Don’t you just love when you run across a company that just “get’s it”? They just really grok their industry and what it’s all about… they see the big picture, and therefore tend to be the trend setters. There aren’t all that many companies I know of that I’d put in this category – Apple would likely be at the top of the list (though they do have their faults in some areas), but I’d also list Lenny’s Sub Shop, Gotee Records, and Visible School to name a few. Today I ran across another – the English Standard Version Bible (or rather Good News Publishing). This is a Bible publishing company that really cares about standards… how strange is that? Somehow I never knew this, but for the past two years or so they have offered a Web Service to perform queries against their Bible database using parts of Google’s search APIs. Additionally, you can simply use RSS to perform a query if you wish. Online Bible searches are nothing new, but never before has a publisher made it so easy to access their Bibles without having to do it on their site. And just in case there was ever any doubt as to the amount of forethought and planning that went into their online services, they’ve even published a best practices guide. When it comes to publishers, they get it.
I agree whole heartedly that Apple gets it, for the most part. Their method of advertising since the return of Steve Jobs has been a little peculiar, but I now believe(or at least I tell myself) that Jobs understands the power of evangelism and super-duper design. Those are two things that Apple has going for it way more than any other hardware or software company that I’m aware of. The fact that Apple has such a cult following and loyalty has undoubtedly formed an unshakable customer base that may prove to be part of a much shrewder marketing strategy that ensures it’s existence over the long term, long after some other OSes have been eaten alive by viruses and consumer dissatisfaction. One other company I’d like to mention is Blizzard Entertainment. I think it’s safe to say that not only are their games really engaging and fun, but they’re consistent and don’t try to be all things to all people. Years ago in the days of the early days of Warcraft and later Starcraft, people would say, “There are hardly any games for the Mac”. After the obligatory eye-roll, my response was always to point out Blizzard and say, “The BEST games are for the Mac.” Just my two cents, (which is all I have left after buying Macs all these years.)