DF in Boston's Profile

  • May 27, 2005
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Latest comments made by: DF in Boston

  • Hehehehe. I'll chime in again. The Disney Stores were not intended to supplement the theme parks, and what killed them was the product line. Disney Stores were intended to make a profit selling Disney merchandise and boost interest in (not supplement) theme park visits. I worked very closely with Disney Stores nationwide and I can assure you that "oversaturation" did not kill them. As I've mentioned before the retail environment changed dramatically since the first Disney Store opened, and Disney no longer needed a non-core business unit. Disney found consumer interest in theme parks could be generated far easier via the internet. And, consumers suddenly were switching to the internet where it was faster and cheaper to buy Disney character merchandise (or they'd buy it at a mega-discounter such as WalMart which was expanding dramatically during this period). Apple's need for the Apple Stores is completely different from what Disney's needs were. Though the "feel" of the Apple Stores is reminiscent of what it was like going to a Disney Store, the purpose of the stores is very different. Everyone is entitled to express an opinion, but Gregory's piece comparing Disney Stores to Apple Stores showed a complete lack of understanding on what he was pontificating. Watching CNBC, reading the WSJ or doing a Google search would have served him well before posting his article. As it is, I think Gregory sums it up best on his own web site where he states "Sometimes I open my mouth before thinking". That really sums up the quality of his article!
    DF in Boston had this to say on Apr 06, 2005 Posts: 15
    Apple and the Disney Store Effect
  • I agree with Joe. And, if iPods were Apple's only product they'd be ditching the stores. Apple's problem right now is that when Macs are sold amongst a plethora of Windows computers by sales staff who don't care which platform you buy the Mac proportion of sales is very low. At the Apple Store the staff is very adept and successful at getting walk-in customers to buy. Gregory's conclusion, "If I was running a chain of stores for malls, I would want to be in every mall in America. Although tempting, Apple should avoid this practice. They should learn from stores who balance demand and exclusivity and in turn, create profits. Stores like Crate and Barrel, Janie and Jack, and Restoration Hardware. Those brands are popular and that popularity also drives more business to vehicles like catalog and online that carry less overhead costs... The Apple Store is in danger of becoming commonplace in Boston and there's only so many iMacs and iPods one can buy.", is flawed because it compares Oranges to Apples and completely misses the real reasons why Apple needs to expand the number of Apple Stores. The Disney Stores, by the way, were never about "exclusivity", and it needs to be said that the Disney Stores, when sold last year, were still in the top tier of sales performance for retail stores nationwide.
    DF in Boston had this to say on Apr 03, 2005 Posts: 15
    Apple and the Disney Store Effect
  • I spent 20 years working for Disney in marketing, and the number of Disney Stores simply wasn't the cause of the decline and sale of the Disney stores. Disney has hundreds of licenses to produce products for character-related merchandise and the stores were competing with these hundreds of retailers in the marketplace. There are other factors, too, such as changing consumer behavior in where merchandise is purchased. For the most part Disney store merchandise was not something that needed to be purchased or tested at a brick-and-mortar store. Although there are many similarities between the Disney Stores and Apple Stores (such as creating an inviting, exciting experience for the customer that encourages purchasing merchandise), the main purpose and need for the Disney Stores and Apple Stores is different. Only in New England would someone worry about a company with a 3% market share oversaturing a metro area with 5 million people by adding a 4th store!
    DF in Boston had this to say on Apr 01, 2005 Posts: 15
    Apple and the Disney Store Effect
  • I think where slopes "slipped off the slope" was with his first post: "In the same way of thinking, each of OS X's many GUI faults is minute when looked at in isolation... (and, when criticised in isolation, perhaps seem too trivial to be taken seriously by Apple) but viewed as a whole they add up to a significant impediment to anyone who has always relied on their Mac for work" Certainly Slopes is entitled to his opinion about his experience with OS 9 and OS X, but to claim that OS X is a "significant impediment to ANYONE who has always relied on their Mac for work" is way off base. There are simply too many graphic designers who are thrilled to be using OS X rather than OS 9 for that statement to be true. Facts are facts... OS X is, for most of us, the preferred OS version. My own opinion of OS 9 is that it's clunky, unintuitive and graceless. Slopes has a different opinion, which is fine. I'm just glad that my preference for OS X is shared by most professionals... I'd hate for Apple to trash the many great features of OS X. As for Finder and Mail not matching... that was dealt with a year and a half ago. It makes as much sense to quibble about that as it does to be upset that iBooks got a speed bump even though they are "white" and thus a consumer level laptop that doesn't deserve speedbumps. Give me a break!
  • Slopes, are you from Boston or Cambridge?
  • "In the past, Macheads have been able to band together to embrace our decisions to 'think different'." Thinking different is what Windows users do when they try to use their computers. Most likely that's why the Think Different campaign was a failure. It confused people. It also confused Mac users who thought that they themselves were special and unique because of a product they used. If you want to be different and part of an elite group, try doing something on your own to set yourself apart. Relying on a product to define your differentness and elite status will only result in disappointment with yourself. Whining about how you don't think you're special anymore is pure drivel.
