Joi Ito's Web

Joi Ito's conversation with the living web.

A great QT Movie of the Ginza Apple store opening.

Via Markoff


As Asterix will say... "they are crazy these romans."

I couldn't go and now I really regret it.
Too bad that I missed all the hype.

sheeps. i really cannot say anything else. these guys like sheeps.

i think they simple don't respect their time, i'm not sure that a store opening can be such an important thing that you want your spend your day on the street.

this is not a rock concert which happens once in your lifetime. the store will be open next week as well.


To write them off as sheep is to ignore the greater question of what thoughts and emotions several thousand people were willing to spend hours in line to gain.

My guess (I wasn't there) is that part of it was the power of being connected to something's genesis. "I knew you when you were this tall *holding hand at hip height*"

Apple works to build a community around its brand and design, and perhaps this line was one of the few spatial gatherings of that community.

Also, that line represents a tiny fraction of the people in that area. Population density can be surprising when it's reduced by two dimensions.

The truth is simple.
Apple was giving away several thousand T-shirts.

One of my friends went there but returned empty-handed. He said he wasn't religious enough.

Hours of stupid wait for a T Shirt and an Apple Store open next week ?

Mmm there are still many things I do not understand in Japanese culture...

Joi, can you explain why people did that ?

Were there 500 G5s to be won ?

Joi, I did not see you and Mizuka in the line. Did you have a VIP invitation ;-).

What kind of sales did these people generate?

I hope the shop was well stocked!

yikes.. Steve probably felt a little embarrassed. I remember folks sleeping outside the Palo Alto store before it opened. It was a sort of festive affair. I saw many Apple software developers stopping by to give the folks on line CDs of their latest code. Even so, I remember a much smaller line outside the next day when it opened.

In viewing this, we must keep something mind. We do not find it strange that thousands of people will show up to witness a concert of some mega pop star. The draw is two fold in that case: the star's appearance (nevermind performance) and the event: the moment in time. "I was there" says the overpriced T-shirt.

In the case of an Apple store opening it is similar. The pop-star is Apple itself, the event is the opening.

As for the incredibly large numbers of (potential) attendees to this particluar event, we must consider two more things: japanese culture's fascination with pop stardom and culture, and sheer numbers... As someone observed here earlier, population density is downtown Tokyo (as well as accessibilty from surrounding areas via public transit) is far far greater than in any other place where Apple has opened a store.

I believe the combination of these things explains this quite nicely... Much better than "these people must be crazy/idiots".

Apple is one of the top 10 commercial brands in the world. They generate far more revenue and excite far more people than the Brittany Spears of this world. ;)

Don't these people know about Nothing is worth a line like that!

the britney example is not good. britney have 2 boobs (apples), why apple has only one. and somebody started to eat that.

As the second person in line for the Ginza grand opening, it was interesting to read everyone's comments on the long line (I counted 1,928 in the video!). Yes, it's a little crazy, and a little time-consuming. But it's truly fun to hang out with like-minded persons... and it's certainly not a behavior. If it's's successful!

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Listed below are links to blogs that reference this entry: The longest line.

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Title: Longest Line Location: Ginza Apple Store (Tokyo) Director: Masanori Fukumoto Date: Sunday, November 30, 2003 Description: Be sure to watch the whole thing, it's truly UNBELIEVABLE Link (VIa Joi Ito)... Read More

Queing for macs from What about the Finns?
December 12, 2003 9:00 AM

I can't really decide under which category this should go, society, internet or world - its amazing! I could never imagine this happening in Finland, were just not that patient! Well, this is what the Japanese did when Mac opened... Read More

Long line for Apples from the iCite net development blog
December 12, 2003 9:00 AM

I thought this would be kind-of trivial, but it is actually amazing Read More

I just saw a QuickTime movie which shows a very, very long line waiting for their turn to enter the Apple Store Ginza via Joi Ito's Web. It's really stupid to decide to wait that long! You could do something... Read More

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Espero tornar-me no feliz propriet Read More

こちらのエントリー(Joi Ito's Web: The longest line)で紹介されていた、11月30日のApple Store銀座の長蛇の列。怖いもの見たさで全部見てしまいました。今冷静に見ていると更にクレイジー。 Appl... Read More