INSIDE APPLE by Adam Lashinsky
At first, when I saw this book online, I thought it’d be one among the many, ‘post Jobs Cashing In’, books to be released by a capitalist publisher and a greedy author, with due respect to both of them. So while I was thinking of which one to order among so many of them, somehow, like all Apple products, this one ‘Felt’ right. And Boy, could my intuition be more accurate!
‘Inside Apple’ is an all access card to a secretive behemoth called Apple. The book takes you through all the areas of management, communication, product development and the workflow at Apple. Their obsession with perfection, their emphasis on details right from the text in their ads to the packaging of products, subliminal branding and most importantly, Focus.
There’s a line in the book, which says, Apple is “a company whose methods fly in the face of decades of well established management maxims.” I believe it’s only because they follow a method much older than recent management maxims. Their method is pretty much based on the Zen philosophy of Focus, Minimal and Simple.
It’s very rare for a company to grow to be the world’s largest, in the lifetime of its founder. Through this book, you’ll know, how Apple doesn’t care about either, the size or the growth rate In fact, doesn’t even care about the shareholders. Their focus, like their products, is Simple. Make “Revolutionary” Products and a “Wow” Product Experience, and the rest will take care of itself. Unusual and Surprising, are understatements for both, the company, and this book.
Adam tries to scratch the surface of Apple’s famous Secrecy policy. Right from anecdotes like, the company having plainclothes security at a close by bar to watch over if any Apple employee leaks some information in the heat of the moment, to their memento store at the office, which sells a tee shirt that reads “I visited Apple, but that’s all I’m allowed to Say.” So much is their belief in keeping things secret that most of the times, employees at One Infinite Loop, don’t even know what the person in the next cubicle is doing. The work culture is unlike any of the ‘Best Places to Work’ magazine issues. Something that amused me the most in the book was “Everyone inside Apple is trying to get out, and everyone outside is trying to get in.”
One more thing, it takes us through the leadership and succession planning for the post-Jobs scenario. As an Apple fan, you may rest assured, that the company’s going nowhere south in the near future, for Steve’s pumped enough of his vision into each employee. However, it’ll be interesting to see how things pan out thereafter. The closest one can get to know how Apple works without working there, is through this book. Adam Lashinsky has thrown this light on the ‘dark side of moon’ in a manner that you can’t not be amazed by this company which takes being Casual, very Seriously.
I highly recommend it to all. It’s Unputdownable.
Disclaimer: All the above creatives are just impressions that are graphically created.