Brian Moon shared with me his experience of leaving Apple that stands in stark contrast to my own. It's a great short story that provides some excellent insight into the inner-workings of the corporate side of Apple.
A couple of my favorite paragraphs as he sets the stage:
I don’t know if you’ve ever noticed this, but Apple customers are the most passionate and loyal in the industry. They were (and still largely are) creative, imaginative, clever people. People who don’t necessarily pride themselves on following rules or patiently going along with the flow. And when those folks get mad about something… brother, do they get mad. These were the folks on the other end of my phone, 10 to 15 times a day or more, five days a week.
Dammit, I was good at my job, too. My co-workers and managers all recognized it. I was calm and soothing. I was firm when I knew someone was being unreasonable. I was empathetic when someone had suffered enough. More than once I had someone thank me just for listening to their story. My voice was praised as being worthy of the radio.
Very much in line with what I experienced interacting with Apple customers (on the phone or otherwise), who continue to be some of the biggest fans (and harshest critics) of any company I've ever seen. Whether they're singing its praises, or railing against what they see as some idiotic decision, you can never claim that they lack passion.
Reading his closing sentence made me initially think that Moon spends a lot of time infusing his own interpretation of what's at the center of Apple's soul, but then I looked at the timestamp for the post. That initial warm embrace of the perceived perpetual idealist was quickly replaced by a punch to the gut.