Tech Geeks, Apple Watch And The Upcoming Fashion Apocalypse

What Is A Tech Geek?

Definition: “Tech Geek”

Someone with ridiculous skills on a computer/phone/iPod/other electronical device and scares us mere earthlings. they have a habit of breaking these after stretching them beyond their ability for normal usage. they also sometimes know more about a product than the producer. ~ Urban Dictionary

There are many stereotypes surrounding Tech Geeks. Are these stereotypes fair? What is this, kindergarten? Who cares if they’re fair ((A person reveals his character by nothing so clearly as the joke he resents. ~ Georg C. Lichtenberg)).

A programmer’s wife tells him: “Go to the market and grab some apples. If they have eggs, grab a dozen.” The programmer returns with 13 apples.

A Tech Geek and his wife are out for a drive in the country. The wife says, “Oh, look! Those sheep have been shorn.” “Yes,” says the Tech Geek. “On this side.”

If a Tech Geek had named Kentucky Fried Chicken, it would have been called “Hot Dead Birds.” ((Via Jan Dawson (@jandawson))

A Tech Geek is someone who can’t sleep at night worrying that someone, somewhere is enjoying tech without having first truly understood how it works.

What Are Tech Geeks Good At?

images-103Most of my articles focus on the fact Tech Geeks know a lot about things and little to nothing about human nature.

Every man loves what he is good at. ~ Thomas Shadwell

We often refuse to accept that we are not good observers of human nature because, ironically, it’s human nature not to do so. We’re not good at knowing what we’re not good at knowing.

Everybody is ignorant, only on different subjects. ~ Will Rogers

What Are Tech Geeks Not So Good At?

images-104Even the most conceited and myopic Tech Geek will acknowledge that the vast majority of Tech Geeks — present company excepted, of course — knows zilch, zippo, zip, zero, null, nix, naught, nada, nothing about fashion.

Don’t be humble. You’re not that great. ~ Golda Meir

Tech Geeks struggle to understand normals, more less fashionistas ((fashionista |ˌfaSHəˈnēstə| noun informal
1 a designer of haute couture.
2 a devoted follower of fashion: sleek designs that press all the fashionistas’ buttons)), but apparently even though we know we know less-than-nothing about fashion, that does not stop us from thinking that we’re qualified to pontificate upon the subject. Sigh.

The worst kind of arrogance is arrogance from ignorance. ~ Jim Rohn

A Tech Geek Has Got To Know His Limitations

Dirty Harry once observed “A man’s gotta know his limitations.”

Tech Geeks have to know their limitations too. We’re not good at fashion. If fashion were water, we’d be out of our depth in a puddle.

RalphLauren

Author’s Note: Image stolen from a Horace Dediu Tweet

I mean, honestly, are you going to tell me you understand that jacket? Just to put things in perspective, that jacket costs $695.00. You could buy one of those jackets or TWO Apple Watches. Go figure.

For most of us, fashion is — and forever will be — A riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma. ((In the fall of 1939, following the Soviet occupation of East Poland, Winston Churchill told the British public in a radio broadcast, “I cannot forecast to you the action of Russia. It is a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma….))

Are Tech Geek’s Qualified To Judge The Apple Watch?

In a word: “No.”

It seems smart watches will have to be analyzed both by fashion and by function. ~ Ben Bajarin (@BenBajarin)

The worst thing about techies covering this Apple event is the lack of understanding of fashion. ~ Abdel Ibrahim (@abdophoto)

Pretty sure a very different set of reviewers is going to be necessary for the Apple Watch. ~ Ben Bajarin (@BenBajarin)

The Apple Watch is maybe the best example of how disconnected most techies are from what people want and love. ~ Abdel Ibrahim (@abdophoto)

The vast majority of us are not even close to being qualified to comment on fashion. But we comment anyhow.

It’s All Geek To Us

Apple Watch is the antithesis of what we’ve come to expect from Apple. Software looks absolutely amazing, hardware design is dated and ugly. ~ Zach Epstein (@zacharye)

I’m going to go out on a limb here and say the #AppleWatch looks silly. ~ Thomas Halleck (@tommylikey)

Where do you come off thinking that you can be the judge of what is and what is not fashionable?

QUESTION: You’re trapped in a room with a tiger, a rattlesnake and a tech geek who wants to give you his opinion on fashion. You have a gun and two bullets. What should you do?

ANSWER: Shoot the geek. Twice. To make sure.

Apple’s New Disruption

Fashion or Tech?

If Apple thinks they’re competing with Luxury watch makers and not technology companies they’ve already failed. ~ (Name redacted to protect the guilty)

It doesn’t have to be one or the other — fashion OR tech. Apple could be competing against “both.”

Steve (Jobs) always wanted to stay one step ahead. When the industry started to become very colorful and lickable, then he realized—and Jony and I realized—that we needed to take a different path. ~ Don Lindsay ((Excerpt From: Max Chafkin. “Design Crazy.” iBooks. https://itunes.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewBook?id=697961602))

fashionweek
CAPTION: People lined up to look at, not buy, Apple Watch in Paris’ fashion district

Disruption

The most interesting disruption comes from attacking an industry from what looks like an irrelevant angle. ~ Benedict Evans (@BenedictEvans)

One disrupts through finding problems that look irrelevant, or finding solutions that look irrelevant. ~ Benedict Evans (@BenedictEvans)

Apple is attacking the watch industry with tech. And Apple is attacking the tech industry with fashion.

What could be more irrelevant to the watch industry than tech? Watches are already as accurate as they are ever going to need to be. And what could be more irrelevant to the tech industry than fashion? Most tech insiders wouldn’t know what was and what wasn’t fashionable even if it was literally sitting on their faces.

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It’s classic strategy. Concentrate your strengths against your opponent’s weaknesses.

The Competition

Can you picture any watch maker competing with Apple’s technological prowess? Can you picture any of Apple’s current tech competitors competing with Apple’s fashion sense?

Can you imagine something fashionable coming from Google, Amazon, Facebook, or Microsoft? They are tech companies. Nothing more. ~ Lou Miranda (@TheNewLou)

Apple has not just “stolen a march” on Google. If the Apple Watch is successful, Apple will have practically made their watches competitor-proof on the high-end. Fashion is just not in Google’s DNA. (To be fair, fashion is not in the DNA of any tech company and, until September 9th, no one thought that it should be.)

