I was recently reading about the new Apple Mac Pro computers on digg. What’s most interesting is the reaction Apple gets from any announcement. Apple fans usually love it. Apple haters hate it (go figure). Reading their comments on digg is not for the faint of heart.
Why does Apple alienate these people? All they have to do is make their operating system run on PCs, make their music software play nice with MP3 players other than the iPod and stop those condescending ads. Then what? Then they’ll win everyone over?
Then they’ll be just like everyone else. Conformed.
Apple still follows the philosophy of their early evangelist, Guy Kawasaki. Kawasaki encourages companies to polarize people. When I first saw that in one of Guy’s presentations, I wasn’t sure I agreed. Now, I couldn’t agree more.
Not many companies would advertise free cupcakes for professed Bush haters. Most anyone with “good business sense” would have at least added a second sign:
“Tell us you hate HILLARY and get a free COOKIE!”
But that destroys any semblance of a story. It tells people nothing about our company, except that we ride the fence.
And we fail to realize the fence we’re riding is made of barbed wire.
After an offline conversation with a buddy, Jason, it became clear that I should clarify one thing. Whatever polarizes people concerning your business needs to be authentic. By doing so, detractors actually help galvanize your supporters.