Hacker News new | past | comments | ask | show | jobs | submit login
Apple's inspirational note to new hires (instagr.am)
165 points by dko on May 7, 2012 | hide | past | favorite | 133 comments

So like... A company bragging about itself in a way to make employees work more without asking to get paid for it? Can't say I've seen anything like that before. How original this makes Apple!

Back to real life: every company claims to be best, unique or something like that. Some hollow, BS claim to motivate their employees. But just because they print it on a poster doesn't make it any more real.

Apple is heartless corporation like all others. This can easily be seen in their profit-margins: They care about money more than anything else.

I don't see why Apple fanboys feels the need to make Apple anything more, you know, like a special corporation, which cares about them, personally. If you think that sounds obnoxious or facetious, I've seen people here on HN make those exact claims.

Anyway: It's a corporation. Making money. Often in ethically shady ways. Nothing more, nothing less. Like every other corporation.

I'd go further, and say that Apple is significantly worse than many other corporations in our industry, in terms of how they treat their people, how they treat their customers, and how they view the world and the ecosystem in which they operate. When Apple has power, they abuse it. When they don't have power, they fight tooth and nail to obtain it, while playing the underdog card.

And, there are corporations in our industry that are not "heartless...like all the others". If there weren't, we wouldn't have a higher standard to compare Apple to in order to see their many shortcomings; rarely are those better companies as successful as Apple (which is a great disappointment to me, as a believer in free markets), but many exist. There are, of course, many worse companies, as well. But, Apple certainly isn't a good one.

Apple was only about one thing Fulfill Steve Jobs's vision. Throughout history men who made others work for their dreams with a religious zeal and discipline always did good. Note: they did good, and not always the ones who worked for them.

That is why dictatorship looks so good from the outside, because you can see the results. But internally someone somewhere is living in most miserable conditions to make things happen. You will see this pattern in every authoritarian and dictatorial set up.

Those stories from his biography on sending the most hardworking and performing person on his team on vacation just to deny him bonus. Denying stocks to most early employees who deserved it. Doesn't reflect good on Steve Jobs's part.

AFAIK the story on the Apple IPO was that he didn't intervene for a good personal friend which was only working half time and so was not eligible for stock.

That is an assholish move! But it was also in a sense fair for the other full time working engineers.

Aside from that, the early Apple stories about Steve are showing that he not only was a dictator, but a clueless twenty-something kid. How to lead a company Jobs learned later at Next and Pixar. Not that he wasn't then also famously difficult, but he did manage to attract very good talents and have decade long working relationships with them.

Did well, or did good, or do you distinguish the two?

Did good?

> I'd go further, and say that Apple is significantly worse than many other corporations in our industry, in terms of how they treat their people, how they treat their customers, and how they view the world and the ecosystem in which they operate.

As an Apple customer, shareholder, and ex-employee, I'm curious: what facts do you have to back up that assertion?

Apple may not be the best employer in terms of benefits – most teams don't have break rooms full of free snacks, you actually need to pay for the on-site laundry service, salaries often aren't competitive with those of Facebook's and Google's – but I and many others found it to be a fantastic employer.

I believe customers have spoken w.r.t. how they feel about Apple's treatment. They're selling products like crazy, the Apple Stores are consistently lauded for fantastic retail and support experiences, and Apple Care's led or been near the top industry satisfaction ratings for over a decade.

Finally, regarding the world and ecosystem, Apple aggressively adopted product builds that are more recyclable or more environmentally friendly to produce. They were among the first to reduce the size of their packaging so they could use fewer planes and ships to move product, cutting down on fossil fuel usage and shipping costs. Heck, they've effectively eliminated software shipping impact by moving everyone to their App Stores.

Is Apple perfect? No. Are they "significantly worse"? I'd like to hear some facts that back that up... from what I know, they're often significantly better.

Also, genuinely curious: what do you hold up as an ideal corporation, and why?

I don't know what it's like to work at Apple, so I can't speak to whether Apple mistreats its US employees. I did visit Apple back in 1993 and its employees then were treated very well, but things may be much worse now. You know how it is. Just look how badly Pixar treated its employees under Jobs. (That was sarcasm by the way.)

We know from interviews and research that Apple treats its employees in China better than most of its rivals. And we know from customer satisfaction surveys, year after year, that Apple's customers seem to like the way Apple treats them -- at least compared to how rivals treat them.

