In an innovative move, Johnson also came up with the concept for the Genius Bar. Although its implementation is entirely technical, its origin was much more warm and fuzzy. Johnson has explained its genesis a couple of different ways, either based on a helpful hotel concierge, or on a friendly local bartender. Now, the Genius Bars provide a daily opportunity for Apple to "surprise and delight" store visitors, another guiding principle for the stores.
In a span of ten years Apple has changed how technology is presented and sold, converting it from a cold and impersonal interaction to one that highlights the creative and fun side. There were many skeptics when Apple's first stores opened in 2001, but now companies everywhere are scrambling to duplicate Apple's success.
Gary Allen started ifoAppleStore.com as a hobby, but it now consumes more of his time. He still finds grand openings exciting and particularly enjoys exploring new international stores.
Sign up for Computerworld eNewsletters.