Levix's zone


The obsession with growth is like a cancer in the mind.

I have some interest in the various legal disputes that Apple is currently involved in. Reading their response to the EU Digital Markets Act (DMA) made me feel sad. This sadness is not because of the company itself, to be honest, I don't care about this company at all, nor is it because of the management team running this company. It is rather a sadness towards the endless pursuit of growth. This obsession is like a cancer of the mind, consuming and distracting everyone's attention.

If you are a craftsman, creating excellent works is your ultimate goal. Ideally, you hope that these works can be passed down forever. If not, you also want your work to be so brilliant that when something is damaged beyond repair, people will come back to you instead of choosing someone else.

Apple does indeed manufacture amazing products. The laptop I am typing on right now was purchased 9 years ago and it still runs well. Of course, compared to my new devices, it is slower, but I can still use it to make phone calls and write blog articles, which is great. I love this device, and in 2015, I was happy to spend money on Apple products.

But you know who is not happy? Apple. Apple is not happy because I bought such an excellent laptop in 2015 and it still runs well after 9 years. It is also not happy because the phone I bought still meets my needs after more than 4 years. Because Apple needs to constantly make money, more money. There is no end to this. "More" has no end. In the end, companies like Apple will inevitably exhaust the customers who are willing to buy their products. It is unrealistic to expect people to upgrade their phones, laptops, screens, watches, tablets, and virtual skiing goggles every year. So what do they do? They turn to the service sector. Music, movies, games, fitness, storage, you name it. But these cannot grow indefinitely either. Because there are other companies doing the same thing.

But they can't stop. They are a publicly traded company. If their growth is not enough, it means they are failing. Don't mention that they have created excellent products that can last for decades. Don't mention that they are already a company with a market value close to 3 trillion dollars. If the growth is not enough, the stock price will fall, and that's bad. Because remember, there is no finish line here. They cannot be satisfied with their existing scale. They cannot be content with employing thousands of smart people and creating amazing products. No, they must continue to grow. Sooner or later, this pathological obsession with growth will become serious.

Don't get me wrong, this is not just Apple's problem. This is a problem that all big companies face. This is a problem for everyone who cannot accept that they have reached their best state.

Cory Doctorow once coined the term 'enshittification' to describe the phenomenon of online services becoming worse over time. I don't think this is just a problem with online services. It is actually a social problem related to the pursuit of infinite growth. Think about it carefully, this is actually a deeper human problem. When you can't learn to stop, no matter what you do, good or bad, it will eventually cause problems. For example, if you keep running or keep drinking water without stopping, the result will be inevitable.

But this is also our fault as a society. When Apple became the first company to surpass a trillion-dollar market value, we celebrated, but when someone says, 'You know what? I think I've had enough,' we don't give the same attention and praise.

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