When I had to provide credit card information to install FREE application from iTunes, and send copy of ID to Facebook to get my account unlocked (because of their obvious system-wide bug), all in one week, I gave up.

I'll finish these Facebook apps I am contracted to build, wrap up iOS apps also under contract, and stick it to the man.

No more of this hogwash.

I'm confirming that out of 3 iPhone users I've asked just now, 1 cannot download any apps since he doesn't have a credit card and the 'None' option is not present, and 2 other could only select 'None' AFTER they've provided the credit card information in the first place. I also belong in the second category.

Unfortunately I think Android is trying to follow in Apples footsteps. Anecdotally, after they upgraded the Market to Play (quite a few WTF experiences when that happened), they now ask for a lot more information (e.g. address) when updating credit card information. Also they made an unforgivable mistake for me in that the credit card entry on 4.0.3 was buggy - so I gave up and have stopped buying apps - I really have trouble trusting companies that make it hard for me to give them my money.

At least with Apple one can still get an iTunes card to purchase apps, without registering ones credit card. Especially important since an iPad sends your appleid in cleartext HTTP headers when connecting to the internet...

Apple does that probably because they found out they make more money the sooner they can get someone to enter their credit card. Irritating but true.

You don't have to provide credit card to create an iTunes account. There is a "no payment" option and Apps can/have to be bought then with gift certificates.

I personally encountered experience where no such option was provided. If you google around a bit, you might find I'm not the only one, and I kinda think that ain't a bug. Also, the Facebook requiring me to send them copy of my ID might also not be accidental.

I used quite a time ago a secondary iTunes US account without credit card. And now at least in my (german) account I can also edit the payment option to "none". But perhaps this is a regional thing required by law or necessity here (very few people have credit cards because our banking system doesn't suck and money transfer is easy).

Where's the no payment option? Only when you set up a new iOS device? http://imgb.mp/ic5.jpg

Ok, I googled…

This support doc details how to do it on creating a new account:


But I honestly don't know if you can change it on an existing US based account to "none". Like in the other reply I can do it in my german based iTunes account (Keine = None)


Ah sneaky, it only shows up if you try to buy a free app (doesn't show up if you just select "Create Account")

The same option is available on my American Apple ID.


Reachable by opening my account in iTunes, then clicking the 'Edit' button next to 'Payment Information'.

> I'd go further, and say that Apple is significantly worse than many other corporations in our industry, in terms of how they treat their people, how they treat their customers

If they treat their customers so badly, how come they consistently rate at or near the top in customer satisfaction surveys?

The obvious answer is: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stockholm_syndrome

However, it's more likely that the customers weigh things differently than we do. They'd rather have something shiny and popular.

Or they just want broken stuff fixed. Twice I've had things fixed at the local Apple store with no questions asked, no BS script that they had to walk through, no blaming me. It was just 5 minutes of, "Yup that doesn't work correctly" followed by "Here's a new machine."

If you have an apple store nearby, the warranty service is much nicer than let's say acer for example.

Rather than what? Windows update?

For perspective: Where are you coming from? Were you an Apple employee who had a battle experience or what?

I dated someone who worked for Apple, and many friends have also passed that way during their careers. Likewise, many friends have worked for Google, facebook, SGI, Sun, Intel, IBM, HP, and many smaller tech companies; I've also done my fair share of contracting for tech companies, both big and small, over the past couple decades. I know what our industry looks like. Again, Apple isn't the worst, but it is very far from the best.

I'll also note that it pleases me a whole lot to know that better companies (like Google) can compete, and even win sometimes, against a cut-throat company like Apple. I wish more companies could pull off the Google model; HP was once among the best employers in the valley, but that hasn't been true in a couple decades.

I'm just saying that this little "inspirational note" is just more marketing from a company that excels at marketing and branding. They also excel at other things, too, but they're still merely making luxury consumer goods; they aren't curing cancer, or even making the world's information accessible in ways never seen before. If you want to change the world for the better, I don't think working at Apple is the way to do it.

That sounds terrible! If working for Apple really is that bad, I would expect a huge portion of their employees to quit, and soon. Especially the ones who are highly valued in the industry and could get another job right away -- those folks are gonna be streaming for the exits any day now!


Bridging on your comment, I can't even imagine how they treat their suppliers, vendors, business partners etc. The other day I read something about this young Chinese lady who works on iPad's assembly line. She was petrified when some guy showed her the final outcome of her assembly line, a finished iPad. She had never seen one until that moment. If you had studied a little bit about the history of business administration you might know about Elton Mayo's "Hawthorne case". Well, if you analyse the Chinese girl case according to Mayo's theories, the immediate conclusion you can make is that Apple is a very "dehumanized" company.

