Thursday, February 19, 2009


Apple's the archetypical Silicon Valley success story. Founded by a few engineers (don't worry, Ron Wayne isn't forgotten) and their salesman acquaintance, Apple quickly resonated with a core user base of geeks that has stayed loyal ever since, buying the ripe along with the rotten.

For engineers, buying Apple products isn't about getting a new laptop, it's buying the Apple dream, seeing themselves as the great Woz, designing the next big thing, dating the D list, all while making an otherwise-lame sport seem hip and trendy. Even Apple's home on Infinite Loop is just the subtle nod the engineering community needs to know it's remembered.

Not to say that engineers are obsessed with Apple; those are the hipster fanboys. They read Cult of Mac, loyally attend MacWorld, hoping to get a glimpse of their founder-in-savior, and wait in line for the latest gadget to best indulge their idée fixe. With conferences that are practically religious events, the Apple faithful don't just see Apple a company; it's a way of life.

Great as Apple may seem, as the market underdog, it's escaped much of the criticism that market assimilator and one-time Apple shareholder Microsoft has seen. Underpaid code monkeys, DRM, and assorted incompatible technologies are all deemed necessary evils when they come from oracle of Cupertino, but when depths Redmond make similar moves, the faithful are quick to demonize the competition with claims of profiteering and anti-competitive motives.

Photo by sHzaam!

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