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Inside Apple: How America's Most Admired--and Secretive--Company Really Works Paperback – May 7, 2013
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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
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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"Inside Apple" is the forward looking version. It takes the cover off of Apple the company and the organization to look at how and where Apple goes against the accepted practices that are taught in business schools. Besides being very illuminating on Apple itself, it's also just a very refreshing business book that shows how you can succeed--and on an enormous scale--by going against the accepted wisdom of the crowd.
I'd recommend this book as not just an Apple-focused book, but as a business textbook as well. Because Apple just thinks different (pun intended).
As a founder of several technology startups, I am finding this to be GREAT in terms of insight into what Jobs did and how he structured Apple for success. This short book says far more of use to me in 200 pages (and likely you if you have any influence at your company) than the mostly useless 600 page Isaacson Bio. I read the other and grew to really dislike it as an incredible lost opportunity... you can read that review over there if you care to.. but don't waste too much time with that! If you're a Technology person, get right down to this one.
I found its primary value to be that it highlights the many ways in which Jobs structured Apple to function. Often Jobs approach and technique is counter to "Standard" B-School practices and conventional thinking on running companies, but they make a lot of sense. It does not take a lot of time to explain them but will likely take a while to implement and find your own way. And clearly the Jobs approach is not hurting Apple any.
So, all I really have to say is if your running a company or starting one, GET THIS, READ THIS, and start trying to work it out your own approach and implementation of the many useful hints found here.
This is a company that doesn't do things the old stodgy way. Think IBM.
As large as the company is, the author of 'Inside Apple', Adam Lashinsky, explains that it's been a single P&L company; not divided into divisions or consumed with committees. In Apple "only one executive 'owned' the P&L, and that was the chief financial officer." This afforded Steve Jobs and other executives the time to focus on what really mattered - building "insanely great" products.
Mr Lashinsky, a senior editor at large for Fortune magazine, also writes about a "powerful management tool" adopted by Apple - making some employees a 'directly responsible individual', or DRI, whose responsible for an assignment and can be "called on the carpet if something isn't done right."
In writing 'Inside Apple', the author states that "Apple declined to make any of its executives or other employees available for interviews." However, many former employees and people who have worked with the company offered some insights, both off and on the record for this book.
The big takeaway from reading the book is that Apple is all about it's people. Especially Steve Jobs, who set the stage and developed a start-up like culture that has secrecy, innovation, user-experience, and loyalty embedded in it's genes.
The people that Mr. Jobs hired and worked with were, and still are, A-typers. He is quoted as saying, "A players hire A players, and B players hire C players. We want only A players here."
Mr. Lashinsky, writes in a readable style, that's easy to comprehend, and he does provide us with a good insight into who's who at Apple, writing at length about Tim Cook, now the CEO. And, if you didn't realize how influential Eddy Cue is as "Apple's deal-making executive", after reading this book, you do.
There are other people in the Apple tree, like Scott Forstall, Phil Schiller, Bob Mansfield, Katie Cotton, but none more important than Jonathan Ive, Apple's product designer. The man who has worked closely with Steve Jobs, whose design sensibilities have helped catapult Apple to where it is today.
'Inside Apple' also enlightens us about Steve Jobs' eye for detail. And that seeking product perfectionism permeates through Apple's DNA. One of Jobs' top lieutenants, Scott Forstall, is described in the book as "a stickler for details... He keeps a jeweller's loupe in his office so he can look at every single pixel on every icon to make sure it's right."
Apple is known for it's secrecy. 'Inside Apple' adequately explains what this means and how it affects it's employees who are sworn to secrecy and rarely talk about work outside of the Cupertino campus. If they do, they are unceremoniously fired and lose their badges.
Very few people, apart from maybe Walter Isaacson, have been able to write a detailed, in-depth and honest assessment of Apple and it's co-founder. Mainly because the company works hard to maintain it's privacy and trade secrets. And for good reason. It doesn't want to be a blow-hard and disappoint it's customers. The pre-product release rumor hype actually helps build consumer interest in it's products, without busting it's marketing budget. And, of course, it doesn't want to give competition a leg up on what's in the works.
'Inside Apple' was published a few months after Steve Jobs passed away in October 2011. From that perspective, Mr Lashinsky speculates about Apples' post-Jobs era. Which is purely speculative, when it comes to a company that is full of surprises. Delighting it's customers with 'insanely great products'; always defying those who claim to know what Apple is going to do next.
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For example, he states the Jobs “quit in disgust” in 1985 when it’s well documented that he was fired.