think different-ly

Think different - iMac G3
Image by LuizNonato via Flickr

For years I used to ponder the Apple ad campaign “Think Different.”

The thing about it was, what I would ponder, was their use of grammar.

Apple, through this campaign, was telling the world that users of Macintosh were different from the rest – they were unique thinkers.  This campaign was filled with images of rebels – from Martin Luther King Junior to John Lennon to Albert Einstein.

But the thing was, their use of ‘different’ and not ‘differently.’  By saying “Think different,” Apple was using an adjective, not an adverb.  In other words, they were telling you WHAT to think, not HOW.

Of course I appreciate that “Think Different” sounds better than “Think Differently.”  The latter just doesn’t roll off the tongue quite as satisfyingly.  And I imagine that was the driving force behind the decision.  I have to give Apple credit that they were smart enough to have realized the grammatical implications of their word choice.  And I do believe that they consciously decided to go with their choice because of the strength of the phrase, not the literal translation.

But I also think that Think Different fits better with my view of the company.  I believe that they see it as part of their role to tell their customers what to do & what to think – that they know what’s best for their customers.

As much as I think that Apple makes some of the best computer systems out there, I think they apply too much of a heavy-hand on how their components can be used – and I don’t understand the reasoning.  The reality is, most customers are only comfortable downloading approved applications and most people are not interested in hacking their Apple TVs or installing OSX on different hardware.  To go after this minority of customers is a distraction keeping them from producing even better systems.  But I truly believe they can’t help themselves.  They are too used to telling their customers WHAT to do, and, WHAT to think.

the importance of taking a break

It’s been a little while since I posted anything here.  At first, it was because my attention was focused elsewhere.  Then, I started to appreciate the break.

Back in May, armed with a relatively new 50mm lens, I brought my camera with me every day of the month, making a point of taking photos around town during my daily walks to and from work or while taking the dog out for a hike.  This exercise culminated with a rather warm Sunday Carnaval celebration, just around the corner from my house.

Alongside all of this, I had a new project at work that required a lot of my attention.  It was in the early phases of a new initiative that required a lot of creative thinking and I found that I didn’t have a lot of that energy left walking out of work.

So it was in June when I decided to do nothing with those images, and not post to this site.  I focused all of my creative energy on work.

Sometime last month, I wrapped my head around the items at work and started putting some energy towards processing the images from May.  Towards the end of the July I took the camera out for the first time to take some photos of the now shuttered Transbay Terminal here in San Francisco.

And today I’m back writing here.

I’ll get around to uploading photos from May sometime, but I’m currently spending time going through some of the photos from Africa and South America, looking to make some black & white images.

The next few months promise to be pretty busy, in a good way.  I should have a few things to post.

But I did appreciate the break, and the perspective it provided.