The Apple Tablet And Planned Insanity

Chances are that unless you have been living under an Internet-free rock, you have gotten a dose of the rumor mill surrounding Apple’s likely new product, the Apple Tablet computer (by whatever name it will eventually appear on Wednesday, unless it won’t, that is).

iPad/iSlate/iTablet/etc., heir to the iPhone, destroyer of lesser technology gadgets?!

The name is not the only thing that has been a closely, and purposefully guarded secret:

The blogosphere and assorted Old Media outlets have over the last few months progressively worked themselves into a tizzy over the key questions surrounding Steve Job’s next mysterious, almost Grail-like product.

Like, how big will it be? How much will it cost? How many men died during its construction?

Kidding on that last one, though not by much…

All of this is of course utterly predictable in light of Apple’s tightly constructed Archetype Branding strategy that I’ve been writing about since the iPhone wave. Secrecy is such that the Tablet so far as only appeared indirectly, as a quasi digital ghost.

Pairing Steve Job’s “Wizard of Oz” character (The Wizard archetype, coming out from behind the curtains – i.e. secrecy – with the newest technological marvel), with The Enigma archetype inherent in this elaborate charade, is creating a launch atmosphere unlike just about anything else in current business, or show business for that matter.

Of Wizards, Grails, And Zeigarnik Effects?!

Not only does mystery draw on this powerful archetype, but, just in case you prefer more scientific approaches, the so-called Zeigarnik Effect also explains the draw of an unresolved, “open” loop that has entered your consciousness. Somewhat dependent upon personality, you are likely to feel a strong urge of just having to know.

This explains why even many months ago, bloggers and journalists alike could seemingly not help themselves but to write about the mystical Tablet. And of course from the very beginning, that is just how Apple wanted it.

Even now, well after midnight in the U.S., there are thousands of tweets on Twitter every few minutes expounding one rumored aspect or the next:

Some have even argued that Apple will deliberately sprinkle out little bits of information mixed with misinformation to stoke the fire.

Whatever Jobs will be presenting on Wednesday, and by whatever name it will be called, all eyes will be simultaneously oriented toward “The Great Unveiling”. Compare this natural feeding frenzy to the rather humdrum affairs that Google or Microsoft had given us of late.

Google’s Nexus One Android smartphone launch a few weeks ago was hardly the stuff of legend with its persistent minimalism. And by the time Windows 7 was finally officially launched, so many public Alpha, Beta, and minor tech celebrity testers had already rummaged through every nook and cranny of the operating system AND written about their findings, that it was hardly news anymore.

Now, a sheer endless parade of blog posts and articles has already been written about the Apple Tablet. But those have all been speculation, rumor, and innuendo! (“Will it be a Kindle killer?” “Will it be a Play Station Portable (PSP) killer?” etc. etc.)

The open loop was NEVER closed!

As if any more titillation were necessary, the issue of Jobs’ ongoing illness/recovery and speculation that this may well be his last new product launch as Master of Ceremonies… I mean CEO. And that he therefore will have brought all of his human and, some would speculate, super-human powers of invention, design obsession, and stage craft to bear in this his final Magnum Opus.

Even now we hear whispers: Did he really say that this Tablet “will Be The Most Important Thing I’ve Ever Done.” Did he? Would he? Can the poor computer thing possibly live up to this level of hype?

Robert Scoble indeed asks if the event can even still be covered in ways that news media, journalists, and bloggers have become accustomed to over the years. Or if we need an entirely new, “curated”, meta-experience to fully appreciate the unfolding of this new reality.

And therein lies the only drawback and potential danger of such a tightly choreographed affair:

All of the pieces have to be in place (when Jobs got sick and was absent from one of these launches, the magic was clearly lacking). And when they are, a deep connection and expectation is formed in people’s psyches that may prove difficult, if not impossible, to live up to.

Beware the pitfalls of this form of powerful Archetype Branding!

  • http://twitter.com/JaysonJesus JaysonJesus

    #Leadership The Apple Tablet And Planned Insanity: Chances are that unless you have been living under an Internet-… http://bit.ly/9ZbVen

    This comment was originally posted on Twitter

  • mari go round

    How many men DID die in the creating process?

