However, they misunderstood my feedback and thought it was related to AppleCare service — that wasn’t the issue at all since the service was great. Kudos to them for calling me within a day to find out what was wrong.
My feedback had more to do with my belief that the new cord design is far more fragile and thus requires more attention. Nonetheless, I took Apple staff feedback to heart and have started storing my power cord the way they’ve recommended (see below) which is something I never did in the past.
Have a look and maybe you can include this in your daily regimen too! ;-)
I still think Jony and team need to have a look at this one. I’ve never had to churn through as many power cords for previous Mac products. The USB cables for i-products wear out quite a bit as well but those are high-use items so standard wear-and-tear is expected with time.
I chuckled at the comments over at “The Verge” (source article at end of post) about Apple’s naming conventions and the obsession around it. Apple’s is creaking and leaking like a broken ship as the article “drips” with speculative wonder. LOL
Like the Verge, I am talking about Apple today on BIG announcement day. I guess this makes me evil too. :-) However, the strategy is simple. Write about Apple today, gain some Google juice goodness and get some traffic and buzz about Apple and yourself if you’re a big media article factory. ;-)
Media properties and bloggers talk about Apple because the traffic dictates it. Not only in positive commentary, or speculative talk, but also in ranting and anti-Apple chants. That’s juicy for digital properties that rely on traffic, community and stickiness.
No one would write about Apple unless there was some direct effect. Given the “buzz” about Apple today and events leading up today, why would we speculate on naming conventions and the obsession? BECAUSE Apple is feeding the media digerati, that’s why.
The Verge’s own article spends a great deal of time with speculation, “hot finds” about iPhone tags and references on Apple.com’s own search engine. LOL. We even get some speculative sauce on this “mishap” even after Tim Cook said at D10 that Apple is “doubling down on secrecy”! How could Apple be so lazy?! :-)
Maybe the SERP on Apple.com was an honest mistake with the web tech’s over at Apple Online — or maybe it was DELIBERATE. Afterall, it did generate an article that has generated 247 comments with a ton more re-tweeted or socially-shared in some way, shape or form.
Feels like Pavlov’s classical conditioning to me. :-) Feed a few breadcrumbs to generate enough speculative content and you have a tidal wave of content and community discussion. Sounds like Apple’s playing a perfect, indirect game of content marketing for the masses. All for free. :D
Just wait until you get a chance to race through smurf village (Apple Store) with the “Woo Hoo! iPhone 5!” slogan. :D
- Apple Store is down: iPhone 5 incoming! (slashgear.com)
- iPhone 5′s New Dock Connector To Be Called ‘Lightning’, New Earphones Called ‘Earpod’ [Rumor] (cultofmac.com)
- ‘iPhone 5′ seemingly confirmed by Apple as new iPhone’s name, LTE confirmed as well (bgr.com)
- Former Apple exec: ‘Apple haven’t invented anything’ (bgr.com)
- iPhone design: Documents from the Samsung trial reveal more than ever about Apple’s secretive design process. - Slate Magazine (slate.com)
- Samsung’s Built a Whole New Fake Apple Store Just to Take the Piss Out of Apple (gizmodo.co.uk)
- Apple Store goes down ahead of Apple announcement (9to5mac.com)
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS - USA), the 2012 inflation rate is currently hovering around 1.2%. With the Fed’s endless engagement using market measures like “Operation Twist” and whatever other “easing” Bernanke see’s fit, it truly is hard to believe that so much “liquidity” (DEBT MONEY JUICE!) has kept the economy from transforming into apocalyptic hyper-inflation.
Putting aside the global economy, companies like Tim Cook plan post-Steve Jobs. It may also been the driving force by Apple’s new retail chief John Browett, former CEO of Dixon Retail, a European technology retailer. (See Apple Press Release)have decided to act differently. It is likely that Apple’s recent move was a
In short, Apple has given Apple Store employees a 25% raise! Open the champagne!
Bottom-line: Apple has done what is long overdue. I’ve seen and heard this happen, too often, and in too many companies in our hyper-competitive, GLOBALIZED, low-inflation environment. Staff goes “all in”, the company either succeeds or stumbles along, staff are told to continue to sacrifice for the end game, commitment continues to be “all in” but in the end, all is lost in meaning, message and vision with the sacrifice of talented employees. In some cases, stories from tech startup warriors report have hit a common thread: one in which their top executive(s) operate on the following: “I don’t believe in life balance. I only believe in execution.”
On the surface, this is a sound business principle because execution is everything. That said, it doesn’t fit the bill if the work environment is a modern day tech gulag which is full of misery, friction, and an endless parade of promises (the so-called “win-win” part of the labour contract).
To the start-up founders and leaders: It doesn’t matter if YOU believe in your work as a transformative agent to modern civilization. It’s still your vision and your dream. Your warriors will tag along for the ride and help you realize that dream as long as they feel they’re part of it with a small portion of the “win-win” contract which they hope will come knocking on their door one day. If they don’t see that, your platform of continuous sacrifice will fall on deaf ears over time except in extreme cases where there is 25% unemployment in the national economy.
Looking deeply into the data, it does appear that the U.S. (at least) is really in the range of real, true and undeniably high unemployment levels; namely, 20%+. In that type of environment, labour is more willing to accept unfavourable conditions out of sheer economic reality.
Recently, I heard some interesting perspectives from the new technical wizards exiting academia today. They’re committed on the whole, believe in productivity and want to be part of real things that do change the world. However, not at the cost of their personal livelihood and comfort (re: social space). Is this selfish? Doubtful. If anything, this new generation of employees is looking at the modern world as one that is half-full and half-empty with a careful balance that is their guiding principle in life. There has been an entire series of books that speak to these new principles. Even though Tim Ferriss’ “The Four Hour Work Week” was one of the most recent (first) ones, there’s plenty more where that came from. And it continues unabated.
