Apple has undoubtedly done some truly innovative things with its creativity since that fateful day of its founding on April 1, 1976 .It released the first “Macintosh Computer” (ubiquitously known now as just a Mac) in 1984, a machine that isn’t exactly the sexiest or most attractive gadget in the world to us now, but back then was actually pretty fancy stuff. For me, as I’m a HUGE music fan, Apple really hit their stride in 2001 when it unveiled the first iPod. Bulky and awkward in comparison to its counterparts today; it was a thing of wonder then, as it was the first of its kind in simply revolutionary portable music listening devices.
So when Apple revealed its iCloud yesterday, although things appear to be normal they are far from it. This is the first time that the company did a whole Keynote presentation, where the main focus was on something other than its forthcoming hardware or software. Admittedly, they also revealed OS X Lion which besides holding the coveted Jesse Braunstein record for most badass name to date for an OS, raises the important question of how you go bigger when you started off with Cheetah, made the leap to Snow Leopard and finally arrived at the king of the jungle: Lion. I sort of pity that marketing team.
But on a more serious note, I think that Apple’s move to the iCloud shows us two crucial things. First, the iCloud is not a product. It isn’t lustrous and slim like the iPod touch or even ultra-thin like the Mac Book Air. But the inherent beauty of the iCloud is precisely that it lacks a concrete image. Apple’s decision to incorporate the rapidly growing technology of Cloud Computing into its “product line” is not an attempt to keep up with competitors but rather a natural signal to others that there are huge economic profits in the expanding services industry. The fact that more and more products are being transformed into services, or “service-ized”, is far from accidental. Because the iCloud will not have people flocking to stores, waiting on huge lines, or require Apple to buy up half of the microprocessors in China to produce, or ship millions of units, it is an extremely smart product released at an opportune time.
Second, and more importantly, the evolution of Apple Inc. has been characterized more by a clear and directed vision than by the products that this vision has birthed. I believe this vision has been phrased most appropriately by the renowned bassist and Jazz composer Charles Mingus, (my favorite Jazz musician), when he said; “Making the simple complicated is commonplace; making the complicated simple, awesomely simple, that’s creativity.”
This type of creativity; where the creation is in truth complex but in appearance plain and simple is exactly what Apple always does for its consumers with its ridiculously user-friendly products. A lesson to be learned wether you love Apple or hate them is that there is definite built in value when a product is released that consumers not only feel comfortable using, but are also attracted to by the all too atypical logic involved in its basic operation. When consumers hear the word iCloud, they will immediately associate it with two extremely purposeful words Apple used to describe it; “automatic and effortless”, and that is a tremendous pull. The simplicity and flexibility the iCloud promises is just a further outgrowth of this hyper functionality based philosophy.
Jesse Braunstein is a Junior at NYU double majoring in Economics and Psychology. Jesse joined Madison Technology and SheBytes.com in May 2011 as a summer intern. Jesse has been instrumental in utilizing his expanding background to come up with creative perspectives on the Marketing, Advertising and Business Development initiatives at both Madison Technology and SheBytes.com. Jesse’s outlook stems from an Economics and Psychology education and a deep understanding of the individual and how the individual acts within and interacts with the market. Follow Jesse on Twitter and Facebook.