Home > Apple, Idiots, Small Things I Blow Out Of Proportion > In Defense of Apple’s Secret Police

In Defense of Apple’s Secret Police

Gizmodo’s Jesus Diaz published a piece about Apple’s Secret Police the other day, with all sorts of breathless talk of the lengths that Steve Jobs goes to to prevent leaks, and to track them down and stop them when they do happen.

Now, sure, it all sounds terrible, with Gestapo this, and SS that, and the tales of employees being dragged away in the middle of the night. But if you think it actually is terrible youre wrong; this is really great. Shut up. This is a sign of greatness, and I’ll tell you why:

Steve Jobs may be violating the dignity of his employees, and may actually be breaking the law, but he’s doing it in the service of better products.

It may work just fine for most companies to respect and value their workers, or at least to not actively abuse them, but you know what? Those companies don’t matter; they aren’t putting out the kind of work Apple is, and they probably never will. Screw ’em. Sure, if it came out that some random company was forcing it’s employees to undergo cavity searches or be kicked to the soup line, then we should all agree that it’s horrible and call for the CEO’s head on a platter. The bastard should go to jail and never be released. But not Steve. Steve’s working on something; he’s got a plan, one that includes ecosystems and new versions of their hit products. And while he’s working on this plan he shouldn’t have to concern himself with the rule of law or social conventions. That’d be like expecting cops to be accountable if they beat up a suspect with a sack of doorknobs in the course of getting information of of them.

That’s just crazy!

People everywhere are complaining about this, saying that, if true (and that’s a big if), this is a horrible indictment of Apple, and that it makes them a terrible, terrible company. This is true, but on the other hand, this is what you need to get the products that Apple produces. I mean, it’s not like any other companies are stepping forward with the will and determination to subjugate their employees into creating revolutionary products, is it? Crap no. So it’s up to Apple, with my close personal friend, Steve Jobs, who’s most likely a sociopath to pick up the reigns and get things done.

We’d all be reading about atrocities committed by some other company, but the simple fact is that people like Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer don’t have the stones to turn their company into a prison state or their employees into prisoners. And look what the result is: Windows 7, the Xbox 360, and the Zune. All crap.

On the other hand, look at all these great products that Steve (and Apple) was able to make because of his icy-cold grip:

  • The Apple IIe – Steve hired an orphanage full of young children to assemble the prototype of this revolutionary home computer, then sold them to fund mass-production;
  • The iMac – 1800 Chinamen died to get the groundbreaking colours just so on this revolutionary home computer. Once dead, Steve ground up their skeletons for use in the creation of the iBook;
  • The iPod – Steve built a mid-sized town from scratch to house the development team, and told them if they didn’t complete development on time, he would detonate the nuclear bomb hidden beneath the city, and their families would never be told what happened;
  • The iPhone – Steve travelled back in time and first created, then destroyed, the entire Mayan civilization, effectively changing the entire course of human history, just so we could have this wonderful device on our hips.

Steve’s a visionary, and these are the conditions he needs to execute those visions like loose-lipped former employees.

Also, it’s not like anybody’s being forced to engage in these shady practices; Apple employees apply and compete to get their prized jobs, and they’re free to be fired if they don’t want to be held under these so-called “draconian” polices. It’s their free and open choice.

Another criticism of Apple is that this isn’t just in the service of making the most amazing consumer electronics in the world, it’s also in the service of secrecy. But secrecy, at least as far as Steve defines it, is just another damn word for “presentation.” You could make the argument that nobody really buys the newest Apple product because of the way it’s revealed, and that most people who buy Apple products don’t even know what the word “keynote” means, but if you tried to make that argument you’d be showing just how much of an idiot you are. Seriously, an Apple product without the deft reveal is like a fish without fins; sure, you can exclude them, but if you did, what would be the point?

My point is that every step in Steve’s visionary process is absolutely necessary, and beyond reproach. And I think I’ve just shown that utterly here, and I’ve done so despite the fact that I worked through three bottles of rum in the course of writing this post. Hurray for me!

Shut up.

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