We’ll get into details in a moment, but a look into past events will help establish the context for what I believe to be a pattern, a cultural problem that starts at the top (and all problems of culture within a company begin at the executive level).
Readers might recall the 2008 MobileMe announcement, incautiously pitched as Exchange For The Rest of Us. When MobileMe crashed, the product team was harshly criticized by the same salesman, Steve Jobs, who touted the product in the first place.
Skipping some trivial examples, we land on the Maps embarrassment. To be sure, it was well handled… after the fact. Punishment was meted out and an honest, constructive apology made. The expression of regret was a welcome departure from Apple’s usual, pugnacious stance. But the same questions linger: What did Apple execs know and when did they know it?
First. Who knew and should have known about iWork’s bugs and undocumented idiosyncrasies? (I’ll add another: Beware the new autocorrect)
Second. Why brag instead of calmly making a case for the long game and telling loyal customers about the dents they will inevitably discover?
Instead, we are left wondering:
Were the execs who touted [these products] ignorant and therefore incompetent, or were they dishonest, knowingly misrepresenting [their] capabilities?
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