Color me cynical but what’s playing out on the political and technology stages these days seems to be an age old story. The rich get richer by manipulating those with less; less of everything; especially power.
The presumptive Republican presidential nominee is a populist, not a conservative. Fox News criticizes
lamestream mainstream media yet itself is the most mainstream and one of the most popular sources of all media. Apple claims to be on the side of user security and privacy. Is that because of the company’s so-called DNA? Or, is something else going on?
The battle lines drawn between Google and Apple could not be more clear. To Google, you’re a part of the product. To Apple, you’re the customer. Google gives away free information and software in return for the right, privilege, and opportunity to track your every move online with the ultimate objective of more revenue and profits so the company can diversify itself into new markets.
What of Apple? The difference is in the methodology, not the objective. Apple is a hardware company that gives away software on each device. The software becomes a key differentiator when compared to technology competitors. Instead of launching dozens of products to see which will gain public and customer acceptance, Apple maintains a laser-like focus and leverages new products that work seamlessly with current products.
The objectives are the same. Growth and diversification. Only the methodologies are different.
Microsoft has long been considered a ruthless company that would do anything to protect its Windows and Office hegemony. Samsung has long been considered a ruthless company which would ignore intellectual property rights for its own gain. Google’s public persona is a colorful logo and a friendly search product that matches well with a dozen free and useful applications. But beyond the playful logo Google is a ruthless company intent upon growth and profits regardless of the cost. Like Microsoft, the company has yet to have much success in diversification, but that hasn’t changed the game plan. Both companies are bleeding money in the hopes of creating another vein of gold.
What Of Apple?
How is Apple different? The company refuses to manufacture cheap products to compete with the commodity items pushed onto the streets by competitors. Is that because customers do not want less expensive Macs, iPhones, and iPads? Or, is that a choice because Apple’s executives understand the need for discipline to maintain high gross profit margins?
If that’s the case, then how is Apple any different than Google, Microsoft, Samsung or any other company that attempts to grow revenue and profits? The objective remains the same. Only the methodology differs.
Politicians manipulate voters for their own benefit. They want power. Voters provide that power. For all the revolution going on in the political process these days, and for all the voter discontent, why is it that only one incumbent politician– out of hundreds– lost a primary election? Perhaps citizens are too trusting of those in power.
Do we trust Apple too much? Does the company deliver the products and services that we want, expect, and pay for? Is Apple on the side of customer privacy and security because it’s the right thing to do? Or, because– for that segment of customers– that’s where the money is? If Apple ran for public office (and, thanks to Citizens United, that may happen one day) would you vote for the company or a traditional politician?
So many questions. So few answers. So little time.