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The importance of saying “no” to ideas

Apple’s latest series of product changes have me convinced that there’s no one there whose role is to say “no” to shitty ideas.

I believe, even more than his ability to envision how technology could be used a decade into the future, this was Steve Jobs’ most important role at Apple. He consistently said “no” to not just bad ideas, but good ones that didn’t fit the overall vision for Apple’s products.

Compare that to where they are today. The home button on the iPhone and iPad already did too many things. Now it also unlocked your phone. The magsafe charger has saved my laptop from pets and toddlers more times than I can count. Now it’s gone.

As a pro user, I have a bunch of things I plugin to my machine at various times—typically via USB, but sometimes an HDMI cable cable. Now almost all of the ports are gone on the MacBook Pro.

Which is fine when your goal is to make a super thin laptop. But again, I’m a professional user of their pro machine.

Owen Williams article, “Apple just told the world it has no idea who the Mac is for,” sums it up perfectly for me…

But the “Pro” in Apple’s devices isn’t even accurate anymore. It used to be the best notebook on the market for creatives, developers and people with big requirements…

Do I have to carry two pairs of headphones now? How do I charge my Lightning cable mouse? Why remove the HDMI port, a standard that’s still incredibly popular for plugging into TVs? Why remove the SD card, a popular slot for… creatives using cameras?

I’m willing to give Apple a lot of leeway when they remove stuff that I still use when it’s for the betterment of the product long-term. Removing the CD/DVD drive is a great example of this.

But this… it feels like marketing wanted to make changes just to say it’s new, not because it makes the product better.

I’ve seen numerous peers consider switching to Windows, whose new Surface laptops and desktops are gorgeous. Over the last year or two, it’s become a much better web development platform, and it’s the future for VR.

I’ve toyed with the idea of switching, too.

But then I remember what it’s like to install drivers before you can use any peripheral device. Or the sheer volume of viruses targeting the OS (not that Macs are immune). Or that I’d need to rely on Google for cloud services.

At this point, I hope that in a few more years when I need a new laptop, they’ve gotten their shit together.