Upfront: I worked at Apple for years as an engineer.
Apple’s customers were different back during the “crazy ones” campaign. They were different (from the rest of the PC industry) and Apple did every single thing we could to target and cater to them.
The Apple of today, if it wants to remain profitable, has to cater to an almost ludicrously large/diverse customer base. The things you miss about the old Apple are not the things today’s customers (aside from people like us who’ve been around Apple products for decades) want or need. Period. Apple is a product of its incredible success — like it or not, you are no longer “crazy” for owning a Mac… you are just like everyone else. Apple’s products and vision have changed accordingly.
What I can tell you is that during my time at Apple we really sweated any major change (especially when removing features) but there were always very good reasons for doing so — even when we knew there would be a public outcry.
Every single day I worked at Apple I felt an intense desire to do my absolute best work. I cared deeply about my product and the people it touched. I’m still in touch with a number of folks at Apple and I know they feel the same way.
Is Apple the company it once was? No. Personally, I am glad (and proud) that they are still pushing forward.