The home of Sweaty Spice, the 'other' Spice Girl

I have long been a denizen of the universe that is Slashdot, and apart from the misogyny, libertarian-bro, and endless “The year of Linux on the desktop” threads, there is a not-so-subtle Apple bashing.

It seems that Apple has become the most hated entity in Tech, taking that title from Microsoft.

I know one of these people in real life. I always knew they were a bit anti-Apple, rolling their eyes, grumbling about how Apple never innovated anything.

I took this as a “whatever” moment, and dismissed it as petty grumbling. However, last week, we went out to dinner (some former colleagues and some current colleagues, all vaccinated and done safely).

During dinner the discussion turned to the pending return to the office, and it was mentioned that Apple’s philosophy was that you go into the office, 5 days a week. Work from Home days were rare, and were for things like you have to let the Cable man in or similar.

This caused my “friend” to go into a rant abuot how Apple was “valueless” as a company, that they don’t “make” anything, and that Apple devices were “Fashion Statements”, that they really weren’t “tech” and that Google, Microsoft and Amazon are what power tech, not a “boutique” play from Apple.

Whew, a lot to unpack there. I might add that they work at Amazon, in the AWS team, and that their viewpoints were a wee-bit biased.

Any attempt to turn the conversation to the malfeasance of Amazon were stoutly rebuffed. Bezos is a go, he has built the singular most perfect organization, and that it was just the natural order that Amazon rules the roost.

At one point I mentioned that during the Pandemic, Bezos net worth went from about $140B to $190B, my “friend” corrected me that it was $210B.

What the hell, do all Amazonians just know the day to day net worth of their personal savior Jeff Bezos?

Meanwhile, there are mountains of exposés of abuse of their warehouse workers, drivers and other cogs. Their reputation is that when you get hired, you have a pretty decent block of RSU’s (Restricted stock units - not options) that vest pretty quickly, but unless you are at a senior manager or director level you never get more) it is almost like they don’t want you to stay (and indeed, Bezos has at multiple times said that he wants people to not get comfortable, and he would rather have an employee leave after a year or two, than to plant their butts in their seat for 5, 8, 10 years.) All the former product managers from Amazon tell me that 1) They liked it, because it was like a giant startup, if you had a wacky idea, and were successful at pitching it you could go ahead, and 2) that even modest success wouldn’t propel your career. You had to hit it out of the park to get ahead, and to Amazon, that is A-OK.

Amazon needs to be broken up. It is too powerful. AWS and the shopping/commerce needs to be split. Bezos has stepped down just as the crows are coming home to roost (FTC and congressional attention will become very bright indeed in the not too distant future), and regulations and scrutiny on dodgy business plans are gunning for the tech Majors (all the FAANG companies are likely quaking in their boots).

In short, while I had seen some insane Apple hatred in the blogosphere, I hadn’t run into someone so steeped in it. Wow. Just wow.

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