Been passing on his blog for a while because many are very short and on his whereabout. I like long insightful blog like this one. It’s comforting to see a Microsoft guy saying “I really don’t want religious customers. I want skeptical, educated, pragmatic customers. This is why I talk about my competitors so much and let you know what they are doing right.”
Please, marketing guys, no hype, no lie, no this-is-a-feature-not-a-bug. There’re enough bad things in this world already, can you please at least make technology and science a little less poluted?
Scoble mentioned Guy Kawasaki’s blog, which I just started to read. Scoble says Guy’s “the tech industry’s first evangelist, worked for Apple”. I like his recent bs-busting posts on VCs and startup entrepreneurs, very straightforward. However I do agree with Scoble on his dislike of the religious connotations related to being an “evangelist”, which originated from the Greek word Ευαγγέλιο, meaning Gospel.
What Guy says, though, reveals something deeper about human being. It’s easy to be religious, because it provides quick and easy gratification. Something like Pascal’s Wager is very appealing to simple or moderately complicated brains. So when a marketing guy appeals to your religious feelings, he can either win you over for life, or drive you away in disgust, which is less likely. You may just think “this guy is bs, but he’s at least passionate about what he’s doing”.
That’s why I really don’t like the “cult” following in technology, of which Apple is surely the grand master. I’ve never seriously used a Mac or iPod, so maybe I’m not eligible to judge. But I think I know enough in technology to believe that it’s just what you’re used to. Is Mac inherently better than Windows or Linux on several orders of magnitude? I don’t think so. I do admire the industrial designers at Apple, and I do believe Apple has everything in the world to come up with the first truly usable integrated PDA/phone/media player (and I would buy it), just don’t utter any word of any religious connotation to me.
P.S. Joel Spolsky’s Architecture Astronaut attacks similiar things from a technology point of view.