Tuesday, September 17, 2013

INSIDE APPLE by Adam Lashinsky

INSIDE APPLE attempts to decipher the highly secret management strategies which made Steve Jobs' company the biggest in the world. For those looking for Apple's magic to rub off on them, the formula reveals both Apple's storytelling and hubris---a mix of innovation, iconic design, and obsessive control. Apple was never a fun place to work, but its goal was (and in ways still is) to change the world while keeping a tight lid on how. It is odd that Jobs pursued his goals with a religious fanatism and a fervency to defeat all rivals in order to gain ground on the gridiron of Silicon Valley competition, even while dismissing traditional, non-productive sports like baseball and football as a waste of time. Like Bill Gates, he had his own entrepreneurial games to play, and was not averse to creating new rules as he went along. But can the company continue to thrive and innovate without Jobs, who vetted all products? This is one big question the author asks while examining the life cycle of large companies and comparing the usual trajectory with that of Apple. Tim Cook may be able to bring a kinder, more spreadsheet friendly aspect, but how much "secret sauce" is left, and what happens if it runs out? Author Adam Lashinsky, an editor at Fortune, also narrates. 

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