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The Apple Way Hardcover – December 19, 2005

12 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

With more than 10 million iPods sold to date, an unprecedented 250 percent stock value increase in just one year, and a net income increase of 530 percent, Apple has skyrocketed to dizzying heights of success. But the ride has not always been smooth, and the company’s legendary cofounder, Steve Jobs, has seen it all. From its early unveiling of the unreliable, clunky $9,995 “Lisa” computer in 1983, to its recent staggeringly successful breakthrough product, the iPod, this company has not only reinvented itself many times over, but it also has revolutionized the entire computer industry. What are its secrets? Find out in The Apple Way.

In today’s fast-moving technology world, Apple has learned--often through hard-won wisdom--that you can’t do it by yourself, no matter how smart you are. Markets move quickly, technologies grow complex, and too many intelligent people invest too much time and money in innovation. The Apple Way reveals the secrets and management principles that keep Apple ahead of the curve--including innovative product development, cutting-edge marketing strategies, sleek design and packaging, and a high-performance corporate culture. You’ll discover how Apple combines consistency with continuity and follow-through, and balances vision with practicality.

Follow Apple’s example and learn how to:

  • Make the customer king
  • Make the product king
  • Break the marketing mold
  • Build the learning organization

Although Apple is a technology company, this is not a story for computer buffs, but rather a book for managers who want to learn valuable lessons from both Apple’s mistakes and triumphs--all of which have led to its continuing evolution and ultimate meteoric rise to success. Because, for Steve Jobs and the visionaries at Apple, finding the future isn’t enough--you also have to deliver it.

“We don’t underestimate people....Rather than making a far inferior product for a hundred dollars less, we gave the people the product that they want and that will serve them for years, even though it’s a little pricier. People are smart; they figure these things out.” --Steve Jobs

Reveals the master plan behind Apple’s revolutionary business model

The Apple Way divulges the secrets and management principles that keep Apple far ahead of the curve. Find out how to implement these and other winning strategies in your organization to trigger a technological and stylistic revolution of your own:

  • Make the customer and the product king
  • Balance manufacturing with delivery logistics
  • Motivate and inspire people outside the company to do your marketing and public relations
  • Invent new distribution channels
  • Decide on your company image and stick to your guns
  • Leapfrog the competition
  • Learn from both successes and missteps

About the Author

Jeffrey L. Cruikshank is the author or coauthor of numerous books for practicing managers, including The Intellectual Venture Capitalist: John H. McArthur and the Work of the Harvard Business School (Harvard Business School Press). He also played a key role in developing several McGraw-Hill titles, including The Leadership Secrets of Colin Powell and The Essential Vince Lombardi.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: McGraw-Hill; 1 edition (December 19, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0072262338
  • ISBN-13: 978-0072262339
  • Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 0.9 x 9.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,158,854 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

I'm the author or co-author of numerous books of interest to managers. These include histories of the Harvard Business School, New England Electric, Cummins Engine Company, The Weather Channel, and Perdue Farms; a book on corporations and architecture for Herman Miller, Inc.; a history of the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy; the definitive guide to art in public places (Going Public); and books on numerous other subjects, ranging from logistics in the Gulf War (Moving Mountains) to entrepreneurship (Low Risk, High Reward) to the inner workings of the commercial real estate industry (The Real Estate Game, and Creating and Growing Real Estate Wealth).

In 2005, I published my first murder mystery (Murder at the B-School). Another is in the works. (Thanks for your patience.)

I'm about to publish my first biography--The Man Who Sold America--which focuses on the life and times of Albert D. Lasker (HBR Press, summer of 2010). I think it's an amazing story, of interest to a wide range of people: advertising and PR executives, baseball buffs, students of American political history, people with an interest in bipolar illness, and anyone who likes a good yarn.

I'm a graduate of Amherst College and the Program for Management Development at the Harvard Business School. I worked as a consultant to a number of companies and schools in the Boston area in the 1970s and 1980s. In 1980, I became the editor of the Harvard Business School Bulletin, beginning a relationship with that school that has continued since then, and has led to many other engagements in the worlds of education and business.