This reminds me of a conversation I had once with a friend who worked in McKinsey, I told him "I might be smart enough to work for McKinsey, but I am definitely not stupid enough to work in McKinsey"

Police forces in my region, as a requirement, take an intelligence test that has to fit within bottom and TOP boundaries, for one to be accepted.

In absence of adequate personality test for the top-ranking, I guess all the organizations benefit from such strategy, as employment of highly intelligent individuals at non-leadership functions are correlated with organisational disruption. No citation on that, just solemn personal experience.

Rock and roll.

This kind of poster makes some sense - if the company is working on a drug for cancer or eradicating world poverty etc. It might make some sense if the organization is a non-profit, saving lives.

"sacrifice your weekend for" - makes zero sense, for a corporation whose primary (only??) motive is to make money. Also notice the choice of words "sacrifice" - not "spend" or "use" etc. The first thought that comes to my head is, they are not gonna pay me for sacrificing my weekends.

I just wish companies stop glorifying extra/more/free work. There is nothing romantic/great about this - end of the day, all companies are same - they care about their profits more than anything else, they'd not hesitate to throw out a guy in a minute (even if he had worked for them for 30 years) if it improves their margins.

Value creation is somewhat orthogonal to motives. Monsanto is generally considered evil, they also help feed a large chunk of the worlds population.

Making computers accessible to everyday people is arguably one of the most important things for the overall development of the world. Apple is doing that.

And you make them accessible by charging more than anyone else for them?

Hello from the third world.

Historically, most innovations start expensive and as luxury goods, then the innovations are copied and diffused and become cheaper, and eventually commodities.

That seems to be happening here as well.

The relatively recent Apple valuation proves irrevocably that those devices could've came in helluva cheaper than they did and are.

I'm not denying the pinnacle acchievements and innovations at Apple here. I'm denying they're in it for the "computer accesibility and development of the world".

You're contradicting yourself. Your first statement indicated that their pricing meant that they weren't making computers accessible to everyday people. Now you're just attacking their motives (that you can't really know).

I'm not sure I see the contradiction here. He appears to be suggesting that Apple neither makes computers accessible to the world, nor does it attempt to.

A lot of people don't seem to grasp that there is no dichotomy between turning ever-higher profits and creating outstanding value for customers. At least not in the minds of the many people who admire Apple, so your implication that they are somehow deluded rings hollow.

It didn't read like "bragging" to me so much as being honest about the worst parts of a job, kind of like the "for better or for worse" part of a wedding vow. Occasional unexpected work is a fact of life for roles that oversee mission critical products. It wouldn't surprise me if this was true at Apple, where small teams are responsible for products that tens of millions of people uses. If a showstopping OSX bug pops up on a Friday afternoon, do you really expect some kind of weekend skeleton crew to do the coding or should, you know, the people responsible for the relevant parts of the code come in?

OS X can wait a day. The work/life balance of people who create OS X is far more important than fixing a "showstopping bug". You're not curing cancer or doing anything at all that is actually time sensitive. Apple will still make money if OS X ships a day late.

>>There's work and there's your life's work.

Sure there is, that is why we choose to do it for a price that makes our life rewarding and deserving of such work. Talking of work and no rewards and compensation is not very impressive these days.

>>The kind of work that has your fingerprints all over it.

Yes that is why commits to source code repos exists. So that users who make them are traceable. Nearly every Open source repository has a AUTHORS/CREDITS files these days.

>>The kind of work that you'd never compromise on. That you'd sacrifice a weekend for.

I would only sacrifice my time for some compensation in return.

>>You can do that kind of work at Apple. People don't come here to play it safe. They come here to swim in the deep end. They want their work to add upto something. Something big, something that couldn't happen else where.

They said the same thing to slaves who built the Pyramids, Taj Mahal and Colosseum of Rome. And they did build things far more majestic and time lasting than the iPhone, iPad, Mac or the iPod. I don't wish to die as a slave even if I'm building the Taj Mahal. Nobody cares, and its you who is having this horrible life sacrificing your time, energy and other things in life for somebody else.

This is hardly inspirational. This sort of inspiration evaporates in thin air after you receive your salary two months into your job.

Just a side note. I noticed that when you quoted the first line, you subconsciously added the first two contracted "is" words. When I read the text, I found the first line difficult to read due to the contractions. I wonder why they did it that way.

