Several months ago I had this idea that we, as a community of users and enthusiasts, should be tracking how well Apple is doing on its major initiatives. For better or worse, Apple is a very important company, and while its sales speaks volumes, I’ve always thought that it would be valuable—to us as well as to Apple itself—if we could somehow quantify all of the incredibly rich chatter and opinion about it that flows through Twitter, all the various technology publications, podcast, blogs, etc.
Trying to get a read on how well people think Apple is doing in, say, cloud services or hardware or stewardship of its various platforms is a very inaccurate science, but my thinking is that there is still lots of value to be derived from a community’s assessment, even if it’s only subjectively directional rather than objectively quantified.
This could be a big job, but I figured we could get a good deal of the way there by surveying a very small group of people: developers and writers who focus on Apple. So I sent a note to Jason Snell proposing that he use his excellent Six Colors blog as a platform for just such a thing. It took him some time to think over but he ultimately bought into the idea, and not long ago he sent out a poll to more than two dozen “writers, editors, podcasters, and developers” on eleven subjects. He received twenty-four responses which he then averaged and assigned letter grades to—he’s publishing the data for the first time today.
Above, you’ll see Jason’s topline graph of the results. Each participant was asked to rate Apple from 1 to 5 in these eleven categories, and what you see here are the averages. Jason’s post goes into detail about what the numbers mean and the overall sentiment that they suggest, and also includes lots of quotes from the participants. He’s also made a version of the survey available to the general public, so if you’d like to make your voice heard, you can take part in it yourself.