• Inside the Mysterious Culture of Cupertino

    Adam Lashinsky 's latest feature story in this month's Fortune magazine titled "Inside Apple" paints a picture of the Jobsonian Empire (flow chart above) the majority of us haven't been privy of till now.

    Lashinsky's uses a number of anecdotes as narrative force behind the piece. One of the more interesting stories involves an account of Jobs' reaction to the botched MobileMe rollout in 2008. MobileMe was supposed to offer continuous access to calendars, mail, and a number of synching options for iPhones and iPod touches via the web. The reality of the release was very un-Apple. Server follies and slow load times made the program all but unusable.

    Lord Jobs was not pleased. He summoned the entire MobileMe team for a meeting at the Cupertino-campus Town Hall. His big question to the MobileMe team, "Can anyone tell me what MobileMe is supposed to do?" After receiving a satisfactory answer, Jobs replied, "So why the f^&* doesn't it do that?"

    Jobs words didn't get any friendlier. Jobs told the MobileMe team they "should hate each other for having let each other down" and that they tarnished Apple's reputation. A reputation Jobs takes more serious than anyone in the company.

    The creative process at Apple is one of constantly preparing someone — be it one’s boss, one’s boss’s boss, or oneself — for a presentation to Jobs. He’s a corporate dictator who makes every critical decision — and oodles of seemingly noncritical calls too, from the design of the shuttle buses that ferry employees to and from San Francisco to what food will be served in the cafeteria.
    Premier Jobs has even hired the dean of Yale School of Management to run the "Apple University." This internal group features business professors writing a series of case studies. Their purpose? To prepare the Apple collective for life after Jobs. This ensures Jobs' unique vision for Apple is maintained. Top executives like Tim Cook are responsible for teaching these exclusive case studies to employees.

    Lashinsky goes into an incredible amount of detail, even venturing into the paranoia and disappointment employees face when Jobs announces who will attend the fabled Top 100. The Top 100 is a secret meeting Jobs holds annually for the companies top executives and employees at an undisclosed location. Being invited is akin to being selected as an All-American athlete, except its business, and Apple business specifically.

    The entire article is available on the iPad for $4.99 for an individual purchase or free with a current print subscription. I would definitely recommend it if you're at all interested in the mysterious inner-workings and culture of Apple.

    Source: Fortune
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