I suspect they didn't actually say the same things to the slaves that built the Pyramids; I suspect they just told them to get on with moving rock and whipped them if they didn't. Certainly I'd much rather work for Apple than the ancient Egyptians.

Does it mention "without compensation" or even "forced overtime" anywhere? You're assuming bad motives unnecessarily.

This is just silly.

There are many many people who work in exploitive jobs, most don't have reasonable alternatives.

In silicon valley, there are likely many engineers who work at exploitive jobs. They likely have reasonable alternatives, but don't take them because they have hopes of a big payout.

Then you have Apple employees. They likely have reasonable alternatives to working at Apple, but they aren't their expecting a big jackpot, because Apple is an established public company. So why are they there? Most likely it's because the message of that card does speak to them. If they figure out later that it is BS, they are free to go. For all the secondhand stories I hear of how bad it is to work at Apple, I'm surprised by how few first hand stories I hear.

Let me write my own version based on experience:

"There's work and then there's my life's work.

The kind of work that will make me millions. You'll work weekends while I'm at my 5000 sqft "green" house in Portola Valley or Tahoe on Friday through Monday. You will do that work here at Apple.

We don't want people to come here and play it safe. We want people to come here that want to drink the kool-aid. We want their work to add up to something for us. If it doesn't, prepare to be screamed at once a day or more.

I want your work to add up to something. Something big. Something that results in wealth for me.

Welcome to burnout. You'll only last 3 years and then I'll replace you with new kool-aid.

Somehow, I feel that the following short anecdote is appropriate here:

"There are ancient cathedrals which, apart from their consecrated purpose, inspire solemnity and awe. Even the curious visitor speaks of serious things, with hushed voice, and as each whisper reverberates through the vaulted nave, the returning echo seems to bear a message of mystery. The labor of generations of architects and artisans has been forgotten, the scaffolding erected for their toil has long since been removed, their mistakes have been erased, or have become hidden by the dust of centuries. Seeing only the perfection of the completed whole, we are impressed as by some superhuman agency. But sometimes we enter such an edifice that is still partly under construction; then the sound of hammers, the reek of tobacco, the trivial jests bandied from workman to workman, enable us to realize that these great structures are but the result of giving to ordinary human effort a direction and purpose. Science has its cathedrals, built by the efforts of a few architects and of many workers." -Gilbet Newton Lewis

nice, but how many of you are ready to sacrifice your life (weekends) for a company's profit. - Curing cancer: yes - Saving lives : yes - Building an outlet for yet spending more money : no

As much a I love my work, I won't love it more than my wife, or my future children.

Yeah, I had a similar reaction to that line. I might consider working weekends if I get something out of it other than "swimming in the deep end", like, say, extra money, or the prospect of extra money in the future in the case of a startup where one puts in that kind of time in the hope of future rewards. That is made possible by having a significant equity stake in the company.

I mean, if you look at it from something of a Homo Economicus point of view, consider the pay rate a good developer gets, and that that money for the weekend is essentially getting donated to Apple Inc, a massively profitable corporation.

Making this material attractive to people who would just as soon work as quants is probably not Apple's goal here. If you don't react favorably, you probably aren't what they want. (I'm not saying this is necessarily a bad thing, just that if money is really all you can think of in a job, some companies are more OK with that and others prefer passion, and it's good that people suited for one kind don't end up at the other.)

> just that if money is really all you can think of in a job, some companies are more OK with that and others prefer passion, and it's good that people suited for one kind don't end up at the other.

You seem to imply it's either passion or compensation which looks like a false dichotomy to me. Lots of people have passion for their work but still they're smart enough to avoid companies who treat the passion like a weakness to exploit so that they can pay lower wages.

I agree. And it seems a bit hypocritical to be coming from a company that expects higher prices for their products because of the work they have put into it. Why should the employees not expect the same for their time?

Because some people realize that money is just a tool. They may prefer to get paid to work on something they are passionate about than get paid more for something they aren't.

Put another way, if you are going to end up working over a weekend, would you rather do it because you love your work, or because you get paid time-and-a-half?

Doesn't it somehow rub you the wrong way to pay employees in "passion" versus money? In my head, money is equivalent to respect.

If the majority of the earnings from your work goes to someone else and you still have to do work really hard ("because we're changing the world! everyone has to pitch in! weeeeee!!"), you are ipso facto in a position of weakness and are not earning the respect of your superiors.

There is something that seems very wrong about this.

I'm good at what I do because I'm passionate about it, and I want to be justly compensated for my time.

The rest of what they write isn't bad: everyone likes to feel like they're working on something that matters.

Here's the question (which I sincerely don't know the answer)

Do Apple offer stock options? Bonus per project?

Other factors could be: what's the impact of having Apple in your CV? Getting to say you worked on project X ?(Apparently this is something Apple limits disclosure, still, if you're an cell phone engineer not a lot of projects you could work)

Sacrificing your life for a company's profit looks like the job is only a physical process of "turning a money machine".

And of course, I hate sacrificing weekends and holidays.

Do you actively seek to minimize your work to the greatest extent possible so that you can maximize family time? Perhaps if you moved to a country with a really low cost of living, you could consult remotely for a few hours a week and spend every other waking moment constantly interacting with your family.

Or is it more about balance and avoiding extremes?

Hum, even balance is a subjective view in that case, plus my answer would not probably count as much as I am one of those lazy french.

I would hope that my view is about balance and avoiding extreme, like it was the case in the game industry a few years ago.

About your suggestion, not all of us are willing to do that move ( to "cheaper" country, as we've got anchor in our live, family, friends, cars, house, pet, etc .... ), or got jobs that cannot be done remotely. I have already moved to another country, not because life cost was cheap, but because it was less stressful for me.

I am passionate about my work but I mostly focus that passion on side projects and hobby (that is for free). Not saying that mixing work and passion is bad ( I think, it is great ), but that can easily be abused ( game industry, animation industry ).

I think it is wrong to push people from the start to work on weekends (that was the way I read it), it is the fastest way to burn them out (speak of personal experience here, first company (start-up) I joined payed me ~900$ a month but I didn't care because I was motivated, worked 10am-8pm~1am including some weekends, after 5-6 years of this I was a mess, Apple is hopefully not be the same ).

maybe we can replace the 'Apple' word with something that really meant to us. specially kids, they are our greatest startup.

> As much a I love my work, I won't love it more than my wife, or my future children.

Steve Jobs clearly did, and wanted people with that level of commitment. Can't fault him for trying to find people willing to give him their lives.

My point is that, that was one of the reason he want a sanctioned biography, so that his children (we can defined children as being the generation living with ubiquitous Apple product such as the iPhone of the iPod, but I will stick to the family definition, adopted like he was or blood related ) know him (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2046367/Steve-Jobs-b...), he sacrificed his family life for his job.

He did great

Sorry but I can't helped thinking about Adolph Hitler.

True, but he owned the company. That's a pretty huge difference

I'd think all those Foxconn workers need a similar inspiration plaque. They don't play it safe too, you know.

Honest question: is it really possible to do that sort of work as a cog inside a huge corporation?

I'm asking because I'm looking at very likely being gobbled up by such a large corporation ...

Apple is famously lean. The Safari version which shipped with the original iPad 2010 was done by only two people. I find that remarkable.

But I too wonder how it is to work there. From other companies like Google or Microsoft there are more stories available, from the hiring process to rants from happy or disgruntled employees. Compared to that Apple is even post-Steve an enigmatic black box. Like, how many hacker news comments are there in which the user is outing herself as an engineer at Apple? I don't remember ever reading one.

If you go back through my comment history you'll see that I've written a few, but I left for the same reasons as the negative responses here.

The company was making billions and I didn't even have stock options, whereas the executive team was getting paid several thousand times as much me. They always said "our pay is competitive with the valley", but it didn't feel right. It came out later that Apple and other Silicon Valley firms were involved in an illegal wage fixing agreement.

As an immigrant, I can't start my own business in the US so I went into finance, where the employees are generally more cognisant of their market value. I got a 50% base-pay and 125% overall increase right off the bat as finance is desperate for anyone who is genuinely passionate about technology.

Do you have a blog post about your transition to finance and the differences in working and living conditions?

No, I've never had an employer that allowed blogging. And even then, I'm not sure I'd be comfortable with the attention given the notoriety of my previous employers.

All I can say is that if you have a choice between a large investment bank and a hedge fund, always go with the hedge fund. They are more agile, more casual, and there's a more direct link between your activities and the organization's profit. Overall, it is more similar to tech.

I think Bret Victor's experience could be a useful case study: able to propose and see implemented major interaction paradigms like interacting directly with the screen to eg swipe around on an iPhone, as opposed to pressing a button. And yet, limited by what the company actually did and moreso by the ideas he couldn't share.

Edit: http://worrydream.com/#!/Apple

Bret's note to anyone in Apple: http://worrydream.com/#!/Departure

Pretty much no. There are exceptions but they fit the term "exception" nicely.

Yes, actually.

If you find the right tech company, your work can be very visible, and can be part of a product that will exist for decades.

If you have the right personality, you can also become very visible outside the organisation as well such that people inside and outside will know you.

Look at the company's products. If they blow you away, then at least some people at that company get to do work that blows customers away. Now you've reduced the task to evaluating whether you'll be one of those people - ask the right interview/followup questions :)

Who knows, maybe by framing yourself right to begin with, you can move into being one of those people in short order... On the whole, of course, it's impossible to tell who gets to do interesting work, and who does mundane work...except by talking with your future colleagues and trying to ask a lot of questions :)

Don't forget, that at a tiny company (3-5 people say), you will be far more likely to have to do things that are ridiculously mundane and boring: at the smallest companies it's just part of the job description. I think there's a better chance at a company where for the position you're filling, the job description is making mountains move.

As someone who is currently working in an organization that doesn't offer me that sort of fulfillment, I'd love to be working for Apple and receiving that on day 1.

Not everyone is going to be an entrepreneur, fewer of us will be successful entrepreneurs. If we are going to work for someone else, it's nice to be able to do something we can be proud of. I imagine that working for Apple makes that possible.

Nice way to inspire new hires. Like it.

However, I worry about Apple lawyers tracking down the person who uploaded this and offer a cease and desist instead of new hire orientation!

Thoroughly depressed by the responses here - especially on a site that prides itself (or used to) on being more nuanced and intelligent than average. If you don't like the message then fine, it's a little saccharine for my taste, but it doesn't make Apple a 'soulless' company, it doesn't make Apple customers empty-headed morons suffering from "stockholm syndrome", and snarking at it does not elevate you above those people who do believe in the message. Quite the opposite.

Reading the comments, a question just struck me - honestly how many of the really competent people (the ones who make real difference in the world) think about what corporation they are willing to work for and on what grounds?

Brad Fitzpatrick (memcached fame) for instance mentions this in the Android performance related video - http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v... - believes in open source, doesn't want Android to fail due to responsiveness issues - that's his motivation.

What might be the motivations of great people lately working for Apple - they can make a great product anywhere, why with Apple?

"they can make a great product anywhere, why with Apple?"

How many software/hardware companies are making great products? I'm an Apple user (though I very much dislike the behavior of the company), but I'm hard-pressed to name any company building better products than Apple. Or even name many that are in the neighborhood.

Well, Apple is sum of its parts - it's the people that make Apple into what they are. So presumably they can build great products under different corporation? I can think of the money problem - if a great product requires the kind of money that only Apple can afford - but how many great products require that kind of money?

Oh, if only that were true. Great people can build great products only in a corporation whose culture allows (or, ideally, encourages) that to happen. Money is a lot easier to find than culture and commitment.

> they can make a great product anywhere, why with Apple?

I bet a lot of them would disagree with your premise. You can't just make a great product anywhere, a lot of things need to be in place for that to happen.

"... sacrifice a weekend ..."

Is that so? Ya, I don't think so. Show me the money.

It's about the work you would sacrifice a weekend for, not about sacrificing weekends.

I read it differently. To me it reads as though they want you to gladly give them more of your only finite resource. If it were as you suggest, there are better ways to say so. Words mater.

Wow.. that just sounds like "we expect you work over hours and weekends".. just sugar coated with nice words.

Apple is a cult? I believe it.

Not that I'm complaining, as I type this on my MacBook Pro, with my iPhone beside it and my iPad 3 and iPod Nano in the backpack on the floor.

Cult or not, they make high quality products at high prices.

I've drunk the Kool-Aid just like many of you.

> I've drunk the Kool-Aid just like many of you.

There's a difference between drinking the Kool-Aid and knowing why people drink the Kool-Aid

True. I respect what they have created, even as I'm skeptical of some of the aspects of it (walled gardens, etc).

The fact that I'm able to use a Unix workstation - that also runs common office apps (MSFT, etc) for interoperability with the non-hacker world - solidified my (guarded, skeptical) loyalty to the Apple platform.

Their "one way to do it" approach can be exasperating but it's generally a smart and lucrative business strategy.

My grandpa used to say: The thanks is in the paycheck.

You want my weekends? Fuck you, pay me.

That just means you're not doing the sort of work you'd sacrifice a weekend for. Why is everyone in this thread boasting about this?

What kind of work would you sacrifice a weekend for?

Edit: I mean specifically.

Something interesting and with potential. The same reason any hacker willingly takes on any project.

Find what you love to do, and then find a way to get paid doing it.

Sorry, I meant specifically, as in a specific field/project jopt would sacrifice a weekend for.

Working weekends seems like a good way to not get fully paid for doing what you love to do.

Then it would be different each person. I've blown more than one weekend on a couple of interesting Ruby issues which were semi-related to my employment.

What it comes back to though, is if you have the right value of "love to do", the pay becomes secondary to the problem. This doesn't mean that you let a company walk all over you of course, but that you are having a good time cash or no cash.

Generally one should expect to be compensated appropriately for weekend work :)

Let me tell you an unfortunate truth: Think of everyone you really respect. Really look up to. Every one of them are risk takers. At some point, they jumped in the deep end. Those who play it safe go nowhere. Apple knows that in order to lead, they need those kind of people. If that isn't you, fine. Go work for Sun. Or RIM. Or Nokia. Or Yahoo.

Ah, the smell of do-gooders in the morning.

One day you all will learn that there is no shortage of people who think they deserve the fruits of your labor, through no work of their own. They will not give you the option of supporting the needy voluntarily, through charity. They will seize your money, by force, by a willing government eager to buy their votes with the sweat of your hard work. Once you eek out a successful living where you actually pay real taxes, you will begin to grow frustrated with the lack of control that you will have with your own money. But even if you don't. Who the hell do you think you are to tell me that my money, which I work for, belongs to someone else? Its quite ironic and hypocritical to say that wanting to keep one's own money is greed, but wanting to take someone else's money by force is justice.

Meh, useless blabla from big corps. The real meaning: "devote your a to the company, and maybe we'll consider sharing some of our extraordinary benefits".

I think a lot of the comments here show that there is a large number of people that are pissed off because they work for a company and feel devalued.

I can identify with this statement and Apple trying to reiterate their core values to new staff. Sure you may not hit the mark 100% of the time, but surely they would have trouble retaining staff if they are lying.

I also think that this whole "Profit Margin" bashing needs to stop. Yes they make large margins, no they don't profit share with most of their staff. It's the way almost every business works. If you disagree then I encourage you to start your own company and give it a shot rather then shouting abuse from the sidelines.

Despite everyone's dislike of this, you have to think of this from the company's perspective. What's the cost of producing this? If they get even one sucker to buy into it, it'll have already paid for itself many times over.

...and if someone doesn't buy it, they've lost a smart person who sees through bs.

Come to think of it, all this sounds pretty pyramid scheme-ish.

Recruit others to sacrifice weekends on vague promises of money and self-fulfillment. Wash them so they tell around how awesome it is to work in such manner and for such a great employer.


Good thing that brainwashing is so easy these days.

In my head, that letter was narrated by Richard Dreyfuss as I read it. It feels very much like their advertizing. My gut reaction would be to simultaneously be excited about the possibilities and worried over what I had gotten myself into, since i was clearly being sold to in such a manner. That's pretty much what I imagine working at Apple is like, though - potentially awesome, fun, exciting, and interesting work, stressful, difficult, and somewhat abusive company culture and demands. So, I guess maybe it's accurate.

That's the great thing about a free market. You are free to do whatever you want. If working at Apple is such a piss-poor experience, and you are certain that your talents are soooo valuable to the world, then don't work at Apple and take your amazing abilities elsewhere. Certainly their must be hundreds of companies just dyyyiiing to get their hands on your unmatched grey matter. So quit bitching and work somewhere else.

No one is this thread is complaining about themselves working at Apple because they don't believe in the company's treatment of their employees and their general business practices. They all already work somewhere else because of this.

Since this message is directed to new hires, probably in a new-hire orientation, I don't see a problem. New hires know exactly what they're getting into with Apple, at this point. At least this message has more soul and honesty than "we're a people company". Also, isn't it saying you're not a cog here. If that's a flat out lie, then ok, but its a nice thought.

Work is just part of life, not all.

Seems like the kind of message you want to see on your first day or during a recruitment drive. I'm sure the ecstasy of the moment wears off after a while as the reality of a business/work environment settles in.

Wait a minute... Is that a tear-stain on the word "anywhere"?

