Apple’s problems blamed on ‘hostile’ corporate culture


Well, time to pack it in and find a new company to write about, I guess!
Photo: Fox5

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!

Source: Guardian

  • Viv

    Read that guardian article in the morning and felt I wasted my time. Stupid click baits..

  • This: “I’m the kind of person who likes to show up to work sometimes at 11.. And Apple’s not the place you can do that” Clearly Apple’s doing something wrong here. lol

    • Rick Ludwig

      That’s hilarious!!
      I suppose that might be valid if you worked until 9:00 PM…

    • bdkennedy11

      I can hear that guy now. “One time I only had 2 minutes to go to the restroom because I had a meeting to go to.”

    • Jammer Jamski

      I’ve worked in MANY places where I could roll in at 11am … but I’d be there till midnight or later. LOTS of software engineers prefer working at night and get some of their best stuff done at times outside of 9-5. In fact many studies have shown that 9-5 simply is not optimal times to expect people to be at their creative best … and yes software engineering is imho at least as creative as when I owned my own commercial recording studio …

  • Rick Ludwig

    This is hilarious… Highly paid engineers wining about not being able to talk about pre-released products they’re working on… On LinkedIn. Seriously? That’s pretty much just common sense. I can’t talk about products I’m working on if they’re not released – it’s just common sense.
    60-80 hours per week? Sounds pretty standard to me…

    • itfa

      Working 80 hours a week for what they’re paid sound pretty lousy to me.

  • Guy Person

    This is one of the funniest articles I’ve read in a long time XD

    That guy is such a baby

  • Gregg Thurman

    “Well, time to pack it in and find a new company to write about, I guess! ”

    I wish they all would. Never, in the history of journalism, have so few written so much, about something they know so little.

  • Richard Liu

    “Working 60-80 hours a week and some VP will come yell at you at any moment,” In most area of this world this is called “job”.

  • Gary Deezy

    Say what you want. The company just announced the most profitable quarter ever. For any company ever. On the planet, in the history of mankind.

    Yes, as product categories mature sales and profit may stall, but give them a chance to continue to innovate. My only aggravation is that I simply can’t wait for the next big thing!

  • jim

    So life is difficult for these Apple people who have to be quiet about what they are working on ?
    i didn’t realize people get stressed out simply because they can’t BLAB about what they are working on for a living ?