When Steve Jobs passed away, beyond his family, it was an absolute blow to the company, its employees, his inner circle and to all who loved the man for his tenacity of returning to Apple and reinventing it to a point that it is now the number one technology company in the world that just broke a record with $18.4 billion … in profit alone! Not a bad accomplishment for a company that was likely days away from collapsing back in 1997. It's an inspirational story for anyone in business and even in life who need to believe that turnarounds are possible.
In 2013 Patently Apple posted a report that walked down memory lane. Every once and awhile I remind myself of the magic Steve brought to my generation. But for the competition, it was a whole different set of circumstances. It was a time to attack Apple and take stabs at Steve Jobs as the great thief of technology. Even as recently as January, a company suing Apple stated in their complaint before the Court that "stealing ideas is a "practice consistent with the statement by Apple CEO Steve Jobs that Apple has 'always been shameless about stealing great ideas.'"
Of course the Steve Jobs comment that was out of context. Steve Jobs was talking about taking inspiration from others, not literally stealing. On page 396 of Walter Isaacson's Biography of Steve Jobs we read the following: "From the earliest days at Apple, I realized that we thrived when we create intellectual property. If people copied or stole our software, we'd be out of business. If it weren't protected, there'd be no incentive for us to make software or protect designs. If Protection of intellectual property begins to disappear, creative companies will disappear or never get started. But there's a simpler reason: It's wrong to steal. It hurts other people. And it hurts your own character." Do the morons quoting that Steve Job was a thief blindly care to look an inch beyond their noses to see the reality of the position Jobs took on intellectual property? Of course they don't.
The dark side of Steve Jobs was oddly amplified in Isaacson's biography of Steve Jobs. Then came the BBC documentary called "Broken Promises" that was out to smear Apple and Steve Jobs. We covered that extensively in our counter report titled "The BBC Report About Apple is Motivated by Politics and Unions." Last year there was the dark documentary called: 'Man in the Machine" that was followed by the movie Steve Jobs which most of Silicon Valley didn't like, save for John Sculley and others who hoped history could be changed in their favor.
Fast forwarding to this week, Apple announced a great quarter but guided iPhone projections downward which had Wall Street react as expected to the downside. For many years market bears and Apple's competitors were just waiting in the wings for this day to finally arrive. And just two days later, the UK's Guardian decided to be one of the first to take the knife out for Apple in a totally one sided report titled "Apple – losing out on talent and in need of a killer new device."
It was just yesterday that we learned that 81% of Apple Store employees feel like they're connected with the company because Senior Vice President, Retail and Online Stores Angela Ahrendts treats them as executives of the company and not just employees. Yet by the Guardian's account, you'd think that in Cupertino, the reverse is actually true; that employees are being yelled at for nothing, are slave driven to ungodly hours under pressure, and get this, don't get free food at Apple's cafeteria or even free iPhones. Now, what is the world coming to?!
To be specific, the report quotes James knight, someone who once considered working for Apple who stated: "At Apple, you're gonna be working 60-80 hours a week and some VP will come yell at you at any moment? That's a very hostile work environment." But that's an opinion as he didn't actually work there or even state that it was an account of a close friend working at Apple. It's just his impression, and this was brought on by the Guardian because "The Silicon Valley computing giant is stumbling with the news of massive but slowing sales, its stock price" falling by 6.5%." OMG
The Guardian's tale paints a stark picture of life at Apple as a programmer and even describes Apple's advanced state-of-the-art future home office known at the 'spaceship' as being coined the "Death Star." I expected a little more from the Guardian than to have their writer spew poetic nonsense from Star Wars.
The guardian then goes on to quote a "designer" at the development agency Arsenal which is a gaming programming agency. And why would he have any insight worth noting about Apple or its unique engineering culture?
Who's another source for this oh-so-informed article? Well, the co-founder of an engineering talent management firm called 10x. His ten cents worth of wisdom was that "Apple's last release [the Apple Watch] was not a giant hit. And everyone's already got an iPhone. There's just diminishing returns making it another degree of a crisper screen or a higher megapixel camera. It's just a replacement game. Engineers look for 'big problems' that will push them and for a culture that puts them at the center."
Do we ever hear from Solomon pointing to any great original products by the engineers over at Google or Microsoft that are worth a damn? No. But hey, fiddling and dreaming of the big picture in the sky is what his engineering customers want to work on along with free food, gadgets and the ability to work at home whenever they feel like it until something great is conceived. Well, that was mind-bendingly insightful dribble Mr. Solomon.
Yet he's not along as James knight, who we quoted earlier, is completely in sync with the free floating life of an engineer. Knight added that "he and many of his friends value lifestyle over salary. I'm the kind of person who likes to show up to work sometimes at 11, or maybe work from home one day. And Apple's not the place you can do that."
The article concludes that "Apple's reputation among young programmers is telling. In an industry built on the notion of 'disruption,' attracting exceptional talent and keeping them nimble is key. Apple doesn't need to just make a better iPhone – it needs to make something new. That's a much harder task." Yes, yes, yes, but I say again, what's that killer hardware that the others in Silicon Valley have actually delivered lately so that your article actually has a meaningful point? I'm sorry, I didn't quite get that; can you speak a little louder?
Yes, just as I was saying, with Apple showing the slightest sign of weakness, the meaningless 'know-it-alls' have come out to Play.