I Just Want To Be Loved

One of the most bizarre notions that has emerged over the last number of years is the notion that companies should love you and care about you.

I see this all the time nowadays. I see advertising that says, “We care.” I see places that don’t seem to sell products, only love.

To me, “care” is a four-letter word. I see that word; I’m ready to run.

Not only is the concept absurd, it’s dangerous to those who hold it.

No company loves you. Period. Get this ridiculous notion out of your love-starved head.

No company cares about you in any personal way. All they care about is getting your money and (if they’re smart; many aren’t) continuing to get it.

Companies exist for one simple reason. To make money. Hopefully, from you. And there’s nothing wrong with that.

You go to a company for goods and services, not love. If you’re looking for the latter, you’re looking for love in all the wrong places.

You want goods or services. They have it, for a price. This is a business transaction, not a love match. If they provide the appropriate level of goods and/or services for the price you are paying, that’s all you can reasonable expect and want.

Should companies provide a reasonable level of service and be reasonably responsive to you? Sure, but that has nothing to do with love, and everything to do with getting repeat business.

And that’s good. Satisfying me in the hope of getting more of my business is a much more powerful incentive in the real world than expecting someone in customer service you don’t know from a hole-in-a-wall to suddenly start loving some voice or email from someone they don’t know from a hole-in-the-wall, five, ten or twenty times an hour.

Leaving Yourself Open To Being Led On

If somebody does something wrong to you, does it make a difference if that person is someone you love as opposed to being a stranger?

If you’re like most people, you’ll probably tolerate much more from the first than the second.

And that’s precisely what’s wrong with this fake love. Like some nasty boyfriend or girlfriend who just wants to get something out of you, this targets the emotionally vulnerable, then takes advantage of the situation.

The greatest example of this is Apple. Mac owners are far more likely to believe Apple loves them than most PC owners. Take three guesses who (normally) has the highest profit margins in the PC industry.

Contrast that to Dell, which makes absolutely no pretenses about loving anybody, but charges you a whole lot less.

Love can be an expensive proposition. 🙂

AMD does not love you. Intel does not love you. The only difference between AMD and Intel is that AMD has a 20% marketshare and Intel has 80%. AMD doesn’t charge lower prices because they love you, they charge lower prices because they can’t get any more than that for their products. If they could, they would.

Yes, AMD’s presence in the marketplace means lower prices, but again, this is no act of love. AMD doesn’t exist because it feels that consumers need a CPU price break. They exist because they figured they could make good money in this business.

If the hardware community has more “love” for AMD; it’s because 1) people either self-identify or at least sympathize with the underdog or (far more likely) 2) AMD has lower prices.

As part of getting its act back together, Intel has been putting more effort into customer service, and listening to what its customers want.

That’s not love, that’s simply good business practice, and the purpose of good business practice is to get more business.

That’s all this is. Don’t project your feelings onto a company. All you’re doing is projecting to a blank wall, and any “love” you think you’re getting back is just a reflection.


You have to understand that the relationship between a CPU company and those attempting to overclock that company’s product is inherently adversarial. It’s like the relationship between you and the IRS in an audit; they think they deserve more money from you; and you don’t. Not a match made in heaven.

Overclocking is possible simply because it makes more business sense to make all CPUs to a certain (high) standard rather than to deliberately make different grades of processors. Due to economies of scale, that’s a big positive, and overclocking is actually something of a negative factor in that calculation.

So neither Intel nor AMD is going to open-heartedly embrace overclocking, publicize it, and love you for doing it.

On the other hand, if they can use the enthusiast community for their own benefits and purposes, it would be smart for them to do so. After all, they’d essentially be getting free help. What business wouldn’t want that?

Ask Microsoft.

Intel wants to make better products so they can sell more of them. By getting you to buy-into the process, they make it more likely that you’ll buy Intel products in the future and recommend them to others.

This is not love. This is not like Mommy getting you a bicycle for your birthday. This is a cold-hearted business decision, and you should judge it just the same way.

That doesn’t mean you should reject it. If you think it’s worth your time and effort to get the opportunity to try out new kinds of equipment, and hope that your efforts will yield a better product for the company, there’s nothing wrong with that.

But for God’s sakes, go into it with your eyes open. Don’t project any unrequited need for love, any lovesick schoolboy number, on some company that not only doesn’t, but can’t love you.

Don’t go to a company, any company, with a Harvey Fierstein “I just want to be loved” attitude. You won’t find it.

Love Is Work

What I think most aggravates me about this is how much this cheapens love. It seems to me even in this area, people want something for nothing.

Love demands mutual emotional intimacy. No mutual emotional intimacy, no love.

How can you possibly expect that from a company?

Maybe the deeper question for at least some is “Can you expect it of yourself?”

I suspect that perhaps sometimes people want companies to love them and care about them because no one else will. And perhaps, just perhaps, a big reason for that is that some aren’t willing to make the effort to get that mutual emotional intimacy, and they’re looking for a cheap substitute to fill the hole. Filling the hole with a ‘ho, so to speak.

Just remember that the person in charge of a relationship is the one who loves less. By definition, something that isn’t even a person has to win that one.

There’s a pimp and ‘ho in corporate love, alright. Guess what role you’re playing.

P.S. A few of you might note that what I’m saying here seems to contradict my comments the other day that AMD should become more “caring.”

Actually, not. Most of the points made dealt with legitimate issues like convenience and ease-of-use. Only some of it dealt with some people’s psychological hangups, and suggesting (perhaps cynically) that pandering to them works.

To observe does not mean to approve. To suggest that pandering works doesn’t mean I think those psychological hangups are good, just the opposite. This article focuses on the most bizarre of them.


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