Re: Apple has lost the functional high ground

Macro Arment articulated something in his latest blog post that many Mac power users have felt for a while now.

His premise is (overly?) simplified down to:

  • They're doing too much
  • Have too few resources behind their efforts
  • And have (in Marco's mind) the wrong priorities

I agree with at least the first two points, but I'm not convinced that overall software quality has been profoundly slipping. Human memory is a fickle thing. When we're working with issues on new versions of software it's completely possible we're being overly generous in our recollections of past versions. Ultimately nostalgia is one hell of a drug.

He went on to make some comments about Apple being a marketing driven company. Again, I'm sure he's at least partially correct, but ultimately I think the demands of the users are more to blame.As consumers we've come to expect, in my opinion, an unreasonable amount of advancement in each iteration.

So often I've heard that the teams inside Apple are much smaller than we'd expect. I also work in a (much smaller) company with small teams. There's never enough time in the day to move projects forward as fast as we want to. Inevitably things take longer or need a second pass.

Growing these teams is not as simple as it sounds (even with $100b in the bank). It's incredibly hard to grow staff and maintain quality or actually gain ground at all. There's a very significant up front cost to new staff. Even if Apple started years ago to staff up (which I hope they did) we may still be waiting a while to see any significant fruits of that labor.

Ultimately I may be fortunate and have better luck than most, but my environment is still incredibly stable and robust. Things do 'just work'; at least as much as they ever did.

All things considered I believe Apple honestly does an incredible job keeping everything moving forward. I just hope they get their ducks in a row before any potential quality problems catches up with them.