My bite on Apple

Love it or hate it, it’s the kind of company that leaves no one indifferent. It showed the world (at least to the masses) the personal computer, the graphic interface, the decent portable music player, a real smartphone and what a tablet should be like. All very nice and disruptive. All products are incredible well made, beautiful design and taste, and they just work out of the box like no other in the market. I should love it. But the sad true is i don’t.

Company culture runs top down, and Steve Jobs was indeed a visionary and incredible smart person, but also a manipulative, control freak, indifferent to his own child’s, cruel kind of person (probably a big jerk). Unfortunately a lot of that spilled over to Apple.

Lot’s of (unnecessary) proprietary stuff.
Long story of conflicts with other companies and standards. Adobe, Google, just to name a couple.
Closing the market with all kind of patents and legal tricks.
Mac OS X has a huge portion of FreeBSD on it but i don’t see a cent donated by Apple (list of donors include Cisco, Google, Juniper, NetApp, McAfee, Dell, etc).
I see Google doing some incredible work at a social level, Google foundation, X-Prize. In counterpart is there an Apple foundation?
One buys an Iphone/Ipad and must pay a developer account or jail brake. The SDK is only available for Apple computers.
One must get his OWN files to his OWN device trough Itunes…

And the list goes on and on… does the profit, a vision, or whatever justify this kind of policies? Do the ends justify the means? For Steve Jobs sure, for Apple sure, but not for me. So me choices are rather obvious (check here, here and here).


One more thing 🙂 … it’s kind of sad that all those geeks that were upset some ten years ago by Microsoft monopolistic actions and autism, most of all switched to Apple, giving their love and support to an even worse company in that matter. You can get in a meeting with IT staff and 90% of those that were running Windows laptops some years ago now proudly show their Apple gear… talk about brainwash… i can only recall the old Apple motto “Think different”… probably will glue this to my Linux laptop one of those days.

Here’s to capitalism

For sure it has a zillion faults, but in other hand it can supply all kinds of material goods, both essential and non essential ones. It has been glorified or vilified by people all over the world.

But i wonder, what other system could provide me with a full spec, technology loaded, big 50″ TV screen for just a tiny fraction more than the country minimal wage (delivery included) ?

Rework by 37 Signals

Like Gordon Gekko once said “Because everyone is drinking the same Kool Aid“, and just because everybody in the business (the web business i mean) is drinking “Rework” by 37 Signals, i also drinked it too…. so what’s my taste of this book?

It’s a complex taste book, not because it digs deep the rabbit-hole, but because it (tries to) speak all things about the business universe, it goes from (unordered list) planning, to meetings, to time management, customer management, task prioritization, hiring and firing, office policies, marketing, product building, product minimalism, workaholism, by-products, productivity, startups, etc, etc….

It’s filled with common sense (is not so common) and Lapalissades, witch makes one feel smart:

«Failure is not a prerequisite of success.» – I knew that

«Forgoing sleep is a bad ideia.» – I also knew that

«Other people’s failures are just that: other people’s failures» – Duhh

«Revenue in, expenses out, Turn a profit or wind up gone.» – Heck, even the tavern owner where i go for cheap drinks knows this

«If you want to get someones attention, it’s silly to do exactly the same thing as everyone else.» –  I rest my case

But in the other hand, you are always making reality checks, comparing your own practices with the ones described in the book, and this review is obviously good.

Anyway, the work smart not hard philosophy makes sense, there are some good marketing tips, i really liked the teach and spread your secrets of the trade approach. It also makes a strong point about minimalistic products, those products that you strip down to the core, make them easier, cheaper, maintainable. Likewise, they don’t like guys throwed in suits (about#hate) and useless meetings (about#hate) ….. ahhhh…that was good for my ego.

The final balance is positive, everyone can get good ideias out of it, but is not the “fabulous”, “best book in my life and afterlife” hype that you read in Amazon reviews.

Here some of my favorite quotes:

«When you treat people like children, you get children’s work»

«And when everything is high priority, nothing is»

«Business are usually paranoid and secretive. They think they have proprietary this and competitive advantage that. Maybe a rare few do, but most don’t»

«Having the idea for eBay has nothing to do with actually creating eBay»

«The worst interruptions of all are meetings»

«How long someone’s been doing it is overrated. What matters is how well they’ve been doing it»