That’s what I’m hearing. People around the world who were having problems with the new maps say that within hours of Tim Cook’s apology the software miraculously started working perfectly. Customers are happy, Apple has won, Google is screwed, and, in a tiny church in a remote village in Portugal, a painting of Steve Jobs (above) has started weeping real tears, all thanks to that simple, miracle-working apology. Oh, the power of contrition! By lying, but then apologizing for lying, Apple now has become stronger than before. The story is spreading like wildfire, told by Farhad Manjoo on Pando and Drew Olanoff on TechCrunch. See, in the new “perception economy,” the core deliverable is no longer the product itself, it’s the way you talk about the product. The message is the product. They are one and the same. Ergo, a company doesn’t need to make a good product; it just needs to persuade customers that the product is good. See the difference? Even when you ship a bad product, if you apologize for it, now it’s good. It’s all about perception. Or persuasion. Or how your attempts at persuasion are perceived. Something like that.