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Stephanie Vardavas on Apple

Wednesday, November 30, 1994 by Dave Winer.

Good morning!

Stephanie J. Vardavas, Vice President, Legal and Business Affairs, of ProServ, Inc., a sports marketing company based in Arlington, Va, has comments on Jim Friedlander's piece on market share, released yesterday morning.

She adds "the response I sent Jim was a pure off-the-top- of-the-head, unplanned rant. So I don't know how elegantly worded it was... but it was sincere."

I'd add: it was refreshing to hear very similar sentiments from someone outside the software industry, but with a clear interest in the Mac platform and the Apple company, and (most gratifying) developers. And off-the-top-of-the-head comments are *exactly* what's appreciated here.

If you have comments, send them to vard@well.com. Please cc me at dwiner@well.com.


Re: Let A Thousand Flowers Bloom

You don't know me and neither does dwiner, really. I don't work in the computer business and I don't know how to write software. I'm just a customer. But I want to say a few things:

1. First of all, I own many products, probably far too many for my own good. But although I like most of them and generally respect their manufacturers, I *love* Apple Computer. I love it for building my boyfriend's original Mac 128 and I love it for building my first Mac, an LC, and I love it even more for building my shiny new Power Mac 7100. I love it so much that I have put it in my 401(k) account, where I will count on it to grow (yes, along with other investments but damn few individual stocks) through my old age.

2. When you let us Mac cultists get loose, we have the ability to build your business. I (not quite single-handedly but almost so) stopped my company's plan to put 386's on all the desks two and a half years ago, and we got Macs instead (over the objections of our DP guy, I might add). We feel strongly and we are loyal.

3. Yes, you have to cultivate business users -- hell, I'm a business user! -- but you do that by working with the developers who can create the truly cool applications that we want, that will make us want Macs. Most of the executives here don't care what brand is on the box, and an astonishing number don't know for sure just what kind of machine it is that their secretaries are using. But they care what it does.

4. I would like to continue to be a loyal Apple customer and investor for the rest of my life. Please see to it that Apple is managed in such a way as to make this both possible and meaningful.

5. There are only two things I own that I will bend the ear of a stranger about. By far the most significant is my Mac. (The other is my Schwinn Air-Dyne exercise bike.) Mac users are like this. Use us. Communicate with us. Let us in on what's happening so we can help, and not just wring our hands from the sidelines.


Thanks for the comments, Stephanie!

Dave Winer

PS: Tomorrow I'm going to run a piece by Esther Dyson about online businesses. So we switch gears away Apple, give them a little peace (for a while at least!) and hope for the very best.

PPS: As long as we're still on Apple for the moment, I thought it would be cool to add a couple of comments from Mark Eppley, president of Traveling Software, a former Mac developer. An interesting before-and-after. After reading my piece he said: "Dave, I think it is far too late for Apple to get all their developers back. We are an ex-Mac developer ourselves. All the guests left the Mac Party and went across town to the Windows party. What is Apple going to do? Hey, we're still having a party, come back? Got more beer and chips, honest!" Then, after reading Jim's piece on market share, he said: "Absolutely! Percent market share focus certainly can mask any thought in terms of actual size of the revenue and total units pie. Apple has responded just the way Intel/Microsoft would have preferred." Hmmmm.

PPPS: Anyone been skiing at Tahoe? I'm thinking of taking off for a few days. How about Park City?

PPPPS: I'm still looking for some really clean MacTCP sample code...


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