If Obama is like the iPhone, what PROBLEMS can we expect with his administration?

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by Cleverboy, Nov 3, 2008.

  1. Cleverboy macrumors 65816

    Cleverboy

    Joined:
    May 25, 2007
    Location:
    Pocket Universe, nth Dimensional Complex Manifold
    #1
    DARE TO COMPARE

    Okay, so... I've thought this for a while. Obama is like the iPhone. He's shiny, new, and a serious hype-magnet. People don't think he has enough "features" (read: experience), and there's a genuine argument to be made comparing marketing vs. milestones, rhetoric vs. results... and people tend to think both aren't good for business (whether this is true or not). He's co-sponsored what's often referred to as Google for government and has won the support of Google CEO Eric Schmidt (ties with Google) and he supports a equal access as a fundamental building-block of the Internet (much like Apple seeks another aspect of Internet ubiquity with its mobile Safari).

    I've run into a number of articles to make the comparison is various ways, but following the Obama iPhone app, Google has suddenly become disenchanted with returning many of these results versus announcements regarding the new AppStore addition. :p

    Here's at least one article though:

    How Barack Obama is like the iPhone. - February 23, 2008
    http://waxbanks.typepad.com/blog/2008/02/how-barack-obam.html

    Some nice quotes:
    So... he "thinks different" in finding common ground, he believes in an "iPod government", is forward thinking on issues like net neutraility and technological convergence (wants the world more connected as sees appointing a CTO of America), and thinks that making the "tent bigger" with a smarter government is justified in the philosophy that the strength of a Democracy is measured in the amount of participation (back to his community organizing roots).

    PROBLEMS AHEAD

    Where is this thought going?

    Well, I'm thinking about the NEXT level. What PROBLEMS will occur that are inherent in this comparison. The iPhone experienced a very interesting rash of criticism simply because it made the "tent bigger" for smart phones (things that phone makers and carriers had been doing forever). Suddenly Senate members were questioning why the phone industry had "early termination fees". Customers were wondering why the phone was locked to one carrier. People questioned why data fees were so high, and what the difference was between Text Messaging and Instant Messaging... and why one charged you much more than the cost to the carrier.

    #1. EXPECTATIONS

    What kind of problems do you run into when you make the "tent" of government accountability bigger? It sounds like the FIRST problem, is trying to deal with managing "expectations". If the hype is out of control, it will encounter a balloon-bursting brick-wall, when it encounters the realities of a tough economic situation. Nothing is going to happen overnight. People will STILL lose their houses. Jobs will still ship out overseas. Should he win, no "magic wand" will be waved in Obama's first 100 days. America won't be out of Iraq anytime soon, no matter who's in the White House. Iran, North Korea, and Russia will still be doing what they feel is in their interests.

    Some people are still asking for MMS and Cut & Paste on the iPhone, and STUNNED they are still waiting for it, and don't consider the platform a success until they get it. What will be Obama's "hold out" issues. Unlike the iPhone, many of Obama's hold-out issues, will likely be a direct result of "promises" made during the campaign.

    #2. COMMUNICATION

    Apple SUCKS at communication. Apple's handling of expectations has been so poor, they've generated sights with names like Apple Insider, ThinkSecret, and... MacRumors. :) The idea of secrecy of pretty much antithetical to Obama's appeal. Transparency has been one of his halmarks, yet one of the reasons Apple is successful, is because it only makes announcements when things are READY to launch... leading to the immediate gratification of "On Sale Today", with a trade-off of often an "anti-climax" at the end of the latest keynote.

    #3. ROLLOUTS

    Apple faced one of the worst rollouts of its history with its MobileMe offering, that happened at the same time it launched its "iPhone 3G" device. Is a new type of government comparable and therefore subject to the hazards of such simultaneous technology rollouts? When an Obama administration works to mobilize U.S. citizens, and transitions from "Obama for America" to "The Office of the President", what sort of changes will be see? Can the White House afford to "nod" to organizations like MySpace, Facebook, YouTube, etc... without appearing to show favoritism? One of the biggest minefields Apple successfully crossed, was in making the iPhone easy to use and powerful, yet jumping through numerous hurdles that have dogged competitors who've long attempted to find a similar "sweet spot".

