Aperture Tricks – All About Apple Aperture

March 31, 2006

The Update Snafu – An Editorial

Filed under: Uncategorized — Scott @ 2:32 pm

I have received emails from several regular readers who were very unhappy with the news that Apple would not make its March deadline for the release of Aperture 1.1.

Some of you thought I was a bit harsh in my own statements, some of you thought I didn’t go far enough. Since there may be some confusion, let me clarify my thinking now that I’ve had a day to digest the news.

First, I still support Apple and Aperture and think Aperture is going to be (if it isn’t already) one of the most significant pieces of photography-related software ever produced. We all know it has bugs. What groundbreaking piece of software doesn’t? Nothing is perfect these days.

And in retrospect, I don’t think missing the deadline is necessarily a big deal. Unless, Apple misses the next deadline too. And that’s part of the biggest problem. From day one, Apple has done a poor job of managing expectations when it comes to Aperture. In fact, I suspect you could call it a case study in how NOT to treat your customers.

Back to the update, many of you expressed the feeling that you’d rather they get it right than rush it out with new bugs. I certainly agree. My problem isn’t so much that it’s late. My problem is that Apple has a sick devotion to secrecy that leads to the net effect of no communication with their customers.

Apple seems to have taken their cues from the airline industry. When your plane is late, don’t you usually feel like the airline is giving you too little information or incorrect information?

That’s how Apple has managed Aperture.

If they had simply kept us informed of their progress (or lack thereof) I could have easily forgiven them missing the deadline.

A few of you asked me about the word “adversary” used in my last post. That’s coming from an honest place. While I have been accused of being an Apple shill because I like Aperture, I am not. I don’t work for Apple and have no more pull than the rest of you when it comes to getting information out of Apple.

And as a customer, I resent the fact that Apple seems to feel the need to keep secrets from me. That makes me feel like we have an adversarial relationship.

While I am sure all will be forgiven over time, and I will certainly continue to use and advocate for Aperture, I don’t know how many more of these miscues Apple can afford before it alienates the entire community.

Now I know Apple doesn’t care what I think, nor are they about to come to me for marketing advice, but I think they would go father faster by simply opening up SOME line of communication about Aperture so that the community knows what to expect. We’re all grown ups Apple. Start trusting your customers. Let us know what’s going on. If you do, I think most of us will stick with you to the end.

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