Many of the folks who read this blog are also users of Apple’s products. Perhaps you had a Mac (back in the day when they were called Macintoshes) or maybe you recently got an iPod or iPhone. Regardless, you are part of the marketing machine of Apple. You probably share you enthusiasm for Apple’s products with family, friends, even perfect strangers.
Well, after working for Apple for almost a decade, and being a customer for more than 20 years, you have to realize that almost all my family members use Macs. My dad is no exception – for his 75th birthday his children bought him a new iMac. Being the tech support member of my family clan, I urged him to upgrade to Leopard so we could use the new screen sharing feature. (boy is it hard to explain what to click on over the phone – you know what I mean?) This was going to make our lives easier.
Anyway, Dad did buy Leopard (from a link on this page) and he immediately began the upgrade. But somehow along the way, he clicked the option that did a complete, fresh install. And here is where my Dad makes a good point (and sent an email to Steve Jobs to punctuate it) – why didn’t the installer ask him at least once “Are you sure you want to do a fresh install?” He swears he never saw it, and so his computer was completely wiped clean. He spent nearly an hour on the phone with Apple support but of course there was nothing they could do. And I ended up feeling responsible for his hardship.
So I’m coining a term: “Friendship Capital” It’s what you expend, gain or lose when you recommend to your friends what they should do. Don’t spend your friendship capital unless you are sure the experience they will have with the object of your recommendation buys you more. In other words, don’t stick your neck out unless you are sure you won’t have to deal with the repurcussions. I’m already expecting to help my dad rebuild his Mac. But of course, that’s more like Relative Capital – and that renews itself by blood.
Love ya Dad!