Tuesday, December 9, 2014

10 of The Most Hated Companies in America…and What Makes Them Great

There are some companies that People just hate with a passion. What "People?" You know…People. The ones whose criticism ranges from snarky posts in comments sections to detailed essays and analyses of why the company they hate sucks so much. And yet, these companies remain the biggest and most successful ones in the United States, if not the world. One could even consider them to be great (using the definition “of an extent, amount, or intensity considerably above the normal or average” as opposed to “accomplished, admired, or just plain neat”). Why is that? And what would it actually take to take them down? The best way is to simply stop using their products. But how would that work in the real world?

Why Comcast Sucks: Overpriced products. Terrible customer service. You only use parts of what they sell, but you have to buy the whole thing. Due to their functional monopoly power in many areas, they have absolutely no incentive to change
What Makes Comcast “Great?”: Being the only game in town helps. So does colluding with other cable companies to keep it that way
How To Take Them Down: Stop subscribing to them, which is something a growing number of consumers have decided to do, which is why my cable bill hasn't gone up in over five years

Why Facebook Sucks: They’ve perfected the Orwellian reduction of language to the word “Like.” They take the concept of friendship as a pretext for selling ads. They enable people who you’ve spent years not caring about to treat you like you have some long-lost relationship.
What Makes Facebook “Great?”: If you squint really hard and set up your preferences just right, it’s actually a not bad way to communicate with friends and acquaintances who are far away.
How To Take Them Down: Convince everyone you know, their friends , and their friends’ friends that phone calls, letters, and chats over coffee are better ways to stay in touch than broadcasting quips and cat pictures

Fox News
Why Fox News Sucks: They lie all the time. They’ve taken racism, sexism, homophobia, xenophonia, and class hatred and used them to create a funhouse mirror semblance of a respectable national news network
What Makes Fox News “Great?”: In certain parts of America, they are THE place to go to hear about and understand what’s going on in the world
How To Take Them Down: Spend as much money improving public schools so as to educate our citizens (no matter how many people complain about it being “Socialism”) as we do building missiles and bombs to kill other countries' citizens

Why Google Sucks: They’re everywhere. They collect your e-mails and any other data you input and show them to the Government. They’re using your phone and computer to follow you around, so they can try to sell you crap you don’t want or need
What Makes Google “Great?”: Their products (G-Mail, YouTube, Calendar, Drive, Keep, etc., etc., etc.) have the advantage of being among the best available (often for free) while also being seamlessly compatible with each other and accessible on your computer or phone
How To Take Them Down: Convince individuals, groups, and companies that spending more time and money setting up and using arguably inferior alternatives is a better option

Why Microsoft Sucks: They got where they are by running over lots of other companies. Their iconic leader likes to pretend he’s just a lovable nerd, but in reality he’s one of the most cutthroat pirates in business history. They charge a lot of money for demonstrably inferior products (e.g. their operating system)
What Makes Microsoft “Great?”: Their Office suite of software has been the most ubiquitous, most stable, most powerful and easiest to use tools for people to get things done in the office
How To Take Them Down: Create a better way to write documents, spreadsheets, and presentations on computers (something Google, OpenOffice and several other companies are actually doing now)

The National Football League
Why The NFL Sucks: They’ve made a fortune from a beyond-brutal game that leaves its players with lifelong crippling injuries. For decades they’ve ignored, glossed over or covered up all kinds of violent and abusive behavior from players and executives. One of their highest-profile teams uses an overtly racist mascot. They don’t pay taxes and enjoy protection from anti-trust laws while convincing the public to pay to build their playing facilities
What Makes The NFL “Great?”: Thanks to their exemption from anti-trust regulation, they are the exclusive providers of a game that binds families and communities and is the pinnacle of athletic competition. They drown out stories of violence, suffering and bad behavior with other stories of toughness, courage, teamwork, honor, and America. The pace of the game allows them to make dump trucks full of cash every week from endless commercials. Their championship game (The Super Bowl) has become a de-facto national holiday in America
How To Take Them Down: Convince fans that lifelong traditions and rituals that span generations need to end

Why Starbucks Sucks: They've ruined real coffee. They’ve convinced consumers that melted candy bars in watered-down sludge is a good substitute for the real thing. They’ve run a lot of independent shops out of business as part of a scorched-Earth growth strategy
What Makes Starbucks “Great?”: By implementing a “third place” philosophy, they’ve positioned themselves as a modern-day soda shop: a comfortable, friendly place where customers can sit, chat with friends, hold a meeting, read a book , study, etc.
How To Take Them Down: Convince everyone that coffee prepared exactly like it was in Europe in the ‘40s is the only acceptable way to consume it, while also pointing them toward an alternative hang-out place that’s not a library or a bar

Why Uber Sucks: They’re running traditional cab companies out of business using “contractors” who function just above indentured servant status. Their leadership team is a bunch of sexist jackasses
What Makes Uber “Great?”: They took a simple concept (on-demand transportation) and aggressively capitalized on it when very few other companies felt the need to do the same
How To Take Them Down: Find companies that will compete with them. There’s no law that says cab companies can’t do exactly what Uber does, yet because of their set ways and quasi-monopoly status, they don’t. And in the world of Capitalism, if you don’t adapt, there’s only one other option

Why Walmart Sucks: They represent everything wrong with shopping in the USA. They run other stores out of business, squeeze the life out of suppliers, and sell to consumers using employees who need to have food drives held in their stores so they can feed their own families…all so you can have a $250 flat screen TV
What Makes Walmart “Great?”: Lots of locations and low, low prices that customers just can’t pass up
How To Take Them Down: Convince millions of people to go without or pay a little more at places that pay their staff a living wage

Whole Foods
Why Whole Foods Sucks: They specialize in overpriced pretentiousness. You don’t have to look far to get twice as much food for half the price. Everything about them screams “bourgeois yuppie scum”
What Makes Whole Foods “Great?”: They provide the kind of quality, natural, fresh food and choices other stores didn’t think of
How To Take Them Down: Shop somewhere else. They wouldn’t shelve those items if people weren’t buying them

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