I don't see anything wrong with Apple doing this. I mean, you have to make new folks feel welcome and like they've made a good decision. Keep in mind though, Apple is a corporation and as one the only thing they care about is profits and the only people they care about is the executive committee. It's just like any other big corp.

I should note that the person who posted this thought it was inspiring.

The day that any other company is even able to remotely make such a down to earth note and yet so prosaic the negative comments will make sense.

some people are so mean. It is just a inspirational note. someone behaves like apple owe him a lot.

And the person got fired on his first day after sharing "company's secret"

That's some pretty bad typography. Is that really from Apple?

Man, every post I'm reading is negative, it's just a motivational poster, I liked it. You only have on life, give it 100%. Whatever you are doing, do it like you only have one day left to do it with.

I'm disappointed that HN would blow out of proportion the one cloud on the beautiful day.

> it's just a motivational poster

Here's my favourite quote about motivational posters, DeMarco & Lister "Peopleware":

"These motivational accessories, as they are called (including slogan coffee mugs, plaques, pins, key chains, and awards), are a triumph of form over substance. They seem to extol the importance of Quality, Leadership, Creativity, Teamwork, Loyalty, and a host of other organizational virtues. But they do so in such simplistic terms as to send an entirely different message: Management here believes that these virtues can be improved with posters rather than by hard work and managerial talent. Everyone quickly understands that the presence of the posters is a sure sign of the absence of hard work and talent."

More on this:

"Motivational accessories are phony enough to make most people's skin crawl. They do harm in healthy organizations. The only place where they do no harm is where they are ignored—as in companies where the harm was done long, long ago and people have ceased to register any further decline."

Yes, if you go to eBay and order a couple of motivational posters this will only lower morale. Everybody will notice the BS

But this is something different. It's what the company truly believes. Or do you see something not matching Apple's beliefe there?

If you don't believe that, you certainly won't be a good fit.

Now, RedHat can put a poster like "The Power is in the Community" and if you don't like or understand that you certainly won't be able to blend in. Even if you're management.

Now, do you think Google could honestly put a poster "Don't be evil" today?

>Now, do you think Google could honestly put a poster "Don't be evil" today?

Sure. What has Google done that's evil?

Difficulty: Mistakes aren't evil, neither is advertising.

Except Apple doesn't just talk about quality.

It's thoroughly disappointing to see such anti-achievement vitriol on HN. HN is getting a bit too popular and populist, I guess. Reminds me of /.

This is a site dedicated to entrepreneurialism, why would members be throwing so much rotten fruit at one of the (if not THE) most successful entrepreneurial effort of all time. Jobs showed the world through his initial time there and then his return to save the dying company that pursuing excellence relentlessly works. Pushing against the edges of your personal envelope every day works.

It's so depressingly cynical to see inspirational words for new employees as useless self-serving platitudes.

Just as easily, you could look at those words and realize that the motivation they're trying to deliver is what has made Apple so successful.

'Enterpreneurial' is defined as 'willing to take risks in order to make a profit.'

Yes, I've quit my nice day job to run a company on what was basically a bluff. Yes, I was literally hungry on more than one occasion. Yes, I don't have a clue how things will pan out within more than 3+ months with my company. Yet, I go on, and I'm not without an option to go back to comfort cave.

There's nothing enterpreneurial in getting hired by Apple. By definition.

No-one has said otherwise. Some people do not want to take the risks that you have. That doesn't make them any less of a person or less ambitious, it means that they have different goals and priorities to you. If you weren't so wrapped up in hubris you might actually learn something from it.

Point taken on being wrapped up in hubris.

But, what I failed to get through with the reply is the explanation why HN folk (enterpreneurs) might not resonate with the Apple message which is basically a pep talk for a non-enterpreneurial job position masqueraded as the opposite ("deep waters" ~ "risk taking").

The best entrepreneurs I've worked with kicked ass whether or not they were working for "the man". Great entrepreneurs live and breathe high quality work whether they're running the company or emptying the office garbage cans.

To me, being an entrepreneur is a lot more about your propensity to excel rather than the particular role you're playing in a company.

If this was from a YC company, then everyone would be praising on and on about how this would only happen at a startup and how no megacorp would ever do something like this.

Obviously, the folk around here ain't the one to "keep in line".

EDIT: Up-voted the replied-to comment, because I respect the contrary opinion when it's underdog.

Inspire your self. This is bullshit.

i find it very cool

right on bro

Guidelines | FAQ | Lists | API | Security | Legal | Apply to YC | Contact