Apple, a company you either love or hate. Its about as black and white as one can get. Now they really have a chance to make some good changes to their culture, but they won’t.
When Apple was founded, the computer world was a simpler place. Young people just wanted to be able to play, to work on these new machines. Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak created a company that fed into those dreams, helping define an era. Having an Apple II machine was hip, it was cool, and it was around $1000-$1500 to get one. Most of its competitors cost around the same, so it wasn’t too big of a deal. You could purchase or write your own programs, and do what you wanted to with the system.
Somewhere along the way, after Woz left, Apple’s vision started changing. They came out with the Macintosh which was an amazing little machine. A machine that started to really open the world of computers to more people. A machine that would redefine Apple. Who can forget the Orwellian Ad that they came up with for the Mac. Funny how prophetic that would be.
Steve Jobs always had a great mind for marketing and a brilliant mind for ideas. Some over the years would stick, some wouldn’t. He got removed for Apple, sold all but one of his shares, and eventually through the means of mergers and acquisitions wound up back in charge of the company he had founded. He brought them back from the brink with a savvy set of ideas that pushed the envelope not in computing, but in consumer electronics.
Jobs also took the paranoia he got from his original ouster to an extreme. While Mac is a good, and solid system, and pretty easy to use, the helped create fallacies around it, from the level of its security to the ease of its use. He also locked the system down tighter than Fort Knox. Same with the iPhone and iPad. Locking down these systems not only gives Apple more control over the device and the data but creates a problem for consumers from a pricing standpoint. The lack of competition helped Apple become the 2nd largest company in the United States, only behind Exxon Mobile. It also gave Apple another item at its disposal, the lawsuit.
Apple is as much a company now that is anti-competitive as Microsoft was back in the 90’s. Its biggest rival is Google, who is just as closed minded and stupid about things as Apple is. Both companies claim to have the consumers best interests at heart. Apple looks at any competing product and immediately tries to find what it can sue over. This is not in the best interests of the consumer.
With Steve Jobs stepping away from the CEO position to Chairman of the Board, he still has a great influence over Apple, its products, its direction. Tim Cook could try to open things up, but won’t. The consumer friendly company that was the little engine that could is gone. They are a company that wants, like Google, to tell you how to do things. They don’t care about what you think. This is why they have been referred to as a cult over the years. Just like Scientology, Jonestown, the KKK and many others over the years, the ultimate goal is to control you and make you bend to their will.
Steve, thank you for all you have done to forward technology, but your controlling and paranoid thoughts, I won’t miss.