I have been doing some writing and interviews to promote our book, The Pomme Company. The publicity has greatly helped the rankings and the sales of the book. As is often said, publicity is all good as long as they spell your name correctly. Most of us in the web world like to add that we are very happy when we get a link to whatever we are selling.
However, anyone who has done more than one or two interviews will tell you that it is a little like Russian Roulette. Sometimes it doesn't work out very well. I remember doing one for Der Spiegel a few years ago and apparently one of the more interesting parts to them was my bald head. Fortunately the interview was in German and I could just ignore it. It did get me to stop doing interviews where the only agenda was the one of the person interviewing me.
I am back doing interviews now with the goal of selling books, and it is working. There are some challenges as you will see from my recent experience. Talking about Apple always raises the level of passion. There are still people who believe Apple can do no evil.
The first interview that I did was with Dan Lyons. Dan is the former Fake Steve and author of The Secret Life of Fake Steve Jobs. I've known Dan for a while, and I have enjoyed his stories. I actually got to know him when I tried to help him get his Apple laptop repaired. Apple never did fix his laptop, but like most people who love Macs, he just went out and bought a new one.
Dan was very careful to make certain that what he wrote corresponded to what I was telling him. I was impressed with his thoroughness and attention to detail. His article, What's It Like To Work For Tim Cook? A Former Apple Sales Exec Dishes, was published on November 9.
Very quickly Yahoo News jumps on the bandwagon and publishes this article, Ex-Apple Employee Attacks Tim Cook: 'He Is Not A Natural Leader,' He Is A 'Lightweight'. It was done by Jay Yarrow who at the time had not talked to me. His article was based on Dan Lyons article.
Things started moving pretty fast at that point, and I got an email from Greg Sandoval at CNET. He wanted me to call him on his cell phone. I called and got him as he was leaving a restaurant. He said he would call me back in fifteen minutes. I waited about forty minutes for his call before calling him back to tell him that I had another call at 3:30 PM which I expected to last until 4:00 PM. He said he would call me at 4:05 PM. I said that was fine. I finished my other call and waited until 4:30 PM for his return call. I then sent him an email that I was going for a walk while the evening light was still nice. I told him I was available in about forty-five minutes. I'm also a photographer so I hate to miss the afternoon light since I get a lot of inspiration from it.
At 4:35 PM while I was out chasing sunsets, Greg sent me a nice note saying, "I don't want to hold you up. Forgive me, the nature of the job. I'm going to be satisfied with the story I have up. Thanks for calling me back. All the best with the book." I guess he had gotten tied up with a Pandora story. However, the result was that I never talked to him about my comments to Dan.
That afternoon Greg did publish an article, Former Apple sales exec says Tim Cook is tech 'lightweight'. I did get my book link, but there are things that I would have corrected in the article.
While this was happening I got a contact from Jay Yarrow who had done the earlier Business Insider article and wanted to talk to me on Friday for a follow-up article. Friday morning Jay and I talked for over an hour, and he published this article, Tim Cook Is One Of The Three People That Saved Apple. I got my name spelled right, but I am still working on the book link and understanding the last sentence.
However, that's okay because not long after that I noticed that Forbes had picked up the buzz and included a link to the book in their Apple Loop article.
The really interesting thing is that all these articles are at the end of the line based on one source or me more correctly. Most of the information could be gleaned from my book or probably from some of the articles that I had on-line at my Applepeels blog for much of the last eight years. Many of the posts were pulled down in the summer of 2011 in preparation for our book, but there are still 47 of the original 405 posts on-line. A few of the most recent posts have a link to my Apple history.
Some of the folks who criticized my comments insisted that I probably never met Tim Cook. They certainly hadn't taken the time to read my book or even visit my website where you can still figure out that I knew Tim Cook. They made wild assumptions without trying to get things right with easily accessible information.
I know Dan Lyons has read most of my book, but I pretty sure none of the rest of the reporters has taken the time to do that. I guess it is a little bit of the nature of Internet reporting, that speed is more important than research or getting things right. My old friend RJ who was an editor at the Mount Airy News would be horrified. He had great respect for the facts and strived to get everything right.
I hope to be writing more articles with Dan Lyons at readwrite and I expect some follow-up from Jay Yarrow. Still the truth is that it is sometimes hard to get across what you want someone to understand in a phone interview.
An example is the quote from me in Yarrow's second article, "Jobs came up with all the brilliant products, Anderson, who was the CFO, figured out how to pay for parts before people even bought the products, and Cook reorganized the company's logistics."
What I said was slightly different. I said Fred Anderson figured out how for Apple to get paid for its products before Apple paid for the parts. It is a small but significant difference. It was the secret to making Apple a money machine because customers were giving Apple money for computers and Apple hadn't even paid for the parts of the computers that they had sold.
I will be talking more about why I think Tim Cook has a ways to go before he tames the Apple beast. Of most concern to me is that I don't see a passion for technology, but that is a long post.
I also have a list of things which I just don't think make sense if Apple is going to continue to be known as the company where the tiny details matter. I'm only going to mention one, and it is the location the SD (photo memory card) slot on the new iMac. It is behind that lovely 27" screen if you buy the top end system. Think about reaching around that screen to put your SD card in the computer, and let me know if you can come up with a real reason why you would want to do that.
Jay Yarrow suggested Apple only wants people to use iPhones to take pictures. Still I think it is a stupid location for an SD slot which is something that I use a lot, but more on that later.