After I asked for pictures of people wearing my team colors of black and denim, I didn’t get any photos right away. Instead, I got a couple of comments from fashion bloggers who said they didn’t have any solid black tops or never wore jeans. I started thinking, “Wow! I thought I was dressing in a really humdrum way but I must be very edgy in my simplicity!” Then a few pictures came in and I stopped feeling so
Of course, one of the most famous people to wear my uniform of black top and jeans was the late Steve Jobs. Like me, he wore suits at the start of his career. Reportedly, he favored Brioni, which does beautiful suits.
I’m encouraged that Steve Jobs’s later-in-life sartorial mediocrity didn’t stop him from being a billionaire genius with an anger-management problem. (I was once nearby when a journalist received a call from Jobs, who had a complaint about a story. Jobs screamed so loudly that I thought he was on speakerphone. He wasn’t.) Seeing as I have jeans, black tops and anger already checked off of my personal to-do list, I can only assume that the billionaire and genius parts of the deal are on their way. Yay, me!
I just worry that my concern for my customers is holding me back from Jobs-level success. Steve Jobs didn’t give a fuck about the end-users’ opinions. “It’s really hard to design products by focus groups. A lot of times, people don’t know what they want until you show it to them,” he said. Okay, I agree with that. But I think Jobs was flat-out hostile for introducing physically attractive products whose flawed functionality he often blamed on customers until a sufficient number of complaints forced him to grudgingly offer a solution. Remember the initial version of the iPod, introduced in 2001, with a battery that died (for me) in a couple of months? A battery that couldn’t be replaced? Apple’s initial advice: Buy a new iPod. (A class-action suit was settled in 2005, but Apple fixed the battery problem before then.) How about those iPhone connection problems caused by people holding their phones the wrong way? Stupid people with their stupid hands!
Steve must have hated the search engine I cautiously refer to as Poodle, because it helps us
idiots customers compare notes on things like broken MacBook Air hinges, so that Apple had to start fixing the hinges for free — even on out-of-warranty computers — instead of charging $400 and up to do it. (Got a broken/malfunctioning Apple product? Poodle “Apple finally acknowledged” plus the product name and brief description of the problem to find out if it’s the company’s fault. You’re welcome.) Yesterday, I realized Twitter is in on the exposé action too, as people trying to download Apple operating system iOS 5 for iPhones, iPads and iPods were frustrated by an ERROR 3200 message.
Despite all that, I have a later-generation iPod, an iPhone that allows me to receive calls when it’s in a good mood and a MacBook Air with fresh hinges. And, when the news of Jobs’s death broke, I exclaimed, “Oh no! That’s so sad!” That’s how you know someone’s a major talent — when you shed a tear while saying, “I’m going to miss that big jerk!” So in recognition of his brilliance, achievements and wardrobe, I hereby declare the late Steve Jobs to be the honorary captain of the WendyB team. Spare a thought for him whenever you see ERROR 3200 during your iOS 5 download or the Spinning Beach Ball of Death on your computer.
Here is the rest of the WendyB team, wearing the official uniform. (Interestingly, none of them combined the uniform with the official pose, thus losing out on bonus points.) Click their photos to visit their blogs.
UPDATED OCTOBER 20, 2011, TO ADD: Here’s another team member.
UPDATED OCTOBER 31, 2011, TO ADD: Here’s a link to the Jobs’s sister’s touching eulogy for him in the New York Times. And below are links to just a few of the stories about problems with the iPhone 4s battery life. I would have thought that battery life is something that could be easily tested before a product is released … but a company would have to care about customers to do that, I guess: