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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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...
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)
Reachable by opening my account in iTunes, then clicking the 'Edit' button next to 'Payment Information'.
If they treat their customers so badly, how come they consistently rate at or near the top in customer satisfaction surveys?
However, it's more likely that the customers weigh things differently than we do. They'd rather have something shiny and popular.
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.
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.
"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.
Hello from the third world.
That seems to be happening here as well.
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".
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.
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.
"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.
"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
As much a I love my work, I won't love it more than my wife, or my future children.
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.
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.
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?
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.
The rest of what they write isn't bad: everyone likes to feel like they're working on something that matters.
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.
Or is it more about balance and avoiding extremes?
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 ).
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.
He did great
I'm asking because I'm looking at very likely being gobbled up by such a large corporation ...
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
However, I worry about Apple lawyers tracking down the person who uploaded this and offer a cease and desist instead of new hire orientation!
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?
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.
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.
Is that so? Ya, I don't think so. Show me the money.
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.
There's a difference between drinking the Kool-Aid and knowing why people drink the Kool-Aid
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.
You want my weekends? Fuck you, pay me.
Edit: I mean specifically.
Find what you love to do, and then find a way to get paid doing it.
Working weekends seems like a good way to not get fully paid for doing what you love to do.
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 :)
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.
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.
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.
I'm disappointed that HN would blow out of proportion the one cloud on the beautiful day.
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."
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?
Sure. What has Google done that's evil?
Difficulty: Mistakes aren't evil, neither is advertising.
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.
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.
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").
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.
EDIT: Up-voted the replied-to comment, because I respect the contrary opinion when it's underdog.