FORUMS: list search recent posts

the modern corporation (like adobe)

COW Forums : Adobe Creative Cloud Debate

<< PREVIOUS   •   VIEW ALL   •   PRINT   •   NEXT >>
Ricardo Marty
the modern corporation (like adobe)
on Sep 9, 2014 at 4:39:28 am
Last Edited By Ricardo Marty on Sep 9, 2014 at 4:45:05 am

Food for thought

By Paul Craig Roberts was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Economic Policy and associate editor of the Wall Street Journal.

The time has passed when American corporations had a sense of social responsibility. Two distinguished Americans writing in Daedalus, one of the few remaining publications not (yet) under corporate control, show that US corporations have become socially dysfunctional because they only serve shareholders and executives.
http://www.amacad.org/pdfs/Sylla_Gomory.pdf

Historically in the US, corporations had responsibilities to their customers, employees, communities, and owners. In recent years this has been changed. Today corporations only have responsibilities to their shareholders. If profits go up, executives receive performance bonuses for serving shareholders.

Reducing executive success to one indicator has has enormous negative consequences for everyone else. Americans are suffering in many ways. Their jobs, both manufacturing and professional tradable services such as software engineering, have been moved offshore and given to foreigners. Americans have been deprived of interest income so that the former bank officials in charge of the US government can save the banks that deregulation permitted to over leverage with debt and risk.

The costs of customer service has been shifted to customers who lose large amounts of time waiting to connect with a live person who can correct the mistake the company has made. The unleashing of greed as the only business virtue and pressure from Wall Street for greater profits has caused many service providers, such as telephone and Internet, to forego maintenance and upgrade of facilities in order to hold down costs and boost profits. My telephone ceased to work on September 3, and my service provider lacks sufficient work crews to repair my line prior to the evening of September 8. Last year my Internet provider could not reestablish my Internet service for 10 days. If you call about a bill or a service problem, the companies keep you on the line forever awaiting a real person while they try to sell you new services even though the ones you have purchased don’t work.

Full article :
http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article39610.htm


Return to posts index

Todd Kopriva
Re: the modern corporation (like adobe)
on Sep 9, 2014 at 5:26:23 am

> The costs of customer service has been shifted to customers who lose large amounts of time waiting to connect with a live person who can correct the mistake the company has made.


I'm not arguing that what the quote above suggests doesn't happen in some cases, but I do feel the need to point out that it is not true for us.

Several of the most active posters here on the COW are Adobe employees---not to mention our activity troubleshooting on our own forum site, on Twitter, on Reddit, at in-person user groups ... really, anywhere where we might find people who are having trouble and need our help.

Adobe has a well-staffed in-house technical support crew for the professional video applications, and the folks who take the calls meet regularly (at least once a week) with us on the software engineering teams to find solutions to the hard problems.

Several of my peers in quality engineering seek out reports of problems wherever we can find them so that we can drive toward fixing them ASAP. That's how we get the fixes in an update like the upcoming one turned around in a (relatively) short time.

So, though there is certainly room for improvement (There always is.), I don't think that you can say that we have abandoned you---which is the gist of what that quote above says.

BTW, Adobe _did_ have a problem with understaffed and inadequate technical support a few years ago. And we took steps to fix it. I know, because I was one of the people driving the fixes. So, maybe I'm a little defensive when someone suggests otherwise.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Todd Kopriva, Adobe Systems Incorporated
After Effects quality engineering
After Effects team blog
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Return to posts index

Ricardo Marty
Re: the modern corporation (like adobe)
on Sep 9, 2014 at 5:34:22 am

Fine, but thats not the only argument that characterizes many of the current corporations.

ricardo marty


Return to posts index


Andrew Kimery
Re: the modern corporation (like adobe)
on Sep 9, 2014 at 6:35:46 am

[Ricardo Marty] "Historically in the US, corporations had responsibilities to their customers, employees, communities, and owners. In recent years this has been changed. Today corporations only have responsibilities to their shareholders. If profits go up, executives receive performance bonuses for serving shareholders.
"


Serendipitous that you posted this as I'd been thinking along similar lines recently and, not to get tangental, but I think saying that historically US corporates used to be better is viewing business history in the US through rose colored glasses. I think these nostalgic 'good old days' only existed (in some form) from the end of WWII until the late '70's.

