The Apple of my eye

Now I’m not claiming prophet or even sage status, but the success of Apple and its computers was foreseen by me.

Along with a significant birthday of my own, Apple has last year celebrated the twenty-fifth anniversary of the Macintosh, and this year the launch of the iPad. When the Mac was introduced, I was working for the publishers, Longman – part of the Pearson group – where they had all espoused PCs and IBM were the company to be with. But, I had seen Apple in the US and saw the launch of the Mac in a trade show in San Francisco. The Apple Mac was to me, the future for publishing and the ‘creative industries’ (as they are now called).

It was obvious to me (who had done a clunky course in word-processing, database and spreadsheets on the Apricot computers that we were supposed to start using) that my business of publishing and seminars needed to go the Apple Mac route. It was, in fact, blindingly obvious, but everyone else thought I was slightly mad to see Apple as a business machine. It didn’t help at all that an early adopter was the writer Douglas Adams, as his sci-fi wackiness, for some, merely emphasised that the Mac was a machine for trendy authors to play around with, doing some word-processing and not therefore appropriate for business uses.

Still, I persevered, bought some machines, got some programming done (not easy back then) and introduced them into the publishing and conference divisions that I ran at the time. Minimal technophobe resistance was met from the users, but maximum opposition was encountered from finance and IT folk, who had all swallowed the PC supremacy claims, hook, line and ‘stinker’.

You have no idea how much pleasure it gives me to have been proved right. Not only that, but to have pioneered the use of the Mac has helped improve the businesses I have run and has played a huge part in generating the enjoyment that can be had in being in business at all. I am now lucky to have a leading programmer working with me in the Falconbury and Thorogood businesses and his creative and commercial genius has developed alongside the rise and rise of Apple computers and software.

All this in twenty-five years!

By the way, as a publisher, I now feel the same (if not even more so) about the iPad, but, of course I am not now as alone in saying so as I was in 1984, when I claimed that the Mac would change our lives for the better.

Published on Jun 14, 2010 by Neil Thomas