Software, Hardware, Silverware

The Lottery

WWDC selling out in 120 seconds isn’t cool. John Siracusa advocates for a lottery system next year:

An actual lottery, pre-announced, with no time pressure for entry, would be more equitable than what happened yesterday. That’s what I recommend for next year.

I don’t think a lottery is a good idea. Probably the biggest draw of WWDC is the community of developers who attend. With a lottery, the community is torn. Groups going together get split up at random. To that end, I doubt Apple could institute a fair lottery. Do you really think Apple would deny a ticket to someone like John Gruber1? A lottery would be fixed, it’s almost guaranteed. There’s some people who Apple wants at WWDC. Where do they draw the line? It’s far too fuzzy.

Here’s my suggestion: split WWDC into two events. One for iOS, one for OS X. Hold one in spring and one in summer. Keep the events small and exclusive. Going forward, they should announce and sell tickets exactly as they did this year (that is: announce it about a month ahead of time, then start ticket sales the following morning). How, then, should we keep tickets from selling out in two minutes?

Easy. Jack up the price. It’s an idea everyone seems to be avoiding in their suggestions to Apple today, but it’s also the most obvious choice. It’s basic supply-and-demand economics. If the number of people willing and able to buy tickets exceeds the number of tickets available, the price has to go up.

  1. Who, by the way, is not to my knowledge developing for iOS or OS X. ↩︎