FORTUNE -- It's not just that so many industry experts think they know Apple's (AAPL) business better than Apple does, Time's Harry McCracken writes. It's that they feel empowered to state it as an imperative, often right in the headline: "Apple must..."
To illustrate, McCracken has posted a fully linked and mordantly annotated version of the list below, with date of imperative, who made it, what Apple did or didn't do and how that turned out for them.
"Though Apple does frequently respond to industry trends," McCracken writes in his latest Technologizer column, "it's not in the company's nature to do so in precisely the way that everybody expects, and it often bides its time before doing anything at all... In some instances, the things people insist Apple must do — such as make a netbook — are not only not necessities, but terrible ideas."
A brief version of McCracken's brief history:
As it turns out, there's a long history of such lists. In 1997, just before Steve Jobs returned to the company, Wired's Jim Daly put together a list of "101 Ways to Save Apple." Some of his prescriptions were things Jobs would never do ("6. Apologize"). Some were prescient:
15. Dump (or outsource) the Newton, eMate, digital cameras, and scanners
This Time Magazine interview was taped on Oct. 11, 2011, six days after Jobs died.
FORTUNE -- "What does Steve Jobs tell us about leadership in the 21st century?"
That's all Time Magazine's Rick Stengel had to ask Bill Clinton at a conference in Chicago on Oct. 11, 2011 -- six days after Jobs' death -- to get the 42nd U.S. President started.
Clinton doesn't really answer the question, except to say that MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Dec 18, 2013 6:59 AM ET
The final choice was a no-brainer. The inclusion of Apple's CEO was a surprise.
FORTUNE -- Having participated as a Time Magazine editor in my share of Person of the Year selections (I edited the David Ho cover and wrote at least one Steve Jobs "also ran" item), I knew how hard it was going to be for the magazine not to make Barack Obama -- winner of the Presidential election MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Dec 19, 2012 10:12 AM ET
No. 1 in a list that includes two tablets, a thermostat, a couple cameras and a $35 PC
FORTUNE -- Two Apple (AAPL) products made Time Magazine's list of the top 10 gadgets of 2012: The Retina MacBook Pro (No. 6) and the iPhone 5 (No. 1). Here's what Time's Harry McCracken had to say about the new iPhone:
Apple may be responsible for more than its share of the tech industry's great leaps MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Dec 11, 2012 5:39 PM ET
Barbra Streisand has trained her body to wake up before the market opens in New York
FORTUNE -- For his humor column in the current issue of Time Magazine, Joel Stein channels Seth Rogen's character in The Guilt Trip and takes Barbra Streisand on a car ride in which she reveals a more-than-casual interest in Apple (AAPL):
Other than the temperature controlling and backseat driving, Barbra was a really fun, mellow driving buddy. She MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Dec 8, 2012 11:49 AM ET
Apple's CEO shares the spotlight with Marc Andreessen, Sheryl Sandberg and Anonymous
Al Gore has nothing but kind words for Steve Jobs' successor. His 200-word write-up begins:
"It is difficult to imagine a harder challenge than following the legendary Steve Jobs as CEO of Apple. Yet Tim Cook, a soft-spoken, genuinely humble and quietly intense son of an Alabama shipyard worker and a homemaker, hasn't missed a single beat."
The magazine identifies Gore as a former MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Apr 18, 2012 10:20 AM ET
Apple's late CEO would be the first dead man -- or woman -- to win the honor
Steve Jobs' name came up Tuesday -- it has many times since 1982 -- in a panel discussion organized by Time Magazine to help promote the 2011 Person of the Year.
Jobs was nominated by NBC's Brian Williams (see video here) and the proposal was seconded -- sort of -- by anti-tax advocate Grover Norquist MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Nov 9, 2011 8:10 AM ET
He thought his face was going to be on the magazine's cover, not a computer
"As 1982 drew to a close," Walter Isaacson writes in Steve Jobs, the definitive biography published Monday, "Jobs came to believe that he was going to be Time's Man of the Year."
I read this passage of Isaacson's book with particular interest, since both he (as a junior editor) and I (on a writer's trial) were working MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Oct 24, 2011 8:00 AM ET
In a special Time Magazine cover story, a preview of his forthcoming biography
For the seventh and perhaps the last time, Steve Jobs appears this week on the cover of Time Magazine, a special issue that includes a photo essay by Diana Walker, an Apple (AAPL) retrospective by Harry McCracken and Lev Grossman, and a six-page essay by Walter Isaccson, whose biography of Jobs -- the first written with his cooperation MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Oct 6, 2011 10:39 AM ET
... he lied to me. Although to be fair, it was more a lie of omission than a barefaced lie
Pardon me if this feels like ancient history. But this is a story I've never put into print (or pixels) before, and I figured if not now, when?
It was December 1982 and a crowd of journalists had gathered in a meeting room at The Pierre, a luxury hotel one block north of MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Aug 28, 2011 10:41 AM ET
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