Look For New Joy
Friday, July 26, 1996 by Dave Winer.
I was talking with a veteran reporter from a major business pub last week. He's covered every major industry event and trend since the early 80s, sometimes on an exclusive basis. He's respected, a thinker, an amazing rolodex. He's a lightning rod, an assimilator of facts and opinion, but like all reporters that attain his stature, he's an industry leader in his own right. He decides what direction he wants the industry to turn. His pieces are signposts. They redirect traffic.
These are very powerful people, don't miss that. I've seen reporters go after companies and then see the companies go away. They can waste time with technological dead-ends that they find intriguing. And they can support revolutions like word processing and the Internet because they directly impact the reporters lives. It's no mystery that they cover what they understand. They're heavily influenced by their experience.
Many reporters use Macs. So they pay extra attention to Apple. They had expectations. They still do! Where's the Apple of days gone by? When will the spark return? We all loved the first experiences we had with Macs. What a lovely idea it was, back then. Can we have some more?
Pause for a moment and, if you use a Mac, or used to use a Mac, remember how it was for you when you first used one. I remember very well, walking into the Mac building at Apple in 1983 and getting my first glimpse. "This machine is for me." The thought just formed in my head.
It did something that no computer did in the past. It asked you to love it. Before that computers were loveable, but they weren't cute. The original Mac fully accessed our Inner Mommy, I've written about this before, it's the spot inside of us that adores bright-eyed little things that are trying.
Oh the first Macs were trying. 128K memory. 400K floppies. No hard disk. But you'd have to pinch yourself as you move around the windows and pull down the menus. "Am I really doing this?" Amazing stuff. It gives me goosebumps to recall the feeling of presence and excitement I experienced.
When the machine shipped it was like a festival of love. I was young. There was nothing but blue sky. We found home.
We transferred the joy we felt about the machine to the creators of the machine. The people weren't as generous as the little machine, it turns out. But they're gone. They're not young anymore. It never was Apple. It wasn't the people who did the machine. It was us, it was the times, whatever it was, it's gone.
It's gone, if it ever really existed. Breathe deeply. It's gone. Really feel it.
It's gone. We aren't going back there. The joy is gone!
Look for new joy.