Seasons change. Politicians and stars come and go. Does anyone know why the Kardahsians are famous. Makeup? Some make their mark and retire. Others, like Apple co-founder Steve Jobs, make a dent in the universe. Still others seem to live in the hearts and minds of people for many generations after they pass on.
And a few pass on before they pass on. That’s the case with the notorious John C. Dvorak.
Yesterday I was fired from PC Magazine under the bogus notion that the columns were put on hiatus and I could call next year. So after 36 years of loyalty I get no phone calls from “friends” Vivek Shah or Dan @dancosta but a curt email telling me I’m out. It’s rude.
While I have seldom agreed with Dvorak’s perspective on all things Apple– few prognosticators and analysts have been as wrong about Apple as Dvorak– few writers were as specific in their considerations.
Here’s what Dvorak thought about the original Mac and the mouse:
The Macintosh uses an experimental pointing device called a “mouse.” There is no evidence that people want to use these things.
Today, more PC users have trackpads than mouse, thanks to the built-in trackpad, but I’m one who carries around a mouse with my MacBook Pro because it’s a better pointing device than either trackpad or finger.
iPad with keyboard, I’m looking at you.
Dvorak before iPhone was released:
Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone… What Apple risks here is its reputation as a hot company that can do no wrong. If it’s smart it will call the iPhone a ‘reference design’ and pass it to some suckers to build with someone else’s marketing budget. Then it can wash its hands of any marketplace failures… Otherwise I’d advise people to cover their eyes. You are not going to like what you’ll see.
Of course, Dvorak was not the only person to fail to understand iPhone’s appeal to the masses, but that only goes to show you how far removed from reality most technology journalists really are these days.
On comparing iPhone to BlackBerry, Samsung, Palm and other so-called smartphone vendors:
I think it’s kind of trending against, you know, what’s really going, what people are really liking on, in these phones nowadays, which are those little keypads. I mean, the Blackjack from Samsung, the Blackberry, obviously, you know kind of pushes this thing, the Palm, all these… And I guess some of these stocks went down on the Apple announcement, thinking that Apple could do no wrong, but I think Apple can do wrong and I think this is it.
Dvorak took pot shots at everyone, but seemed to have it in for Apple. Apple Stores? Maybe not a big failure, but competition was brewing back in 2012.
Within the decade, Microsoft should have a minimum of 300 stores. They should do as well as the Apple Stores.
Apple has about 10 times the number of retail outlets as Microsoft, and not one of their stores does as well as Apple Stores.
Alright, so Dvorak was wrong. Often. He took a contrarian view more often than most members of the technorati elite politburo but he was always, always a fun read. Frankly, I hate to see him go, but I’m sure he can make a few bucks as a Forbes contributor.
His dismissal says more about PC Mag than Dvorak. Email? Not even a phone call?