Apple Culture

  • Avatar

    Posted: 03 January 2012 12:20 PM

    Here is agreat must read article on how Apple operates.

    http://tech.fortune.cnn.com/2011/08/25/how-apple-works-inside-the-worlds-biggest-startup/

         
  • Avatar

    Posted: 03 January 2012 02:32 PM #1

    omacvi - 03 January 2012 04:20 PM

    Here is agreat must read article on how Apple operates.

    http://tech.fortune.cnn.com/2011/08/25/how-apple-works-inside-the-worlds-biggest-startup/

    “Apple also is a brutal and unforgiving place” I have a fellow family member, who as a senior process engineer worked for a supplier and designed and set up assembly lines for components in Apple laptops among others. The components were a patented proprietary design which Apple contracted to to use in their high-end laptops. As a result of that manufacturing relationship, my fellow family member now refuses to work with Apple. Later, her company refused to work with Apple because Apple is difficult to work with. Apple then contracted with a different company that copied the proprietary and patented component design and built it for them. The company my fellow family member worked for (owned by my next door neighbor’s brother) is (of course) suing everybody.

    Signature

    Black Swan Counter: 9 (Banks need money, Jobs needs a break, Geithner has no plan, Cuomo’s grandstanding, .Gov needs a hobby, GS works for money, flash crash, is that bubbling crude?).

    For those who look, a flash allows one to see farther.

         
  • Avatar

    Posted: 04 January 2012 12:01 PM #2

    Such rigidity—coupled with the threat of being called on the carpet by Jobs—would seem to make Apple an impossibly difficult workplace, yet recruiters say turnover at Apple is exceedingly low. “It is a happy place in that it has true believers,” says a headhunter who has worked extensively with Apple to hire engineers. “People join and stay because they believe in the mission of the company, even if they aren’t personally happy.” Many of Apple’s rank-and-file technical employees have dreamed of working at Apple since they got their first Macs as children. “At Apple you work on Apple products. If you’re a diehard Apple geek, it’s magical,” says Andrew Borovsky, the former designer. “But it’s also a really tough place to work.” In short, it is an environment that shuns coddling. “Apple’s attitude is, ‘You have the privilege of working for the company that’s making the fucking coolest products in the world,’ ” says one former product management executive. ” ‘Shut up and do your job, and you might get to stay.’ “

    This too me is one very telling fact about Apple.  They will hire people who are passionate, smart and willing to put up with some level of crap.  There are enough of them that stick around to make Apple a very succesfull innovator.

    My friend interviewed with them as a mechanical engineer after several of his friends from Flextronics went to Apple and tried to get him to join them.

    I always thought he turned down the job, but I found out he was never offered one after the interview.  He ended up telling Apple he is a PC guy and not too excited about what Apple was doing.  Obvioiusly they don’t want that opinion in the work place.  I think they made the right move.

    Just last month he tried to argue with me and say that the 4S was not that great and that only fanatical customers and marketing makes it a best seller.

    SJ was a SOB but people still put up with him.  I think TC and others will carry that magic that SJ created but they don’t need to be SOB’s as well.  SJ has a rigid personality and was a control freek. I don’t think that is needed now and the way the company functions moving forward with the things he established will continue to make it a success.

         
  • Avatar

    Posted: 04 January 2012 11:20 PM #3

    A good portion of my day job is running our company’s version of “Apple University”. We consider ourselves the corporate culture keepers. Not too many SOB’s where I work, really a great supportive team. But every single one of our actions is derived from a core set of principles backed by rich and compelling stories. We reflect that goodness throughout our organization with daily significant and global impact. Building a corporate culture *by design* is hard, and you must be able to ruthlessly say no and also put up with a great deal of bureaucratic BS. However, doing it this way is much more effective than accepting a culture “by default”. Mediocrity is easy. That’s not what we’re paid for.

    Signature

    Use your powers for good.

         
  • Avatar

    Posted: 05 January 2012 11:25 AM #4

    One disadvantage of a workplace where everyone is always on edge is that sensitive, yet creative people cannot or will not put up with it.  Woz, with all his brilliance in creating the early Apple products, might not have been hired?or retained?at the Apple of late, and that would be sad.  Corporate Darwinism of the Steve Jobs type excludes whole groups of workers who might have incredibly huge potential contributions to a company.

