I don't know Marco Arment

Marco Arment:

Very few general-purpose retailers aren’t run by terrible people.


I have never met Marco. I don't know him, but I enjoy and respect his work. I read his blog, love his podcast and think he offers reliable and consistently smart insight into a whole spectrum across the world of tech. More than that, I think Marco is a bit cool, he carries a tiny degree of arrogance that makes me smile - it's apparent that he enjoys taking the role of being the one that has to deliver occasional, uncomfortable truths. I respect someone that is prepared to trade being a little unpopular for standing up for what's right. I even recently bought Overcast (in app purchase to be precise - some might say a bit like selling the high margin USB cable that you need for the printer after you have sold the printer at cost) even though I have no intention of using it - just because I'm a fan.

I don't know Marco but I do know that if I did, I'd like him.

It's in that context that I respectfully offer the following feedback on the sentence above:

That is the one of the stupidest things ever written.

Whilst I don't know Marco, I do know many people that run general purpose retailers and most of them are not terrible people. To say so is wrong and a tad insulting.

I have worked at the highest level, board level, for more years than I'd care to recall in retail and most of the CEO's and Executive Directors I meet are hard working, often humble, good people who get up every day and sweat on making decisions and setting direction that is trying to improve the lot of customers and normally tens of thousands of employees. Most believe that doing stuff better for customers (not screwing them) is the route to success but they have to navigate that route through an incredibly tough landscape.

Sure the business is tough and cut throat - it's a fact of life that all business is. And, sure there is the odd asshole at each and every level but no more than any other industry or sector.

A few of the people that run general purpose retailers are terrible people. Most though are actually decent people, whom if you knew, I think you would like.