Yesterday, I linked to a Ben Thompson article – Whither Liberal Arts, in which he expressed his displeasure of the iPad event on Tuesday. Christina Warren of SVBTLE took the opportunity to write a rebuttal to Ben Thompson’s piece in the midst of downloading Mavericks to her computer.
So are we really going to say that liberal arts are gone from Apple because of an ad designed to show off the amazing industrial design of the iPad Air? Let’s be serious.
Look, I’m not going to argue with the central thesis that Apple is a different company today. Like Gruber, I’ll absolutely concede that Apple is different and it shows.
But I vehemently disagree that Apple has abandoned the liberal arts.
Subsequently, Thompson felt the need to set the record straight with another interesting article –The Missing “Why” of the iPad, which eloquently described what was missing from the iPad event.
That line is flattening much too soon for a product as truly revolutionary as the iPad. It is not obvious to customers what the iPad is and why it matters.
This, then, is what makes the iPad different – and yesterday’s event more alarming – from a story-telling perspective: a phone and a computer are known quantities. There is no need to answer why. And so Apple’s continued excellence on the “What” and “How” truly shine. The iPad, though, has always been different by virtue of being not only a new product, but a new category. It needs not only the design of “What” and the technique of “How,” but the meaning of “Why.”
There is no one in the world better at “What” than Jony Ive, and no one better at “How” than Tim Cook. But who at Apple knows “Why”?