Companies And Inspiration

09 May, 2012 08:46PM · 3 minute read

Before I begin this somewhat controversial post, I’d like to say that what an individual finds inspiring is their own business. What I’m about to write is not a judgement on those who are inspired and if you have found inspiration in the “Welcome to Apple” card then please stop reading now.

I love Apple products - in general. I think the world is a better place for their existence. I however also believe that they are just another company. Companies are motivated by money and only money. No company survives without revenue and therefore companies must extract value and profit from their products and their employees.

To make money companies can make products or services and to compete with other companies they need to get the best value and performance from their employees. That comes down to motivation. Some people are motivated by money alone. Others enjoy the fringe benefits some companies offer. Others find inspiration in that what they do makes a difference. This is where the “Welcome To Apple” message comes into play.

The inspiration card you are given when you start working at Apple reads as follows:

“There’s work and there’s your life’s work. The kind of work that has your fingerprints all over it. The kind of work that you’d never compromise on. That you’d sacrifice a weekend for. You can do that kind of work at Apple. People don’t come here to play it safe. They come here to swim in the deep end. They want their work to add up to something. Something big. Something that couldn’t happen anywhere else. Welcome to Apple."

Every tweet I’ve seen and blog post says that the vast majority of people find this inspirational. Where they see inspiration I see Human Resources (HR) spin. I see a motivational message. I see HR channelling the current popularity of the company into words to encourage working overtime. I see promises of working on big things that may or may not see the light of day. In short, I see a method of motivating employees with something intangible. It’s an example of genuine HR genius that I personally wouldn’t swallow but evidently many do.

I may be an eternal cynic because I can’t see the inspiration. Perhaps that means I’m not cut out to work at Apple. Not everyone that works at Apple would be inspired by this message and it’s okay if you’re not inspired like me and this is what actually bugs me: it’s not the message itself but peoples reaction to it - especially those NOT working there.

It has been my observation that a great many people look for inspiration in everything that Apple does. I think that people need to stop idolising Apple and everything they do and remember that they are company at the top of their game; but they are just a company.

Enjoy their products - I know I do - but never forget what they are and what they want.