I just read an article in Bloomberg Businessweek called ‘Apple’s Endlessly Expanding (App) Universe‘ in which Steve Jobs is quoted as saying “We only shipped [the iPad] on Saturday, and on Sunday we rested.”
“Blasphemy” seems like such a strange idea to me as a modern American. It’s frankly one of the hang-ups I have reading the gospels. Here are all these people wigging out on Jesus over a concept that remains difficult for me to really wrap my head around. But when I read this quote, particularly in proximity to a few other recent things surrounding Jobs and Apple, the hair on the back of my next stood up and I suddenly felt like I was standing next to a guy flying a kite in a thunderstorm.
Look, Soma is an openly Christian company so I hope it wont irk anybody to find me bothered when Jobs compares himself, even in jest, to God. But I need to be honest, in my heart there’s a lot less of me feeling offended and more of a sense that…um…somebody ELSE may be offended, if you catch my drift.
But this perhaps Puritan sentiment aside, there is a broader and completely earthly problem brewing here. In the spirit of full disclosure I’ve been an Apple fan since I played Oregon Trail on an Apple IIE in Mrs. Warm’s 7th grade class. Every computer I’ve ever purchased (for myself) has been a Mac. I’ve loved Apple for a long time and I remain giddy at what they’ve done with the various iThings. All that said – I’m starting to get a little uneasy in Apple’s company.
One thing people can’t abide, Americans most of all, is hubris. I doubt any single characteristic turns us away like arrogance and where Apple has benefitted for many long years from appearing to be the underdog that perception is changing rapidly.
- Justified or not, the way Apple has handled the debate over Flash has made them appear anti-competitive and even mean by calling Adobe ‘lazy’. (a little game company can call them lazy and sound edgy, Apple says the same thing and it sounds, at best, undignified.)
- With Apple’s market-cap passing Microsoft, that ‘underdog’ don’t hunt no more.
- The whole scene with Gizmodo and the iPhone played out to make Apple look like thugs picking on a poor blogger and eating sour grapes.
I need to be clear here, I think Apple has good reason and every right to omit Flash. I’m glad to see Apple succeed financially, fair reward for a job well done. I think what Gizmodo did was at the very least shady and probably constituted extortion. Still – the point of this post is not to debate whether or not Apple is right, but rather if they have become arrogant, and comparing yourself to God, even for a cynical Buddhist, is way arrogant. It’s arguably the main reason Jesus himself got cucified.
God resists the proud and Americans despite the pompous. One way or another, I suspect Apple will pay a heavy price if they don’t get that ego-stink far away from their shiny lucite logo.