Exploit The Line Of Least Resistance

Sun Tzu advised one to “strike into vacuities,” — to move into undefended space, and to “attack objectives the enemy must rescue.”

Google and Facebook defend against disruption by jumping over the horizon to entirely new tech. Apple, by jumping to things that weren’t tech before. ~ Benedict Evans (@BenedictEvans)

Apple is not a tech company, and Apple Watch is not a tech product. ~ John Gruber

There is no way to know IF the Apple Watch will be a success because the final product is not yet available and we haven’t yet seen the public’s reaction to that product.

The public is the only critic whose opinion is worth anything at all. ~ Mark Twain

However, IF the Apple Watch is a success, I think it’s going to be very, very hard for competitors to mount an adequate response.

Summary

Tech Geeks are good at things, not people. And we’re especially not good at fashion. But like most people, the less we know about a subject, the stronger our opinion on that subject is.

There is going to be an unprecedented level of incomprehension and trolling around Apple Watch. ~ Benedict Evans (@BenedictEvans)

Remember the disdain that was poured upon the iPod, the iPhone and the iPad when they first appeared? That’s going to be nothing compared to the bile poured upon the Apple Watch. Apple thinks that fashion is the ultimate weapon in the tech wars. Tech Geeks think that fashion is a joke. We’ll have to wait and see who has the last laugh.

Published by

John Kirk

John R. Kirk is a recovering attorney. He has also worked as a financial advisor and a business coach. His love affair with computing started with his purchase of the original Mac in 1985. His primary interest is the field of personal computing (which includes phones, tablets, notebooks and desktops) and his primary focus is on long-term business strategies: What makes a company unique; How do those unique qualities aid or inhibit the success of the company; and why don’t (or can’t) other companies adopt the successful attributes of their competitors?

1,303 thoughts on “Tech Geeks, Apple Watch And The Upcoming Fashion Apocalypse”

  1. No argument that most geeks don’t know fashion. Pretty much anyone wearing a watch in the last decade was for fashion. Which is why I haven’t worn a watch in over a decade. I don’t care about fashion.

    I also don’t have a sense how many of these they will sell.

    This is the first Apple product in over a decade that I just don’t see much real practical use for. It almost has to be sold on fashion rather than function. This is not a direction I like.

    1. I understand your point although I think, from a fashion perspective, the Apple Watch looks slick. Many people in the tech industry think this is a new avenue for Apple, going down the route of fashion technology. But then I watched this 1998 presentation of Steve Jobs, and think there’s a possibility this was in the making for awhile;

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iYwoPuN9kQQ

      1. Awesome find Shameer! It is too bad that Tim Cook did not use these same lines at the launch of the Apple Watch with updated stats of course. But that’s ok. For those of us who get the long game Apple is playing it will not matter but for those that do not get it it will be Apple that has the last laugh all the way to the bank.

        This video and others I have seen from Steve Jobs shows how far ahead he was in thinking about the direction the tech industry will be heading. This video from 1998 over a decade and a half ahead of where we are today. Simply amazing!

        1. “It is too bad that Tim Cook did not use these same lines at the launch of the Apple Watch…” – Brian

          Remember, the first presentation was aimed at developers. Apple gets a second chance to present the Apple Watch when it formally goes on sale next year.

          1. Great point. I know that many of us who watch Apple sometimes forget that events like WWDC are for developers 1st and the rest of us 2nd so that is why they will introduce things like Swift and Medal there that really most end users do not care about but will be key to how good their experience will be with Apple.

      2. Thanks for the video, Shameer.

        Apple already has a huge design edge over the rest of the Tech Industry. I suspect that their fashion edge will be insurmountable.

        1. A huge design edge? The others have no design apart from what they try to steal from apple. It’s mostly nasty, cheap, ugly plastic (barely) wrapped around a rat’s nest of off the shelf bits and wires. It would be one thing if they fulfilled their function, but mostly they can’t even do that.

          1. Design is always important, but when you’re building a warehouse, you can get away with sloppy design. When you’re building a space station, you cannot. The smaller the item, the more design matters. The more personal the item, the more fashion matters. Apple has already proven their design chops. They’re now striving to be the masters of fashion, as well.

          2. Ah, but the two are not so disconnected. I think this will become more and more clear as time goes on.

          3. “the two (design and fashion) are not so disconnected” – Space Gorilla

            Yes, I suspect that Apple knew that design and fashion were not so different at least a decade ago, but I’m only learning that now. 🙂

        2. I’m not sure about the design edge:
          – functionally, Apple products (HW and SW) seem to have their share of issues (Antenna, hackable iAccounts…)
          – also functionally, Apple leads in a few areas, trails in others (widgets, notifications, NFC…)
          – aesthetically, Apple is consistently near the top, but not alone. I’d argue the Moto 360 looks better than the iWatch, the Sharp Aquos better than an iPhone, the Lenovo Yoga is both better looking and more practical than an iPad…

          1. But Apple is somehow really good at marketing. And Fashion is 80% about good marketing.

    2. “This is the first Apple product in over a decade that I just don’t see much real practical use for.” – Defendor

      You’re a pretty smart cookie, Defendor, but I think you’re missing the big picture on this one. It’s premature to make any predictions until the design of the Watch becomes final, but I suspect that watches will not only prove to be practical computing devices, they will prove to be the most practical of all.

      1. The least interesting function on a smartphone is the phone app.

        The least interesting function on Apple Watch will be its ability to be a watch (tell time).

        Note specificity: “function.” Form and materials are entirely different attributes, which tech geeks habitually misunderstand, disregard, and/or even denigrate.

        “Form follows function” is incontrovertible, but it’s too often misinterpreted to mean that form can be neglected. It’s more akin to the saying “Don’t put the cart before the horse.” A horse without a cart is of greatly diminished capability compared to a horse pulling a cart. You just need to make sure the horse comes first.

        Maybe it would help if we could get tech geeks to understand and adopt a new aphorism, in terms they’d find appealing, like:

        “Good form is a force multiplier for functionality.”

        and/or

        “Bad form is the enemy of functionality.”

        (Since they LOVE to repeat the overused adage “The perfect is the enemy of the good.”)

