One of the things that I find interesting is the popularity of Steve Jobs and apple with Hayekians and Austrians in general.
Apple was principally the complete opposite of the decentralized local-knowledge driven catallaxy that Austrian’s trumpet. It was a highly centralized, tightly controlled integrated company that managed every step of the process from design to retailing.
It was complete with an Apple ethos, domination by a Politburo of Inside Designers and a cult of personality surrounding the leader. According, to reports by insiders the Politburo ruled largely by fear and the wrath of the leader was famous.
I don’t know how seriously to take these particular allegations but it has been suggested that the law constrained Apple’s treatment of its employees. That they would have been more harsh and more exacting if they thought they could have gotten away with it.
Even more to the point rather than a constant evolving relationship between consumer and producer Apple seemed to operate on the basis of “Five Year Plans” in which the Politburo decided what the future was going to look like and did what was necessary to bring it into being.
This is exactly what is supposed to not work, yet it worked spectacularly.
I am not saying this refutes anybody’s theories. There are always outliers and the Corporation as a central planning solution embedded in a larger free market has always been a curious question for economists.
Its just interesting and should spur us to ponder deeply about what we really think is going on in an evolving market economy.