Lesa Snider King is mad at Apple.
There. It's been said. Publicly. And maybe, through the power of the blogosphere, Steve Jobs and company over in Cupertino, will hear her. After all, King is organizing a "silent" protest so that Apple knows that she is unhappy with its decision to pull out of the annual Macworld conference in San Francisco. In her words:
Apple is sending a message to the entire community -- professionals, hobbyists, media, Mac User Groups, and even (show organizer) IDG themselves-- that they care nothing for the community who supported them through thick and thin.
Well, I don't know that I agree with that completely - after all, business is business. This was a business decision for Apple. And, quite frankly, it probably was a very good business decision, one that could benefit customers, partners and hobbyists down the road. Apple questioned the ROI on show participation and decided it was no longer worth the investment. Fair enough - especially in this economic environment. Remember: not every business decision is a popular one.
Back to the protest. King is calling for Macworld attendees to remain silent during the Macworld keynote speech that used to belong to Steve Jobs but will now be delivered by marketing VP Phil Schiller. That's means no cheering, no clapping, no nothing. Just silence.
Ya know, I respect any individual's right to organize, gather and express an opinion or sentiment by means of peaceful protest. And certainly that's what King is proposing here. But, isn't this somewhat - oh, I don't know - childish? Philip W. Schiller is the Senior Vice President of Worldwide Product Marketing for Apple Inc., one of the most successful American companies in modern times, largely in part because of its marketing campaigns. Schiller has an impressive resume and deserves the respect that an audience of professionals would extend to any other speaker delivering a keynote speech at a trade show. (I actually referred to him as a "second-stringer" in an earlier post. Sorry about that, Phil.)
If you're angry at Apple, that's fine. Write a letter to Jobs himself. (The address is 1 Infinite Loop, Cupertino CA 95014). Stop buying the products. Create an "I'm mad at Apple" Facebook page. But don't intentionally disrespect Schiller because the company made a business decision that you don't agree with. I've seen Schiller on stage (pictured here with Steve Jobs and COO Tim Cook). I have no doubt he'll do just fine, especially when you consider the shoes he's being asked to fill and the microscope that he'll be under while on stage.
If Schiller says something on that stage that's worthy of applause, I will absolutely clap my hands together. And I don't care if I'm the only one in the auditorium doing it.