One more thing
It’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking the world’s going to hell in a handcart, especially if you read certain newspapers, but it really isn’t. In many ways, the world today’s young people have inherited is a better world than the one their parents were handed.
It isn’t perfect, of course. We’re told to worry about Isis, and austerity, and Ebola. But the generation before had the IRA, massive unemployment and imminent thermonuclear war, and the generations before that had real wars, grinding poverty and horrific disease. All things considered, kids today have got it pretty good.
One of the biggest improvements I’ve seen is in people’s attitudes. In my relatively short time on Earth we’ve moved from gay-bashing to gay marriage, from horrific racism to multiculturalism, from institutionalised sexism to something approaching equality. There’s a long way to go, and there are exceptions, but the generation coming up is more enlightened than the ones before. You could call it Generation OS X. I’m not suggesting Apple is responsible for their enlightenment, although I think the tech industry as a whole has helped to both shrink the world and open some eyes along the way. But to my mind Apple is one of the few firms that really connects with that generation, not just through its products but through its words and deeds as well.
Apple isn’t perfect of course, but in an age of rapacious capitalism it dares to think differently. Just look at its eco-friendly design for Apple Campus 2 (see MF284).
Tim Cook’s Apple says that diversity matters, and that it needs to improve. Tim Cook’s Apple is a proud supporter of LGBT rights. Tim Cook’s Apple says climatechange deniers need to shut the hell up, and invests heavily in renewable energy. Tim Cook’s Apple strives to be more ethical, more environmentally responsible. And Tim Cook’s Apple tells investors that there are more important things than the bottom line.
It’s easy to say those things when you’re the most valuable company in America, but I think this attitude is part of the reason Apple has reached those heights, and continues to thrive despite the competition. These issues might not matter to all, but they matter to enough people in Generation OS X to make a difference. If rivals copied Apple’s ethics as diligently as they’ve copied Apple’s products, the world might be an even better place.
The generation coming up is more enlightened than the ones before. You could call it Generation OS X
Gary Marshall can’t imagine what the world will be like when his kids grow up, although he suspects the weather will be a lot worse.