First time visitor
Even as a hardcore Apple fan, I had never visited a true Apple retail store before. But did I make up for that!
The maker of toys
Merlin Mann, in his excellent tribute to Steve Jobs on the 5by5.tv special referred to him as the maker of toys.
Visiting Apple’s London Regent Street retail store multiple times today, I can’t but be amazed and in awe of the way this place feels alive. People are everywhere playing with the products. There’s an eagerness and an openness here, with people coming in to check their mail on the free wifi, learn about the software, blog (as I am doing now) … Oh wow! (intended reference to the wonderful piece by Steve Jobs’ sister Mona Simpson in which she tells about his last words).
The ultimate storyteller
Being here, in this shop, I understand that the toy maker was also the ultimate storyteller. Every piece of hardware and software has a purpose, with limited to no overlap. This makes it understandable. Apple hardware and software almost function as archetypes, not only for who we are, but perhaps even more for who we want to become. Steve Jobs built a company that builds products that assist us in being a better us, with a low initial threshold to achieving that first win over ourselves. The ultimate storyteller doesn’t tell you stories about someone else you believe. He tells you stories about yourself you want to believe and which you can achieve.
Think about this
I just noted a couple of people coming in with their Samsung Galaxy to browse the web. I don’t ever recall people going into a Samsung store with iPhones to do that there … Think about it. Apple is not just the excellent design. It’s also the entire experience. And given the crowds here today, we want that experience.