Adam Lashinsky, John Murray, App Store.
Comprehensive; details Apple’s business strategies and Steve Jobs
Many books have been written about Steve Jobs and the iconic brand and company he created. Inside Apple, as its title suggests, offers a comprehensive look at the secrets behind one of the world’s most famous addresses – no, not 90210 – 1 Infinite Loop.
“This book is an attempt to hack into Apple’s closed world and to decode its secret systems so that inspiring entrepreneurs, curious middle managers, envious rival inventions can understand the company’s process and customs,” author Adam Lashinsky writes.
Inside Apple investigates how Apple conducts business from marketing strategies to the design of its products, concluding that what the company sells is more than just technology, it’s a lifestyle.
Lashinsky looks at the working environment of Apple and the procedures it employs when a new product is under development, including restricted staff access and the hiring of carpenters tasked with the job of erecting walls within the facility – Apple calls these ‘lockdown rooms’.
MMany ex-employees interviewed for this book made it clear that Apple wasn’t a particularly nice environment in which to work. A commonly used expression at Apple reiterates the sentiment: Everybody at Apple wants out, and everybody outside Apple wants in.
The book also reports that Apple plays by its own rules when it comes to business. The company has the power to support or destroy other companies, giving it the upper hand on all counts, as Lashinskey writes in the chapter titled ‘Overwhelm Friends / Dominate Foes’. Apple decides when and how it will play with others, an attitude largely inspired by Steve Jobs.
While the book acknowledges that Jobs was a genius, it also reveals he was a notoriously difficult man to work with – a relentless micro- manager in every sense of the word. He signed off on every major and minor project at Apple and was known to be obsessive.
From the onset, Apple’s goal was never about making money; it was to make ‘really nice products’. “We are building products for ourselves,” Jobs once said.
The chapter ‘Hire Disciples’ explores the roles of Tim Cook, Jonathan Ive and Scott Forstall at Apple. The book also briefly touches on the other “loyal and able corps of lieutenants” Jobs had developed in his board.
Whether you’re an Apple fan or an aspiring entrepreneur, Inside Apple offers up some rare and interesting insights about the company and its business approach with Steve Jobs at the helm.