I love technology (shocker, right?). But I can’t remember the last time I could just feel 100% good about using a tech product or service. For example, I love Apple products. I have purchased many of them for myself and for my family. But they diluted my allegiance by adding ridiculous DRM to the music I bought through iTunes. Now, they’ve moved on to trying to defeat other phone makers in the courts instead of in the marketplace.
AT&T offered me the best customer service for which I could have asked. Too bad my iPhone could never get coverage. So, I switched to Verizon. I have coverage, but they are actively opposing an open and neutral internet. Like Apple they are pursuing market share via coercion rather than by competition.
Facebook has long been an attractive place for folks to share. We just didn’t know how broadly we were sharing and with whom! If you figure out how to bring that under control, don’t worry. Facebook will change its settings and re-expose you until you learn their newest system.
Twitter pretended to be a platform and let developers work out what people wanted (like inline photos). Once someone else did the hard work, Twitter copied their services and put the developers who put Twitter on the map on the sidelines. Not cool.
Android handset makers insist on putting their own skins over Android. The worst part of which is that they then impede updating their phones to the latest version of Android.
So, who is left? Amazon and Google. I’ve heard that Google provides advertising to some pretty shady services in developing countries. For a time, they even censored their search results in China.
Amazon is coming out with a tablet. They’re not allowing other tablet makers and operating systems to have access to their movies on demand. There is always a conflict when content distributors have a device in the distribution chain. Even more clear when you realize that you can’t read Kindle books on anything other than a Kindle or Kindle app.
Is there really such a thing as a corporate good guy? Do corporations ever act responsibly when there is no profit in it? I mean profit via improved PR, tax deductions, or avoidance of litigation. Guess I’m feeling a bit like a grumpy old man this morning. Am I wrong? Is there a brand that you feel 100% great about giving your business?