Why I rarely read Slashdot anymore

Sometimes it’s fun to look back. For example, have a look at the comments on Slashdot about the release of the first iPod. This one stuck out:

Raise your hand if you have iTunes …
Raise your hand if you have a FireWire port …
Raise your hand if you have both …
Raise your hand if you have $400 to spend on a cute Apple device …
There is Apple’s market. Pretty slim, eh? I don’t see many sales in the future of iPod.

Scored 4, for insightful.

As of March, Apple had sold over 15 million iPods

  • http://husk.org/blog/ Paul Mison

    True, but only after

    * iTunes was made available for Windows

    * The iPod supported USB as well as FireWire

    * the price dropped

    did the market leap from the small number of early adopters who bought the models before to the mass-market 3G and later iPods.

    John Gruber linked to a graph on iPodLounge which I can no longer find in his “Nerve Touching” article, but his figures are still there:

    “As a FireWire-only device, Apple sold one million iPods in 18 months. After introducing the third-generation models with USB 2.0 support, Apple sold its next million units in just six months, and the third million just four months after that”

  • http://godlikenerd.com Derik

    The other entertaining part of that story on Slashdot are CmdrTaco’s infamous comments:

    No wireless. Less space than a nomad. Lame.

  • Slashdotted

    Fair point – but also read further down the page to this:

    “Raise your hand if you have iTunes

    Bundled for free on every Mac sold in the last 18 months, and installed retroactively on god only knows how many other ones. Easily in the high hundreds of thousands, possibly in the millions.

    Raise your hand if you have a FireWire port…

    Every iMac, PowerMac, iBook and Powerbook sold in the last two years, plus almost every Sony VAIO and a good chunk of Compaq and HP’s product lines. Easily in the millions.

    Raise your hand if you have both.

    See above.

    Raise your hand if you have $400 to spend on a cute Apple device…

    Looking at the sales of (picking three examples) Pilots, Rios and Digital Cameras, I’d say the number of people willing to spend $200-500 on a “cute” electronic device is “lots and lots.”

    There is Apple’s market. Pretty slim, eh? I don’t see many sales in the future of iPod.

    I guess you don’t. This is why Apple is a company with $4 Billion in the bank, and you’re trolling on slashdot. Want fries with that?”

    From http://apple.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=22940&cid=2467813

  • http://ishane.blogspot.com Shane

    The most telling comment:

    “Finally – design matters. If you like ‘em or not, Apple is definitely putting out products that look ultra-cool and dovetail nicely with their other product lines. Most of the players on thinkgeek look ultra-geeky, even the nomad (though its design and the design of the Rios aren’t bad). I’m no designer, but I’ve come to appreciate good design and I’m willing to pay a bit extra for it.”

    Apple certainly made music cool again.

  • bloodthirstyrobot

    Wow. I *remember* that post! And if memory serves, the reaction at the time from other places digerati was similarly thus: “is that it? An MP3 player?” Of course everyone now rationalizes how it was iTunes for Windows that made it popular. It was the price cut.

    But no one wants to admit the truth that most just didn’t see the real potential of this device until much, much later. That says a lot about the shortcomings of slashdot and tech rumour sites in general.

    True story: the iPod wasn’t test marketed, or even put in front of a focus group. They just decided to build one and see what would happen next. That takes vision. But for a company that in 2002 was just finding its way back from oblivion, that also take balls.

  • http://blog.usedmac.ca/?p=43 UsedMac.ca

    Slashdot comments on the release of the iPod

    Ian Betteridge writes in his Blog why he rarely reads Slashdot anymore.
    Ian Betteridge writes: “Sometimes it’s fun to look back. Raise your hand if you have iTunes …
    Raise your hand if you have a FireWire port …
    Raise your hand i…

  • http://www.dailyramblings.com paul

    This post is very true. And don’t forget how blogs like Engadget and Gizmodo regularly scoop /. by a day or more. Its news is behind the curve, its users are snotty jerks, and the site design is circa 1998.

  • http://technovia.typepad.com Ian Betteridge

    Bloodthirstyrobot: Yep, you’re right, and even I was somewhat underwhealmed by the announcement. However, a few days after it was announced I attended a press launch for the iPod in London – and ordered mine as soon as I got back home. Once you’d had one in your hands, there was no way you weren’t going to buy one.

  • http://sharatg.home.comcast.net Frozen Chipmunk

    This was a response to the post you quoted and it shows why slashdot isn’t half bad.

    “Raise your hand if you have iTunes

    Bundled for free on every Mac sold in the last 18 months, and installed retroactively on god only knows how many other ones. Easily in the high hundreds of thousands, possibly in the millions.

    Raise your hand if you have a FireWire port…

    Every iMac, PowerMac, iBook and Powerbook sold in the last two years, plus almost every Sony VAIO and a good chunk of Compaq and HP’s product lines. Easily in the millions.

    Raise your hand if you have both.

    See above.

    Raise your hand if you have $400 to spend on a cute Apple device…

    Looking at the sales of (picking three examples) Pilots, Rios and Digital Cameras, I’d say the number of people willing to spend $200-500 on a “cute” electronic device is “lots and lots.”

    There is Apple’s market. Pretty slim, eh? I don’t see many sales in the future of iPod.

    I guess you don’t. This is why Apple is a company with $4 Billion in the bank, and you’re trolling on slashdot. Want fries with that?”

    Score: 4 funny

  • http://sharatg.home.comcast.net Frozen Chipmunk

    Wow, i didn’t realize someone had posted exactly what I had. Sorry about that – I guess I should read the comments before posting.

  • Spunky

    Nothing wrong with Slashdot – you mean that you actually read the comments? Well that there is your problem. Slashdot is a great source for news.

  • In Praise of Slowness

    “And don’t forget how blogs like Engadget and Gizmodo regularly scoop /. by a day or more. Its news is behind the curve, its users are snotty jerks, and the site design is circa 1998.”

    Scooping /. or anyone else is not the most important. Blogs are always scooping each other. Anyone can scoop Slashdot, Engadget or Gizmodo, to me insight and perspective are more important.

  • http://seenonslash.com veridicus

    You can find many of the best comments ever posted to /. at Seen On Slash: http://seenonslash.com