Apple vs Google: Is It Darth Vader vs the Math Club

June 29, 2010

Apple operates with a controlling idea: make lots of money and control as much as possible. If I remember the Star Wars film series, Darth Vader operated in a similar way. I recall one scene in which he choked some hapless underling for not doing what Mr. Vader wanted. Google, on the other, hand operates in an iterative fashion. The company’s approach relies on pushing out products, services, and technologies and then adapting. The two methods are fascinating to watch, and I am not sure which is more effective. When it comes to control, Apple has the upper hand. When it comes to doing lots of things and making changes in near real time, Google is the clear winner.

When I read “Google’s Mismanagement of the Android Market,” I thought of the differences in management methods at these two companies. Whatever Google learned when it was pals with Apple did not spill over into marketing in my opinion. The write up in said:

Earlier this week, CNET ran an article critical of the permission model of the Android Market. Google’s response to the criticism was that “each Android app must get users’ permission to access sensitive information”. While this is technically true, one should not need a PhD in Computer Science to use a smartphone. How is a consumer supposed to know exactly what the permission “act as an account authenticator” means? The CNET opinion piece “Is Google far too much in love with engineering?” is quite relevant here.

Yes but isn’t Apple in love with engineering as well. The description of how the iPhone was designed and built is a case study in engineering. If you have not read about the Apple design-build method, navigate to “Core77 Speaks with Jonathan Ive on the Design of the IPhone 4: Material Matters.”

For me, the killer comment in the write up was:

Developers and users are getting fed up and it’s time for Google to clean up the house.

No one is more surprised than I at the strong uptake for the iPad and now the iPhone 4. The message is that consumers are looking for products that are easy to use and pretty much do a few things well. Darth Vader may not have been the homecoming king, but he sure seems to know how to move product in a way that is understandable to consumers. The Math Club may have to rethink its iterative approach to products and services if the Darth Vader approach continues to work despite its flaws.

Apple’s search is now Bing. The Darth Vader approach may be good enough for Apple and a real boost for Microsoft.

Stephen E Arnold, June 29, 2010



2 Responses to “Apple vs Google: Is It Darth Vader vs the Math Club”

  1. 1.700.000 iPhone4 ?????????? ???? ?? ????? ?????! « Cleverland on June 29th, 2010 3:14 am

    […] Apple vs Google: Is It Darth Vader vs the Math Club ( […]

  2. GPS Sat Nav SatNav - Darth Vader recording for TomTom GPS – behind the scenes on June 29th, 2010 7:20 am

    […] Apple vs Google: Is It Darth Vader vs the Math Club : Beyond Search […]

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