May 042009

EnderleDoucheApple is a company that brings out the worst in some people.  Whether they be fanboy-bashers or CEOs of bloated software juggernauts, there’s something about Steve’s condescending little smirk that drives people absolutely batshit.  I get it.  I really do.  For most of these individuals, the knowledge that I work with a superior OS is satisfaction enough.  But for a select few, the magnitude of their assholery cannot be dismissed by that melodic C Major chord.  These are the members of Douchebag Row.  This series is designed to honor those who, through word and/or deed, have distinguished themselves as something more than mere assholes.

Let’s begin, shall we?

Thanks to the work of a few creative and prolific individuals, tech analysts have become a somewhat notorious bunch.  Many of them are hit-whoring contention-seeders whose journalistic integrity ranks somewhere between the World Weekly News (RIP) and the National Enquirer. So you’d think that pulling the first inductee of Douchebag’s Row from that cesspool would be a tough choice.  However‚ when it comes to gross inaccuracy‚ sycophantic bias and flat-out douchebaggery‚ one man stands head-and-shoulders above his peers.  Here he is in top form‚ comparing LG’s Prada phone‚ an early iPhone knock-off, to the real deal in 2007:

“I’d still give the Prada the edge because it doesn’t lock you to Cingular, comes from a company who actually has done phones before, has a removable battery and upgradable memory, and comes to market months ahead of its competitor.”

Ladies and gentlemen: I give you The Rob Enderle‚ Principle Analyst‚ Enderle Group.

I have a theory that the current crop of shitty tech journalists were spawned by some asexual (?) union between John Dvorak and Rob Enderle. Whereas Dvorak is probably insane and should (mostly) be pitied, Rob Enderle actually markets himself as someone who people should give money to for his insight.  A quick rundown of the client list on his website proves it: Microsoft, Dell and HP have all benefitted from this sage’s wisdom.  And would this list of clients contribute any bias Rob might have toward Apple?  Only if he’s writing about Apple.  The only thing rarer than a Cupertino bash backed with any sort of “quantitative analysis” or “fact checking” is a sentence that doesn’t run on like it came out of a 12 year-old on uppers.  Here’s a typical byte from 2007 on why you wouldn’t want an iPhone:

“Oh, if you have a tendency to leave your phone in public places or drop your phone a lot you won’t have it long.”

-Although these are non-destructive habits for cell phones in general.

“These things are clear targets for thieves and I can’t tell you the number of them I’ve seen with broken screens so, if you get one, make sure you get a protective cover.”

-I bet you can’t tell us how many.  Nor can you cite a source who could tell us how many.  Why don’t you just stick with non-specific quantities that sound like a lot‚ without any kind of messy verification process?

“It seems that mostly these are dropped when folks are rushing to pull it out of their pocket or purse or when they share them with others and the other folks drop them.”

-Man‚ not only do we get a “number of incidents” that clearly breaks into the “I can’t tell yous”‚ we get some very specific data on how these scenarios “mostly” play out.  My hypothesis is that this gem of a sentence was ejaculated under the influence of some kind of palsy stroke (Enderlism?).  It’s these savant frenzies that distinguishes truly great tech writing from the also-rans.  That’s some Pulitzer-grade shit there.

If Enderle ever got anything he predicted for Apple right, he might have landed in an “Arch Nemesis Row”. However‚ his “analysis” is so hilariously off-the-mark and so openly orally-fixated on his former-and-hopefully-future Windows clients‚ I have no doubt that the current title is far more appropriate.  To remind us why Rob is so deserving of this honor‚ I’ve picked a few of my favorite Enderlisms.  Although I refuse to link to any of his pages directly (sorry Rob; this is a distinguished honor, not a charity) feel free to Google his quotes to see his brilliance in its thoroughly schizophrenic context.

“Do you realize that many, I’m not saying all or even most, of the Linux supporters are like this, they have never coded anything in their lives, have never even played a video game, in fact the only reason they are supporting Linux is because it is a cause and their life lacks one.” August 2004

“It is interesting to note, and few seem to remember, that Microsoft helped Apple write the first MacOS under a project code named “sand” over two decades ago, but, like most Apple partnerships, this one ended badly.” Sept. 2005

“Take a look at these pictures of Philips prototypes and ask yourself, did Apple do the Xerox PARC thing again and simply swipe an idea from a company unable to bring it to market themselves?” Nov. 2007

An impressive body of work to be sure.  If this were the Academy Awards of Douchiness‚ John Dvorak and Paul Thurrott would be in the front row leading the standing ovation as Rob strode confidently towards the stage.

In closing: congratulations‚ Rob‚ on becoming the Inaugural Member of Douchebag’s Row. Because we know your mantra is “any attention is better than none”, we know you’ll accept this award as yet another indication that people are paying attention to you‚ and not in the spirit it was meant.

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