NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- In some circles, Apple (AAPL - Get Report) is roundly despised. Is it because the company makes poor products? Clearly that's not so. Is it because some people don't personally like Apple's executives? It's really hard to dislike someone you've never met.
Is it because some people don't like Tim Cook's execution and vision? Apple's performance and financials are excellent and there's a growing list of successful products he's shepherded to market.
Actually, there's more to the despise thing than meets the eye. I can explain.
When it comes to creating products that other people use, complexity has its benefits for the creator and for others in its ecosphere. Complexity bestows power, control and financial opportunity.
Apple removes complexity, and that creates havoc in certain circles.
For example, think about IRS support forms with their unfathomable logic and tedious calculations. The difficult logic can obscure inconvenient truths about tax law. Fear of mistakes, perhaps an audit, is created. Books and applications spring up that make a profit explaining to you what you couldn't figure out before.
A Great Explanation
In an amazing article, "The Complexity Myth," Keith Farnish explains how complexity can maintain the status quo and confer power. Like any important article, it takes its time to develop an important point, so don't be discouraged by his opening.
Briefly, here is the end of Farnish's description of the modern television set, with its complex, self-perpetuating infrastructure.
... Everything is interlinked to a certain extent so, in theory, every artifact of Industrial Civilization is as complex as every other. But even taken down to those processes and components that are unique to a particular end-product, like a television set ... there is a level of complexity that would be completely beyond the understanding of anyone not brought up in the Culture of Empire. Actually, it's beyond the understanding of anyone who takes some time to analyse what makes up the things we use in this culture.
Here's how that affects Apple.