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I recently had the pleasure of interviewing Richard Haddock, President of the Haddock Corporation, an Apple reseller that has been in the Mac business seriously since there have been Macs.
I first found Haddock a couple of years ago when, in a panic over accidentally wiping out my hard drive in some kind of strange Linux experiment, I needed OS X installed and couldn’t find my install disks. Not only that, but loading Linux had rewritten the boot record of the disk and wiped out how the Mac looked at it, resetting it from GUID, which the Mac installer requires, to MBR.
Long story short, I couldn’t load OS X back on my MacBook. So, I called around town and was pointed at Haddock. I dropped by and explained my problem, and the staff booted my MacBook into target disk mode and mounted it on another Mac, and then fixed the disk with Disk Utility. I was very, very grateful for their help, I almost thought I had ruined my Mac! Haddock earned a customer that day with their honest help and technical expertise.
TAB: The Haddock Corporation has a long history with Apple. Can you tell me a little about what impressed you the most about your first Macintosh?
Richard Haddock: When I was shown the first Macintosh 128k, I was programming on an IBM 5110, which used BASIC, and I had to constantly work on the screen layout for my programs. When I saw it I knew that this new graphical interface was the future of computing, so I immediately signed up to be an Apple Reseller. We’ve been an Apple Reseller since 1984. During the time that Dr. Amelio was the CEO I became friends with him and asked him to set up the Apple Specialist program, which would reward and help dealers who mostly sold Apple products. He asked me to help him design this program with the help of Paddy Wong and a few others. I think it’s one of the longest running dealer programs at Apple. I’m very proud of that.
TAB: Apple went through some tough times in the 90’s, did Haddock also hit some rough spots with them?
Haddock: Fortunately we were able to hang on while Apple got things going again. It was a slow-down, but we were able to make it through.
TAB: What can you tell me about your involvement with the education market?
Haddock: We’ve been involved in the education market for nearly 30 years, selling into 11 states. In the past we sold Apple products to these schools, but Apple has since taken those education sales inhouse. We currently sell the Promethean interactive whiteboard to schools in 8 states in the midwest.
TAB: How has the opening of Apple’s chain of retail stores affected Haddock?
Haddock: I think that overall Apple stores have helped the Macintosh business. It has taken some business from us, but overall our Apple sales are up every year.
TAB: How do you use a Mac to run your business?
Haddock: We use Macintosh exclusively in our business, from ordering to research to our accounting.
TAB: Are there any “Must Have” applications that you use on a daily basis?
Haddock: Right now I have the following applications open, which is fairly normal for me:
Mail, iCal, Address Book, Safari, iTunes, Preview, Firefox, Calculator, Filemaker, Excel, OmniFocus and Google Earth. OmniFocus is an excellent program which I use constantly and actually syncs my to do list with my iPhone.
TAB: Haddock started out as Wichita Software, are you still involved in software development?
Haddock: We do some in-house software development on Filemaker, but no longer develop software for others. We sold off our Petroleum Accountant program to a company in New Zealand who still supports it.
TAB: What do you think about Apple’s focus on consumer technology with the iPod, iPhone, and Apple TV?
Haddock: Apple is playing to their strengths and making great consumer products. Everyone who I know owns any of these products really likes them and uses them daily. I know these products will only continue to only get better and lead the market in innovation. I think we’ll see many more breakthrough consumer products.
TAB: What do you see as the future of Apple, and Haddock Corporation’s relationship with Apple?
Haddock: We’ve had an excellent relationship with Apple over the years. In fact, I served on Apple’s Reseller Advisory Board for 10 years. They have an excellent strategy, and a great management team. I know that we’ll continue to do business with them for years and years. We continue to look for ways to expand and support Apple products for our customers.
I also was able to get some insight into the retail and repair side of the Mac market. Speaking with the technicians at the store, the topic naturally went to the new MacBooks. It seems that they are not nearly as excited about them as the average consumer is; they expect them to be much more difficult to service.
My many thanks to Richard for taking the time to answer my questions. Here, in Des Moines, we are a long ways away from Cupertino, but you never know when you might have a little piece of Apple history right in your backyard.