    I am reading THE autobiography now, and I’m constantly reminded that Steve Jobs was often a complete jerk?a narcissistic personality who belittled people and took personal credit for the work of others.  It worked for Apple and APPL during the reign of the great one, and I am grateful for the gains in my personal wealth as a result; but I have a very difficult time reconciling that with the way Jobs treated people over the years. I’m about 2/3 of the way through the book, so perhaps I’ll find that Jobs mellowed once he faced his own mortality.

         
  • Posted: 05 January 2012 12:49 PM #5

    omacvi - 03 January 2012 04:20 PM

    Here is agreat must read article on how Apple operates.

    http://tech.fortune.cnn.com/2011/08/25/how-apple-works-inside-the-worlds-biggest-startup/


    Thanks for the reminder. Read this some time ago. Firestorm’s comments about SJ’s bio are similar to my wife’s, who is currently reading it on her iPad. It also reminds me that I yet to read it, although it’s on my iPad, as well.

    From my read of Lashinsky’s piece, Apple’s minimalist hardware (and software) designs reflect the company’s core philosophy, organisation and operating procedures - in a word - its corporate culture. I would continue to look at those designs as a reflection of the company’s cultural, philosophical and operational state, as well as its prognosis for continued success.

    Signature

    wab95

         
  • Avatar

    Posted: 05 January 2012 01:57 PM #6

    firestorm and wab95,

    I find the book focussed too much on his negative side at the personal level.  He has many good sides e.g. that raise by Tony Fadell.

    Signature

    Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.  - Steve Jobs

         
  • Avatar

    Posted: 05 January 2012 02:08 PM #7

    Mace:  I agree that it is too negative.  I would like to see a more in-depth case study of how a given product came into fruition; this book seems like a superficial review of a life.

         
  • Avatar

    Posted: 05 January 2012 02:56 PM #8

    firestorm - 05 January 2012 03:25 PM

    Corporate Darwinism of the Steve Jobs type excludes whole groups of workers who might have incredibly huge potential contributions to a company.

    Sure, SJ’s style turned some off and sent some packing, voluntarily or otherwise.

    And all those exclusions remain inextricably wrapped up in everything that’s built Apple from 1995-2011. Whatever “potential contributions” others MIGHT have made under a kinder, gentler SJ, it’s impossible to know whether they’d have brought Apple to any substantially better place than where they now are. I tend to doubt it.

         
  • Avatar

    Posted: 05 January 2012 03:00 PM #9

    cbsofla - 05 January 2012 06:56 PM
    firestorm - 05 January 2012 03:25 PM

    Corporate Darwinism of the Steve Jobs type excludes whole groups of workers who might have incredibly huge potential contributions to a company.

    Sure, SJ’s style turned some off and sent some packing, voluntarily or otherwise.

    And all those exclusions remain inextricably wrapped up in everything that’s built Apple from 1995-2011. Whatever “potential contributions” others MIGHT have made under a kinder, gentler SJ, it’s impossible to know whether they’d have brought Apple to any substantially better place than where they now are. I tend to doubt it.

    You may be right, and probably are.  I’m just glad that I could make money by investing in APPL rather than working at Apple.

         
  • Avatar

    Posted: 05 January 2012 03:45 PM #10

    firestorm - 05 January 2012 07:00 PM

    I’m just glad that I could make money by investing in APPL rather than working at Apple.

    Glad to have invested in AAPL since 1997.  However, it is with much regrets that I couldn’t work in Apple.

    Signature

    Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.  - Steve Jobs

         
  • Posted: 05 January 2012 04:08 PM #11

    firestorm - 05 January 2012 03:25 PM

    One disadvantage of a workplace where everyone is always on edge is that sensitive, yet creative people cannot or will not put up with it.  Woz, with all his brilliance in creating the early Apple products, might not have been hired?or retained?at the Apple of late, and that would be sad.  Corporate Darwinism of the Steve Jobs type excludes whole groups of workers who might have incredibly huge potential contributions to a company.

    I am reading THE autobiography now, and I’m constantly reminded that Steve Jobs was often a complete jerk?a narcissistic personality who belittled people and took personal credit for the work of others.  It worked for Apple and APPL during the reign of the great one, and I am grateful for the gains in my personal wealth as a result; but I have a very difficult time reconciling that with the way Jobs treated people over the years. I’m about 2/3 of the way through the book, so perhaps I’ll find that Jobs mellowed once he faced his own mortality.

