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Inside Apple: How America's Most Admired--and Secretive--Company Really Works Hardcover – January 25, 2012
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Adam Lashinsky, one of America's best and most diligent technology reporters, has produced a fascinating glimpse inside Apple as it makes its transition into the post-Jobs era. It's filled with colorful reporting and smart analysis that offer lessons not just about Apple but about creative business leadership in general. (Walter Isaacson, author of Steve Jobs)
Frankly, a business book hasn't grabbed me like that in a long-time.
(Bob Sutton, author of Good Boss, Bad Boss and The No Asshole Rule.)
I'm not a heavy reader. It's extremely rare that I'll read a book in one sitting. This one kept me hooked start to finish - I could not put it down. (John Tokash, co-founder at Kartoffl.ly)
Apple, Inc. could teach the Chinese a few tricks about secrecy. In this crisply written, engrossing book, Adam Lashinsky lifts the veil on how Apple really works and why it has been such as astonishing success. That is yesterday. What this book also does is explore tomorrow, including the challenges confronting a gifted group of executives trained by Steve Jobs but bereft of his leadership. I devoured this book in one sitting. (Ken Auletta, columnist for The New Yorker and the author of Googled: The End of the World As We Know It)
Much more than Isaacson's, this is the one I've been waiting to read. (John Lilly, Partner at Greylock, former CEO at Mozilla.)
Lashinsky's book, then, is an important rebuttal of today's Silicon Valley orthodoxy that a successful 21st century company needs to be organizationally flat and open. Lashinksy may indeed be telling a truth that most of us don't want to hear. Apple, rather than Google, is the future of corporate America. And that future will be defined by secrets and lies, rather than by transparency and truth.
This book's real strength - besides lots of insight from people who knew and worked with Jobs, Cook and the rest of the executive team - is the way it frames different scenarios that could result from Apple sans Jobs... You get the feeling when reading this that people inside the company will be just as keen to pick up a copy as those of us on the outside. (Erica Ogg, GigaOm)
"Inside Apple" makes a worthwhile companion to last year's best-selling "Steve Jobs," by Walter Isaacson. If Isaacson's book was the definitive biography of Apple's chief visionary, who died in October, then "Inside Apple" is a revealing guided tour of his greatest creation." (San Francisco Chronicle)
Essential reading for anyone interested in management... (Steve Dennings, Forbes.com)
If you're a real Apple fan, I'd recommend that you pick a weekend to read this because once you pick it up, you won't be able to put it down. Much of that has to do with Adam Lashinsky's skilled research, interviewing and writing skills that make you feel like you are really part of the action (Business Insider)
About the Author
Lashinsky is a Senior Editor At Large for Fortune Magazine, where he covers technology and finance. He is also a Fox News contributor and frequent speaker and moderator. Prior to joining Fortune, Lashinsky was a columnist for TheStreet.com and the San Jose Mercury News. He lives in San Francisco with his wife and daughter.
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Top Customer Reviews
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.
Now, that's not to say it's a bad read, by any means. Mr. Lashinsky has compiled a commendable briefing on the basics of how Apple operates. He has also added a great deal of analysis and varied opinions, which raise some valid concerns. However, if you have read just about any of the books previously written on Apple/Jobs, you've unquestionably encountered the same stories, concepts, and "inside" information before. What you really have here is a summary of key points from all that has been written about the subject before.
So, a good read, if you want a quick run through of the basic ideology, with some critical analysis thrown in. Just don't expect to find anything particularly new or shocking.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Adam had been writing about Steve and pale for a while and this definitely is a...Read more