      2. I’m doubtful. I find the most important attributes of any computing device are the Human Interface parts: screen, keyboard… They’re by far the most expensive parts, or the highest purchase criteria, for my desktops ($500 PC, $1,000 total screens + keyboard + mouse, + sound), laptops (dumpy Lenovo with a good, large screen), and smartphones (Huawei x1 w/ a 7″ 1920×1200 screen and a weak CPU/GPU). The watch format severely compromises both. Maybe watches can find niches were input and output are not that important, but then it won’t really be computing: communication, life tracking, ID…

        1. Before phones became available with full keyboards (either physical or touchscreen), I’ll bet you didn’t see what the big deal was with texting.

          “T-9? Are you serious?”

          And now: Messaging (WhatsApp/WeChat/LINE/etc.).

          1. Of course is there’s some radical hardware innovation(telepathy, beaming display into you eye, even just heart attack detection), a watch would be amazing. But for now, AFAIK,nothing like this isn’t mentioned as a real possibility in research.

      3. John, I am not saying never.

        I just don’t see a solid use case in the near term. The iPhone/iPad were obvious immediate winners from the moment I saw them.

        My close friends and I all have tablets and/or smart phones today. Within a few years of those launches.

        I would bet 4 years from now, no-one in my group will have a smart watch.

        A device that mainly saves you from reaching into your pocket to get your phone, and still requires that you have your phone with you, is largely superfluous IMO.

        In the future when it is more of a stand alone device that lets me leave the phone at home, then I will be interested.

    3. “This is the first Apple product in over a decade that I just don’t see much real practical use for.”

      You’ve said this a few times already. I just don’t get it. I see all sorts of practical uses and functionality that become possible and better with the Apple Watch. And this is just the first version of the watch!

    4. I think the fashion aspect is necessary because it is something you wear, but the critical aspect of the watch is the technology, not the fashion. This is a unique combination of qualities, and Apple is treading very carefully with the fashion aspect, which is making people uncomfortable. They recognize that fashion is fickle and a bit alien and are being careful neither to offend nor to pander.

      I also think Apple is aware both that the value prospect of the watch is not immediately obvious to the relative mass of buyers it can normally rely on to purchase its products; and that the very nature of the product is anathema to those whose horological choices are primarily driven by vanity. There are some very fine needles to thread there.

      The fact that they have chosen to introduce the watch in spite of all these risks and difficulties tells me that they have a great deal of confidence in its long-term success. Like most people, I’m still far from convinced I need one of these devices, now or in the next year; but I fully expect them to convince me, and maybe you, eventually.

  2. For the rebel ones, the privacy mongerers, …the faction’istas…

    Grok by  California, cutting-edge prêt-à-porter.

    1. Please remember not all techpinons readers live in the United States. As a Canadian, I am not allowed by Hulu to know what you are trying to say by linking to that.

      1. I apologize, but the hulu clip is of far better quality. Many thanks to Brian Monroe for linking to the Youtube clip.

        1. Great tip His Shadow. VPN’s can really come in handy. I will make sure to save this one for those times I want to watch something from the UK. 🙂 They have some great programming.

    2. Great clip Klahans from The Devil Wears Prada – Cerulean Sweater. Exactly the point that John Kirk is trying to make. Even for those of us who think that fashion is silly, stupid and pointless it does affect us even if we think that we are above it all as many Tech Geeks do. They completely miss the point of why most retail space in shopping malls is dedicated to fashion and women. There is a massive market there that is paying for that space that is quite expensive.

      The brilliance of the move that Apple is doing in to fashion is that they are taking their brand where no other tech company can go. Assuming that they can get it right and all indications are that they are going to nail it. This way they do not really need to worry about what the courts decide for protections on patents as they have seen that the courts will never save them from cheep knockoffs of their flagship products. Be it Mac OS from Windows or iOS from Android. Innovation in to new markets is the key for Apple and playing on their strengths is smart as well.

      Apple does need to test the waters to see how upscale they can go with their brand. While I know for a fact this is really going to upset some people the fact is that it is only good business to do so.

      1. “(Apple is) taking their brand where no other tech company can go…” – Brian

        A great way to put it. If you’ve been following the news this week, its already clear that Apple is “in” with the fashion crowd. Articles in vogue. Pop up displays in Paris. Apple Watches been ogled by the fashion elite.

        Apple has laid the ground work for this very, very carefully. There are never any guarantees, but they seem supremely prepared for their attempt to take the fashion industry by storm.

        1. Yep. I have. I am really glad to see John Ive getting an interview in Vogue. That is key to getting the right people excited and aware of what Apple is doing with the Apple Watch. The same is true for the pop up displays in Paris. Assuming they like the Apple Watch it is going to be a big hit. LOTS of key people watch and listen to what they have to say.

          I have heard of Vouge being called “The Bible” when it comes to fashion. Getting a writeup there will go a long way to making the Apple Watch a success. Of course nothing is guaranteed but when building a house having a good foundation is the key for doing the rest of the house.

          1. Vogue is The Bible. And the Domesday book, and the Archimedes Palimpsest, and the First Folio Edition, all rolled into one.

        2. With Apple having shown the way with “tech design”, if successful, I wonder if fashion houses set up tech divisions to compete. For instance, Fossil is rumored to be putting out a smart watch. They will lead with fashion, and follow with tech. And there’s many more Fossil’s than there are Apple’s.

          This can only work, long term, for Apple if they are the leader in tech fashion, and lead with tech, while closely following with fashion. It’s their most competitive position.

          1. With no ecosystem like Apple has with iOS, Fossil and the other old line watch companies can only pretend to play in the “tech fashion” sandbox. Their best bet is to tie up with Android, but that’s the usual race-to-the-bottom circus and nobody with any sense would want to get into that. Especially in fashion where you trade on prestige and uniqueness.

          2. That’s why I said that Apple’s most competitive position is in “tech fashion”.

            It may be “race to the bottom” in tech terms. (I disagree btw)

            But that’s exactly where an Android Wear ecosystem allows the fashion brands an easy point of entry, thus freeing them to lead with what they do best. Fashion.

            Apple can’t do everything. Unless they are prepared to go through some very severe sku proliferation (and still net keep up), wearable fashion is not too tolerant of being so iDentical.

