The Power of Pariah Politics

So Greenpeace are taking a bite out of Apple:
"Jobs looks for a greener Apple" (FT, 3 May): "Electronic waste has emerged as a hot-button issue in recent months as environmental groups take aim at the toxins contained in computer equipment, such as the lead in cathode ray tubes and the arsenic contained in specialty glass."

Today Greenpeace say "jolly good but we're still watching..."
"Call for Apple to go even greener" (BBC News online, 3 May): "Greenpeace has given a cautious welcome to Apple's ambitions to be more environmentally friendly."

Well isn't that good? Nice to see good news coming out of a campaign. And it is yet another testament to the power of pariah politics. I get annoyed with friends who try and justify their inaction and apathy by arguing that you can't single out companies (or politicians); that they're all as bad as each other etc. Yes you can. You pull one out - like Klein did to Nike in No Logo - and put them in the corner in the SHAME hat.
It's like kindergarten, you don't take one child out to tick them off, you single them out to give all the others a warning. ...and shame is more powerful than legislation. Companies can put aside millions as risk-assessed slush funds for when they break the law - but no brand can ever quite overcome the ignominy of, say, McLibel or Gap sweatshops, or (hopefully) Yahoo's disgraceful Chinese dalliance. It hurts their profits, and a kick in the profits is one of the few guaranteed ways to 'stimulate change'.

So if you want to change things - don't fine them - damage them, place a stigma on that brand. Let it stand as a warning that brands aren't above the conscience of consumers, even if they can pay their way out of every other crime they commit.

iPhone: the future's bright, the future's apple

When Steve Jobs introduced the iPhone in Apple's MacExpo keynote in January my office went mental; a spontaneous centithread moment. But I kind of forgot to look properly - so I was interested to note when I went back and looked at the speech again - that this still looks like an epoch-changing product.
It's going to get hacked apart obviously! Yes the battery life will suck; yes it will scratch, snap, smell funny, burst into flames in peoples hands; GPS?; expandable memory?; and yes - it is just an amalgam of various existing touch screen technology. But what an amalgam, and what marketing, and what design... Basically this little thing is going to change the way we think about phones because if you put it next to anything in Carphone Warehouse it looks like putting the latest Nike's next to a pair of clogs.
I also really like this CBS preview because by the end of it the guys sounds like a 12yr old, he's practically speechless and drooling... "do it again! do it again! make it do the sideways thingy!"
It's going to be interesting to see what happens - because if this works, (i.e. early adopters love it) and Nokia, Blackberry et al don't respond fast... we could have an iPod market happen all over again in telecoms. Sorry Orange: the future's bright, the future's Apple.
PS: re: no exchange functionality for corporate users : Google Apps anyone?