A great listing of quotes about Apple Computer at Wired made me laugh.
“Apple as we know it is cooked. It’s so classic. It’s so sad.” — Stan Dolberg of Forrester Research, quoted by the New York Times in 1996. See also Fortune’s “By the time you read this story, the quirky cult company…will end its wild ride as an independent enterprise,” from the same year. Time: “Certainly No Future.”
Microsoft’s Nathan Myhrvold couldn’t even predict the present: “Apple is already dead,” he said after Jobs’ return.
Anyone who knows me, knows I am a little Apple-Wacky. Have been since I put together a student cartoon newspaper in Madison Wisconsin in the early 90′s and was introduced to Macs. But these quotes reminded me that ‘experts’ can be dangerous people. For someone appointed an ‘expert’ and quoted as having a refined, intuitive opinion of technology matters, it’s amazing that they still have jobs after they say things like ‘The iPod will be huge failure”, or “Apple is already a dead company with no future.” I’m glad my Doctor doesn’t hand out advice as well thought out as that.
Now anyone who offers opinions can get it wrong. But many of these folks didn’t offer these as opinions, but as a truth, that they alone are sensitive enough, well-read enough to know. The Priest coming out of the Temple to inform us commoners. They don’t say ‘Well, it might do well, it might not. ” Because of course that won’t get them into the magazines and newspapers. So they just spout off.
When you do creative work for a living it tends to include working and sharing opinions with many other people. And some folks offer so much advice and are so willing to tell you what you do wrong, after a while it can make you not want to do anything. I think this is especially dangerous for Art Students when domineering professors tell them the ‘right’ way to do things, in a creative pursuit, there is rarely a right way. There is a broad range of opinion, and some basic understandings of how a certain creative decision MAY affect a particular audience. But there is no RIGHT answer. “Nobody knows anything”.
There is such a thing as craft, and draftsmanship. But personal style can usually trump them all if you have a clear, innovative and exciting vision for what you are doing. While I can admire an artist who shows great skill in rendering perspective, I find 600 plus years of artists mastering perspective. I am not inspired by their work. But give me a painting by Otto Dix, now I am interested, inspired, I care. This is not to belittle draftsmanship but put it on equal footing with creative problem solving and realizing the unique circumstance that create an engaging piece of art, whether it be a film, illustration or comic strip. Yeah, a comic strip. That Schulz, he should have learned to draw better, right? That would have made for a better strip, if it had looked like Hal Foster did it. And that’s me being sarcastic…
I appreciate so much the advice I have received from friends who offer their opinion, not as a religious text, but a point of view. I have learned from a lot of artists far better then me, in person, in books, by watching Pinocchio (yeah, that’s still my favorite animated film). But this list reminds me how often those quoted as ‘experts’ and enshrined in the pages of the media, are just babbling. Steve Jobs obviosuly didn’t listen to The Experts.
When it is all said and done, just draw, paint, create, learn. Leave the bickering to people who have less to actually do.
Maybe I’m all wrong here, let me know.