Who are they trying to fool?

To those of us who check the Apple website multiple times every day, the Apple iPod Shuffle is old news… but it still puzzles me.

At the basic level, the iPod shuffle is a new, cheap, flash based USB music player. As far as I know, it should be a nice piece of equipment, and will play music to the satisfaction of it’s owners.

However it has one major flaw… it has no screen. Every MP3 music player has a small LCD screen so that you can see what’s playing, select what songs is coming next, and control things like volume etc. The iPod shuffle has none. I guess this is done by Apple’s clever engineers to keep it small, light, cheap and use low power. And they have succeeded. The thing is tiny, light, affordable and has good battery life.

But the darn thing has no screen!

The marketing gurus at Apple are not scared off by this flaw though… in fact they are trying very hard to market it as a special feature. Because you can’t see what is playing, they call this “unpredictable”… they tell you that “randomness is the new order” and that “Daily gridlock feels less mundane when you don’t know what song will play next. iPod shuffle adds musical spontaneity to your life. Lose control. Love it.”

Who are they trying to fool?

I have huge respect for the Apple marketing department. They do a very good job of making things exciting and desirable. But they are having a hard job of fooling me. This is an under-done product.

How often do we, as Christians, try to do the same thing with other people? How often do we sell something that is less than it should be as some new experience or feature.

I’ve done it. I’ve called a dry time of prayer and worship a time when “God is doing something very deep”… I’ve celebrated a flat camp as something that doesn’t have a post mountaintop crash. I respect lack of passion and call it maturity.

Who am I trying to fool?

Let’s try to be real. Let’s tell it like it is. Let’s open up… start again.

What will this cost? It will cost my pride. It will cost my ability to fool people and wear my religious/spiritual mask.

Will I be willing to pay this cost? Honestly, I don’t know.


PS: Check out this parody. A true “laugh out loud” moment.

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