People said I should accept the world. Bulls**t!! I don’t accept the world — Richard Stallman, Founder of The Free Software Movement
On the tenth anniversary of the iPhone and the launch of iPhone X today, Apple’s market capitalization briefly surpassed $900 Billion. Approaching $1 trillion, Apple is on the verge of becoming five times larger than the GDP of Greece. It’s stock ended the day at $172.5 with another record breaking quarter. By any standards, Apple is the ultimate icon of the closed system movement which is despised by the free software or open source software movement founded by Richard Stallman. In countless households today, the debate between Apple and Android rages on. The closest parallel is the comparison of Bitcoin (open source and decentralized) vs Fiat currency (closed and centrally controlled). If art imitates life, software mirrors our society. While some countries such may be considered relatively closed, others such as the US and India are more open. This article explores the concept of liberty, equality and fraternity through their manifestations in the software and crypto currency world to answer an age old question : what does freedom truly mean?
It Was Never About The iPhone
Let me begin by saying that Apple’s success was never about one product. Instead, it goes deeper. A beautifully designed phone is just one of the manifestations of a superior client experience. Apple was always about making people feel special and touching their hearts while Android was always about better functionality i.e. stimulating minds through greater utility.
From the beautifully designed retail experience minus the pushy salesmen, the Genius Bar and now Today At Apple spearheaded by the former CEO of Burberry and now head of retail design Angela Ahrendts, Apple aims to create delight at every touch point. Angela hopes Apple’s retail store resemble a town square where artists and people gather to create magic. Somewhat similar to Starbucks coffee. Now ask yourself: is Starbucks really only about coffee?