Yep, add this to the already billions of posts about the iPhone. Though this might be a just a bit different from what you’ve grown use to seeing after the release of Apple’s latest gizmo “that will change the way we____.” Forget that it is exactly what was promised, that it really works the way all of the ads and podcasts said it would. Forget that it still needs some additions like text and a card slot. By the way, the real reason the iPhone is so huge is, like the iPod, it’s dead freakin’ sexy! Which is one of the reasons I think it may be a secret to world peace.
Let me set the stage here. I was working the below mentioned Conclave on the weekend of the iPhone’s release. (More on ‘clave in another post.) One of our attendees, Tom Webster of Edison Media Research and blogger at The Infinite Dial, decided he would hop in line and pick up an iPhone. Now, Tom is a well respected and insightful thought leader in the world of research and communications. Some of the studies put forth by him and Edison have literally changed the face of radio broadcasting. He’s also a great guy. So when he walks into a room there should be no shortage of people talking to him. However, put an iPhone in this guy’s hand and you’d think he was walking into a dog show wearing a meat sport coat. All of us were crowded around his phone oohing and aahing, laughing and talking. It was like we were this great big group of long-time friends.
So here’s my idea. We secure a couple thousand iPhones and start doling them out to select leaders of the gazillion of warring factions in the middle east. Think of it…hundreds of people from all cultures and religions crowded around touching the screen. Christian and Muslim, Shi’ite and Sunni happily flipping the pages of the music on iTunes, e-mailing their friends and zooming in and out on photos. The next thing you know suicide bombings cease, troops go home, cities are rebuilt, peace breaks out, and the price of gas sinks to a buck. C’mon, it could work…
Okay, probably not. But my point is this, the iPhone is about buzz and the way it makes people react. It’s another one of those things that creates such interest that gadget freaks and non-techies alike join in. This is just plain old fashioned good marketing. The topic of interest is made so compelling it brings people together. So if we can create a well thought out plan that unifies us around something that is just popular perhaps we should do the same thing for something that is important.