I am apparently the king of the whiners since with only one exception, all the posts you moved here were written by me, so please let me have the last word.
I disagree that my posts are whining. I am sorry you feel that way. Weren’t you the author of the “Bad Apple” series a year ago?
I cite specifically what’s wrong. I cite if I have a suggestion on how to fix it. Although I am not a programmer. Maybe I don’t write so well, because I express a lot of emotion and opinion along with the facts. Because I point out specific deficiencies of Apple products that go beyond being mere bugs.
I don’t complain about 32 bit because users were warned. I do complain about being locked out of my Apple ID for 32 days because Apple made it super easy for a thief to change my AppleID password on iOS devices. And super difficult (despite Face & Touch ID) to validate my identity.
I complain about bad decisions, which you can read about in the threads I’ve written which are now posted here. Some of these decisions are merely misguided (like killing Dashboard instead of making money with it ) but some decisions made at Apple really are stupid.
Like using a satellite map to reposition POI pins that are out of place. That didn’t happen by magic. Somebody at Apple thought it was a good or cool idea and somebody approved it and another somebody designed it and maybe a few somebodies coded it. But no one said anything. And I refuse to sugar coat it. Using a satellite map alone without legends as the method to report out of place POI’s is stupid. It’s not a difference of opinion, it’s not a human error, it’s not whining and it’s not a bug.
I point out why specifically Apple cannot compete with Google on maps and why trying might be a wasted effort. Google has a million more data points, called volunteer Local Guides, who feed Google with tons of free data. Building an organization around customers and their input really isn’t a part of Apple’s culture. That’s just a fact. Might it change? Possibility but there’s that pesky company culture thing.
I believe every company always reflects the person at the top. I’ve worked at enough places to know the truth of my assertion. Their personality, vision, management style, hiring practices, background, interests, intelligence, tastes, politics, specific technical knowledge, life experience, risk profile, convictions, likes, and dislikes, etc. It is all reflective of that person and it really does permeate down through the entire organization starting with the CEO’s direct reports. Because the CEO hired them personally. And they hire their direct reports, and so on. I know from experience it gets all the way down to the receptionist at the front door. It is called COMPANY CULTURE but that culture starts at the top.
So ultimately, yes, the CEO is responsible for everything. I have no way of knowing what action if any Apple took on the Satellite Map for corrections thing. Apple’s pretty secretive about everything.
That’s why the best managers in the opinion of many spend less time in meetings and a lot more time walking around and listening to the people on the front lines, actually doing the work, not just managing the people doing the work. Even then, it’s a challenge to get employees to be honest and deliver news the CEO might not want to hear.
The CEO of Costco visits every store in the chain and doesn’t just meet with the store manager. Their employee turnover is tiny. I’ve talked to numerous AppleCare Senior Technicians and they tell me Apple doesn’t even listen to them. And all they do all day is talk to customers with problems.
So extrapolating from what knowledge I have received, I could hazard that Tim Cook isn’t a fan of management by walking around. But that’s only a wild ass guess as I don’t really know. But we need only look as far as companies like Southwest Airlines and Starbucks to see the significant changes wrought by a new CEO replacing a founder. The culture at both these companies changed when management changed. The good news is the founders were so good, it was pretty hard to screw it up. At least for a while.
I know a few people personally that work at Apple HQ. They’re over 50 so they’re not many of them left. Most of them report to people half their age. They learn quickly at Apple to keep their mouth shut if they want to keep their job.
I do not believe Apple conducts much research into product functionality and user interfaces. This goes all the way back to the days Steve Jobs was asked about why Apple doesn’t listen to customers via qualitative research. Steve said something like “I don’t believe in qualitative market research. Customers don’t know what they want until I show it to them”. And for that time and because Steve was a visionary, he was right. He didn’t need qualitative market research. It would never have produced the products that emanated from Steve’s mind.
I know for a fact Apple didn’t use market research because I worked for a company that sold the best qualitative and quantitative research in the country. Apple was a small client buying sell-through data gathered from retail stores and tear-downs of other products. (Apple was not my client, I called on Intel. I tried to sell data to Motorola but they claimed they did not need it. Based on their market position today, I know how valuable what I was selling would have been). I also built a small business from start-up to success and sold it. So I’m not just shooting off my mouth and saying Apple sucks. For the record, they still in my opinion do a lot of things right. I just don’t think Apple lives up to its potential. There just doesn’t seem to be that intense drive to change the world that used to infuse the entire organization. Steve used to say he wanted to make products that amazed customers. A product that people knew they wanted to buy from the first time they ever saw it.
But as you say, Steve is dead. Get over it. So might it be possible that the current management group could benefit from some market research? Or at least doing a better job of listening?
I know that Google does a ton of research because I have participated in their research multiple times. And been paid to participate. I’ve seen a glimpse of their usability labs and spent many hours in one, but only on the mirrored side of the glass…
I’ll give you credit for doing a great job of listening because you read my posts enough to find them objectionable. I would have been happier to read your response to the substantive issues I raised. If my posts come off as whining, maybe it is because I’m angry, disappointed, and sad. I have been an Apple advocate since before many of your readers were born.
So I have a very long term history and perspective and trust my gut. My gut tells me Apple is changing and in my opinion, in some ways not for the better.
You are right about one thing, nothing anybody writes on any discussion board, including Apple’s own communities, will change anything. If there is something wrong with the leadership and direction, Apple’s Board of Directors will be the last to know. Because the sales data will show the cumulative effect of every decision made along the way.
I am sure if Apple’s technology had managed to save me $5,000 and get my equipment back, I’d probably have a much more positive reaction. But Find my . . . didn’t. And changing the password with just 6 digits turned Find My… off, even though the devices were reported stolen hours after the robbery.
Meanwhile, I will just keep submitting my bug reports on Catalina and iOS 13. Over 70 so far. Quite a few have quietly been fixed or just stopped occurring. There are still a lot of bugs, some of them nasty and crippling. Some of them have been found by other testers, but others I am the only one reporting them.
But I don’t write about them here because there are not about intentional design and product decisions, or Apple policies. No sense whining about bugs. And when it comes to bug reports, Apple is listening and reads every one.
Until something Apple does affects me as much as those I’ve written about already, I’m done “whining.”