John Gruber absolutely eviscerates this article by Tim Wu of The New Yorker.
Wu made the all-too-common mistake of reaching a conclusion first and then trying to contort facts to make his thesis work. It does not. In any way. The “open” vs. “closed” nonsense Wu is trying to sell falls almost immediately with the very existence of Linux and well, even the history of Apple itself — Gruber:
Even more telling, and more damning to Wu’s use of this as a case study, is that soon after Windows 95, Apple radically opened up the Mac OS, in a use of the word “open” that Wu expressly states is what he means by the term: they licensed the OS to other PC makers to produce Mac clones. This was the most open decision — in Wu’s sense of the word open — in the entire history of Apple Computer Inc.
And it nearly bankrupted the company.
That’s about 700 words in, the next 3,000 words simply ad insult to injury and should embarrass The New Yorker.
Gruber even gives Wu what should have been the correct thesis for this story:
Companies run by geniuses should generally do better than those which are not. That sounds about right.
Further, good products tend to trump not-as-good products — “open” vs. “closed” has very little to do with that. Shocking, I know.
I was surprised the New Yorker would run such a dumbed down article that oversimplifies why certain tech companies are successful. Open vs. close is only one of many, many factors.