have today and throughout.  I’m thankful for each of you in my life and I look forward to what 2014 brings us!

My First Year Blogging – The WordPress 2012 Review of Mike’s Blog!

The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

600 people reached the top of Mt. Everest in 2012. This blog got about 1,900 views in 2012. If every person who reached the top of Mt. Everest viewed this blog, it would have taken 3 years to get that many views.

Click here to see the complete report.