Absurdly Driven looks at the world of business with a skeptical eye and a firmly rooted tongue in cheek.
You can tell when Apple CEO Tim Cook is annoyed.
He issues a statement to say how annoyed he is.
Last week, it was announced that chief design officer and general design legend Jony Ive was leaving the company.
Immediately, the Wall Street Journal published an article suggesting Ive had been disengaged for some time.
It said Apple's emphasis on design was now receding in favor of an emphasis on, you know, being big and making even more money.
Cook--a rarity for him--turned to NBC to decry this tale as simply "absurd."
Oh, Tim, absurdity is all around us. Indeed, we're all becoming absurd in the process.
Actually, technology is making us a little more absurd every day. Haven't you noticed?
One got the feeling that Cook feared the Journal's article might stain Apple's (relatively) pristine image.
They're very prickly about their image at Apple. They know it's one of the company's greatest assets. And they can come over, just occasionally, as a touch sanctimonious.
I couldn't help, then, notice that, just a couple of days later, Cupertino decided to have a good old dig at someone else's image.
Or, some might say, their reality.
Apple put up a couple of billboards in Toronto.
One read: We're in the business of staying out of yours.
For some time, Cook has been adamant in emphasizing that privacy is a moral issue and that Apple isn't interested in monetizing people's data.
Rather, as an Apple billboard claimed recently in Las Vegas, what happens on your iPhone stays on your iPhone.
A little sleight of mouth there. All sorts of third-parties live on your iPhone and try to follow you around.
Google, for example.
Oddly enough, Apple decided to place its We're in the business of staying out of yours billboard just next to the Toronto headquarters of a company called Sidewalk Labs.
This is a company that tries to create tech-enhanced, so-called smart cities.
It's also a company owned by Alphabet. You know, the company formerly known as Google, until it had a little corporate restructuring and renamed its holding company.
New Apple billboard outside Sidewalk Toronto HQ: "We're in the business of staying out of yours." pic.twitter.com/I24iAxkXzZ-- Matt Elliott (@GraphicMatt) July 3, 2019
Cook tends to think of Google as one of the great flouters of human privacy. In this, he's not entirely mistaken.
Critics--again, they're not entirely wrong--believe Sidewalk Labs' work isn't merely about tracking people all the time. It's about tracking them without their consent.
A Tech Paradise is so hard to build, you know, so why can't you just let us get on with it?
One can imagine, then, that the positioning of Apple's billboard was entirely deliberate and enjoyed superb timing.
You see, here's a headline from Wednesday: Google Parent Alphabet's Smart City Vision in Toronto Poses Privacy Concerns.
And now Apple feels a little better about itself.