In 1989, I co-founded Kohn Cruikshank, Inc., a Boston-based consulting firm that served corporate and institutional clients until September of 2001, when we moved to Milton, Massachusetts and became The Cruikshank Company, Inc. I've worked on capital campaigns and development-related work for Harvard Law School (two campaigns), MIT (two campaigns), the University of California at Berkeley, the Boston Athenaeum, Harvard's Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, the University of Massachusetts, Fenway Community Health, North Shore Medical Center, the Shackleton School, Milton Academy, Phillips Andover Academy, the Peddie School, Boston University, and many other institutions.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Stephen Rowe on September 7, 2007
Format: Hardcover
I listened to the audio version of this book. I was disappointed by it. It is actually a decent overview of the history of Apple's management and marketing, but that's not what it claims to be. The book makes the claim to contain "12 management lessons" taken from Apple. These lessons are completely lost in the history. I expected analysis of what Apple did right and wrong and some application of that to a more general market. What I got was a history book with very little actual analysis in it. The lessons might be there, but you really have to dig them out yourself. Not a bad read but not a management book. If you're looking for management advice, look elsewhere.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Tech Geek on July 18, 2006
Format: Hardcover
If you're trying to take away valuable management lessons, this book isn't for you.

If, however, you want a quick and up to date history of Apple, this book is worth considering.

Definitely repetitious and the management take aways are in most cases a stretch.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Mariusz Skonieczny on August 12, 2009
Format: Hardcover
With all the hype about iPods, iPhones, iMacs, it is interesting to read a book that takes a little different approach. Apple's products are similar to best-selling books. There is no repeat business. The company has to keep innovating new products, thus spending a significant amount of money on research and development. It is not enough just to spend money on R&D; it is also important to hire the right people that can innovate. This means that Apple has to compete with other companies for top talent. Usually the only way to get these people is to pay them more than competitors do, and this creates a downward pressure on the company's margins. A company like Coca-Cola does not have to reinvent its product every six months; thus, it can concentrate on growing in other markets, buying shares back, and paying dividends. Apple operates in an industry where its products never go up in value. A computer sold today for $1,000 may only be worth $500 in a year. Also, the competition in the industry is intense with companies trying to outdo each other on product features and prices. I highly recommend this book to anyone interested Apple or the industry in which it operates.

- Mariusz Skonieczny, author of Why Are We So Clueless about the Stock Market? Learn how to invest your money, how to pick stocks, and how to make money in the stock market
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7 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Robert Morris HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on February 28, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Whether or not Apple is "the world's most innovative company" is debatable but it has certainly been among the most innovative and, as its recent successes such as iPod suggest, it continues to sustain a culture in which innovative thinking thrives. In response to a question at the 1998 Seybold Conference, Steve Jobs had this to say:

"The reason a lot of us are at Apple is to make the best computers in the world, and make the best software in the world. We know that we've got some stuff that [is] the best right now. But it can be so much better. So we don't come to work every day thinking, `Well, when are we going to turn Apple around?' We come to work every day knowing that we know how to make better products. So that's what's driving us. The turnaround [which began a year before when Jobs returned to Apple] is just one milestone on a long road, and it's not for us to declare. Somebody else can decide when that happens. But we're out to make the best products in the world. And we'll sleep well when we do that."

The inclusion of "way" in this book's title refers both to the sequence of developments since Apple's founding, and, to how it conducts its business. What we have in this volume is Cruikshank's analysis of a specific mindset in action, one which suggests a series of 12 management lessons. He devotes a separate chapter to each and then summarizes what are sub-lessons. For example, Chapter 8, "Getting It Out There," which stresses the importance of consistency when dealing with retail channels you don't control:

1. Spend the time and money to develop a sales force that's (at least) as good as your product.

2. Retailing experts are any other experts. Sometimes they get it really wrong.

Read more ›
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By John Cassetta on April 18, 2006
Format: Hardcover
If you're into reading books on management practices and hope to get some ideas on how you may want to implement some of the Apple Ways into your world, this is probably not the book you want to pick up. I've always been intrigued by the way Apple has done things. They embody "cool" yet they've made a lot of mistakes along the way. And still, they live on and are reinventing themselves.

Apple is an innovative company and the spirit behind that shines through in this book. There isn't enough of the nitty gritty to make me fully endorse The Apple Way, but it is an enjoyable and interesting read.
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By Goodsq on September 12, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is probably one of the most comprehensive book on the history of Apple, among so many published. It illustrates a chaotic story of how Apple managed its past.

We all know Apple as one extremely managed, great quality product company, visionary leadership. But this book takes you to the journey where you see that Apple wasn't always like that. It has done blinders, management mishaps, extremely crazy decisions to come to an end of almost collapse.

This book also depicts the culture of Apple. It is very easy to see what remains consistent with Apple's DNA -- ability to innovate, social aspects of marketing, fanatical brand advocates is very much part of their culture. You cannot miss to read that Apple has been a passion, they did not know till very late how to make money. If you think, they often screw up on the "pricing part", that's there DNA too.

All in all a great book. There are many firms out there which believes that innovation is in their DNA, and that will be sure receipe. This book can inspire them with confidence, perseverance, and learn-by-doing.
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