If you are a geek on the web you know that tomorrow (or today depending when you read this) Steve Jobs will give the opening keynote for MacWorld San Francisco 2007. The web is abuzz and it is hard to visit a site that doesn’t have the latest rumors and predictions about what is going to be announced. Rarely do we see a single company generate so much buzz around one event without having to lift a finger. The brand alone generates the buzz and the community builds it up.
Name a Web 2.0 company that has the same leverage even on a smaller scale? No matter whether you want one or not your company develops a brand the day it is launched. The brand isn’t the same to everyone, but there are certain qualities of your brand that the majority of people will share. I think it is safe to argue that the brand around Apple is mostly positive and because of this people talk about MacWorld with the anticipation of Christmas.
What’s interesting to note is that another large tech event is happening this week, CES, and Bill Gates gave his keynote yesterday. How much have you heard about that?
Even though I have already pimped them out today, the only other company that comes to mind that has products and services that people flock around and can stage an event that gets people buzzing is 37signals. Granted, compared to Apple they do things on a much smaller scale, but you can see how they are built around a strong brand and community. Today’s Web 2.0 companies want to be built around VC dollars and TechCrunch links.
Anyone can create a Digg clone, but you can’t duplicate the community. Anyone can create a mp3 player, but can’t duplicate the Apple experience of an iPod and iTunes. It isn’t always about specs and the latest features. You don’t have to be bigger and faster than the competition. You just have to do the important things better. Apple does that and while you have the largest tech companies in the world converging at CES, it is one tech company that is stealing all the attention this week.
And if they don’t announce an iPhone tomorrow to end all of the rumors please end me.