I keep beta-testing software the crashes this, that or the other on my Mac. [Given, i’m really really really good at crashing everything.] Worse: i’m often asked to beta test things that don’t work on the Mac. I want to scream.
You can build enterprise software that doesn’t work on a Mac but you CANNOT build social technologies that don’t work on the Mac. Who are key driving forces behind sociable technology? Freaks, (independent) geeks, academics and other marginalized populations. What do marginalized groups use when it comes to technology? Surprise – they use subversive tools. Conferences organized by geeks, freaks and academics are like walking into an Apple distribution warehouse. If you only lived in this world, you would think that Apple makes up 70% of the market share.
It doesn’t. But it does matter, particularly if you’re building sociable technologies and you want the attention of the geeks, freaks and academics. This includes the bloggers, who are often bleeding edge geeky freaky academically-minded folks.
Sociable technologies are not enterprise technologies nor are they low-end consumer technologies. They require connecting clusters of people. And to do that, you start with the “mavens” to get to the hubs. Mavens are not mainstream users; they don’t play by mainstream rules. They value their position as outsider, alternative. They love new gadgets that have cultural value. This is the type that Apple has done a fantastic job at attracting and maintaining.
In a sociable technology economy, it is no longer acceptable to treat Mac users as second-class citizens.