  • http://twitter.com/AlexSchleber AlexSchleber

    The Apple Tablet – how big will it be? How much will it cost? How many men died during its construction?! http://bit.ly/8ZboTp

    This comment was originally posted on Twitter

  • http://twitter.com/desho09 desho09

    http://businessmindhacks.com/post/the-apple-tablet-and-planned-insanity ja bi gaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa

    This comment was originally posted on Twitter

  • http://twitter.com/AlexSchleber AlexSchleber

    @mayhemstudios @andrewmueller thought you might enjoy: The Apple Tablet And Planned Insanity http://bit.ly/8ZboTp

    This comment was originally posted on Twitter

  • http://twitter.com/AlexSchleber AlexSchleber

    @mikecj check out: The Apple Tablet And Planned Insanity http://bit.ly/8ZboTp Half-in-jest-fully-in-earnest..

    This comment was originally posted on Twitter

  • http://twitter.com/netnewsrecord netnewsrecord

    Alex Schleber: The Apple Tablet And Planned Insanity | Business Mindhacks: http://bit.ly/a8i66g

    This comment was originally posted on Twitter

  • http://twitter.com/AlexSchleber AlexSchleber

    Are you ready? – The Apple Tablet And Planned Insanity http://bit.ly/8ZboTp Heads-up @trendtracker #fb

    This comment was originally posted on Twitter

  • http://twitter.com/ChrisDrinkut ChrisDrinkut

    RT @AlexSchleber: Are you ready? – The Apple Tablet And Planned Insanity http://bit.ly/8ZboTp Heads-up @trendtracker #fb

    This comment was originally posted on Twitter

  • http://twitter.com/AlexSchleber AlexSchleber

    Did you miss? -> The Apple Tablet And Planned Insanity http://bit.ly/8ZboTp

    This comment was originally posted on Twitter

  • http://twitter.com/PuneRealEstate PuneRealEstate

    The Apple Tablet And Planned Insanity | Business Mind Hacks – http://ow.ly/10Pha

    This comment was originally posted on Twitter

  • http://twitter.com/welcome2pune welcome2pune

    The Apple Tablet And Planned Insanity | Business Mind Hacks – http://ow.ly/10PhP

    This comment was originally posted on Twitter

  • http://twitter.com/davesalyer davesalyer

    The Apple Tablet And Planned Insanity – http://bit.ly/cicfpp

    This comment was originally posted on Twitter

  • http://twitter.com/AlexSchleber AlexSchleber

    @ScottAllen have you seen “The Apple Tablet And Planned Insanity” http://bit.ly/8ZboTp ? I suspect it will give you a chuckle or three #12m

    This comment was originally posted on Twitter

  • http://businessmindhacks.com Alex

    In reply to @mari go round:
    :) That bit is actually an adaptation from a Comedy bit I once saw. No actual Apple employees were harmed in the making of the mythical iSlate…I think.

  • http://twitter.com/MidnightMogul MidnightMogul

    RT @AlexSchleber Planned Insanity: The Apple Tablet http://bit.ly/8ZboTp [funny AND insightful] #12m

    This comment was originally posted on Twitter

  • http://twitter.com/jimwoods09 jimwoods09

    RT @ScottAllen: RT @AlexSchleber Planned Insanity: The Apple Tablet http://bit.ly/8ZboTp [funny AND insightful]

    This comment was originally posted on Twitter

  • http://twitter.com/AlexSchleber AlexSchleber

    @wisequeen you and I both..here’s for a little levity: http://bit.ly/8ZboTp

    This comment was originally posted on Twitter

  • http://businessmindhacks.com Alex

    Overheard on Twitter from TechCrunch’s @parislemon:

    “T’was the night before tablet…” :)

  • http://twitter.com/AlexSchleber AlexSchleber

    .@rafaelmarquez agreed, that’s why I wrote the caveat at the end of The Apple Tablet &Planned Insanity http://bit.ly/8ZboTp

    This comment was originally posted on Twitter

  • http://twitter.com/AlexSchleber AlexSchleber

    @jowyang @susanbeebe with the emphasis being on “mysticism”.. -> Planned Insanity http://bit.ly/8ZboTp

    This comment was originally posted on Twitter

  • http://twitter.com/susanbeebe susanbeebe

    AWESOME!! :D >> RT @AlexSchleber: @jowyang @susanbeebe with the emphasis being on “mysticism”.. -> Planned Insanity http://bit.ly/8ZboTp

    This comment was originally posted on Twitter

  • http://twitter.com/nicolariordan nicolariordan

    @AlexSchleber Good post (http://bit.ly/bLTpQz) If you’re going to build hype and plant leaks, better be sure what you unveil lives up to it.

    This comment was originally posted on Twitter

  • Chieze Okoye

    Wow, this is actually a really fascinating and insightful article. Right on the money.