    DF in Boston had this to say on Feb 04, 2005 Posts: 15
    iPod Users: You Aren't Special Anymore
  • There are many consumers who just aren't going to be burning a DVD. Consumers like my Mom. Or like a friend of mine. Burning a DVD just isn't something they have a need or desire to do. So I think it would be rather cheeky of Apple to make them pay for something they simply won't use. If someone wants an entry level Mac AND wants to burn DVD's then let them pay for an upgrade. Just don't make light users pay for other people's fun. I'm not sure why so many long-time Mac users are so concerned about the Mac mini coming standard with a combo drive and think this is an oversight that will kill sales. The entry-level models of the eMac, iMac, iBook and PowerBook all have combo drives as standard. Only the PowerMac G5 comes standard with a SuperDrive.
    DF in Boston had this to say on Jan 26, 2005 Posts: 15
    One Week Later: Mac Mini Still A Good Thing?
  • I think the iPod shuffle is promoted specifically as a "shuffle" experience rather than a low-price MP3 player because of the immense popularity of shuffling one's music via iTunes and iPod. Steve Jobs commented in his keynote that shuffling music was the most popular way people are already listening to their iPods... and I would have to say that remark is corroborated by an extensive article several months ago in the Wall Street Journal that was exclusively about how popular shuffling music is on iTunes and iPod. So, it appears Apple is paying very close attention to how its customers are actually using its products... and creating innovative new products by combining technical advances with enhancements to the customer experience. Think about it... everyone was pretty much expecting a much lower priced iPod with flash-based memory, but did anyone think that the device would focus on the specific use of existing iPods that is most popular with consumers? That shows Apple is very in-tune with its customers unspoken needs and expectations and bodes well for Apple & iPod shuffle. I won't be surprised if Apple continues to confound Mac heads by creating new products that tap-into consumers' unspoken needs and provide a great fit for unnoticed consumer behaviors. Oh... glad you got the iPod shuffle! Do let us know how it fares. I think an iPod shuffle would be perfect for my 3-4 hour cycling excursions. AND... turn your iPod shuffle over and flip the switch on the back to linear mode... you'll be able to listen to music in your order and not a random shuffle order.
    DF in Boston had this to say on Jan 13, 2005 Posts: 15
    Giving Shuffle A Chance
  • Solving the problem of students in K-12 from being cut-off from Macs at home would be one way of boosting sales, but it's a very small segment. It's just one of many channels that have to be attended to. Another segment that needs to be attended to are Mac users themselves. I delayed switching for a long time because my Mac-using friends kept telling me, "Macs are more expensive, but...". It simply wasn't true. When looking at the features I wanted and comparing Wintel laptops to Mac laptops the Macs came out the same or slightly less. Mac users need to get a life and lose the attitude about how special they are if they want Macs to be more common in the marketplace. Last, but not least, your comment, :"Most big ticket items involve sales people that make a living on commissions, thus making any advice given suspect." is off the mark and insulting to many of us who are in sales. A good sales person will focus on a customer's needs and try to match that with what is in his or her product line. There are bad sales people out there, but they are easy to spot. They don't care what you want or need... they push an item with features you don't care about or don't think you'll use. Anyone blindly making a purchase without any basic research, whether it's computers or a car or whatever, run the risk of being taken for a ride. Caveat Emptor... let the buyer beware... do some very basic research before a substantial purchase so you'll know if your sales person is actually trying to provide you with something you want and need. I mean, really, from your derogatory comments about sales people we should consider Steve Jobs' keynote speech at the upcoming Macworld in San Francisco as "suspect" because he is, in effect, a sales person for Apple.
    DF in Boston had this to say on Jan 09, 2005 Posts: 15
    The Upside of a $500 Dollar Mac
  • I'm not sure why Apple would spend the time and money to do that. If consumers perceive Office for Mac to be incompatible with Office for Windows (and many do) I can't imagine that Apple would be successful in convincing consumers and businesses that an Apple Office-type suite would be compatible with Microsoft Office. Waste of time and money on Apple's part to do such a thing.
