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….


12 Rules of Success from Steve Jobs

Anyone that knows me understands that I have quoted Steve Jobs many times in my leadership coaching, mentoring, speaking, and training.  I was fortunate to find an article which listed 12 rules of success that he had claimed years ago.  I wanted to share these 12 rules with my readers and followers….

Photo Oct 08, 7 35 23 PM

Rule #01: Do what you love to do. Find your true passion. Make a difference. The only way to do great work is to love what you do.

Rule #02: Be different. Think different. Better to be a pirate than to join the navy.

Rule #03: Do your best at every job. Don’t sleep! Success generates more success so be hungry for it. Hire good people with a passion for excellence.

Rule #04: Perform SWOT analysis. As soon as you join/start a company, make a list of strengths and weaknesses of yourself and your company on a piece of paper. Don’t hesitate to throw bad apples out of the company.

Rule #05: Be entrepreneurial. Look for the next big thing. Find a set of ideas that need to be acted upon quickly and decisively and jump through that window. Sometimes the first step is the hardest one. Just take it. Have the courage to follow your heart and intuition.

Rule #06: Start small, think big. Don’t worry about too many things at once. Take a handful of simple things to begin with, and then progress to more complex ones. Think about not just tomorrow, but the future. Put a ding in the universe.

Rule #07: Strive to become a market leader. Own and control the primary technology in everything you do. If there’s a better technology available, use it regardless of whether or not anyone else is using it. Be the first, and make it an industry standard.

Rule #08: People judge you by your performance, so focus on the outcome. Be a yardstick of quality. Some people aren’t used to an environment where excellence is expected. Advertise. If they don’t know about it, they won’t buy your product. Pay attention to design. We made the buttons on the screen look so good you’ll want to lick them. Design is not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works.

Rule #09: Ask for feedback from people with diverse backgrounds. Each one will tell you one useful thing. If you’re at the top of the chain, sometimes people won’t give you honest feedback because they’re afraid. In this case, disguise yourself, or get feedback from other sources. Focus on those who will use your product – listen to your customers first.

Rule #10: Innovate. Innovation distinguishes a leader from a follower. Delegate. Let other top executives do 50% of your routine work to be able to spend 50% your time on the new stuff. Say no to 1,000 things to make sure you don’t get on the wrong track or try to do too much. Concentrate on really important creations and radical innovation. Hire people who want to make the best things in the world. You need a very product-oriented culture, even in a technology company. Lots of companies have tons of great engineers and smart people. But ultimately, there needs to be some gravitational force that pulls it all together.

Rule #11: Learn from failures. Sometimes when you innovate, you make mistakes. It is best to admit them quickly, and get on with improving your other innovations.

Rule #12: Learn continually. There’s always “one more thing” to learn.
Cross-pollinate ideas with others both within and outside your company. Learn from customers, competitors and partners. If you partner with someone whom you don’t like, learn to like them – praise them and benefit from them. Learn to criticize your enemies openly, but honestly.

I hope you enjoy these, and I hope also that you are already following some of these rules in your life.  I wish you all much success and that you reach all of your goals!

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