Apple—the philosophy, the hope—is dead. Maybe it never existed in the first place. And to be clear: the company didn’t build it and isn’t directly responsible for it. But their wild success made it feel like pleasant, user-centered design was on the verge of taking over the world and leaving thoughtful, carefully considered objects everywhere in its wake. If Apple could soar past RIM and Microsoft, why not?
What really happened was that ugly, hostile, “business”-oriented ways of doing things infected the new paradigm as much as the reverse. [ . . . ]
The start of the iPhone and iPad era offered a reprieve, but it was only a matter of time before the forces of garbage, disorder, relentless capitalism, and “best practices” caught up and squeezed through any hole they could find. These forces move more slowly than small, enthusiastic, independent creators, so it took them a little while, and it seemed like the world was changing. But it wasn’t.