    DF in Boston had this to say on Oct 20, 2004 Posts: 15
    Death to Microsoft
  • I agree that Apple Zealots hurt Apple, but for different reasons. When I needed a new laptop (to replace my Windows one) last Fall I knew what software and hardware I needed. My Mac zealot friends were no help whatsoever. I kept hearing them tell me that I should learn to "think different" and that even though Macs were "more expensive" it was worth it to have a "real computer". That was no help at all! I didn't want to "think different" (I had already been doing that with Windows). I didn't want to pay more for something simply to be part of the "in group". And I had been using a "real computer" for many years, albeit one bloated with viruses and spyware. Plus, they kept telling me I should switch to Mac but wait for the next line of PowerBooks to come out because they would be "better" (of course, they had no clue what would be better, nor when the new PowerBooks would be released). Fortunately, while at a mall in Cambridge, I stopped by the Apple Store for the heck of it. The well-designed, thin-and-light, 12" PowerBook immediately caught my eye. Compared to the wintel laptops I had just seen at the Best Buy in the mall it became clear that this was what I wanted. Apple Store staff were quite helpful in letting me know that everything I was planning to do with a Mac would be fully compatible with windows. Plus, no viruses. No spyware. No "thinking different" as OSX was so intuitive and easy to learn. Plus, compared to wintel laptops that had similar specs the PowerBook was actually the same price. I have no desire to "not be part of the 90% of computer users who use Windows"... I just want a computer that works (mine does), on which I don't have to "think different" (using OSX I don't have to think like a windows computer, I just think like myself), and get my job done (I do, without all the downtime I was experiencing on windows). I guess a pet peeve of mine are all the Mac Zealots who tell people thinking of switching that they're going to have to pay more than for a comparable windows machine (wrong!) and that they should wait for the next speedbump, processor change or whatever crazy rumor is floating around. These are the people who are doing Apple a disservice. Just let people buy what they want and need and Apple will do just fine. And more power to the Apple Stores for helping dispell the misinformation spread by Mac Zealots.
    DF in Boston had this to say on Aug 28, 2004 Posts: 15
    Apple Zealots Hurt Apple
  • I think you're missing the point. iTMS is popular because of the ease-of-use, quality of music and the collective features available. The European market that is now able to use iTunes Music Store is a huge component of the customer base for Audible.com, yet there has been no marketing by Audible to that market. So, there's one feature of iTunes you dismissed that should be highly appreciated by the UK/France/Germany market. I think the only challenge faced by Apple with iTMS Europe will be the currency discrepancies (right now between £ & Ä prices). Last, but not least, your contention that iTMS's popularity in the US is due to RIAA threats is off-base. If RIAA threats were the cause of consumer usage of legal download services then there would be a more even distribution of market-share among the legal download services. That obviously isn't what has happened in the US, so iTMS's huge market-share is likely attributed to the combined features, easy-of-use and high-quality offered to consumers.
    DF in Boston had this to say on Jun 17, 2004 Posts: 15
    iTunes Goes International. Big Deal.
  • In addition to my MP3 and AAC files I listen to a lot of radio stations via iTunes. I'd like to listen to them through various speakers throughout the house. Can't do that with iPod. But, you can do it with Airport Express with Airtunes! My 12" PowerBook is with me wherever I am in the house, so I don't really have a need for a remote. Besides, I LISTEN to my music... I'm not constantly punching pause, rewind, fast forward, etc. I want to enjoy my music and radio stations. Airport Express with Airtunes is obviously a work in progress and will see many enhancements to come. If consumers like Airport Express (and orders are already pouring in) then good for them. Those who don't see a need for it can continue in their wired and cluttered world. But, please, let those of us who know this is exactly what WE want enjoy it!
    DF in Boston had this to say on Jun 09, 2004 Posts: 15
    Airport Express Falls Short
  • The concept of selling music online is still a work in progress and we should expect some tweaking with the terms of service. As far as sacrifices being made by consumers in order to use iTunes, well, I think the overwhelming success of iTunes shows that most users don't feel they are making sacrifices when purchasing music online. There are some drawbacks... but from the numbers it appears that consumers think iTunes is a good thing. As most laptops become the preferred computer to buy (laptops now comprise almost 50% of Apple's computer sales) you'll find that iTunes offers major convenience, time savings and money savings. DF - Boston
    DF in Boston had this to say on May 05, 2004 Posts: 15
    Not Good: Jobs Changes The iTunes Rules
  • Nathan is right on target! I switched to Mac last October, and would have done it sooner had my Mac-owning friends not constantly moaned about how expensive Macs were compared to wintel machines. Fortunately, after looking at an underwhelming assortment of thin-and-light wintel notebooks at a Best Buy in a mall, I happened to walk past an Apple Store. There it was... thin, light, full-featured. The 12" PowerBook. And, it cost the same as comparable, yet inferior, wintel notebooks I had just looked at! I proudly told my Mac friends I wanted a thin, light and full-featured notebook and was considering a PowerBook and they all told me that PowerBooks were overpriced... G5's were a better value! I didn't want or need a desktop. I didn't want or need a G5. I didn't want or need to spend MORE money. Apple would have lost a sale due to its "Mac fans" had it not been for my own visit to an Apple Store. My point is, Mac fans are at it again. Bemoaning the "high price" of the iPod mini. Meanwhile, Apple has given consumers (many who've never used an Apple product) the choice of not having to pay for storage space that won't be used. So many Mac fans will tell you that a 4GB iPod mini at $249 is a bad deal because a 15GB iPod can be had for $299. That kind of flawed reasoning leads one to the conclusion that a 15GB iPod at $299 is a bad deal because a 40GB iPod can be had for only $200 more. More power to Apple for reaching out to an untapped market with the iPod mini. More power to Apple for giving consumers choices. And, shame on Mac fans for having mislead those of us in the wintel world into thinking that Macs were overpriced.
    DF in Boston had this to say on Jan 26, 2004 Posts: 15
    The iPod Mini Is Not Over Priced