The Cult of Apple (or insert your favourite IT company name)

Some people find these subjects extremely divisive. Nevertheless it is true. The Apple Messiah just died. The company will never be the same without him, like they weren’t when he bunked off the first time in the 1980s. This isn’t just an Apple thing. There are lots of companies that fit that model in IT, and many of them have driven the biggest advances in computing technology. The driving personality cults of their founders or key people seems to be what gives them the ability to be at the forefront of their field. But this ability often only lasts as long as that leader is running the show because of that personality cult component.
I wrote this one because in Christian circles, we find cults teach people the wrong ideas about God. Is there a parallel into secular cults? Are the values imparted by the leadership of secular entities like Apple, the best ones for our society? Apple is based on a proprietary hardware model, protected by highly controversial IP patents with aggressive legal action against anyone who tries to compete. I think the whole patent idea is highly flawed to the extent that it is being used today with software. These are all elements of control and it’s undoubtedly true that control is a highly important component of a cult. It’s easy to argue there has been a Cult of Microsoft, which has been similar to Apple. Even though they don’t own their hardware platform, they effectively got control of it through licensing practices that commercially disadvantaged competitors. The Cult of Open Source is more of a communal type of cult than a corporate one.
I think that once these cults have reached their peak, which most of them do once their founding leader is out of the frame, they will fall out of the frame, and new cults will rise up and replace them. In years to come, we will wonder what all the fuss was about Apple Computer or Microsoft, or open source.