Top positive review
89 people found this helpful
I stayed up all night reading this book...
on January 25, 2012
...which is saying something. I haven't done that since I was a teenager and I'm in my forties. To compare this book to Isaacson's biography of Steve Jobs, which is arguably the best biography I've ever read, would not be fair; although everyone is going to do that. I struggled with the comparison myself.
Bottom Line: These are two very different books, and this is a great compliment to Job's biography.
Did I learn anything ground breaking? I had hoped to, but I'm not sure I did. (Especially in the "Secrecy chapter - I wanted more!) Still, I did learn a LOT of small things that, added together, made the book feel groundbreaking. I've highlighted several passages in my kindle edition, but I feel like it would be cheating to share more than one with you. My personal favorite has to do with Apple's seeming lack of career paths for their employees; it goes like this:
"...what if it turns out that all that thinking is wrong? What if companies encouraged employees to be satisfied where they are, because they're good at what they do, not to mention because that might be what's best for shareholders?" Well, what if? The Peter Principle is hard to fight against; even more difficult to compete with are the ambitions of people. Adam mentions a saying that I've heard before, "Everyone inside Apple is trying to get out, and everyone outside is trying to get in."
Well, I'm both of those. After reading this book, I still would love to work for Apple; and I'd hate it too. What an exquisite company!
Most revealing to me is that while employees who are entrepreneurs "typically don't stick around for more than a couple of years," the company still manages to thrive in an oddly entrepreneurial way. At the same time, these entrepreneurs had "rich, productive experiences at Apple, where there ... was room for only one..."
Last, there is some speculation and discussion about the struggles Apple will have in keeping it's culture. The consequences of Steve Job's intense involvement followed by his rapid second departure will only really be understood over time - a _lot_ of time. Yet, I found this discussion to be better than any I've read on the web. At the same time, what human could possibly read all that has been written about Apple since late last year?
Despite my desire not to succumb to comparing this book with Isaacson's, I'll end with that comparison: The biography was bigger and the best in its class, and while this book is a quick, easy read, it is the first _real_ book in its class. I probably won't read the biography again, except for reference; I see myself reading Lashinsky's book again and again, cogitating on the philosophies and learning more during each read.
If I could, I'd give the book 4.8 stars, but since I have to round, I don't begrudge it the five stars that I expect most will give. You did a decent job with this book, Mr. Lashinsky, and I'm happy to recommend it.