Apple and the cult of ‘Arrogance’

Much has been said in the press recently about the perceived ‘arrogance’ of Apple’s response to quality issues with the release of the iPhone 5, and the mapping fiasco, and – recently – the less-than-stellar release of the iPad Mini..     Their response to reception problems with the iPhone 4 was classic – blaming the owners, who were ‘holding it the wrong way’..

At the moment, the perception of Apple products as ‘very desirable’ and ‘cutting edge’ outweighs the reality that several new products only offer relatively little real improvement over the previous version..     If the orders are still flooding in, and people are queueing in droves, why should the company care?

For better or worse, it seems that arrogance amongst technology company leaders has become – almost – a badge of honour, gaining grudging respect from the general population..    The heads of Apple, Oracle, and Facebook would seem to be prime examples of this, especially the previous head of Apple, who seemed to have taken the art of arrogance to an entirely new level….  At least the current incumbent has been able to issue an apology – of sorts..

It may be true to say that the successful companies are those who make fewer serious mistakes than their competitors..   The head of the support organisation of a (then) highly-regarded computer company used to – internally – refer to them as the ‘cream of the crap‘..   In other words, not really great, but the least bad compared to all their competitors..

However, this tolerance of arrogance may will be dependent on an organisations’ continuing business success..   Arrogance may be a virtue – of sorts – while things are going really well, but may be a distinctly self-destructive vice, when things start to go wrong..

More reading:
http://articles.latimes.com/2012/sep/28/business/la-fi-tn-steve-jobs-tim-cook-maps-antenna-20120928

And.. If you want to see how embarrassingly awful the Apple maps are:
http://theamazingios6maps.tumblr.com/

© Robert Gadsdon, 2012


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