If you don't have anything nice to say: Don’t drag Steve Jobs into it

Jobs liked flashy Apple Stores. Get over it.


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What’s a publication to do when Apple opens a new flagship store that looks incredible and has some standout architectural features but you don’t want to be seen as falling into the company’s trap of giving it free attention? Why, still report about it, but complain about it the whole time.

Writing for Boy Genius Report, Chris Mills says “Apple’s stores have gone from serious to absurd in 15 years.” (Tip o’ the antlers to SamT.)

More like Apple's stores have gone “It’ll never work!” to “Ugh, they work so well, I can’t believe I have to report on this, so stoopid” in 15 years.

The new location is absurdly overhyped…

The only cool way to report on Apple’s “overhyped” store is to act bored and jaded by it all.

Does Mills jam “Steve Jobs would never” into this article? Oh, no, that would be absurd.

It’s a far cry from the Apple Store that Steve Jobs first introduced back in 2001, and if the founder could see what the face of the store has become, he’d be turning in his grave.

See, that’s not “absurd.” “Absurd” has a sense of whimsey to it. No, what Mills wrote is “in extremely poor taste.” See, there’s a difference.

It is remarkable how the people who best knew Jobs, those who worked with him for years and were his friends, have no idea how he would have done things, while people who write for online publications are the ones who knew him best. Very remarkable. Interesting current trend in modern long-distance telepathy. Someone should write a paper about it. And shred it.

How does Mills know Jobs’ mind? He found a YouTube video of Jobs introducing the first Apple Store in 2001.

Not that he’s even correctly ascertained Jobs’s thinking, but that was 15 years ago. Before the iPhone, before the iPod. There might be a bit of a difference between 2001 and 2016. People might have a better idea of what Apple makes now that their products aren’t confined to the Avenue of the Damned in the back of a CompUSA. They don’t need as much hand-holding on what the whole deal with Apple is.

The video above shows the store that Jobs designed. The focus is clear: the first thing that you saw when you walked into the building was Apple’s full line of products, divided between consumers and pro users.

Of course, Apple’s products are still the first thing you see when you walk in the door. What did you expect, a Jell-O wrestling pit inhabited by a belligerent Jony Ive wearing nothing but a loincloth? (“Who is the ultimate designer?! Step into the pit and see!”) It’s just that this store has amazingly large doors that are pretty remarkable. In Mills’s defense (disclosure: exactly the opposite of that), it’s not like Apple opened any stores with any amazing architectural features while Steve Jobs was running the company. Certainly not.

Once inside, the trend continues. It’s going to be the same Apple Store you know and love/hate, but with dumb names…

For this store, Apple has installed trees and called it “Genius Grove” instead of “Genius Bar.” OK, but as long as we’re playing Sullen Teen Who Hates Everything, “Genius Bar” is a dumb name, too, and Steve Jobs OK’ed that.

It’s also apparently not cool with Mills that Ive made grandiose statements about the new store. Because Mills has apparently never seen Ive say anything ever. The man’s mouth is literally a fire hose that shoots superlatives. Yes, literally. And the thing about Ive is, Jobs really, really liked him.

You don’t have to like the store, but if you can’t find a way to report on its opening other than pretending Steve Jobs would have hated it, maybe just don’t report on it at all.

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