Much of the early growth in America was built on the backs of slaves. 'Robber Barons' like Rockefeller and Carnegie paved the way for the Sherman Anti-Trust Act in the late 1800's. The industrial revolution was marred by dangerous working conditions, child labor and long hours for little wages which led to the rise of unions in America. Government regulations grew and grew as business (as a whole) kept proving unable or unwilling to police itself. Even agencies that I feel like we take for granted today like the EPA and OSHA only came into existence in the 70's.

I think historically corporations have been as 'bad' as their are today but there was a period of 30 years or so where they sucked less (as long as you were a white male).


Return to posts index

Paul Neumann
Re: the modern corporation (like adobe)
on Sep 9, 2014 at 2:59:00 pm

And today's corporations have to work very hard to be as opaque as the want to be. Transparency is a customer demand as much as new features/products. So, maybe they suck just as much as ever and we just hear about it more easily.

Either way, it's the "consumerization of IT" in our world and especially our field that has behemoths struggling to be nimble.

Welcome to the application economy.


Return to posts index

Mike Parfit
Re: the modern corporation (like adobe)
on Sep 9, 2014 at 4:56:46 pm

It has often been stated in this forum that this is exactly why we can trust some of Adobe's people but not its corporate entity: because the notion of fidelity is not part of a corporation's mandate.

But there are bigger fish in this puddle. (This is only somewhat OT, for this specific forum but not for the Cow.)

To that list of evidence of single-minded asocial behaviour in corporations, people in our line of work have to include what is happening now in what once was appropriately called factual entertainment. That once-factually-based media corporations -- including some connected to education-based non-profits -- are now seeking ratings by deliberately misleading viewers and undermining education, science and, thus, democracy, with tabloid-style shows presented as factual, is shameful. But it fits this definition of who a corporation is.

I have encountered so much quiet anger among some members of the public about this that I think it's only a matter of time before people in education and science turn up the public heat on those corporations. Things like racism and misogyny have at least been driven underground by informed public opinion over the past decades, and I'm hoping that there will be a similar reaction to the presentation of exploitation fiction as fact, at least to the point at which the CEOs of those corporations get to feel some of that shame themselves.

Mike


Return to posts index


Bill Davis
Re: the modern corporation (like adobe)
on Sep 13, 2014 at 3:02:47 am

[Andrew Kimery] "I think historically corporations have been as 'bad' as their are today but there was a period of 30 years or so where they sucked less (as long as you were a white male)."

Yes, but the ENTIRE point of a civilization moving forward, is that you make PROGRESS in correcting things that tilt the playing field exclusively toward one class of player permanently and without any official system of recourse.

Nobody who's sane argues that full tilt socialism is effective. But there are those that argue that full tilt capitalism IS - and the excesses that plagued the US during the era of the Rockefellers and the Carnegies should have been lessons learned.

And that would be bad enough, if we hadn't just gone through an era of capitalism for profit, COMBINED with socialism for loss. A bastard system that can only exist when a system is seriously corrupted by power.

And it's seriously poisoned the well, methinks.

I'm totally comfortable with a ratio of a few hundred to one in the compensation profile of those at the top to those at the bottom. And I'm also comfortable with truly superior performers exceeding those ratios, even significantly. But I'm not so sure I'm comfortable when there's a large class of regulatorily-shielded golden folk who think it's cool for everyone in their class to expect 1,000 or even 10,000 to one to be an appropriate ratio. Particularly when their profits result not from innovation but from regulatory manipulation and political influence.

The guy in the 100 room mansion with 40 cars, who's cut his employees to 30 hours a week so that he doesn't have to pay for their health insurance is a dick. Period. Even if wall street LOVES his profits and is delighted to divert more and more streams of more money to expand his crappy system, he's STILL a dick.

Lack of dickishness used to be one metric by which people in our civilization were judged. Not so much anymore I'm afraid. Tho, I'd dearly love to see it come back.

Just my 2 cents as an observer.