    When Obama talks of a private-public partnership in the healthcare industry (and other areas), will that take on some of the same problematic stumbling blocks that Google encountered in breaking new ground (ie: being sued by trademark holders on advertising, book publishers on content search, newspapers for feed republishing, and content providers on YouTube)? Yet, in accomplishing real changes, the government will be cutting many existing organizations out of the picture, generating some measure of ill-will when the rubber meets the road. Apple list of patent suits from releasing the iPhone continues to grow like a doomsday ticker. When it comes to any innovation, it sounds like the best way to know you're not doing anything of importance, is that you're not being sued. Being a lawyer, no one should know that more than Obama... yet, if his administration is to be a success, he's got a very small window in which to accomplish it. --And being sued by squadrons of disenfranchised businesses (or powerful industries) will NOT be the way to accomplish it.

    Anyone else see any parallels, or is the entire concept useless and off-base?

    ~ CB
     
  2. SactoGuy18 macrumors 68020

    SactoGuy18

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2006
    Location:
    Sacramento, CA USA
    #2
    I think Senator Obama will probably rule somewhere very near the center, especially I don't think he wants a repeat of what happened in 1993-1994 when then-President Bill Clinton ran into a lot of trouble, especially after the Whitewater fiasco. :rolleyes: The result of that mess was obvious: both houses of Congress changed to Republican control.

    In short, I'd like to see Obama distance himself from most of his past friends, especially William Ayers and Tony Rezko.
     
  3. TheSpaz macrumors 604

    TheSpaz

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2005
    #3
    No copy and paste?

    Also, when are we going to get turn-by-turn GPS?
     
  4. Cleverboy thread starter macrumors 65816

    Cleverboy

    Joined:
    May 25, 2007
    Location:
    Pocket Universe, nth Dimensional Complex Manifold
    #4
    2nd term feature?

    ~ CB
     
  5. TheSpaz macrumors 604

    TheSpaz

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2005
    #5
    Hahahahaha!

    I will be scared if Obama wins this election.
     
  6. freeny macrumors 68020

    freeny

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2005
    Location:
    Location: Location:
    #6
    What really scares me is that republicans arent scared of things already...
     
  7. skyrider007 macrumors 65816

    skyrider007

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2007
    Location:
    Bangkok
    #7
    LoL!!!!! Obama is human and iPhone is a phone, they can't be compared fairly IMHO.

    P.S. I'm not a fan of the iPhone :p
     
  8. Cleverboy thread starter macrumors 65816

    Cleverboy

    Joined:
    May 25, 2007
    Location:
    Pocket Universe, nth Dimensional Complex Manifold
    #8
    Yep. Real problems to solve. Hasn't been happening. Not sure why folks believe that doing things the same old way year after year will make things get better.
    Excellent point. But, because we're working with metaphors as a context for problem solving and predicting behavior, I think there's solid ground here. I'm sure we all know that there's not a "desktop" or "folder" inside of your computer either. Welcome to abstraction 101, my friend.

    Essentially, the idea is that a new administration is like a "new product rollout", beset with a rogue's gallery of very similar issues. When Apple introduced the iPhone, it attempted a very ambitious system of "customer support", by incorporating phone activation into its iTunes music system. Currently, individual U.S. citizens have a "social security card" and run around with various pieces of private data, scattered amongst an assortment of state, federal, and private institutions. In Obama's healthcare proposal, he's talked about saving costs by making records electronic. There's is much of that already happening, but the movement is nascent, and hardly government assisted. For instance... Google Health (and its many competitors).

    In embracing these type of developments, how would a potential Obama administration go about the rollout of effective "optimizations" to the way our country operates... a rollout that doesn't trample private business and invite lawsuits by favoring any one company. Wouldn't it be interesting for their to be open bidding on a government contract to form a secure government account similar to ones you might have at your broker? If signing into a U.S. social security adminstration, allows you to see your social security records (and balance, and record of money paid in), as well as allowing you to link it to your local institutions, and health records. --And, when does this become exceptionally scary to people... versus simply being effective and modern? Google has already run afoul of privacy watchdogs on these type of issues.

    Just like there is a LOT of money, jobs, and special interests in say... the corn industry... wouldn't there ALSO be a lot of money, jobs, and special interests to oppose in "inefficiency" itself? It's almost like there needs to be a clear plan to transition workers who's jobs will no longer be needed as well. If there is savings to be had, there are also jobs to be lost.

    Just like the iPhone, its amusing and disturbing to watch the march of inevitable unintended consequences to moving to the next natural step. Google recently added SMS support to Google Talk. I saw this move as inevitable. Over time, the phone companies will begin losing a sizeable chunk of money to innovation that cut them out of the equation. I see the same thing with improving government. It's almost a huge came of "pick-your-battle", and if you choose wrong... you're entire presidency becomes a quagmire.

    ~ CB
     
  9. freeny macrumors 68020

    freeny

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2005
    Location:
    Location: Location:
    #9
    People who only really use email and dont use or need the other iPhone features should just stick with McCain.

