The Macalope: Failure to outrage


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What is the world coming to when the Macalope can’t muster up some good old-fashioned indignation? Whether it’s his softer side manifesting itself or that big lunch he ate making him sleepy, he just can’t get that worked up over comments made by our fine frigid friends in Waterloo.

Speaking at the Milken Institute conference, BlackBerry CEO Thorsten Heins said:

“In five years I don’t think there’ll be a reason to have a tablet anymore,” Heins said in an interview yesterday at the Milken Institute conference in Los Angeles. “Maybe a big screen in your workspace, but not a tablet as such. Tablets themselves are not a good business model.”

Now, is this …

Sorry, you’re still laughing. Go ahead. Get it out.

Done? OK, so is this …

Oh, more? OK. The Macalope will wait.

Seriously, any doctor will tell you that holding in riotous laughter is not healthy.

Now? OK. First, is this dumb? Well, some of it is monstrously dumb. But Heins has two alternatives here: One is to say “Meh, tablets”; the other is to say “Oh, man, we suck so bad. Oh, God, how we suck. It’s unbelievable all the sucking we’re doing. We couldn’t make a tablet that anyone had the slightest bit of interest in if our lives depended on it. Our careers already do depend on it and we can’t do it. Sooo much sucking.”

What’s the CEO of a hunk of flounder gonna do? He went with the first one. And, come on, it’s not like everything that came out of Steve Jobs’s mouth was gold-spun veracity, either. You can come up with all kinds of Marvel No-Prize-winning explanations for why Steve Jobs dismissed 7-inch tablets right up until Apple made one. But the fact remains that the guy regularly gilded his own lily.

(Which is not a euphemism.)

(In this case.)

Some have jumped in to say, “Hey, five years is a long time. He could turn out to be right!” Well, he could turn out to be right, in that eventually other devices will take the place of tablets. That’s fine, we can have that discussion, but not before laughing at the “tablets themselves are not a good business model” part. Because that is pretty funny. And, despite what anyone says, completely wrong.

But the guy’s gotta say something. And “we just bulldozed a whole crapton of PlayBooks into the tundra up here, so don’t ask me about tablets” doesn’t play well.

So, forgive the Macalope if he doesn’t feel like Heins’s comments are so outrageous. Like BlackBerry’s products, they just don’t inspire a lot of emotion.

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