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The Ortiz Caper, Explained

Since the Boston Globe coverage of our "Jersey" buried under the Apple Store broke earlier today, we've been inundated by calls and emails. Is it a curse? Have we been planning it for weeks? Do we want Apple to "lose"? Do we expect Apple to dig up the shirt?

It seems that our little caper requires a little more explanation.

First off, to quiet the skeptics, yes, the shirt is really buried. And no, we have no proof other than the pictures. And yes, it looks like a well-rehearsed marketing ploy - because, it obviously is (except it wasn't rehearsed).

And no, we don't want the Apple Store to be cursed or for them to "lose." We firmly believe that the Boston Apple Store will be good for the Mac platform and thus good for us.

So why'd we do it? Because it's a reminder that Apple's big shiny stores and the independent resellers are connected by something more than a company and a platform. We're connected by history.

Before the Apple Store was a glimmer in Steve's eye, independent resellers were fighting for the survival of the Mac as a viable computing platform. With beige, boring products that weren't compatible with anything, the Apple of the 90s deserved to go under by any measure of a technology company. We fought hard to sell these products, to bring customers to the Apple way of "Thinking Different," and to fend off the Business Week articles about "The End of an Icon" all while trying to survive.

Survive we did, and we're all now much bigger and better businesses because of Apple's great products, innovation, and design. There's no doubt about it: my job and those of the 25 employees that are part of my company are here because of Apple.

So certainly, we don't want to curse the store. Apple's success is as much our future as it is theirs. We're connected by history, passion, and a love for a computing platform which honestly, many people (including my wife) wonder about.

That T-shirt is a reminder of that connection – and it's a sign to Apple that regardless of where we end up, they can't forget that Tech Superpowers established its business on this block nine years previous.

Some have said that the T-shirt isn't an appropriate caper, that it's too antagonistic, but I think it's just perfect for the story.

The Red Sox would never be the team that we all know and love today without the Yankees. The Yankees drove them to 4 games of perfection in 2004. There was no curse of the Yankees that made Boston win in 2004, it was hard work, consistent and beautiful execution driven by a desire to beat the best.

Apple's incredible business has already forced us to change our game plan: to focus on professional and business customers rather than consumers. To create services like our repair rentals and data recoveries that compliment rather than compete with Apple.

Luckily, unlike baseball, we'll never actually have to go head to head in a series of seven games. Because we know that if we were ever truly "against" Apple, we'd lose. So we choose not to be adversaries – instead, we're connected, partnered, and hopefully considered by them to be just as valuable to them as they are to us.

And that is probably the biggest difference: there's just no competition in business exactly like the competition of sport. Rivalries and competition come and go, but in the end, all of us – home grown Boston-based business and the massive Apple store "Designed in California" – can succeed together.

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