Apple’s currently “stumbling” — and it’s the fault of a “negative,” “strict,” and overly “harsh” corporate environment, claims U.K. newspaper The Guardian.
“At Apple, you’re gonna be working 60-80 hours a week and some VP will come yell at you at any moment,” one coder is quoted as saying. “That’s a very hostile work environment.”
The problem with the above quote, which kicks off the newspaper’s one-sided article? It’s from a 27-year-old freelance coder who has seemingly never actually worked for Apple.
“Other than the fact that we have to work with them because we’re delivering apps to their App Store, I don’t really want anything to do with them,” James Knight is quoted as saying.
“A pain point for a lot of people with Apple is they can’t talk about what they’re working on, which hinders your social status in a way,” says Troy Sultan, founder of tech recruiting startup IDK Labs. “You want to put on your LinkedIn that you’re working on the latest iPhone, but you absolutely can’t. It’s interesting Apple can retain top talent at all. I don’t know how. They keep you sort of locked up.”
The overall thesis of the article (and stop me if you’ve heard this one before) is that Apple’s secretive nature and, of course, a distinct lack of Steve Jobs is what’s to blame for its current slowing iPhone sales and recent stock price fall.
Journalist Nellie Bowles writes:
“The biggest issue for programmers seems to be a high-stress culture and cult of secrecy, which contrasts sharply with office trends toward gentler management and more playful workdays; Google’s seven-person ‘conference’ bikes come to mind.
Apple notoriously doesn’t serve free food, which was unusual in 2012 and, in 2016 Silicon Valley, shocking for highly prized and pampered engineers accustomed to perks. Employees don’t get free phones. And Apple’s enormous new Cupertino campus, a neo-futuristic glass circle, has been nicknamed the Death Star.”
Overall, it’s one of those frustrating stories that skips out on asking interesting questions in place of waving the Doom Prediction stick around. Yes, iPhone sales are starting to slow after years of massive growth. Yes, Tim Cook is a different person to Steve Jobs. No, we don’t have an Apple Car yet. The question is what it all means.
And, come to think of it, is Google — home to some of the driven, most-accomplished engineers in Silicon Valley — really a stress-free environment, or does it provide its myriad perks precisely because it wants its employees to dedicate their lives to working, and not having to think about getting home to cook dinner or do their laundry?
But, then again, why examine questions like this in detail when you can write something incendiary, hit publish, and go home for the day? Gah!