Inside Apple: How America's Most Admired--and Secretive--Company Really Works
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INSIDE APPLE reveals the secret systems, tactics and leadership strategies that allowed Steve Jobs and his company to churn out hit after hit and inspire a cult-like following for its products.
If Apple is Silicon Valley's answer to Willy Wonka's Chocolate Factory, then author Adam Lashinsky provides readers with a golden ticket to step inside. In this primer on leadership and innovation, the author will introduce readers to concepts like the "DRI" (Apple's practice of assigning a Directly Responsible Individual to every task) and the Top 100 (an annual ritual in which 100 up-and-coming executives are tapped a la Skull & Bones for a secret retreat with company founder Steve Jobs).
Based on numerous interviews, the book offers exclusive new information about how Apple innovates, deals with its suppliers and is handling the transition into the Post Jobs Era. Lashinsky, a Senior Editor at Large for Fortune, knows the subject cold: In a 2008 cover story for the magazine entitled The Genius Behind Steve: Could Operations Whiz Tim Cook Run The Company Someday he predicted that Tim Cook, then an unknown, would eventually succeed Steve Jobs as CEO.
While Inside Apple is ostensibly a deep dive into one, unique company (and its ecosystem of suppliers, investors, employees and competitors), the lessons about Jobs, leadership, product design and marketing are universal. They should appeal to anyone hoping to bring some of that Apple magic to their own company, career, or creative endeavor.
former Yahoo! executive who was in the room: “It was humiliating. We knew he was right. But we also knew we were incapable of choosing.” (Yang didn’t last nearly as long as a second-time CEO as Jobs did. He gave up the job again in 2009, and Yahoo! has continued its steady decline—in part because of its inability to choose.) For its part, Apple has chosen to say no repeatedly. It didn’t make a phone for years, often protesting—arguably disingenuously—that it didn’t want to be in the phone
before iTunes and the iPhone thrust Apple into so many new industry conversations. “I fundamentally believe that people who stay too long can’t work anywhere else,” said one executive who has gone to work elsewhere. “It doesn’t translate into real life.” Another departed executive likened a recently retired colleague to a newly freed convict. “It’s as if he’d been in jail for two decades when he got out. He knows no one.” Typical Apple employees, in fact, don’t need to know many people at
insiders knew he already was running the company—even as Jobs continued to weigh in on important decisions and to nurture major initiatives. Six weeks before Steve Jobs died, Apple’s board of directors named Cook CEO as well as a member of the board. It is no coincidence that the more responsibility Cook took on in the nuts-and-bolts parts of Apple, the more Jobs was freed up for his creative endeavors. Released from worrying whether customer service was operating smoothly or if retail outlets
Until then he was known around the company’s headquarters as Apple’s “iCEO,” foreshadowing the i-nomenclature that would permeate Apple’s branding. Interim or not, Jobs was busy putting the pieces into place for the company’s rebirth. He recognized the importance of work Jonathan Ive was doing in Apple’s design laboratory, and Jobs set Ive to work on what would become Apple’s candy-colored iMacs—translucent, all-in-one computers that looked like clear TVs connected to a keyboard. He hired Tim
marathon meeting. Jobs brought an artist’s eye to the scientific world of computers. His paranoia built a company that is as secretive as the Central Intelligence Agency. Jobs, perhaps more than any other businessperson of the last century, created the future others couldn’t see. The way Jobs led is merely the first example (of many) of how Apple’s ways depart from decades of received wisdom on corporate life. In his most recent book, Great by Choice, management expert Jim Collins and his