Measure Twice, Cut Once

Apple’s response today to the Lodsys patent threat against iOS developers is another example that indicates a consistent pattern:

  1. An Apple-related crisis or problem occurs.
  2. There’s an immediate flurry of news coverage and speculation.
  3. A week or more passes before Apple responds, but when they do, they do so decisively.

Same pattern for the iPhone 4 “antennagate”, the iOS location-logging database, and now this. It has only been 10 days since Lodsys began sending its threats to iOS developers, and that includes two weekends. I know from talking to several friends who were on the receiving end of Lodsys’s threats that those were a long 10 days, but still. Litigation is serious business, and the App Store is one of Apple’s crown jewels. Right or wrong, Apple’s stance is that they’d rather err on the side of taking too long to respond than to risk making things worse by responding poorly too soon.

Apple’s policy is to respond to a crisis with certainty, or at least as much certainty as can be mustered. Certainty takes time. No drip, drip, drip of vapid PR statements. Just silence, then an answer. Seems to be working out pretty well for them.