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Find The Thread - Issue #2

Find The Thread - Issue #2
By Dominic • Issue #2 • View online
Welcome to issue 2; the experiment continues.

Apple Kremlinology
I’ve been following Apple since last millenium, and it’s always fun to try to work out what they will do next. Sometimes it’s fairly obvious (and even so, plenty of people will get it wrong, despite all the evidence out there), but other times, it’s not.
On the latest episode of the Roll For Enterprise podcast, we discussed some of the AR rumours that keep swirling around. There’s enough smoke there that we are all pretty sure there’s fire, but it’s not at all obvious what the use case for Apple AR goggles would be. They don’t cater to gamers or to industrial users, and would the rest of us really have a use for an Apple take on Google Glass?
Then again, they’re Apple; what they do is to define categories. I look forward to finding out what they’ve been up to, after watching the early movers flail around in public trying to find a real-world application for the tech.
Our conversation also illustrated another danger of trying to predict Apple’s moves: events can overtake you pretty quickly! We were discussing a new iPad Pro and the long-awaited AirTags, and no sooner had we wrapped up the recording, than rumours started emerging of supply bottlenecks causing delays to Apple device production.
App Store Woes
Even bigger, better-established podcasts can make mistakes when talking about Apple, and I think the latest episode of Accidental Tech Podcast did just that.
The topic of conversation was the App Store, and Marco and Casey went off on a bit of a rant about how it’s just extortion for Apple to demand 30% from developers, and it provides no value, and so on and so forth. Their perspective as developers is absolutely valid, and 30% does seem steep — which, incidentally, is why Apple is dropping their take to 15% in most instances. However, there’s another important perspective: how do users feel about the App Store?
I love the App Store model. I trust Apple with my credit card in a way that I would not trust random fly-by-night developers, so I have bought a ton of apps through the App Store that I would never have bought if I had had to go to each developer’s individual web page.
I also like that all my purchases and subscriptions are in one place, so if I need to cancel a subscription or get a refund for a purchase, I can do that easily — and when I do, I’m dealing with Apple, not some rando whose support policy is “eh, when I feel like it” and whose refund policy boils down to “nope”.
There’s a lot more to the App Store than payments, too. If I need to reinstall some app, it’s right there; I don’t have to find the developers original website, dig out a license or a receipt from my email, and so on. It’s even better as part of a family: I can share apps with other members of my family, and I also have granular control over what the younger members of the family can get up to.
Maybe a new compromise is required between the needs of developers and those of Apple — but that compromise should also take users’ needs and preferences into account.
Inside IT Ops' OODA Loop
Speaking of repeated mistakes, and also of including different constituencies, one mistake that I keep seeing people making is misunderstanding what drives IT Ops, and why they are not immediately eager to jump on whatever the latest bandwagon is. The issue is that Ops is all about stability and predictability, and introducing new variables inherently destabilises the environment and makes it less predictable.
If you’re pitching something to Ops, you have to understand where they’re coming from, and offer them something of commensurate value in exchange for what they are giving up. I wrote up an explanation of why Ops values learning from mistakes, but I’m sure it won’t be the last time we need to return to this topic.
Closing Covid Benediction
Keep your attitude positive, and your test results negative!
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By Dominic

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