The Real iPhone Lesson: the Power of Schtum

I first wrote about Scoble, then the Microsoft Blogger Enfant Terrible back in 2004 or something. Maybe even earlier. But he was the breath of fresh air the company needed at the time. Now the ‘markets are naked conversations’ thing is the main meme, the conventional wisdom the smart people (smugly) get. Now Scoble’s on his own doing podcasts, still famous for being, well, Scoble, and just posted something that made me realize the game may already have changed:

Steve Jobs is MANUFACTURING great PR by keeping everyone’s mouth shut. Heck, I’ve met some people I KNEW had an iPhone and they were so scared of retribution or consequences that they wouldn’t answer a single question.

It’s an interesting possibility: That the real lesson from the iPhone episode is that companies will throw their levers into reverse and batten down the hatches (and mix a few metaphors on the way.) Corporate secrecy rules again. What is the point of opening all your windows at the behest of bloggers if great publicity is possible by controlling the flow of information so it is not a trickle?

Let’s face it: Jobs has perfected a form of self-censorship that is the antithesis of everything Web 2.0, social media, the blogging revolution and the instincts of every decent, right-thinking person. And it works. And we love him for it. Who isn’t going to draw a lesson from that?

29. June 2007 by jeremy
Categories: Blogs, Design, Innovation, Phones | Tags: , , , , | Comments Off on The Real iPhone Lesson: the Power of Schtum