Note: I originally wrote this post on my previous blog, which has since been deprecated. To my surprise, the post became a hit, and The Tech Block contacted me to publish it, which you can find here. I am adding it to this site because this is where it belongs, as this is the place I will be doing my writing from now on. With that said, here's the piece below.
How exactly does one become a fanboy? To understand how this transformation happens, let’s begin with the birth of a fanboy.
A fanboy for company X isn’t born a fanboy for company X. Nobody loves Apple just because Apple exists. They have come to love it for various reasons. The products, the actions, the values - all of these things make a person align themselves with a company. And there’s nothing wrong with that. What’s wrong, however, is when that company is no longer what it used to be, and yet you still see it for its past behaviors. You staunchly defend it from criticisms even though you subconsciously know that the critics are at-least partially right.
Let’s get back to the birth of a fanboy. You’re new to tech, so you don’t have a favorite company…yet. You read various blogs; The Verge, Engadget, CNET for comprehensive coverage of all things technology. Google news, Apple news, Microsoft news, you absorb it all, but you still don’t have a favorite company. Until you buy your first iPhone. Now you’re invested in Apple. Apple’s success is now your success, Apple’s failure is your failure. But why?
First, you want more people to buy iPhones after having bought one yourself. If Apple keeps making money, the iPhone you own will keep getting updated. Apple will see the demand for it, and they will focus their attention on the product you own. You know that, so you tell all your friends how great your iPhone is. But you hate some aspect of the phone, such as the fact that you can’t set a default browser such as Chrome. Guess what though? You leave that part out from your friends because you want them to buy an iPhone, and that little quirk can make them purchase an Android phone instead. And you don’t want that because that means more people buy Android, and thus less iPhones, and even further, that Apple makes less money. “What if so few people purchase iPhones that Apple eventually stops development for it" you ask yourself. That would also mean less developers are incentivized to create apps for you. Finally, you’re left with an abandoned phone without applications!
Not only does that leave you with an abandoned phone, but it also means that you made the incorrect phone choice. You made a bad decision, and you were wrong. Nobody wants to be wrong.
Every rational human being thinks in that way. Nobody wants to end up with a forsaken phone on a dead operating system, so they glamorize the phone they own. People who don’t own that phone, or who don’t have a vested interest in the success of company X will write terrible reviews about the product. They will criticize the faults, features it’s missing, and other qualities of the phone.
So to defend your investment, you post comments that we categorize as “fanboyish". You try to dismiss these criticisms because, even though you know they are correct, they decrease the value of your investment. And there you go, a fanboy is born.