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.
appreciated for your ability on the field, not your ability as a coach or manager. Jonathan Ive, widely admired for his design ideas, is considered to have little grasp of finance. This could be seen as a negative: One of the most powerful executives at Apple, one who had the ear of Steve Jobs for years, isn’t viewed as having business chops. The upside, however, has served Apple extremely well. Ive is known to make seemingly unrealistic demands on the manufacturing and operations teams in
Macs. Then it started stocking the stores: with the first iPods that year, followed by a succession of follow-on iPods, including the Mini, the Nano, the Shuffle, and the Touch. Consumers used the iTunes Store, first introduced in 2003, to fill their devices with music, and later movies and TV shows. The stores were stuffed with Apple products and scores of third-party accessories by 2010, when Apple released the groundbreaking iPad. It was during this burst of creative energy that Apple’s CEO
with a new product they otherwise wouldn’t have been inclined to even consider. “I sort of look at the iPod as a big step forward for Apple because up until then it was trying to build confidence and get people comfortable coming into the store,” he said. “And then comes the iPod. It cost $400. Most of the music players at that time were $149. What’s the difference? Well, the difference is this one is ‘a thousand songs in your pocket.’ ” Whether or not other players held a thousand songs was
been for him, Cook acknowledged the transition. “This is my first product launch since being named CEO,” he said. “I’m sure you didn’t know that,” he continued, to gentle laughter in the room. “I consider it a privilege of a lifetime.” Cook reminded the audience that Town Hall was the site of numerous historic events in Apple’s past: the launch of the iPod in 2001, a new MacBook Air in 2010. The room, he said, “is like a second home to many of us,” eliciting more chuckles. “Today will remind you
the type of leader Jobs was. In his book The No Asshole Rule: Building a Civilized Workplace and Surviving One That Isn’t, Stanford business professor Robert Sutton calls Jobs “exhibit one” of chapter 6—titled “The Virtues of Assholes”—a chapter Sutton said he didn’t want to write: “It sometimes seems as if his full name is ‘Steve Jobs, that asshole.’ I put ‘Steve Jobs’ and ‘asshole’ in Google and got 89,400 matches.” Joking aside, Sutton goes on to make a case consistent with Maccoby’s Freudian