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Comment Re:How Steve Jobs got iPhone to Japan. Real story. (Score 3, Informative) 104

To clarify - Japanese take the East-Asian concept of "face (cultural concept, not part of the head) over reality" to the extreme in everything, from their ties with other people to the products they buy to their conflicts with their neighbours.

As a result, many things sold in Japan personify this particular aspect. Substance is certainly important to an extent, but style is absolutely necessary to get anything sold. Iphone nails the style and image concepts, and these alone will often sell your product in Japan as long as it's not completely awful otherwise. The extreme popularity of plush toys with adults in Japan and the fact that you must own the current, heavily advertised plush toy and not one that's a year old shows this well.

All of these are essentially the same part of the "image and style is important, substance is optional as long as it meets bare minimum requirements" as those clearly visible in Apple products. There's a reason why macbooks have a backlit apple on the opposite side of the screen, or why apple fights so hard over "curved rectangles" in courts - it wants to be distinct as to reinforce the concept of "apple is more stylish and very distinct from competition".

I'm not attempting to be condescending and simplistic. I'm merely pointing out that apple's design paradigm of "image and style first" align very well with Japanese culture.

Comment How Steve Jobs got iPhone to Japan. Real story. (Score 3, Insightful) 104

The story was hilarious as it showed the sheer depth of incompetence at apple, and Jobs' utter inability to be flexible until reality hit him in the face several times over.

When you think about it, the Japanese market is perfect to iphone's "style over substance" approach. That's how it always functioned, and now just with phones but with many consumer goods ranging from electronics to plush toys (which have a huge adult market in Japan!) Problem is, Japanese have some very specific requirements when it comes to their goods that are typically completely unique to Japan and do not exist outside that country. They need to be made suitable for them functionally and culturally, as they have a very different approach to many things from one we have here in the West.

So initial foray was an unmitigated disaster. People returned early iphones back to stores in droves and the reason was utterly obvious - Jobs' idea for iphone was "same thing everywhere", and Japanese absolutely needed several significant adjustments to their phone, such as integration of certain Japan-centric services and input methods. The crash of iphone in market that everyone thought it would immediately take it by the storm actually got major players like Fujitsu say that Japanese market was so different, Western companies just don't stand the chance.

Then someone at Apple hit Jobs with clue bat hard, "one approach for all markets" paradigm was buried for Japan and iphones sold in Japan were significantly adjusted to match expectations of Japanese public.

Rest was history. While numbers are not quite as silly as this article suggests, Japan today has one of the highest iphone sales per capita in the world, because the general idea behind iphone, the "style over substance" approach is simply what Japanese market and mindset is all about. All it needed was understanding that no, your product is not perfect for all people everywhere and that some important adjustments for cultural differences and expectations are necessary.

In many ways, it makes for a good extreme case study on how products, no matter how good they are, always need to be adjusted for sales in target area.

Comment Re:To summarize (Score 2) 64

GW2 is not a pay once game. It's "microtransaction hell free to play model if you want to play the game with any comfort, but we'll charge you AAA price up front because we have good brand name" game. That's one of the reasons why so many people dropped it - after all the empty promises, they ended up making even legendaries puchasable from auction house with in game money, and in game money purchasable with real money strait from the developer. After spending months telling everyone they won't sell in game money for real money.

On the other hand as FF14 showed, people are fully willing to pay if you have a good game worth paying for. Problem was and still is that most people only pay for one sub at a time, so you need to produce enough quality to make people want to switch from WoW, or FF14, or whatever sub game they're playing. And quality level there is much higher than F2P.

That's the main reason why so many MMORPGs nowadays went F2P. Not that the model is great, but because bad and average games simply could not compete with WoW. F2P let's you release anything from average to shovelware and finance it at least for some time, as long as it's not completely awful.

But great F2P MMORPGs are essentially all P2P nowadays, and will likely remain this way for a while, simply because to compete in that market you need to provide people with consistent influx of high quality content. F2P budgets are simply not sufficient for that sort of thing, as SWTOR showed. When they went F2P, they had to drop the constant new content updates.

Comment Re:To summarize (Score 1) 64

Actually it's a recipe for success. FF14 is doing quite well now after they fixed the idiocy of the first attempt of launching a crappy game and made a decent one. WoW is moving along with subscriber numbers that are a wet dream for any publisher.

If you can provide quality, people will happily pay. The issue is that few can match the quality of WoW, and that's what you're going against. FF14 is a good example - they have their own thing, and when they did it wrong, it wasn't enough to pull people off WoW. But when they did it right, they got the subscribers to stay.

On the other hand, free to play market is utterly oversaturated. You have to go against everything from juggernaughts like SWTOR to smaller and more niche titles like Firefall.

Comment Re:In their defence. (Score 1) 417

And I'm telling you that such rules exist essentially always (I never heard about an org that didn't have them) it's just that often users are utterly ignorant of their existence until they break them and get punished for it.
Our network had very light rule set because we genuinely didn't care what you did with it as long as you didn't harm the network itself or actively look for unsecure machines until a certain moment when IP rights movement decided we needed to police that for some messed up reason. At which point we had to kick a few hundred people off the net for being power users on the local DC hub. Which was the dumbest decision ever, taken against best judgement of all network admins by higher ups, took out at least one of the network admins with it (he was a power user on the hub apparently) and resulted in massively increased evening load when everyone suddenly started to get their warez and porn from outside the network instead of inside.

The network that was never congested suddenly got super congested every evening. Thanks to dumbasses high up. Guess who users thought was to blame? Yeah, network administration. The people who made the rules got away with it clean.

I was a network admin for university campus while studying there for several years. I know what I'm talking about. Not sure if you do.

Comment Re:In their defence. (Score 1) 417

Because you're breaking the rules and it's admin's job to ensure that people don't break the rules, or the network itself. It appears that you have the problem with the rules and with basic logic - you think that admins make the rules.

They don't. They merely enforce them. If you don't like the rules "sticking it to the admin" is the worst choice by far. You will get slammed by the pissed off admin who has seen a dosen of people like you and really doesn't want to deal with the bothersome smartass, and then you'll get slammed by the people who actually made the rules for actively attempting to circumvent the rules.

The right approach would be to actually press the people on the top to change the rules and not become the enemy of the system.

Comment Re:In their defence. (Score 5, Insightful) 417

And uni network admin who sits in all the same chat rooms, had the hole plugged within hours of it becoming public. What you think admins are ephermal "great evil"? Most of them are young people who are in the circles.

Some dude flying solo? Sure, will get through. Trying to get everyone to do it so you get lost in the masses? Hole plugged in hours.

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