    I find Isaacson’s portrayal of Jobs’ early life so negative that I begin to doubt his credibility.  I am about 20% through the book and so far what I see is incompatible with the kind of success SJ and Apple have achieved.  I may not finish the book.

         
  • Avatar

    Posted: 05 January 2012 04:13 PM #12

    I just read the best parts for now.

    SJ is undoubtedly a mercurial personality even as he mellowed…somewhat…with age.

    I read selectively so I was somehow able to avoid most of the torrent of criticism from Apple’s detractors, etc. 

    Despite the book’s “flaws” (the book wasn’t what many of us thought it would or could be), there’s still a lot of good material in there which provides valuable insight into Steve, if not every detail of his business processes.  Maybe he didn’t pick the best biographer for the general public’s purposes, but I would never have gotten this insight otherwise.

    Signature

    The Summer of AAPL is here.  Enjoy it (responsibly) while it lasts.
    AFB Night Owl Teamâ„¢
    Thanks, Steve.

         
  • Avatar

    Posted: 05 January 2012 04:55 PM #13

    firestorm - 05 January 2012 06:08 PM

    Mace:  I agree that it is too negative.  I would like to see a more in-depth case study of how a given product came into fruition; this book seems like a superficial review of a life.

    After reading the book and then this article, it is becoming more clear to me that the Apple Culture is mysterious at best.

    There is real Magic in this company that SJ started and no reporter or WS pundit has been able to figure it out.

    Despite the amazing access Isaacson?s got in spending time with SJ and visiting Cupertino, he never managed to really explain how Apple developed the best products in the world.  He focused in issues after they came out and how the team dealt with them.  However SJ managed to keep away from the world the true Apple Magic.

    The idea that Johnny Ive has a room and everything happens there is hogwash.  Why would Apple allow the world to see that room and understand how the Magic is created.

    There is more to this company then the rigid and sometimes crazy personality of its founder.

    Proof is not in words but rather the amount of products they have been able to sell to world when the world could have bought less expensive alternatives.

    This company is made up of thousands of employees and managers who understand that success takes place when the consumers is pleased beyond their wildest dreams.  Creating those products requires sacrifice and hard work with a few battered souls along the way.

         
  • Avatar

    Posted: 05 January 2012 10:42 PM #14

    I never met SJ though I was there though the roughest years and when he returned (90-03). I did have the opportunity to work with JIve and his group. They were the kings and right next to SJ they could almost do no wrong. Jony was great to work with, easy going but focused. While the sw and hw groups did their thing Industrial Design was the place to be. It was a fortress and only the elite or in my case a need to know could enter. For the most part they were cool guys but with an attitude. They were also very good at what they did. They also had all the toys including their own machine shop, and espresso machine.

    I however never felt that I was in a sweat shop. From that point I guess I drank the Apple Kool-aid too as I enjoyed being there. There was this aura of wow, I work at Apple. In the end it was immediate management that did me in but for the most part I can say I lived the dream.

    JB

    Signature

    LOL  :evil:  :-D

         
  • Avatar

    Posted: 05 January 2012 10:54 PM #15

    JUB58 - 06 January 2012 02:42 AM

    I never met SJ though I was there though the roughest years and when he returned (90-03). I did have the opportunity to work with JIve and his group. They were the kings and right next to SJ they could almost do no wrong. Jony was great to work with, easy going but focused. While the sw and hw groups did their thing Industrial Design was the place to be. It was a fortress and only the elite or in my case a need to know could enter. For the most part they were cool guys but with an attitude. They were also very good at what they did. They also had all the toys including their own machine shop, and espresso machine.

    I however never felt that I was in a sweat shop. From that point I guess I drank the Apple Kool-aid too as I enjoyed being there. There was this aura of wow, I work at Apple. In the end it was immediate management that did me in but for the most part I can say I lived the dream.

    JB

    thanx for your input.

    My friend said that Apple likes to hire young grads.  Most are in awe about the fact that they work for Apple.  Many will sacrifice long ours to show their bosses how dedicated they are.  Their intention is to build a resume that will help them go to the next level. 

    However if this article is correct, the turnover at Apple is not that high, so it appears many good people stick around.  Just like any large organization you will have issues between managers and other employees.  This does result of people moving on.

    Turnover may be hard to measure since they have doubled their ranks in the last 10 years.