For one reason or another—both personally and professionally—these companies can do almost no wrong in my eyes:
- Dell. I built my first computer as a freshman in high school. Overclocked it, modified it, loved it. Later on, I built several more for family members. And then made-to-order Dell took over the world by the late ’90s. I enthusiastically appreciated their customization, affordability, and no-nonsense style. A decade later, Dell officials hired me as a contract writer for three consecutive years. That engagement largely paid for the downpayment on my first and only house. Although they’ve changed significantly since the ’90s and I now compute on a Macintosh, I still admire them.
- Amazon. My wife and I have been Prime members for 11 years. Before that, we used $25 free shipping for three loyal years. Today, we do nearly 80% of our non-grocery shopping from the site. Rarely do we go to a retail store, saving us hundreds if not thousands of hours of our time. We buy books, movies, and music from them. We ask their digital assistant to set timers for us, search Wikipedia for us, get the forecast for us, and play any music we want with a single command. No other company has empowered my adult life more or offered more convenience than them.
- Google. Also a former client, I spend a lot of screen time dorking around on Youtube. I also use Google Inbox and Calendar to keep my life in order. But more than that, I loyally use Google Search which has helped me discover, research, and find good things more objectively and faster than anything else over the last 20 years. So long as they continue to point me to the wonderful things, I’ll enthusiastically reach for them.
- Associated Press. Not only did this organization teach me how to write, they published my professional bible. Whenever I read “AP” in a byline, I listen. Still the most objective and comprehensive news source in the world. Because of them, I can stay optimistically informed without resorting to fear-mongering TV news.
- Disney. I love their parks. I love their movies. I love their animation. I love their style. I love their inclusiveness. I love their spare-no-expense approach. I love that they’ve never grown up.
HONORABLE MENTIONS: Delta (because they’re reliable and affordable), Apple (because they don’t make me think when using gadgets), and Nike (because of this story).