I just finished watching MacHeads, it’s a documentary about basically die hard Mac fans and was filmed around Macworld 2007.
It was insightful, as the lesson I learnt was something I’ve been noticing for the past 3 years with regards to Microsoft. Here it is, and are you ready for an inspiring thing to occur?
People hate corporations, they love communities.
I’ve also seen this same religion in the Adobe/Macromedia community when i was once apart of it prior to Microsoft. It was something I found disturbing and cult like.
I’m now in the Microsoft ground zero, head corp. if you will and i feel like I’ve been given a world view of the same concepts but focused in and around .NET. I’m more aware world-wide of how Microsoft impacts vs. when i was just an Evangelist in the Australian subsidiary (it’s like going to a new level in xp points)
In the end though, corporations are never trusted, it’s usually the community that people love the most. Corporations are usually the first these roaming fanaticism cling to the most, but as time passes they soon realize the profit or bust mentality becomes obvious. This in turn begins to burst the righteous bubble they were once housed in and suddenly the picketing lines begin to form.
At times they will reflect on the good old days, when the community was small and you were up against the fight of righteousness.
Sadly, success plays a role, and before you know it that small community grew into a larger sized one and the personality began to drop off bit by bit. That or the old timers are no longer there and this new breed of young blood swarms where they once stood.
It’s not exclusive to the forementioned brands either, gaming communities are much like this as well.
As I fondly remember playing Quake in Australia with a handful of guys and we became good at this game we loved dearly. I also was in a Ultima Online guild and saw hatred and online rioting take place in message boards for weeks on end.
It was fun, it annoyed and it was personal. You learnt fast how to respond to Yo Momma style immaturity but with wit and stealth.
Gaming industry blossomed, more and more games are now available each with their cluster of communities. You’re now bombarded with so many selections that it’s somewhat hard to keep your Guild/Clan motiviated and herding in the direction it once was heading.
Software in general is doing this, communities are being born every year and you’re meeting new people each day in you pursuit of digital greatness.
The more successful a brand becomes, the more negativity it attracts as with power comes imperfection, as just like the community swelling in size so does the staff within the brand.
Google was my favorite, it once stood as being the start-up of start-ups, do no evil was it’s charter. Everyone I knew echoed “I'd love to work at Google, sounds like a great place to work”, yet today, I often speak with ex-Microsoftees whom “defected” to the opposition or ex-Googleites whom defected to other brands, all simply echo a similar pattern.
The bigger you grow, the more stupider you become.
I am inclined to agree with this, as I've seen internally in Microsoft products go from zero to hero which is great, except the more success i noticed, the more times i see stupidity creeping it’s way to the top.
Such is evolution.