"Designed by Apple in California" is Apple's Secret to Success

Appleis close-knit, in-house design and development of its products are two of the critical secrets to the companyis success, Peter Burrows writes in an online column for BusinessWeek.

In a day and age where companies outsource everything they can in the name of cost cutting, Appleis approach bucks that trend and helps the company deliver in areas that competitors cannot. Apple CEO Steve Jobs "argues that the cost-savings arenit worth what you give up in terms of teamwork, communication, and the ability to get groups of people working together to bring a new idea to life," Burrows wrote. The companyis vertical integration--controlling virtually all of both hardware and software design--also gives it a leg up in delivering innovative products that have consistently set the tone of the entire industry.

Added design guru Donald Norman, who left the company in 1997 around the time that Jobs returned, "If you follow my [guidelines], it will guarantee good design. But Steve Jobs doesnit want good design. He wants great design, and my method will never give you that. That takes a rare leader, who can bring both the cohesion and commitment and style. And Steve has it."