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Apple mocked for 'I rarely get to see my kids' ad

Commentary: Twitter ad for Apple Music's "Planet of the Apps" show implies that not seeing your kids is necessary for success. The ad comes down but Apple bashing heats up.

Technically Incorrect offers a slightly twisted take on the tech that's taken over our lives.


The ad that was taken down.

Screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

I hear that Apple is a hard place to work.

I also hear that the company's new spaceship campus has everything but day care

And then I hear that Apple ran an ad on Friday featuring an app developer called Andrew Kemendo offering these words: "I rarely get to see my kids. That's a risk you have to take."

The ad was posted to the Twitter page of "Planet of the Apps." This is the new show -- "Shark Tank" for app developers -- that Apple Music launched this week

The ad was swiftly removed, (it was similar in look to this one,) but not as swiftly as some saw it and experienced a gag reflex. 

Jason Fried, founder and CEO of project management tool, for example, tweeted: "Pathetic… even Apple is promoting workaholism now. Check out this ad for their Planet of the Apps show."

Esther Crawford, CEO of self-botting company Olabot, mused: "I wonder if Apple would run an ad with a female founder saying this."

It's unclear who might have signed off on the ad and who might have decided it needed to come down.  Apple didn't respond to two requests for comment. Neither did the show's producers Propagate Content.

Kemendo, whose Pair app is described as a showroom in your living room, told me he is appalled. 

"Not my quote, not my ad. It was posted without my approval," he told me.

Kemendo said the episode highlights how he, like others in tech and across all professions, is doing his best to support his family and strike work-life balance.

He added that no one from the show even told him they were running the ad. "I mean, I literally got all this after walking my kids home from school all week."

It's understandable that some might be riled by one of the largest issues in the tech business -- the idea that you should give up everything in your life in order to help people design their houses better or to become the next Uber. 

Then again, Apple has always given the impression of being a work-first, other stuff-later company.  

Kemendo told me it was hard having to be away from his kids. In his former military career he was deployed to Iraq for six months, just 10 days after his first daughter was born. He said he also spent four months in California raising money for Pair (he's based in Washington, DC).

On Friday evening, he told me he was making his kids dinner.

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