Know someone who teaches video editing in elementary school, high school or college? Tell them to check out http://www.StartEditingNow.com - video editing curriculum complete with licensed practice content.


Return to posts index

Andrew Kimery
Re: the modern corporation (like adobe)
on Sep 19, 2014 at 12:12:11 am

[Bill Davis] "Yes, but the ENTIRE point of a civilization moving forward, is that you make PROGRESS in correcting things that tilt the playing field exclusively toward one class of player permanently and without any official system of recourse."

Upwards and onwards should always be the goal, but I think the business climate in the US from post WWII to the early/mid 70's was more of a fluke than anything else. I think the Greatest Generation had a unique camaraderie (for the white males) that was forged by two world wars and the Great Depression. Looking out for each other was not just a matter of politeness but a matter of survival during those times. America was also in a unique position post-WWII in that it was the major country that didn't have to rebuild so there was very little manufacturing competition for many years.


[Bill Davis] "I'm totally comfortable with a ratio of a few hundred to one in the compensation profile of those at the top to those at the bottom. "

During the 'good old days' in America the ratio of average CEO pay to average worker pay was about 20:1. In recent years it's fluctuated bounced between around 250-290:1. In most other 1st world countries today it's around 18:1 on average. Around the late '70's/early '80's the average CEO pay in America started to veer up and by the 90's it looked like a double black ski run.

[Bill Davis] "Lack of dickishness used to be one metric by which people in our civilization were judged. Not so much anymore I'm afraid. Tho, I'd dearly love to see it come back. "

Not being a dick is certainly key and I've used similar language in other discussions about this. No amount of regulation or ideology can fix the problem. A critical mass of people in power must go, "Ya, know, I could do XYZ and make a little more money but I'm not going to because that would really screw over a lot of people" and choose not to be a dick. It will continue to be a game of cat and mouse until that cultural epiphany happens.

For example, look at the outsourcing of manufacturing jobs. Companies were running factories that were unsafe to work in, dumped toxic chemicals into rivers, etc., so laws were passed to make the factories safer and to make it illegal to dispose of toxic waste by just dumping it into a river. Instead of taking that as a queue to focus on building safer and more sustainable factories many companies just opened up factories in other countries where they were allowed to put workers in harms way and they were allowed to dump toxic waste into a river. The underlying mindset never changed.

The more we continue down our current path the sooner we will trigger a "tragedy of the commons" scenario but on a global scale.


Return to posts index

Bill Davis
Re: the modern corporation (like adobe)
on Sep 27, 2014 at 5:42:34 am

[Andrew Kimery] "During the 'good old days' in America the ratio of average CEO pay to average worker pay was about 20:1. In recent years it's fluctuated bounced between around 250-290:1. In most other 1st world countries today it's around 18:1 on average. Around the late '70's/early '80's the average CEO pay in America started to veer up and by the 90's it looked like a double black ski run."

Yep, but honestly, even the CEOs at that level are paupers compared to some members of the "invested" class. I remember a few years back learning about the significant numbers of the uber rich that essentially operate as their own "family banks" - which is to say, they control so much raw wealth, that they're essentially divorced from the entire economic system that the rest of us have to piddle around with.

That's not to say every rich person is a dick. Far from it. I've read profiles of investment titans who actually lose sleep and hurt when they have to close a factory that ejects a few hundred or a few thousand workers. There are even a couple of them who do something about it, extending real worker support for years when that can be feasible.

Then again, there are clearly plenty of examples of "leaders" in similar decision making positions who could give two shakes about a thousand hungry kids if it means bending the return curve another .1%.

The hellish thing is figuring out which is which and making it easier for us to publicly support the ones who honestly care - while shining white hot spotlights on the class of sociopaths who've been conditioned to believe that as profits soar ever higher on top, the keening poverty left at the bottom is somehow inevitable and OK.

Complex stuff, this.

Know someone who teaches video editing in elementary school, high school or college? Tell them to check out http://www.StartEditingNow.com - video editing curriculum complete with licensed practice content.


Return to posts index

<< PREVIOUS   •   VIEW ALL   •   PRINT   •   NEXT >>
© 2017 CreativeCOW.net All Rights Reserved
[TOP]