Apple's 'Evil'-ution Credited to One Genius
WIRED: "How Apple Wins by Breaking All the Rules" (Evil/Genius)


by Joe Leo, Columnist


NEWS/COMMENTARY: 3.25.08-- The current issue of WIRED Magazine (April 2008) apologizes to readers for getting it all wrong back in 1997. "Our bad. We had some tips for Apple. We were wrong." Back then--as everyone from Apple fanatics and just regular people know--the Cupertino, CA-based company was headed the way of the dodo bird.

Oddly enough, it seems that they may have it all wrong again, as WIRED news editor Leander Kahney thinks different, attributing Apple's rise to fame to something far out there... evil genius.

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As Apple prepares to celebrate a non-milestone 32nd birthday next Tuesday, one can't help but agree that their tagline for last year's Macworld Expo--"Welcome to 2007: The first 30 years were just the beginning."--certainly rings true.

What with 2007 ringing in none other than the device with that trademark ring. The iPhone.

But can one call Apple's rise from the ashes, at least, their techniques unorthodox, much less, call it "evil/genius," as WIRED's Kahney talks about in their cover story?

It's not so much Apple as a company, or as a product, or even their employees that Kahney is labeling as evil and genius. The comparison is being made to none other than the mastermind behind Apple, Inc.'s rise to fame / rise out of the ashes, Apple's resident genius and founder (co-founder since there's that other Steve... no, not our editor-in-chief), Steve Jobs.

It even seems like he's being compared, Jobs, to a sort of deity who wants to rule the world.

While we all can agree that Mac fans consider Steve Jobs their "god" and "worship" all things Apple, the comparison made by Kahney is one--at least in this tech columnist's opinion--that has never been so poetic. And sadly, seems to make a point!

Apple's rise and evolution is credited to Steve Jobs taking back the reins. If not for Jobs, Apple wouldn't be where it is today. By the same token, it is presented as a sort of, problem because of the way the ship is run, and how that ship is steering its course. (What?).

According to Kahney, "For him [Jobs], the regular rules do not apply."

He also says that what Silicon Valley advocates say is good for business and good for the world is embracing open platforms, trusting the public, and treating your workers like gods. The total opposite of how Steve Jobs runs his company.

But it is because of that fact (and fact alone?) why Apple is now ahead of, oh pick someone, let's say, Dell?, when back in 1997, the roles were reversed. And following suit, behind Cupertino, is the likes of Microsoft, and other tech companies--software-based and hardware-based alike--that are playing a game of catch up to Apple, Inc.

"...Apple is irredeemably evil, behaving more like an old-fashioned industrial titan than a different-thinking business of the future. Apple operates with a level of secrecy... It locks consumers into a proprietary ecosystem. And for treating employees like gods? Yeah, Apple doesn't do that either," says Kahney.

Who are we talking about here, Redmond, WA? Must have entered the wrong, gates, here!


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