Paul Graham on How the App Store Has Damaged Apple’s Reputation With Developers

The hard part about criticizing the App Store is that it doesn’t fit into a black-and-white narrative. It’s not bad or good. It’s both. In fact, it’s more extreme than that — it’s both amazingly good and horribly bad. And, frustratingly, many of us see how the bad parts could be made better without sacrificing the good parts.

This piece by Paul Graham addresses this dichotomy, and tries to make sense of Apple’s seeming blindness to the App Store’s severe problems:

Actually I suppose Apple has a third misconception: that all the complaints about App Store approvals are not a serious problem. They must hear developers complaining. But partners and suppliers are always complaining. It would be a bad sign if they weren’t; it would mean you were being too easy on them. Meanwhile the iPhone is selling better than ever. So why do they need to fix anything?

Later on, Graham captures what it is that gives me The Fear:

An organization that wins by exercising power starts to lose the ability to win by doing better work.

I wish I’d written that sentence.

Thursday, 19 November 2009