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Reputation and Politics

What is your reputation worth to you?  A lot, I would hope.  As you probably know, since you or someone that you know owns an iPad, or iPhone, or iWhatever that Apple recently made a big error.  For years, under Steve Jobs, Apple concentrate on making things that people wanted.  Why did they want them?  Because, they were pretty, intuitive, and, as the advertising says, they “just work”.  It took a long time to build up that reputation.  Steve is gone, and now Tim Cook is in charge of Apple.

During this past year, it appeared that Tim was doing a good job, but we shouldn’t forget that the products that were coming out were ones that the late Steve Jobs had a lot of influence.  Steve’s influence is probably waining and Tim’s is now paramount.  A new operating system was just introduced and things are glum in the house of Apple.  The mapping program is not nearly as good as the Google program that it replaced.

Does everybody still think that  Apple products “just work?”.  Those days might be gone.  Reputations are VERY tough to build and very easy to lose. It is hard to understand how Apple could have released their attempt at a mapping program in its current state.  It was simply not as good as the Google program that it was replacing.  It is too early to make any sort of judgement call on Apple’s reputation — but things are not looking good.  The rest of the operating system could be fine — but everyone will be concentrating on the mapping program.

Governor Romney now has an “Apple problem.”  No matter how much respect he earned for getting the 2002 Olympics on track or his introduction of health care reform in Massachusetts, his new reputation for dishonesty will be hard to overcome.  Governor Romney has been on all sides of an issue — often on the same day.  More than that, he has brazenly taken credit for things that he clearly did not do.  For example, he was very much opposed to the popular bailout of the auto industry. During the time that the bailout was started, Romney wrote an editorial in the Wall Street Journal suggesting that the auto companies should be allowed to file for bankruptcy.  He clearly had no interest in the number of jobs that would be lost.  Later, when it was clear that the bailout worked, he ignored what he wrote and claimed credit for the bailout.  That, accompanied by the bizarre budget proposal by his vice-president candidate, Paul Ryan, may be too much.  Ryan, as you may recall was unable to explain his budget proposal, and most economists are calling it nonsensical.  So, it would appear to me that — as the phrase goes — Governor Romney has two crosses to bear:  (1) Romney and “the truth” do not go too well together, and (2) Ryan is a fraud.

The Governor needs to do really well in the Presidential debate this evening.  Just winning won’t do it.  He has to win really big.

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