I’ve heard a lot of people talk about the Apple Store and how great it is. There are many theories about why it is so successful. My own is this: while obviously the products, service, and design of the store are all great, they alone don’t explain its popularity. That, I believe, stems from the decision to allow customers to use every computer, laptop and iPad in the store to check their email. It ensures that the store is always full, and we all love a place that’s popular. It’s also solving a problem: it’s hard for many people to keep up with their email when they are away from their homes and offices. (And, let’s face it, we all get a little twitchy if we’re away from it for too long.) It solves that problem in a way that gives them a personal experience of the brand. It’s their relationships, their messages on that screen. And it’s entirely counter-intuitive. For years, stores had been telling people not to touch. (“You break, you buy.”) Apple went the other way because they knew that once someone touched, they wouldn’t want to let go.