Apple, the jilted lover

John Siracusa has a very interesting take on the relationships between the different players in the mobile industry:

Finally, there’s Apple, the jilted lover, feverishly working to eliminate any dependency that puts it at the mercy of a potential competitor. Apple remembers when Samsung was a great source of mobile CPUs and Google provided network services for iOS. Now look at those two traitors. No partnership is safe!

I hadn’t thought of it like that before, but it makes perfect sense.

One of my core principles is that what we experience out in the world is a reflection of what’s going on inside of us. If you consciously or unconsciously believe that others can’t be trusted, you’re going to unconsciously create life experiences that confirms your belief – for example by pushing people away when they get too close, so they end up leaving you. And this of course merely acts to confirm your belief, so now you just dig your heels in deeper, and you continue the pattern. It happens all the item, in every area of our lives.

Couple that with how dysfunctional families work. When the father is alcoholic and abusive, for example, the other members of the family will have to compensate by playing complementing roles – or break out and leave. If one person changes or steps out of the role, the others have to change too, and they resist that, so leaving is more likely than changing.

Put these two together, and you have an organization that culturally cannot have healthy relationships – they have to have the upper hand, or they’d rather sever ties. And you have an organization that has adapted to the dysfunctions of a charismatic and powerful father, now without said father. All of the top players will have roles they’re used to playing that no longer work. The role Tim Cook was playing under Steve Jobs won’t work anymore.

Will they be able to shed the roles and find a more authentic expression of themselves? It’s hard work. Those that stayed are those that fit with the old system. If they do find a new role, will they still fit? That is also not very likely. Will they all magically evolve together? Who knows, but it doesn’t seem likely.

I don’t have any special insight, and I can’t begin to know how things actually work inside of Apple, but I just had an a-ha that something like this has to be going on within Apple now that His Steveness is no more. Will be interesting to watch the future development.

My love for both Steve and Apple is strong, though, and the whole thing just clicked after I’d been singing this wonderful and appropriate Billy Joel song in the shower this morning: 

Here are the lyrics if you want to follow along.

(Via Daring Fireball, of course)