          3. I don’t know why anyone would think severe SKU proliferation would be such an obstacle for Apple. They don’t do it now because they don’t need to. But I predict that Apple’s watch line will expand even more in the future if they are going to stay in that field. That’s just the way fashion works. All the watch manufacturers have ‘severe SKU proliferation’. If you want to sell one watch for every day of the week to watch buyers, you have to offer a selection that is wide and varied enough.

            Let me reiterate my gravest doubts that a prestige fashion product with the name ‘Google’ or ‘Microsoft’ or ‘Samsung’ attached to it will succeed. Now maybe they can compete against Casio and its ilk, but against the Watch? Gravest doubts, gravest doubts.

          4. I’m thinking beyond watches. Jewelry, handbags, cufflinks, buttons, whatever the future may bring.

            Don’t be so fast on judging the fashion industry. Don’t get hung up on Google, Apple, MS, or Samsung. Names Like Christian Dior, Calvin Klein, Yves St. Laurent, Vera Wang, Giorgio Armani, etc. This is their world, and they know how to spin it. The fashion part anyway. One non-enthusiastic look from the right person can be doom.

          5. My only retort is Nokia and Blackberry and Palm thought smart phones was their world, not Apple’s.

          6. True. Design and Style are the foundation of Fashion, and Apple knows Design and Style inside out.

          7. Apple can handle the many SKU’s just fine because Tim Cook is the CEO. Let’s not forget that one of his strengths is at managing the supply chain and not stuffing the channel with product that does not sell. I am sure that is one of the key reasons why Steve Jobs left Apple in his hands. He knew that Apple had to be able to turn over their whole product line every year for both software and hardware.

            Just have a look at Apple’s competition. None of them can move as quickly as Apple can. Microsoft is struggling to put out new versions of Windows every year. Even though Google puts out new versions of Android most end users are not on it.

            Now one thing that Apple can do to keep the SKU’s down with the base Apple Watch line is offer various different bands. This means that you can purchase as many different bands as you like while you keep the base Apple Watch the same. Just like some people do now with their iPhones. Now as long as Apple keeps the same base watch design as I have sated elsewhere I do totally expect 3rd parties to come in and make additional bands to fill the void where Apple’s offerings leave off. I also expect that Apple will keep the same watch design for a bit in the same way they kept the 30 pin dock connector until there is a reason to change it years down the line.

            You are so right that I do not see any way that “Google”, “Microsoft” or “Samsung” is going to be able to compete in the same area as Apple. I agree that the best they can compete with is brands like Casio.

          8. > Just have a look at Apple’s competition. None of them can move as quickly as Apple can.

            At the watch market, Google have moved far faster than Apple.

          9. Why would that be a race to the bottom ? they can customize android with all the “fashion” they want, they can control the physical elements, etc.One can even view fashion as the ability to create strong differentiation where there is none. I’m sure that they could do the same with android wear.

  3. So spot on and I really do think that the Tech Geeks and even many in Wall Street really are confused by Apple and what they are doing. There is no question that fashion can and should be used by Apple as a weapon in the tech wars as it is an area that they are strong in and their competitors are weak in. Also as we have seen with the courts for Apple they must not rely on them to solve their problems for them. Ultimately, I do think it will be Apple that has the last laugh but we will have to wait and see. 2015 will be an important year for Apple and the rest of the tech industry.

  4. Interesting points about tech geeks. I wonder though, there must be some difference between lower level and higher level geeks. I work with programmers regularly on back end web stuff, they’ve all got their Masters in Comp Sci. They all use Apple gear.

    1. I painted “Geeks” with a very broad and very unfair brush because I was trying to make a point. If you’re good at, or interested in tech, it’s most unlikely that you’re into fashion too. Therefore, Apple’s move into fashion (if successful) is going leave us more befuddled than ever.

      1. I’m not so sure, the Comp Sci folks I work with are quite fashionable, they like well-designed things, they wear cool stuff, they have nice watches, nice shoes, nice desks, nice cars, and so on. I think the key is the design aspect. While they aren’t into ‘high fashion’, the kind of dramatic ‘grotesque’ we see on runways, they do care deeply about design and fashion, just more from an architectural perspective I suppose, the beauty of form merging with function.

        I think Apple’s move into fashion is only going to confuse the lower level geeks, the dabblers, the enthusiasts and hobbyists, the analysts and pundits, but the people I would call Real Geeks ™ already get it.

        1. “I’m not so sure, the Comp Sci folks I work with are quite fashionable” – Space Gorilla

          It’s possible that I’m projecting. But I well remember the commentators at the September Event saying how easy it was to distinguish between the fashion reporters and the tech reporters. I think we’re very different animals.

          1. I would tend to agree, but those people would probably be leaning toward high fashion, the ‘industry’, that’s the top of the waterfall, the ‘grotesque’, that’s the edge. And I’m not sure we can draw any conclusions from reporters in each industry (the enthusiasts).

            I stand by what I said, the Real Geeks I know are well dressed, well groomed, and have many well designed things, they get it. But I do think that’s because they care about Design, and we both know that is connected to Fashion. I just don’t think the fashion angle is that much of a stretch for Real Geeks. But it’s going to make the Faux Geeks hysterical.

  5. John, first you say that geeks (or techies) have little understanding of fashion, which is no doubt true. Then you say that for a tech company to go *way* outside its core competency is a good decision, because other tech companies won’t be able to follow its direction. I think your second statement contradicts your first one, and although the computing part of the Apple Watch may be the proper strategy, I’m not comfortable with Apple moving so far into fashion. To a certain extent it seems like Microsoft making the wrong move for the wrong reason, and we’ve seen where that leads.

    1. Maybe you’re right. Maybe Apple has gone outside of its core competency. Or maybe Apple’s core competency was always “Design” and the move from Design to Fashion is really not great move at all.

      “Apple is not a tech company, and Apple Watch is not a tech product.” ~ John Gruber

      1. “the move from Design to Fashion is really not so big a move at all.”

        Yes, this is the point I’m trying to make about Real Geeks. They already grok design, and great fashion is design and style, it’s timeless. I see this move into fashion as a natural progression of Apple’s design and style.

      2. It’s core competency of Apple was also marketing. They’re very very good at it. An it’s also the core requirement of the fashion industry. So on one hand it makes sense for them to go there, but on the other, maybe they’ll meet their worthy adversary ?

