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5.25.2006 

Dvorak calls Nike + iPod Sports Kit "Nutty"

John C. Dvorak, professional curmudgeon, thinks the new Nike + iPod Sports Kit is a lot of hot air ina bag:
Apple has teamed up with Nike to produce an odd tennis shoe that will allow, among other features, the music to change on the user's iPod to better match their specific jogging requirements.
In other words if you are headed up a tough hill the music selection will change to some motivational music to get you over the top.
Does this sound a little nutty to anyone else but me?
I'm certain that in the category of "who needs it?" this product will sell like hotcakes because right now Apple has the Midas touch. But this Midas touch may be leading in the opposite direction of the Macintosh computer the way I'm seeing things. I've already lamented about the over-emphasis on the iPod gizmo over the substantial Macintosh computer, but I could be missing the point altogether.
Steve Jobs has by now surely admitted to himself that he is more of a cultural tastemaker than any sort of high-tech computer executive. He's not about management. He's about taste.
Dvorak, who, um, how to say this politely.... let's try: doesn't exactly look like he gets much exercise, is missing the point: this is a neat gizmo that will help Apple make money. Money which will be re-invested into making the best computers in the world.

Dvorak's got his cadoodles all noodled up because it's not a computer. Except for one thing: it is a computer. An itty-bitty one, called an iPod. But more to the point, sure, Jobs is all about digital lifestyles now. But he has been for a lone time now, (Hi, 2001!) and it's worked pretty damn well. He's made Apple a damn profitable company, and secured the future of the Mac for as long as can be reasonably foreseen.

And the other thing is, not only is the Nike + iPod Sports kit going to sell sneakers and iPods, it's going to sell Macs. Maybe not thousands, or even hundreds, but certainly dozens, and from there, who knows. Everyone who uses a Mac running OS X eventually gets someone else to try one out. The kit is going to drive people to iPods, the iTunes Music Store, and ultimately, perhaps, Macs themselves.

And besides, coupling your company with one of the best-known brands in the world never hurts. If that's nutty, call me an almond.

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