When obsession is good and bad for the brand

Steve Jobs hates buttons on computers and electronics gadgets, and even his clothes, reports the Wall Street Journal, because they create too much complexity. Read the article to find out the details, but one point stands out: Jobs is obsessed with getting rid of buttons.

My point is, this obsession has been good for the Apple brand in that it has created a point of relevant differentiation -- i.e. it's a different approach to technology and people like it -- but bad in that it's gone too far, especially with the lack of a keypad on the iPhone.

Results? Early iPhone sales are disappointing, although not everyone is concerned that this means the phones are a bust.

Marketing experts are having fun disagreeing on the prospects for the gadget. My prediction: it will be a big flop.