Way back in November I wrote about the connection between Apple’s beautiful user interfaces and its top-down corporate culture. At the end of that post, I promised to do a follow-up post focusing on Google’s corporate culture. That post has now been written, but because getting paid is better than not getting paid, I’ve done it as an Ars Technica story:
On Monday, Apple unveiled iCloud, a new service for remote storage of user data. Some people, including our own Jon Stokes, are skeptical of Apple’s chances of getting iCloud to work at scale. And history seems to be on their side. iCloud is at least Apple’s fourth attempt to create a viable cloud computing service. The previous incarnations included iTools in 2000, .Mac in 2002, and MobileMe in 2008. As Fortune wrote about MobileMe a few weeks ago, “MobileMe was a dud. Users complained about lost e-mails, and syncing was spotty at best.” iTools and .Mac were not exactly resounding successes either.
Apple’s perennial difficulty with creating scalable online services is not a coincidence. Apple has a corporate culture that emphasizes centralized, developer-led product development. This process has produced user-friendly devices that are the envy of the tech world. But developing fast, reliable online services requires a more decentralized, engineering-driven corporate culture like that found at Google.
Read the rest here. I plan to write about this more but I won’t make any spurious promises about exactly when the follow-up post will be written.