NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- In March, a former Apple (AAPL - Get Report) engineer, Michael Margolis, tweeted something that set the Internet on fire:

@aral Fun fact - those new designs were tossed out 5 years ago because SJ didn't like them. Now there is nobody to say "no" to bad design.

That Tweet came in response to a comment about a new user interface for Apple TV.

Everybody picked that Tweet up -- financial Web sites, tech sites, newspapers as big as The Washington Post.

Over the weekend, Margolis was at it again (or something like that), but his Tweet, as far as I know, flew under the radar. Here's what he "said" in 140 characters or less:
Running into tons of ex-Apple employees these days and they're all thrilled to be gone. I never see that with Google or FB employees...

That happened midday-ish Saturday, June 30. I responded to Margolis's Tweet with "Dying to make news again, eh!? :-)" Margolis replied: "Haha absolutely not."

From there, Margolis ( @yipe) and I had a friendly exchange:

The media jumped on the March "say no to bad design" Tweet for several reasons. First, it speaks to a touchy issue in this post-Steve Jobs world we're all trying to make sense of.

Can Apple maintain its dominance under a mere mortal such as Tim Cook? It also makes you wonder if they can't get Apple TV right without Jobs -- in at least one engineer's mind -- how can they possibly get iTV, one of the most anticipated products in the history of tech, right? And, of course, the media jumps on just about anything Apple-related.

Guilty as charged. But, we only cover Apple so extensively because people have an insatiable appetite for news and views on the company.

In any event, I am somewhat surprised that nobody took Margolis's most recent Apple Tweet and ran with it. I even gave it a day before writing something up myself.

Maybe fewer eyeballs saw it because its summertime and we're heading into this weird mid-week floating holiday in the U.S. Maybe the Tweet did not go viral because we all know that Apple employees, at least some meaningful number of them, don't really like working at the company all that much.

It's widely publicized and intensely interesting. At least to me. In Adam Lashinsky's excellent book, Inside Apple, and other accounts, one Apple employee after another says, in some fashion, what Margolis said in a Tweet I did not include here: I did some of my best work at Apple. It was worth working there, but never again.

The last thing I want Margolis to think is that I am ambushing him by publicizing his Tweet. For the record, I messaged him ahead of publication. I do, however, think it's important for investors to consider his sentiment. It's the prevailing sentiment. Apple, at least under Steve Jobs, could be a crappy place to work. But, I did my best work there.

You have to wonder if the "culture of secrecy" Margolis refers to and all of the other quirks that can make employment at Apple akin to time in some corporate prison deserve a fair bit of credit for Apple's greatness and extraordinary success.

If you daydream about that, as I do, it's only natural to implicate Steve Jobs as the source of the weirdness. As I have thought this through, particularly after Jobs's passing, I have come to believe that the best way forward for Apple is to do what Portland did -- steal from Austin and make Keep Apple Weird the guiding corporate mantra.

Of course, I bring nothing more than an outsider's opinion to the table. Well, maybe a little more. I talk to people, but I would hardly profess that I am tied in, even a little, at Apple. Even so, it doesn't take Walter Isaacson or Walt Mossberg to figure out that something magical, even if somewhat demented, happened under Jobs. And now it's gone.

It's completely intuitive to do what Tim Cook has done since he took over as Apple CEO. As a human being, I get what he's doing. I am inclined to support it.

On one hand, Cook said at the recent All Things D conference, via Newser, that Apple will "double down on secrecy." So, he's keeping that component in place, but I'm not so sure that the secrecy comprised all that did not/does not sit well with Apple employees.

Margolis noted that his friends from Google ( GOOG) and Facebook ( FB) don't feel the same way about their time at those companies. That tells me that the way Jobs implemented and nurtured the "culture of secrecy" has more to do with the post-Apple angst than the Mafia-like code of silence itself.

With a kinder, gentler, more humane Tim Cook in charge -- simply put, he is, by virtually all accounts, much less of a jerk than Jobs -- you have to wonder if Apple loses that edge. At the same time, Margolis did mention, in another part of our conversation that I did not screenshot, that he "hopes" Cook will change the culture at Apple, but he's too far removed from employment there to have much of a handle on what's happening.

That said, he has more insight than most of us. And I do not think you can ignore tidbits like Margolis threw out in March and over this past weekend via Twitter. They contribute to what happens to be Apple's most pressing issue going forward. Exactly what was that culture Steve Jobs fostered and how much of a role did it play in Apple's success? And can the company's world-beating run continue if Tim Cook messes with that culture or simply cannot or would rather not sustain it?

This article is commentary by an independent contributor, separate from TheStreet's regular news coverage.

At the time of publication, the author was long FB.