Compare Apple to Amazon: How Different Company Cultures Get Great Results

November 18, 2019 James Heinsman Company Spotlight

Apple Products: Looking Good! Photo courtesy of Pixabay

Apple is a tech company founded in 1976 in Cupertino, California, whose pursuit of great design and beautiful products says “Money is no object.” Compare this to Amazon, founded almost 20 years later in Seattle, Washington, is a company known for its frugality that breathes “we’re gonna save you money.”


Both companies rose to mega-fame during the exciting 1990s and 2000s, when tech was king. And now they are leaders in their niches working on exceedingly different business models.


“Amazon has low prices. Apple’s got beautiful products. Two different cultures. One’s not good and one’s not bad,” asserts Ben Horowitz, co-founder of venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz.

In October Horowitz published “What You Do Is Who You Are,” a book about building effective company cultures.


In recent years Amazon and Apple have both been scrutinized for their treatment of employees and other internal business practices. A New York Times investigation in 2015 alleged that the atmosphere in Amazon’s headquarters was competitive and unforgiving. In addition, 13 congressmen and congresswomen sent a letter to the Department of Labor requesting an investigation into the working environment at Amazon fulfillment centers around the country.


Leaded emails from Apple seemed to point to women employees dealing with sexual harassment and other symptoms of a toxic work environment. As a result of the scandal Apple investigated and disciplined the culprits but kept the details of their response under wraps.


“We take these things not just seriously, but personally,” declared Denise Young Smith, Apple’s HR chief at the time.

Amazon, Andreeson Horowitz, Apple, Ben Horowitz, What You Do Is Who You Are,

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