    2. Jony Ive is the most famous designer on earth today for good reasons. And he is highly respected by the design field, which I define broadly: industrial, graphics, architecture, fashion, etc. I have no doubt that when Apple made the job offers to fashion people like Deneve and Ahrendts, the name Jony Ive was a big plus because they then knew that whatever device it is that they will be developing or selling, it’s not going to be a big design joke.

      Apple is spreading its wings. (Branches?) If only to keep its best people from dying of boredom (or worse, leaving) from working on the same things forever and ever. Wearables is a natural extension for them, but to do it right they have to expand their core competency to include fashion. I wouldn’t worry. I think they’re smart enough not to let the fashion side of the company ruin the techier side of Macs, iPads and iPhones. That’s what you’re worried about right?

        1. Famous, he may be. Most famous? I highly doubt it. Anyone from the very limited list I gave above is far more famous. These are fashion designers, of course.

      1. Famous, he may be. Most famous? I highly doubt it. Anyone from the very limited list I gave above is far more famous. These are fashion designers, of course.

        1. You might be right. The average person on the street would know the name Chanel but not Ive. But they know her as a fashion label or a perfume and would have no idea what she did as a designer. (Some people will mention the LBD.)

          But I’d argue that the hottest designer these days, across the whole design field, is Jony Ive. And as your clip from “The Devil Wears Prada” demonstrates, it’s not the everyday schmuck or schmuckess who determines the course of fashion, it’s the likes of Anna Wintour and other “trendsetters” who do, and believe you me, they know about Jony Ive and have a great deal of respect for him. (Hack designers don’t get an interview in Vogue magazine.) Not least because he has sold billions of dollars worth of his designs.

  6. Mr. Kirk, nice to see you’ve come around to my thinking about fashion and Watch.

    It does pay to read the wife’s fashion magazines once in a while, because that’s where you read interviews of fashion designers and other trendsetters where they happen to mention their iPhone or iPad (because they’re either holding or sitting right next to it during the interview) and how much they just love those devices. No one mentions any other tech brand, just Apple. A few have mentioned Jony Ive by name. This amount of brand cachét that Apple has in the fashion world is what led me to conclude, when rumors of a watch started surface, that with a smart watch, Apple can go to a place where, for the first time, no other tech manufacturer can follow.

    1. Don’t forget the hook up with Newsom and his laundry list of fabulous designs, most of which should have some kind respect from all the the most asby nerds. I also think you guys are still confusing fashion with style and design, fashion being quite temporary and ephemeral, while style and design are timeless.
      Newsom and Ive are technically brilliant and their understanding of materials is stunning, likely making them the most powerful team in the modern world to take “fashion” into tech and visa versa.

      1. Excellent point about the difference between fashion, style and design. So maybe it is more appropriate to say that Apple is adding more style to their products along with their amazing designs it is going to be a hard combination to beat.

        You are so right about Newsom and Ive being the most powerful design team in the modern age. What is really unique is that Apple is setup to actually listen to the designers 1st and then everyone else 2nd so their talents are not wasted on products that never see the light of day or are so bastardized by the time the customer gets them that their design does not matter anymore.

        This is why I am sure that you see the respect they get from people in the fashion/style industry’s as they belong there. They take the same care for materials for their products as the people in the fashion industry. Just have a look back at the cell phones before the iPhone was released. Most of them where made out of plastic and did not really last that long. They where functional but that was about it. Now with Apple setting the bar so high you see what Apple’s competition has to do just to compete. It is not just phones but laptops and desktop computers as well. They really have changed how our devices look for the better.

        I for one am really looking forward to them merging the fashion and tech worlds together. Assuming that they can pull it off it and it does look like they will it is going to be a whole new chapter in the world of computing.

    2. “nice to see you’ve come around” – aardman

      I thought Apple would eschew high fashion and focus on a subtle wearable. I was wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong.

      1. One of the few times I hit the nail right in the head so please forgive the excessive crowing.

        On the other hand, I thought that Apple was going to kill Netflix, and I was wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong too.

  7. How I love reading John’s article. They are incredibly well written great and accurate view of what is going on in the tech world. Brilliant once again. John I would love to know your view on Windkws 10 and what MS is trying to do with it. Is it going to work? Is Winddows still relevant to the average user?

    1. Thank you for the kind words, Imagebloke.

      I’ve been thinking about doing an article on Windows 10. Don’t want to commit to it, but it’s on my radar.

    2. If you haven’t actually got into the chance of trying out Windows 10, you need to do that just so you can understand first hand what they are doing. They are now fully involved in bringing their entire platform together as one. From Windows Phone to Tablets and desktops on top of owning Enterprise Market already, it’s all going to be ONE!

      Unlike Apple, who can really integrate iOS and OS X, because they are in all reality two completely different platforms. One designed for x86 and the other a ground up developed mobile platform only based on some of OS X’s own ancient relic Darwin Pieces n Parts forefathers. Which include having a hybrid of discombobulated pieces from it’s Mach (or is that Mock) kernel with FreeBSD Source Code, on Mac’s 30yr old file system originally designed for Floppy Discs and single threaded chips, that required NeXT to make it’s “Preemptive Task Management” as a way to only look like it could multitask in the first place.

      Today Apple is still using the HFSX virtual sub relational database file system they had purchase competitor BeOS BFS writer write for them in 2004 launched with Spotlight. Only after Dominic Giampaolo publicly denied it was better than BFS, did Steve Jobs move to shut him up by hiring him to make Spotlight to go with HFSX. Now iOS a ground up written OS X sort of clone, but actually a whole new kernel that required writing new frameworks and API’s to run on ARM chips, did they realize that Apple had made a huge mistake by buying NeXTStep over BeOS in the first place. But not as bad as the decision to kill Copeland Project w/o invested what they were forced to invest in attempting to get NeXT and Legacy Mac frameworks and API’s running virtually on OS X, when Copeland already had that part solved. It really only needed some dressing up and it was prepared with it’s own ground up Custom Unix Kernel for PowerPC chips, with it’s own 64bit relational database file system already enabling Copeland finder to out perform even BeOS Tracker!!!! …..if Apple had spent that $425+ Million to finish Copeland instead of buying either BeOS or NeXT (which Steve used to buy his way onto Apple’s board and fire the guy he who hired him. lol…) and continued to license clones for greater Software Profit Margins and Market Share, then most likely Apple’s Macs would have owned the market share Microsoft ended up with!!!

