The Clarity-of-Intention Edition Sunday, January 6, 2019

'I Love My Mac!', by Zoë Smith

I’ve been a Mac user since the IIsi. I know those features above inside-out, know which have been there since Classic days, which have just arrived, and yes, which can be flaky on occasion. But to see it through a new Mac user’s eyes is to see a vast enormity of mistakes not made. It is to perceive a clarity of intention through design, maintained over decades of updates.

Dancing Between Realism and Optimism

Apple And The Art Of Guidance,by John D. Stoll, Wall Street Journal

Mr. Cook is the first executive to face the firing squad this year, but he won’t stand alone. CEOs and their finance chiefs are in a tight spot as they start reporting the most recent quarter’s financial data this month. For a few years, they’ve been cheerleading for the economy, arguing that employment, spending, tax cuts and underlying fundamentals indicate all is well. When they didn’t have an answer ready for a tough question, they would point to economic or political uncertainty.

The art of guidance is always a delicate dance between realism and optimism, but a misstep in these febrile times can lead to a fall. Anything cautious that a CEO or CFO says about consumer demand, supply chains, inventory or credit conditions could be read as proof the sky is falling.

It's Time For Apple To Stop Playing It Safe,by Jonathon Trugman, New York Post

China is in a slowdown. Like Americans, the Chinese have probably cut back on their unnecessary purchases — like the newest iteration of the iPhone.

It’s time for Apple to lose the stifling “stay safe and count our money” posture.

It needs rebellious, creative genius to succeed going forward.

Why There’s Still Plenty Of Value In Apple’s Core, by Tae Kim, Barron's

Another mediocre product cycle doesn’t change Apple’s attributes: a bulletproof balance sheet, a stellar brand, a loyal customer base, and a sticky ecosystem of software and services. iPhone users are still likely to upgrade to another iOS device due to its high levels of customer satisfaction.

What Does Warren Buffett Think Of Apple's Plunge?, by Natalie Walters, The Motley Fool

“For example, when Buffett was interviewed on CNBC in May 2018, he seemed to shake his head at the stress the iPhone shipment reports caused investors. He said that obsessing over the exact number of iPhones sold in a three-month period isn't a reliable way to measure Apple's performance. People who focus on iPhone shipments are missing the point of the company, according to Buffett.”


“Considering that this interview happened less than a year ago, it seems logical that Buffett would give the same advice this week: Don't focus all your attention on Apple's ever-changing iPhone shipments. He wants investors to be thinking of Apple's long-term potential with its "sticky" products and its other revenue streams like its cloud business and App Store sales.”

Security Matters

Security Researchers Find Over A Dozen iPhone Apps Linked To Golduck Malware, by Zack Whittaker, TechCrunch

Wandera, an enterprise security firm, said it found 14 apps — all retro-style games — that were communicating with the same command and control server used by the Golduck malware.


As of now, the researchers say that the apps are packed with ads — likely as a way to make a quick buck. But they expressed concern that the communication between the app and the known-to-be-malicious server could open up the app — and the device — to malicious commands down the line.


Getting Beyond The BS Of Leadership Literature, by Jeffrey Pfeffer, McKinsey

“The focus on leadership should be about useful behavior rather than overly simplistic, and therefore fundamentally inaccurate, categorizations of people and personalities. Not surprisingly, the materials I find most useful for teaching leadership accurately describe the types of behavior, and the underlying social-science evidence and principles, that are needed to get things done in complex, interdependent systems in which people pursue multiple, often conflicting, agendas. Here are lessons drawn from what, in my view, are the best books on leadership.”

Bottom of the Page

Little things I enjoy on macOS:

1) Both "Hide Current App" and "Hide Others" menu items and their two easy-to-remember keyboard shortcuts.
2) Understandable (potentially) folder and file names everywhere.
3) Usable trackpad.


Thanks for reading.