Haters Gunna Hate; How we love to blame a single person (e.g. iOS 8.0.1 and Apple Maps)

Blame the pointy hair!

In my first post on the hating topic I discussed how we like to find black and white answers and black list and go after general memes vs. seeing any nuance (e.g. there can be a notion of ‘good’ rap music).

Next up is a rant in the opposite direction, on how we often love to pick a scape goat as the root cause of a complex problem.

Take the iOS 8.0.1 debacle this week (which affected me… and I find it hard to believe that me and my closest buddies who were all affected were in the 40k, but hey I will give them the benefit of the doubt!).

It was a screw up of large proportion. Yes, we may have lost some trust (I not want to wait for a number of people to upgrade before I do…. which is probably a smart practice anyway).

But now we get to the blame game:

The employee in question, who has worked at Apple since 2000, is in charge of a team of more than “100 people around the world” responsible for testing the software before it reaches consumers

What made us reach out to jump on the QA guy in charge of the group? Do we always jump on that guy? The kicker is that we do this because:

[The manager] was removed from the maps team after the software gave users unreliable directions and mislabeled landmarks

Two strikes! This poor chap is now responsible for the entire Apple Maps system being released too soon, as well as a QA glitch on a software update.

I am sure that Apple Maps was shipped poorly SOLELY because of this one guy. I am sure everyone else (including management higher up the chain) was shouting to NOT release it yet and he single-handedly pushed it through. I can picture him running up to Tim and Jony and Scott to shout “I know it doesn’t work well BUT WE MUST SHIP IT”.

Erm, no.

Sure, people take responsibility for failures in groups that report into them. This doesn’t mean that they are the sole people responsible, and I have often witnessed times where people in those positions are actually warning loudly that something isn’t ready yet upper management has a different context and they boldly take on the risk.

Calm down, haters.

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