Master marketer Steve Jobs made Apple a ruthless corporate machine that exploits consumers, gives little back

“No sooner had Steve Jobs resigned than the process of his canonisation began. Genius, visionary, even revolutionary were some of the epithets used to describe the man who took Apple from the brink to the world’s most valuable company,” Julian Lee writes for The Sydney Morning Herald. “Yet, once the hyperbole is stripped away, it may be that he was merely the man who made us fall in love with pretty gadgets, and made Apple shareholders immensely rich in the process.”

“Jobs made computing sexy and packaged music players, phones and portable screens to make them the must-have item for millions. But he is guilty, among other things, of bequeathing to us a worldwide cult of technological onanism from which we are unlikely to recover any time soon,” Lee writes. “Those among us who have an iPod, Macbook, iTouch, iPhone or iPad have surrendered our powers of concentration and free time to this cult, not to mention our personal data. An entire generation will only be able to walk into its future so long as Apple holds its hand. They will only be able to commune with each other via their devices and a shared experience will only be truly shared through Facebook or Digg.”

“There is nothing very cool about the culture of the company Jobs has presided over since he returned as CEO in 1997, after being ousted some years earlier in a boardroom coup. Its ‘my way or the highway’ approach to business has earned it few friends. Apple is one of the few technology companies in the world that has succeeded despite having a closed ecosystem that does not work with any other technology,” Lee writes. “This protectionist approach extends to Apple’s aggressive policy towards patents and trademarks. Any company, be it large or small, that dares use the ‘i’ or anything resembling an apple in its brand, invites the wrath of Apple’s corporate lawyers.”

Lee writes, “In spite of all the facts – that Apple is a ruthless corporate machine that exploits consumers at will and gives little back (it doesn’t even pay its shareholders a dividend) – we love this brand and the avuncular evangelist Jobs who is slowly but surely being raised to the pantheon of ‘greats’ alongside Nobel prize winners, mighty philanthropists and, dare I say it, even religious leaders. In the end I suspect Jobs will be remembered chiefly as one of, if not the, best marketers the world has ever known.”

Full article – Think Before You Click™ – here.

MacDailyNews Take: This is an attempt at satire, right? Or is Lee just another hit-whore?


[Thanks to MacDailyNews readers too numerous to mention individually for the heads up.]


  1. As devout an Apple fan as I am, I’m pretty sure I could go on with my life if they shut the doors tomorrow and I never saw another iProduct again. The news, weather, and entertainment industry currently suffers from a major bout of suck these days.

  2. I switched back to Mac 2002 and have had the opposite feeling. Feel less expoilted than other companies and specific- Microsoft. Whom I have had the great pleasure of having to deal with and realize what a nightmare it was.

    If Apple is expoiltive, then I am first in line. Now if Steve could make a women- well I would be VERY happy!

  3. Lee is ludicrous. He shows his ignorance of business.

    “Apple is one of the few technology companies in the world that has succeeded despite having a closed ecosystem that does not work with any other technology” Lee writes.

    Hmm, I seem to have no problem communicating with the rest of the world on my Apple devices. ‘Unclosed’ or ‘open’ systems seem to have the most problems with security, so now why is “open” good for the average consumer?

    Patents? That is specious, as every company large and small uses these, and they wouldn’t have time to recover their development costs if they could not protect their inventions.

    Trademarks? With out a trademark a corporation would have no “name” as an independent ongoing “legal person” or name for their products that was only their product.

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