Back to Apple. This news is about giving back. I don’t know about you but Apple’s retail store employees are true warriors. They’re cool, they’re knowledgeable, they’re passionate and in so many cases, they’re patient. Whether Apple Store employees were underpaid is a topic for another debate. The point is that Apple made the right decision in today’s environment. Apple’s front lineIS the retail store employee and the silent army of happy consumers that refer countless business leads to Apple. With $100 billion dollars in the bank, it was really hard for Apple to justify the lack of compensation (a raise!) with Apple Store employees for so long.
In the context of a low inflation environment, Apple’s 25% raise is amazing on two fronts:
- The across-the-board raise is astronomically above-par to any raise in the current economic climate (I can’t recall another company offering so much)
- Apple’s retail store salaries were so low that they were not market competitive (tragic given the groundswell of support to build this brand)
Kudos to Apple for MAKING the right decision.
Here are some interesting things to point out about Apple since Tim Cook took the helm:
- Short weeks after Jobs’ passing, key executives got promotions in rank and salary after not seeing such progress (ever) under Jobs
- Apple implemented in-kind charity donation programs (Steve never allowed for this) shortly after his death
- Tim Cook (“finally”) visited Apple’s supply chain (specifically, FoxConn) unannounced to investigate claims of abuse, suicide and other matters among FoxConn employees (I emailed Steve Jobs a year after D8 demanding an Apple update and got no reply)
- As recently as last week, it was reported that Tim Cook was strengthening his control of the supply chain to maintain costs and to also mitigate abuse risk within the supply chain as reported in the recent years
After New York Times’ expose about FoxConn and Apple, I emailed Tim Cook reminding him that Apple had a responsibility to act pro-actively and to respond publicly to these claims (Sure, I wasn’t the only one but at least I did write in). At D8, Steve Jobs promised this would be a top Apple priority. A year went by with no Apple news. I emailed Jobs for a response and received no reply.. Two weeks after my email to Tim Cook (re: NYTimes), I was added to a specific distribution list (form letter but specific to my concerns) where Tim Cook outlined his key plans and actions regarding Apple’s supply chain. Shortly after recent supply chain visits, Apple sent out a press release about “Supplier Responsibility” but more importantly, Apple sent this to me via email after my initial concerns about FoxConn abuse claims. Pretty impressive.
That kind of PR coordination is driven by an operations-centric mindset. This, no doubt, was the hand of Tim Cook! Impressive. When I discussed this with an industry insider (mobile) over beers (his company, a competitor to Apple), he claimed that this was the work of Tim Cook and was something Apple was very good at vs. his own company and something that Apple could pull off but his company could not. Really? That’s unbelievable.
In my view, Tim Cook is making a dent in Apple’s universe. While Steve dented the universe and changed the world, Tim has not only impressed me with his speaking and presentation style but with his compassion which didn’t really exist under Jobs, IMHO. When I hear stories about Tim Cook sitting with employees in the cafeteria to talk about Apple (compared to Steve who only reportedly sat with Jony Ive) that is a welcome change to a brand that so many people (including myself) love so much.
Tim, please stay on top of corporate social responsibility. Even though Apple has been in the cross-hairs with Greenpeace for sometime, Apple has responded (eventually) and led the industry on matters that might be environmental in nature or involve other aspects of the business. For example, Apple issued a release about a “Greener Apple” under Steve Jobs a few years back and how they were handling the issue of toxic chemical removal from their high-tech products. It was an impressive announcement.
Social responsibility is a growing trend and requirement for business and modern brand management. Consumers are highly-sophisticated today and no matter how beloved you may think your brand is, if your products reek of bad business practices, consumers will eventually revolt and your brand will suffer.
In a brilliant documentary called “Objectified”, industrial designers discussed the meaning of design and how it plays into our daily life. At one point during the documentary, one of the designers alluded to a “new responsibility” among designers that requires them to think about design outside of a vacuum; that is, not to design and put all focus on the product, design and its careful role within the environment. The designer focused on a new, higher calling for designers that requires them — no, commits them — to incorporate “environmental” design into the product so that any product can eventually be treated for proper waste disposal at the end of its life. That’s a massive paradigm shift in industrial design! This is a welcome change and a signal that even industrial designers face the obligation of social responsibility in their own work.
The Apple Store raises may help some very loyal warriors within Apple Stores stick around longer. Next time, though, don’t wait so long Apple. The Microsoft poaching is a tragic consequence of such haphazard corporate/human resource policy but in the end, money should also not be the centre of all decisions. It should be about a partnership of actions (skills, passions, and loyalty) to drive a broad, comprehensive vision forward. People, by nature, like to associate themselves to great causes — like tribes (Seth Godin speak) — and for the most part, they will join the campaign. Within reason.
In the final analysis, it’s up to the rest of Corporate North America to make some serious macro-decisions and to think about their number one resource (talent). A resource which represents main street and has sadly suffered the past four years from a recurring theme of bad ethics, criminality, poor risk protocol, and utter greed. Perhaps this is a chance opportunity to rebuild on broken, formerly entangled relationships between firm and labour, to build better opportunities together vs. revert back to the old nurture model that pre-dates our modern, globalized world.
This is not a manifesto for excessive unionization, restrictive labour policies, or any kind of “entitlement” but is a call to action to re-shape the corporate contract that embraces labour, as a holistic productive input (IQ, EQ, ethical) that than a cost/monetary unit within business operations.
Can other tier-1 brand corporations mirror Apple’s recent move? Let’s see. For the most part, main street has suffered from a recurring wave of corruption, corporate bailouts, and downsizing that has left most of them thinking that the “rest of us” means employees somewhere else in this world.
It’s time to pay it forward.