      As it is, Microsoft is again using the smarter business model, by making their Windows OS fully cross platform! ……I can tell that by combining Windows 7 with Windows 8 into one complete OS within each other, it’s Genius in the works right now. Apparently…. since they are running the same OS on Tablets and hybrids as well desktops and soon to be only slightly modified for smartphones, the Windows Platform is preparing to grow not die like OS X is headed for. With iOS taking it’s place and not being able to do a complete job of ever fully integrating all their own platforms!!!

  8. I totally agree with your post John. I have been a tech geek for a long time (punched cards and paper tape, anyone?) and have worked with a lot of tech geeks. I did spend the last six months following the Hodinkee website, just to get a feel for where the watch industry was before Apple entered it. But I wouldn’t think of visiting Vogue or some other fashion site. For me, this watch rollout, and what follows, is a window into a different world.

    1. “punched cards and paper tape, anyone?” – Bruce

      Oh! I did paper tape in high school and punched cards in college. How far we’ve come.

      1. We had a tape party when we decommissioned the last DEC when I was at OSU in the early 90s. Tape backups make excellent paper chains, and with a bit more work, confetti.

  9. Lot of ridiculous fallacies to prove nothing.

    Fashion is domain of popular kids (Alphas) so obviously
    nerds (Beta) don’t need to waist time running after women when
    they are not interested in them.
    Nerds don’t buy 80,000 car to impress girls.
    instead they spend time with computers.
    This is the reason Gaming world and other thing were even created.
    Now that money is to be made in Gaming, corporations and Feminists
    are using old bullying tactics to send nerds back into the basement.

    currently, a stainless steel watch with sapphire cost $1500 in the market.
    Only 10% (may 5%) of the population can afford it as fashion.
    The Gold one will be even more expensive.

    Nerds don’t need intimate communication to send smilies to their loved one or heart.
    Don’t need an accurate time piece.
    Definitely don’t need exercise monitoring device.
    They can certainly not hack it.

    So when it is not going to be the primary consumer then they will criticize Apple just like they did with ipod, iphone and ipad.

    The reason Apple even has to go to fashion is that Computing revolution is no longer in the growth area but has to rely just like other sector on marketing and other devices to have people buy the junk.
    one is jewelry and personalization.

    Why shouldn’t Nerds complain that Apple is no longer need them when they are the one that saved them in the dark days. That fact can’t be denied. Obviously Apple is corporation that has no need to return the love when it no longer needs them.

    1. The nerds can complain as much as they like the problem is that Apple is a much different company than they where in the 1990’s and even the 1980’s. This is a good thing as they are a much stronger company then they where back then. This means that they should be around for the long haul making great products that lead the industry in many areas.

      The reason Apple wants to go in to the fashion direction is that it is an area that they alone can go and leave their competitors behind. It is a smart strategic move. Why not play to your strengths?

      You mention that the computing revolution is no longer the growth area. It all depends on what you define as computing. If you are talking about desktop or laptop computers. I agree. There is a limit to the number we need and jobs to be done that they can do. They have exceeded the numbers that are needed. Way to many people who have no desire to be their own IT staff have been forced to purchase computers to do simple things that require way to much administration. If you are talking about devices that are not traditional computers but smartphones, tablets, settop boxes, smartwatches and all sorts of other things I totally disagree. We have seen amazing growth in many of those areas and there are other areas where computing has not even touched yet. Now that we have many competing designs all the way down to the chip level so many more things are possible.

      As for Apple no longer needing to return the love when it no longer needs them. We need to keep in perspective that Apple is a corporation and not someone best friend. While I know that Apple’s products are unique in many ways and one of them is causing an emotional connection to them they are still just products at the end of the day.

    2. I think the fallacies lie with your analysis. The dark days for Apple were the very proof that nerds could not support Apple. Jobs relentlessly pursued ordinary non-techie consumers from Bondi iMac to gold iphones and grew Apple’s installed base from 40M to 800M. Now they are looking to expand their footprint/share of wallet with the same 800M consumers into new markets hence watches and beyond. Apple watch seems that it will serve multiple camps. $349 for those focused on tech to $2000+ for those who like tech but also appreciate fashion.
      Gaming may have been the preserve of the nerds for a while but since the iPhone and Facebook, casual gaming has overtaken hardcore gaming. Nerds have their/our place but can never be more than a small and increasingly irrelevant market segment as tech is sold to everyone on the planet.

    3. There aren’t enough tech nerds in the universe to sustain Apple’s business. Apple has actually been quite appreciative of tech nerds, given the market realities. They built the latest Mac Pro just for them, what else do you want? 🙂

      The reason Apple is going to fashion is not that the computing revolution is no longer a growth area, it’s that the computing revolution is spreading beyond its traditional domain.

        1. Well, in that case, if tech nerds are identified by their desire for a lower-than-MacPro priced, mid-tower Mac with lots of expansion slots and upgradeable components, then it’s been a long time since Apple has catered to them. Which thus begs the question, how could tech nerds have saved Apple during the dark days (as just ridiculous asserts) when Apple didn’t offer anything they wanted? I know, I’m bringing the thread perilously close to a discussion about angels and heads of pins.

          1. I agree that tech nerds did not save Apple. They did contribute though their influence on non-nerds, which helped build mind share. Anyway, I didn’t make that statement.

      1. I agree with klahanas. The new Mac Pro was built for the tech _pro_ who has serious high end needs, not the technophile nerd who wants specs for specs’ sake. That is the shrinking market, people who want the bragging rights of top end tech specs without the real need for one. The pro market will always be an important market, thus Apple’s mac Pro. The nerd technophile, not as important as it once was, thus no “mid-tower” Mac.

        Joe

        1. There’s that divide again, how do we define or differentiate between the hobbyists and the real pros? All the folks I work with that have Masters degrees in Computer Science use Apple gear and appreciate excellence in style and design. It seems it is the non-pro tech crowd that has many problems with Apple, fashion, design, whatever. So where is that line? I like the term ‘technophile’. It reminds me of audiophiles I know that can’t tell the difference between a sharp and a flat and don’t know what pianissimo means.

