Book Review: Inside Apple

Apple has always been a very secretive company. Sure, you know their products, but other than that, it’s a pretty closed off environment. Even their software is closed off to the general public, at a time when open source is all the rage.

Inside Apple is the first real glimpse into how Apple is run as a company that I have come across. Venture down the rabbit hole with the author as he takes you through the key pillars of Appledom – and consistently points out how opposite they are to conventional Wisdom.

These include Apple’s desire to Embrace Secrecy (very few people have any cross channel roles – jobs are very confined both vertically and horizontally), to focus obsessively, stay start-up hungry (which must be challenging as they are currently the world’s largest company by market cap), hire disciples, own your message, dominate foes and inspire imitators.

The great part is the author stays relatively neutral in the discussion – neither purporting that this is the right way to run a company, nor the wrong way – that is up to the reader to decide. As you work your way through this book you will get a much better insight into Apple as a company (behind its glitz and glam), the exclusivity among employees, the elitism, and the drive.

There isn’t much to review on this book, it is what it is. It’s a deep dive into Apple as a company. However, where I really found value in this book was reading Built to Last before. You get an appreciation for the fact that, although his methods might be counterintuitive, Steve Jobs actually did a lot of things that were in-line with the book, such as building a strong culture through stories (the famous Steve stories) and encouraging employees to socialize with other employees exclusively. I can honestly say that because of the prior reading, it was a totally different experience that any other corporate biography I have read before.

Apple is a very interesting company, with many disruptive and different management practices – ones that would be condemned if they existed in any company but Apple. The book is worth the read, if only just to better appreciate this maverick firm.

 

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