Inside Apple by Adam Lashinsky explores the inner workings of Apple and how its founder, the late Steve Jobs, returned from exile to transform a floundering computer company into an unrivaled producer of products that inspire near-religious devotion from fans. Jobs’s management style resulted in a commitment to exceptionally high standards, an intense focus on minute points of design, and the tight control of Apple’s image. The company’s obsession with secrecy means that pre-release product information is kept from most employees with the same rigidity as it is kept from the public. In addition to analyzing Jobs’s management techniques, Lashinsky examines the capabilities of Apple’s most promising senior executives, as much speculation has risen concerning Jobs’s replacement and how the company will proceed without him.
INSIDE APPLEHow America’s Most Admired—and Secretive—Company Really WorksAUTHOR: Adam LashinskyPUBLISHER: Grand Central PublishingDATE OF PUBLICATION: 2012224 pages
Inside Apple By Adam LashinskyFEATURES OF THE BOOKInside Apple by Adam Lashinsky would interest anyonecurious about the inner workings of Apple and the leadershipstrategies that Steve Jobs employed to make the company atremendously powerful center of innovation.
Inside Apple By Adam LashinskyTHE BIG IDEAApple does not rely on consumer surveys or focusgroups to decide which products to develop. Instead, itsimply decides which products it wishes to make.Secrecy is highly important at Apple. This is largelybecause pre-release speculation has driven up sales.Information concerning the company’s internal workingsis also suppressed. Organization charts, standard withmost businesses, do not exist at Apple.
Inside Apple By Adam LashinskyINTRODUCTIONIn Inside Apple, Adam Lashinsky explores the inner workings ofApple and how its founder, the late Steve Jobs, returned fromexile to transform a floundering computer company into anunrivaled producer of products that inspire near-religiousdevotion from fans. Jobs’s management style resulted in acommitment to exceptionally high standards, an intense focus onminute points of design, and the tight control of Apple’s image.
Inside Apple By Adam LashinskyRETHINK LEADERSHIPApple began when Steve Jobs’s friend Steve Wozniakdeveloped the Apple I computer in 1976. Jobs realized a greatermarket existed for it, and the Apple II followed in 1977. Withimpressive sales, the company became hugely successful andthe co-founders became millionaires. Wozniak lost interest andJobs assumed sole leadership, supervising the development ofthe revolutionary Macintosh computer. After a power strugglewith the board of directors in 1985, he left Apple to attend toother highly successful projects. By 1997, Apple was on thebrink of bankruptcy and Jobs returned as CEO.
Inside Apple By Adam LashinskyEMBRACE SECRECYApple employs secrecy both externally and internally. Externally,its products and operations are concealed from competitors andthe outside world. Employees accept this easily, as it is astandard practice for many business organizations to keep theirideas and procedures hidden from others. Internally, however,employees find this practice more difficult to accept. Newprojects can sprout behind newly erected dividers and walls, anda badge that once took an employee into an area may no longerwork. The concept behind the expression “need to know” is firmlyestablished at Apple. Employees are made to understand thattermination (and possible prosecution) follows the release,intentional or unintentional, of Apple’s secrets.
Inside Apple By Adam LashinskyFOCUS OBSESSIVELYMore important than deciding what to produce is knowing whatnot to produce. Apple’s ability to say no to features, products,categories, and market segments is how Jobs developed thecompany’s strengths. “Focusing is powerful,” he said. “A start-up’s focus is very clear. Focus is not saying yes. It is saying noto really great ideas.” Apple has always set itself apart from itscompetitors, primarily through its approach to products.Uniqueness is the goal, and attention to detail is the maincomponent of this approach.
Inside Apple By Adam LashinskySTAY START-UP HUNGRYUpon rejoining Apple in 1997, Jobs immediately started changingthe corporate culture, which had lost its sense of cohesivemission under the bureaucracy of the professional managerswho had replaced him. Under the new Jobs regime, employeeswould focus on what they did best and nothing else. Therevitalization of Apple was greatly due to its embrace of the start-up culture—lean, alert, and always hungry.
Inside Apple By Adam LashinskyHIRE DISCIPLESJobs presciently surrounded himself with executives who wouldoperate as extensions of himself yet have their own exceptionalcapabilities. He did not enlist CEO candidates; rather, he letpeople’s aptitudes define their jobs.
Inside Apple By Adam LashinskyOWN YOUR MESSAGEApple manages its image in a conscious, directed, but casualmanner. For consumers, messages are widely broadcasted buttightly focused on content. For journalists, messages are issuedjudiciously and only after balancing the risk versus the potentialprofit.
Inside Apple By Adam LashinskyOVERWHELM FRIENDS/DOMINATE FOESThe underdog mentality has permeated Apple throughout itshistory, and even though its market share is now enormous, thementality persists. The company also has a long institutionalmemory, holding grudges from the days when softwaredesigners avoided the Macintosh computer.
Inside Apple By Adam LashinskyPLAN FOR AFTER YOUR SUCCESSORPrior to his August 2011 death, Jobs had expressed confidencethat Apple’s executive team “will do a terrific job executing theexciting plans” set forth for the future. It is noteworthy that heused the term “executing,” as it clearly indicated that hissubordinates would be implementing a plan that he had alreadyapproved. Jobs made no secret of the fact that the company’score values—his core values—would be passed on to futureleadership.
Inside Apple By Adam LashinskyINSPIRE IMITATORSFor years Silicon Valley rejected the idea that Apple’s businessmethodology should be copied. Its cloistered approach tobusiness and the development of hardware and software wasconsidered an obstacle to success. Even after the last 10 highlyprofitable years, few large companies overtly imitate the Applemodel.
Inside Apple By Adam LashinskyONE MORE THINGThe clearest indicator of whether Apple can continue its level ofsuccess after Jobs’s passing will appear first in its organizationalstructure and then in its practices concerning partners andcompetitors. Initially, it must compensate for the loss of anirreplaceable leader. Later, it will have to decide how to obtainentrepreneurial brilliance by adjusting its unique managerialconfiguration to attract and welcome entrepreneurial talent fromthe outside.
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