    For everything else, go Obama.
     
  10. skyrider007 macrumors 65816

    skyrider007

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2007
    Location:
    Bangkok
    #10
    R u implying that I'm a McCain supporter just because I use a BlackBerry? I have the Obama application on my iPod touch, ya know? :p
     
  11. freeny macrumors 68020

    freeny

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2005
    Location:
    Location: Location:
    #11
    Ah, an independent :p
     
  12. yg17 macrumors G5

    yg17

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2004
    Location:
    St. Louis, MO
  13. geese macrumors 6502a

    geese

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2003
    Location:
    London, UK
    #13
    A McCain administration would by like my 1st Gen Nokia N95.

    Slow, clunky, unreliable, bits that don't work properly and a real tendency to make me very angry.
     
  14. freeny macrumors 68020

    freeny

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2005
    Location:
    Location: Location:
    #14
    well, as opposed to back then where you didnt have many other choices, things are now different....
     
  15. jplan2008 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2008
    #15
    Apple reached a compromise with AT&T which didn't benefit the users much. I'm worried that Obama, in trying to "reach across party lines" will compromise too much with the GOP to everyone's detriment. His proposals are already a pretty big compromise in every area, despite what the Republican propaganda tells us.
     
  16. Cleverboy thread starter macrumors 65816

    Cleverboy

    Joined:
    May 25, 2007
    Location:
    Pocket Universe, nth Dimensional Complex Manifold
    #16
    Obama was criticized earlier on for compromising on nuclear safety bill. This in-keeping with his assertion that "SAFE" nuclear energy is definitely an option worth exploring. However, was the compromise "safe enough"?
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2008/02/03/obama-weakened-nuclear-sa_n_84651.html

    He was also criticized heavily for his eventual FISA vote. In trying to move the ball forward, there's the greatest possibility of derailing substantive progress in the first place. Ironically, many conservatives fault him for making liberal policies more palatable to conservatives by means of rhetoric, while not changing the fundamental precepts of the legislation on iota.

    One example given was handling a gun-control question during a townhall meeting, where he acknowledged bearing arms as a 2nd amendment right related to the individual and NOT simply to militias. He then went on to tell a personal story of children getting shot and killed, and how there needs to be a balance.

    The conservative commentator came away saying, most people would end up agreeing he has a point, even if the result didn't change. While the Democrats may get the magic 60, conservative Democrats will need to asnwer to their constituency, just as the CEO of Cingular seemed to get into an interesting media tussle surrounding who "gave more" when it came to negotiating the iPhone deal. I'm still not clear how history views that agreement, although its clearly been a boon to AT&T overtime.

    ~ CB
     
  17. NT1440 macrumors G4

    NT1440

    Joined:
    May 18, 2008
    Location:
    Hartford, CT
    #17
    lack of features/policies never promised in the first place, followed by endless bitching about things that were never promised.


    just a hunch.
     
  18. stevento macrumors 6502

    stevento

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2006
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #18
    If Obama is like the iPhone, then the first year of his term will be crappy, and the second year will be greatly updated and thinner.
     
  19. Iscariot macrumors 68030

    Iscariot

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2007
    Location:
    Toronteazy
    #19
    I hope congress doesn't release an update that bricks him.
     
  20. gotzero macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2007
    Location:
    Mid-Atlantic, US
    #20
    Hopefully he will not drop 12% of his speeches in the past 14 days... ;)
     
  21. MacNut macrumors Core

    MacNut

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2002
    Location:
    CT
    #21
    Please make it stop. Just get this election over with. We are now comparing people to phones.
     
  22. Mord macrumors G4

    Mord

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2003
    Location:
    UK
  23. rdowns macrumors Penryn

    rdowns

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2003
    #23
    I'm rdowns and I approve that message.
     
  24. SactoGuy18 macrumors 68020

    SactoGuy18

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2006
    Location:
    Sacramento, CA USA
    #24
    Oh come on! We could use some levity here after a really bitter and unfortunate campaign. We could say the same thing for McCain in may ways if he was leading, too.... :)
     
  25. SactoGuy18 macrumors 68020

    SactoGuy18

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2006
    Location:
    Sacramento, CA USA
    #25
    No, it'll be like the early months of the iPhone 3G--a mess. Watch Obama having to deal with all the "crapola" that is Chicago politics (remember, Obama is a product of the Chicago poltical machine) first (e.g., the iPhone 2.0 software age) and as things are cleaned up he'll do better (e.g., the iPhone 2.1 software age).
     

Share This Page