Former Apple retail boss’ new gadget site will send tech experts to your home

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Steve Jobs and Ron Johnson at Apple's Fifth Avenue Apple Store grand opening.
Steve Jobs and Johnson at Apple's Fifth Avenue Apple Store grand opening. Photo: Richard Agullar
Photo: Richard Agullar

Ron Johnson, a.k.a. the former Apple retail guru who played a key role in launching the Apple Store, has officially launched his new startup.

Called Enjoy Technology, Johnson’s website sells dozens of high-end tech gadgets, including smartphones, laptops, speakers, tablets, and drones — only with the added twist that customers get free home setup from an expert at no extra cost.

“We’re living in an on-demand delivery world,” Johnson told the Wall Street Journal in an interview. “We expect everything to come when and where we want. It’s time to reinvent how we buy things.”

Visits from Enjoy staff can take place from 8am to 8pm every weekday, and last between 30 minutes and 1 hour. Initially the company will serve only the San Francisco Bay Area and parts of New York City, but presumably the service will expand if it becomes successful.

It’s definitely a neat idea, although it’s worth noting that Johnson has experienced mixed success at best since leaving Apple. Despite trying to apply what he had learned in Cupertino to his short-lived next role as CEO of JC Penny, Johnson’s attempts to build the brand were a failure — as he tried to overhaul the chain too quickly without visibly changing the stores enough to justify the new prices.

Will the same happen here? Or is Johnson creating the next Amazon? I’ll reserve my opinion until I’ve had a chance to use the service, but it’s certainly an interesting concept.