This week has seen two masterful examples of corporate and political spin.
Earlier in the week, we had Apple's delay on the iPad launch in the UK, thanks to "high-demand" in the US. A move that puzzled many commentators as the indications had been that while early iPad sales had indeed been very good, they hadn't been earth-shattering and there was plenty of evidence that there was no shortage of stock.
In fact,. the favoured reason for Apple's delayed launch is supply chain problems - something that is a fair enough excuse. Such is the nature of people's cynicism though that there are plenty of suggestions that Apple is using supposed delays to hype up the product. Such as the cynicism about Apple, there are probably people who think that Steve Jobs planted dynamite inside the Eyjafjallajoekull volcano, just so that he could demonstrate how the iPad could be used to keep organisations and even governments going.
But if Apple is world-beater in corporate spinning, there were some real masters around when it came to interpreting the results of the first televised political leader debate. The morning after yesterday evening's three-way contest had all political spinmeisters working like crazy to persuade the public that their man had won - this was despite three separate polls for news sources that showed a clear win for Lib Dem leader, Nick Clegg.
There's one crucial difference between Apple and the political spinners. For all we know, Apple could be telling the truth about the unexpected demand, we have no way of knowing for sure. But those watching the debate knew how the candidates were being perceived. It wasn't just that it was the first-ever UK debate, but for the first time, we were able to take part in a mass exercise with our Facebook friends, with our Twitter feeds, with our text messages and our mash-ups. There was a real sense of participating in the process - for the first time for many people.
Parties will learn from this - the new-found interest in the Lib Dems is already causing traffic problems on the party's website - and will seek to engage more fully in the social media process.
There's a lesson for companies too. There's going to be more engagement between customers. There'll be fewer excuses in future for poor service and poor products. The companies that are most clued up about working with their customers will reap the benefits - but there might be a few spin doctors out of jobs at the end of the process. Still, Iceland can probably do with all the help it can get right now.
Follow Maxwell on Twitter on @maxcooter
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