Apple vs. Microsoft marketing approaches differ greatly: Time Poor vs. Time Rich

“I write frequently about the differing marketing approaches of Apple and Microsoft. But today, an article titled Time Rich or Time Poor? by Jeremy Liew over at Lightspeed Venture Partners really crystallized that difference for me,” Carl Howe writes for Blackfriars’ Marketing. “He defines the terms as follows:”

Broadly speaking, there are two types of internet users, Time Rich (more time than money) and Time Poor (more money than time). I’d speculate that many of the readers of this blog fall into the Time Poor category, but the vast majority of internet users fall into the Time Rich category. If you’re starting a new internet company, its important to know who your audience is, and to make sure that you don’t let your own experience and that of other Time Poor people guide you wrong.

Howe writes, “Jeremy then goes on to note that a lot of search engines, ecommerce, and comparison shopping engines are designed for Time Poor users, while social networks, social discovery, and video websites are designed for Time Rich users. And as he notes in the definition, there is a demographic gulf between the two groups as well: Time Poor typically implies money rich, while Time Rich implies money poor.”

Howe writes, “The ‘aha’ moment I had today was that Apple’s marketing is designed for Time Poor buyers, while Microsoft’s is designed for Time Rich buyers.”

Full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “TheLagosChap” for the heads up.]


  1. You know, it’s funny, but I once dated a lhasa apso who wouldn’t have fallen into either of those categories.

    “Time Rich”. “Time Poor”. Whatever. No, she was definitely in de “Money Whore” demographic. Yeh-heh-hehessssss. Or maybe it was “Bitch Time”, now that I think about it.

    Well, what does it matter? She was hit by a Buick so . . . it all comes ’round in de end, right?

    Which come to think of it was actually her working slogan . . .

  2. I don’t understand how he can say that Time-Rich people, those having lots of time, would be the target of Microsoft. We all know that if you have the time to invest in researching and making educated decisions, you will probably not choose Microsoft.

  3. Howe writes, “The ‘aha’ moment I had today was that Apple’s marketing is designed for Time Poor buyers, while Microsoft’s is designed for Time Rich buyers.”

    But I’ve been saying for some time now that it’s not just Microsoft marketing that’s designed for time-rich users. The whole Windows/PC design and operating philosophy is based on time-rich users. It’s been that way since 1982, and it’s NEVER CHANGED!!! The design philosophy is the more features, and the complicated the better, since people enjoy “fiddling” with their computers. This is a holdover from the days when we DID enjoy fiddling, because the computer itself WAS the experience. That’s changed. Apple knows it. Microsoft doesn’t.

  4. Not too long ago there was a public statistics about most visited websites. Apple was in top 5. But interesting: in Apple site peoples spend near 1 hour, on other sites spend cc 10 min. So Time Poor or Time Rich people were on Apple?

  5. @ Triumph the Insult Comic Dog

    Glad to see you back !

    Your wit has never failed to cause me endless minutes wiping my keyboard off !! ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”LOL” style=”border:0;” />

  6. You can make the most assinine statements in the world if you just simplify reality enough. Macs are not aimed at “the rich” — they are aimed at people who value their time. Folks who don’t have spare time (which is most of us since we’re all so darn busy) are “time poor” but not necessarily “money rich”. He’s half-right, which is batting better than average for another silly analyst who is “time rich” and “money rich” but “common-sense poor”.

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.