Also unchanged is how humanity works. If corporations are people, too, then Apple is among the 1-percent, and– I counted– the vast majority of 1-percenters of the world are not my friend; likely not your friend, either.
Never Say Never
More than a year ago Rhett Jones penned a wonderful missive entitled “Apple Isn’t Your Friend.” We may like it when Apple is friendly to us in the Apple Store. We may enjoy using Apple’s products because they are user-friendly. We may respect Apple’s stance on the environment, user privacy and security, and other aspects of the company posture in the Tim Cook era.
Apple is not your friend, and never will be your friend. Ask Scott Forestall.
Despite many examples that contradict its chosen set of associations, people generally think about perfectionism, ease of use, elegance, and innovation when they think about Apple.
There’s an old adage my grandfather taught my father who taught it to me.
What goes around, comes around.
Put another way, “Karma is a bitch.” For the past few years, Apple has positioned itself as an ally of the people– perhaps enough so to be considered friendly. Apple went after Google and Facebook and won a few rounds in the public ring.
Now that Facebook’s endless cycle of scandals has opened up public awareness of what’s at stake in the battle for online privacy, and political will has, at least slightly, tilted towards doing something about it, Apple has seized an opportunity to remind people how great it is.
Good for Apple.
Where’s the karma? Two words: Hong Kong.
Suddenly, we realize exactly what drives Apple. Pragmatism. Not friendship. Not morals or ethics. Not righteous principles. Money drives Apple and the company carefully crafts decisions so the corporate brand looks friendly and inviting, but when push comes to shove, with Apple, just as it does with too many humans, money comes first.
Here’s a good headline to consider from The New York Times:
Hong Kong Protesters Are Targeting Starbucks. Apple Could Be Next.
Would you do that to a friend? An enemy? Welcome to the world’s latest effort to fragment itself into oblivion.
Pro-democracy demonstrators have begun singling out companies that they consider enemies of their movement. Vandalism and calls for boycotts have followed.
Look at Google’s friendly, colorful logo. Look at all the smiling faces in the Apple Store. Look how easy Facebook makes it to connect with friends and family.
Are those the actions of a friend or a friendly corporate painting draped over the public square? What is it they say about friends?
Keep your friends close but keep your enemies closer.
When it comes to friends, I prefer the approach made by the old knight guarding the Holy Grail in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.