The Dangers of Being Predisposed (Why Apple Won)

by Mike Levin

Thursday, May 05, 2022

Like every issue with two sides, the side that predisposes your thinking first wins. You can see organizations doing this all over the world with both social causes and business. I’m sure one or two already popped into your mind. For me it was Apple Computers in education. Get ‘em while they’re young, Steve Jobs always used to say. Or at least I would imagine him saying behind closed doors. And as a fan of the Amiga computer, this enraged me to no end. Go listen to one of my heroes, Jay Miner. He’s what Steve Jobs should have been when it came to hardware.

Did you listen? Did you hear him recommend the guerilla tactic of bringing your old Amiga Computer magazines into your doctors and dentists offices? Wow, not only did this guy burn his computers from sand like the baddest bad asses of all the badasses, but he came up with viable guerilla tactics to promote his baby and brought the idea to the masses in grass roots marketing before the Web. For those who don’t know, Jay Miner not only created the seemingly alien technology Amiga that was at least 30-years ahead of its time, but he also mainstreamed the whole home videogame console industry by creating the Atari 2600, known as the Atari VCS outside the USA. This guy is good.

Apple products weren’t always the superior quality that they are today. It was the result of a shut-out momentum from a less-good product and less-good set of ideas being backed up by superior marketing strategy. Apple computers did get into education. The Apple II which was to the Amiga what a little red wagon is to a big red Jeep. Yet the wagon won. And the money from the wagon winning got funneled into the next thing and the next thing and the next thing until a shut-out momentum is achieved.

The Amiga was killed. My heart is still with the Amiga computer and I look for the features I fell in love with then coming into place today. They finally are. If you can’t win, look for the love-worthy things in what does and begin to internalize those. But better still, think for yourself. Understand and detect the game of predisposing. If someone encourages you to close your mind to things in life, they are not on your side. I’m a big advocate of Linux, Python, vim & git. But you should use Windows, LISP, emacs and… uh, Mercurial? Whatever. Try lots of things. Keep an open mind.