A crucial post on Wired popped up in my reader this morning: After a Decade of Secrecy, Apple Reluctantly Tries Out Transparency | Gadget Lab from Wired.com. These paradigm changes at Apple are indeed a big deal since in my view Apple is pretty much the only market leader and 'cult brand' that still banks solidly on a Total Control paradigm - and the bizarre thing is that I like their stuff, a lot, regardless. So...Wired's Brian Chen writes:
"The tight-lipped corporate giant recently made a move toward transparency when it lifted its iPhone non-disclosure agreement. The unpopular policy prohibited iPhone application developers from discussing their coding techniques. Lifting the NDA may hurt Apple by exposing the inner workings of the iPhone to competitors like Google and Nokia. But increasingly open competitors and disgruntled developers may have forced Apple's hand..."
This last sentence is important - this is happening everywhere: openness trumps closedness, trust trumps control, and increasingly so. Give it another 18 months, riding on the crest of the wireless mobile broadband explosion fueled by powerful mobile devices, and everyone will be busy showing us - the people formerly known as consumers - how open they are, and how much they will empower us and deserve our trust.
Look at this key sentence in Apple's explanation why -until now- they required NDAs for the iphone app store developers: "We put the NDA in place because the iPhone OS includes many Apple inventions and innovations that we would like to protect, so that others don’t steal our work"
The fear of being ripped off caused them to want to control the people that worked with and for them - their biggest fans and most important users! Sound familiar? In the future, this is a risk that you'll just have to take - you cannot publish something and then build a remote control safe 'catch' into it. My prediction: watch for Apple dropping the DRM from iTunes in the near future, as well -because now, really, Friction is Fiction.
More from Wired: "So what gives with the openness? One of the things that's happening to Apple is that it's less able to keep secrets than it used to be, because it has a broader supply chain and broader distribution," said Roger Kay, an Endpoint Technologies analyst. "And because it's dealing with parties that need plans -- partners as well as some customers -- they need to disclose their plans. Kay explained that Apple isn't alone anymore; the company is now working more closely with partners, such as iPhone developers, mobile carriers and so on. That inevitably forces the company to open up..."
In other words, you can't go it alone anymore, you can't keep the lid on people that are adding value to your enterprise, and you can't dominate a decentral ecosystem - anymore.
Welcome to the End of Control, Apple?!;)