          1. That was the comparison I was going for. The audiophile market _is_ a serious market, but they are typically not the average consumer _or_ audio pro, either musician or audio tech/engineer. In a Venn diagram, I would argue, there is some overlap, but there are distinctly separate centers of the circles.

            Joe

          2. Yes, there’s going to be overlap, edge cases. It’s an interesting issue to attempt to dissect. As a musician I tend to look at most audiophiles as poseurs. Many of them are obsessed with the wrong things, they’re missing what is really important because they lack true understanding of what they’re listening to.

          3. The one stereo freak that I know told me “When I really want to listen to truly great, unparalleled fidelity, I buy a ticket to Orchestra Hall downtown.” And much cheaper than the best rig he could ever find or put together, he added.

          4. Maybe that guys gets it. Pros care more about the job, poseurs care more about the gear.

          5. My 2009 MacBook Pro, that I paid over $2,200, only had USB2 as the fastest available interface. You could argue that FW800 is faster. In either case it’s absolutely ridiculous for a machine of that price, in an era of $1000 machines having USB3, and eSata, or the ability to add them.

            You don’t need a Master’s degree to want fast external storage.

          6. You just don’t get it, and I don’t think you ever will. You’re still blathering on about price and specs. Hopeless.

          7. So, to you, usb2 is sufficient? Anything else is prices and specs.
            That would be true of Thunderbolt too, I assume…
            I am a fan of TB, but what do I know, I’m about prices and specs…

          8. “So, to you, usb2 is sufficient?”

            Couldn’t tell you and I don’t care. You’re still missing it. As I said, hopeless.

          9. Don’t know or care about Thunderbolt either. The Apple gear I have now is more than capable. Is the new Apple gear better with cooler stuff? Great, but I don’t even think about those details. I just get on with the jobs I need to do.

          10. Well, yeah. For what most people were doing with USB, USB2 is sufficient. For those who _needed_ more there was FW800 and even completely other solutions that external storage capacity becomes a non-issue, such as simply buying larger/faster internal drives, which is what I ended up doing because I hated toting around an external anyway. All that did was add weight and complexity to my road-warrioring.

            Joe

          11. It occurs to me that the real pros care more about the job while the ‘philes’, the enthusiasts, non-pros, whatever we’re calling them, care more about the gear.

          12. And nothing would have prevented you from doing the same thing if those USB2 ports were USB3. I, on the other hand, was deprived of the choice of carrying that added weight, or having it stationed at my desk, or putting Windows on it, etc…

          13. So what? If USB3 was that important, I would have found another solution. As you said, there were other competitors. And yet, somehow I was never deprived of anything.

            Look, this is all I have time for today. Maybe we can continue your therapy sessions another time. As usual (and I played right along) you twist away from the post to fit your own agenda. I won’t take that bait again.

            Joe

          14. To you, yes, that is true, because you place value on different things. That is why I believe you can never understand this.

        2. I just think that they’re avoiding getting 80% of the performance for 25% of the cost. Or something to that effect. On the continuum of price/performance, where’s that machine?

          1. I won’t say iMac. I’ll just say you are looking for something that Apple has decided there is no reason to make except for a small fraction of buyers. Just as with audiophiles, there are companies addressing this market. Apple is clearly not interested. You should stick with the companies interested in addressing your desires and stop wasting energy complaining about companies who are clearly not interested in your desires.

            What is kind of funny is how much you undermine your own complaint that “Apple can’t do everything” when you point out that Apple clearly _isn’t_ doing everything, much less trying to or interested in doing everything.

            Joe

          2. Because it’s something they can do, and it’s something their competitors do. It’s something they choose not to do, an internal price fixing, if you will.

            I’m in the same market you are, and the value proposition just isn’t there (for me, and perhaps other’s who may be reading this). It’s a critique.

          3. “Price fixing”,

            NO, I won’t. No more so than any other company decides what and why they charge what they do for their products and consumers choose to spend or not spend their money. There is nothing nefarious, no matter how you KEEP trying to mischaracterize Apple’s decisions.

            Joe

          4. It’s in their favor, not mine. I didn’t say they don’t have the right, but I like your term “nefarious”.

          5. You’re not in the same market. Maybe that’s part of your inability to understand Apple.

          6. Well, none of it seems to get through to you. Another analogy occurs to me. I can pretty much guarantee that you, and most others, don’t know much (or anything) about the details (specs!) that went into building the house/condo/etc that you live in. Why is that? Because it doesn’t matter as long as it’s good enough to accomplish the job of providing you with a place to live. Whether it’s R24 or R30 in the walls, or batt vs blown-in for the attic, the specific grade of lumber used in the framing, the joist span, the type of caulking, and on and on, none of that matters. There are a hundred different ways to implement the details of a well built house, the differences in ‘specs’ simply do not matter as long as the ‘specs’ meet a threshold of not being deficient. Say if your flooring used 2×6 joists over a 16 ft span, spaced at 24 inch on centre. That’s deficient, that would matter. But the differences in tech you are focused on are indeed the meaningless details in implementation that simply don’t matter.

            That said, I do realize because of your specific set of values, you are convinced that those details do matter. You’re stuck in a box, so to speak, and I doubt you can get out of it.

  10. I think the iWatch is not essentially a fashion accessory, but still a tech tool. Its fashionability (sorry) is not an end in itself, it’s a prerequisite for fashion-conscious people to accept wearing it. The purely fashion-oriented will always have more… meaningful, decorative, exclusive (or whatever, I’m a geek myself ^^) watches to wear.
    Even if it were mainly a fashion accessory, that game is hard to play: fashion is by definition fickle (that’s the difference between fashion and style), and smartwatch design is very constrained, especially once you commit to a square format.
    We’ll see how this plays out… I personally am still waiting for a watch that feels useful, and nobody around me even the young/teen ones seem very interested either.

    1. There are watches that are 10, 20, 30, 40 years old that are still “fashionable.” The same can be said of much jewelry, and many accessories. This is the market that Apple is getting into, not the fashion market of textiles and cheap plastic accessories, which is fickle and changes with the seasons.

      1. Which items in that same price range have stayed fashionable for all of those 10,20.. years ? The Casio LCD watches have made a limited comeback, but after a long disaffection.
        The items that have stayed fashionable without pause for the whole duration (Rolex, Cartier, Chanel…) have created an image which is majorly dependent on a craftsmanship mystique (not just design) that’s just about opposite to Apple’s Chinese sweatshops, and probably won’t work for a product heavily dependent on underlying techs that evolves rapidly (CPU, battery, screen), as opposed to say leatherworking and watchmaking.

        1. The entire point of the original article was clearly missed on you, and you are exactly who it was about.

          Besides that, it’s amazing how blind you are to what’s really produced in Chinese sweatshops. Hint: It’s not high-end tech goods, which require clean rooms and massive capital investments in top of the line production machinery.

          No, it’s handbags, accessories, shoes, and apparel. Like those from Chanel, Gucci, Versace, Louis Vuitton, etc.

  11. There has, so far, been one key difference between Apple and the fashion industry. The fashion industry makes things different and strange, just because they can, and they want to create new and different things. Apple, so far, has an ideal in mind and works towards that ideal. You see very little progression in iPhone design now, and almost none in laptop design because they are close to ideal items. The watch will be a bit different than that. I think that’s why Jony Ive really likes it, because it is more of a playground. There is no ideal watch, but different watches.

  12. wow this article is the funniest thing you’ve ever write John.
    reading all these IFan nerds confusing design with Fashion or even talking about fashion after reading this article is mind blogging.

    First of all John since when been a Tech/design company such as Apple can automatically translate to a Fashion Brand

    Is it because they just introduced a SmartWatch, or perhaps simply because Jony Ive appeared in Vogue magazine

    isn’t you and all other Apple Evangelist suffer from the same things you accused the nerds in your article in the belief that good design and a SmartWatch can become Fashion without having the slightest idea what a fashion brand is all about.

    Last time i remember Apple was a Tech company with Good design as their strength.

    Design is about look and functionality.

    while Fashion is all about craftsmanship, Artistic, and self expression

    i have a question for you
    which of the two group you think Apple will rely on the most to make their SmartWatch a successful product at first.

    The nerds who happen to love new Gadget or the Fashion conscious one?

    P.S: #Bendgate an IOS 8 Update mess are the perfect example of what might happen when a tech company become a fashion brand

  13. Pure RDF’d FUD, Malarky and Misinformation, that’s laughable at best and totally preposterous at most. Apple may be headed for iTrinket Fashion Designer of the Year…. but by the time Apple Watch actually comes on market with it’s less than one day battery life (especially the small one) Samsung for one will have a Mont Blanc Designed Gear Prime out with their own high density flexible solid filled batteries in interchangeable watchbands that can be changed out lasting over 2 days (in Gear S w/ 3G no less) and perhaps using their new MIPS platform that can last 30 days between charges and look like they they belong on the cat walks of the Fashion Capital of the World. Not Paris…. fools…. but Milan Italy. Where Fashion was really born and Samsung already lives!!! 😀

    In case you don’t all realize this, Samsung has been in the Fashion Industry for around 70 yrs in the fabric and woolens industry. Every single year their myriad of subsidiaries in the fashion and fabrics industry have been on the catwalks of the greatest fashion centers of the World and winning countless awards while doing it. It’s why they showcased Galaxy Alpha in London, Paris and of course Milan…. intro video looking right at home amidst World Class Fashion and Music Industry!

    Fashion after all is not in Apple’s DNA either…. but it sure and the hell is in SAMSUNG’S!!! 😀 …and now with companies like Mont Blanc and their own Fashion Industry new purchases…. haha…. they’ll totally out class anything coming out of Apple’s Sterile White Fashion-less Industrial Design House Only business!

    Which isn’t even fashion conscious in the first place. If they were…. you all would realize you can’t compete with a company that owns their own end to end design to manufacturing to marketing to distribution business, like few if any Publicly Traded companies can!!! ^_*

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  27. Comparison between the distributions of birth market capitalization and the recent market capitalization, for coins (a) and tokens (b). The black stars are the market capitalization at birth (taking the market capitalization one week after the birth as a proxy where supply and price are both known). The red dots are the market capitalization on 7 February 2018. The tail exponents are estimated by the largest 100 coins and 30 tokens, respectively. The largest five coins tokens are labelled in each panel. And because the link between cryptocurrency markets and traditional capital markets directly influences some of the most-watched interest rates, I have no hope that cryptocurrencies will ever be uncorrelated to equities. They may be uncorrelated in a bull market, but in a bear market, when you need the diversification benefits, they are not diversifying risk but amplifying risk. And the bigger the market for stablecoins gets, the larger the stronger the link to traditional capital markets will get and the lower the diversification benefits will become. Crypto aficionados may think that the high correlation between cryptocurrency prices and equity markets in the first half of 2022 is a bug. I think it is a feature.
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  29. Niedrigste Gebühren, erstklassige Matching-Engine, leistungsstarke APIs und vieles mehr Anders als Web-Wallets speichern mobile Wallets private Schlüssel auf Ihrem Gerät und nicht auf einem zentralen Server, wodurch sie nicht verwahrend werden. Obwohl das technisch gesehen sicherer ist als verwahrende Optionen, kann die Verwendung eines mobilen Wallets risikoreich sein, wenn Sie eine betrügerische App herunterladen. Sie können dieses Risiko jedoch verringern, indem Sie mobile Apps von offiziellen, geprüften Marktplätzen herunterladen. Beispielsweise sind Google Play und der Apple App Store sicherer als das Herunterladen einer App aus dem offenen Internet. Erklärt „verrückte Fußball-Aufstellung“ Es ist wichtig zu erwähnen, dass jede Kryptowährung in Ihrem Wallet unabhängig vom Wallet-Typ eine eindeutige Adresse hat. Diese Adresse wird mithilfe einer Hashing-Funktion aus Ihrem öffentlichen Schlüssel generiert, wodurch sie aus Gründen der Benutzerfreundlichkeit von 256 auf 160 Bits verkürzt wird. Das bedeutet, dass Ihr Wallet über einen öffentlichen Schlüssel verfügt, Sie aber über so viele Adressen erzeugen können, wie Sie möchten, selbst für dieselbe Kryptowährung. Deswegen sollten Sie darauf achten, dass Sie Krypto an die korrekte Adresse senden und empfangen. Wenn Sie zum Beispiel Bitcoin (BTC) an eine Ether (ETC)-Wallet-Adresse senden, könnten Sie dieses Krypto für immer verlieren.
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