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Inside Apple by Adam Lashinsky

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In INSIDE APPLE, Adam Lashinsky provides readers with an insight on leadership and innovation. He introduces Apple business concepts like the 'DRI' (Apple's practice of assigning a Directly Responsible Individual to every task) and the Top 100 (an annual event where that year's top 100 up-and-coming executives were surreptitiously transported to a secret retreat with company founder Steve Jobs). Based on numerous interviews, the book reveals exclusive new information about how Apple innovates, deals with its suppliers, and is handling the transition into the Post Jobs Era. While INSIDE APPLE provides a detailed investigation into the unique company, its lessons about leadership, product design and marketing are universal. INSIDE APPLE will appeal to anyone hoping to bring some of the Apple magic to their own company, career, or creative endeavour.

Reviews (7)
I would recommend reading the book "Start with Why" by Simon Sinek first before reading this book. This "Inside Apple" book actually says a lot about the HOW of Jobs and Apple, but very little of the WHY. As such, this is not a groundbreaking or revolutionary book. It is the WHY (the purpose or cause of Jobs and Apple) that this book fails to investigate. In other words, unless the WHY is fully understood, learning or imitating the HOW is not going to make a leader or a company as successful as Apple.

The first half of the book reads like a thrill novel, but the second half of the book reads like a thrill-deprived novel. This is how I would rate the book:
1) The first three chapters (Rethink Leadership, Embrace Secrecy, Focus Obsessively) all deserve 5 stars. They are good and insightful.
2) Fourth chapter (Stay Start-Up Hungry) gets a 4-star. I don't think everything described in this chapter is about how Apple keeps its start-up mentality.
3) Chapter 6 (Own Your Message) deserves 4 stars because it is just an extension of Apple's obsessive nature in controlling and rehearsing every detail.
4) Chapters 5 as well as 7 through 10 deserve 2 to 3 stars. They are boring and do not provide much insight.

The blemishes in this book do not distract from the excellent job done by this author in giving us the precious views of how Apple works inside -- albeit just the HOW and not the WHY. A worthwhile read -- could be better!

One very interesting point mentioned in this book: Jobs identified himself as an entrepreneur. (His death certificate listed "entrepreneur" as his occupation.) ... In that light, it's shocking that not one member of today's executive team is an entrepreneur.

This lack in the top management level is worrisome. I genuinely want Apple to continue to be insanely great! This BIG gap must be filled!
Apple really does 'Think Differently'! The very fabric of this iconic company, that now has a capitalization of $590.8 billion (soon to be trillion?) is that it's - contrarion.

This is a company that doesn't do things the old stodgy way. Think IBM.

As large as the company is, the author of 'Inside Apple', Adam Lashinsky, explains that it's been a single P&L company; not divided into divisions or consumed with committees. In Apple "only one executive 'owned' the P&L, and that was the chief financial officer." This afforded Steve Jobs and other executives the time to focus on what really mattered - building "insanely great" products.

Mr Lashinsky, a senior editor at large for Fortune magazine, also writes about a "powerful management tool" adopted by Apple - making some employees a 'directly responsible individual', or DRI, whose responsible for an assignment and can be "called on the carpet if something isn't done right."

In writing 'Inside Apple', the author states that "Apple declined to make any of its executives or other employees available for interviews." However, many former employees and people who have worked with the company offered some insights, both off and on the record for this book.

The big takeaway from reading the book is that Apple is all about it's people. Especially Steve Jobs, who set the stage and developed a start-up like culture that has secrecy, innovation, user-experience, and loyalty embedded in it's genes.

The people that Mr. Jobs hired and worked with were, and still are, A-typers. He is quoted as saying, "A players hire A players, and B players hire C players. We want only A players here."

Mr. Lashinsky, writes in a readable style, that's easy to comprehend, and he does provide us with a good insight into who's who at Apple, writing at length about Tim Cook, now the CEO. And, if you didn't realize how influential Eddy Cue is as "Apple's deal-making executive", after reading this book, you do.

There are other people in the Apple tree, like Scott Forstall, Phil Schiller, Bob Mansfield, Katie Cotton, but none more important than Jonathan Ive, Apple's product designer. The man who has worked closely with Steve Jobs, whose design sensibilities have helped catapult Apple to where it is today.

'Inside Apple' also enlightens us about Steve Jobs' eye for detail. And that seeking product perfectionism permeates through Apple's DNA. One of Jobs' top lieutenants, Scott Forstall, is described in the book as "a stickler for details... He keeps a jeweller's loupe in his office so he can look at every single pixel on every icon to make sure it's right."

Apple is known for it's secrecy. 'Inside Apple' adequately explains what this means and how it affects it's employees who are sworn to secrecy and rarely talk about work outside of the Cupertino campus. If they do, they are unceremoniously fired and lose their badges.

Very few people, apart from maybe Walter Isaacson, have been able to write a detailed, in-depth and honest assessment of Apple and it's co-founder. Mainly because the company works hard to maintain it's privacy and trade secrets. And for good reason. It doesn't want to be a blow-hard and disappoint it's customers. The pre-product release rumor hype actually helps build consumer interest in it's products, without busting it's marketing budget. And, of course, it doesn't want to give competition a leg up on what's in the works.

'Inside Apple' was published a few months after Steve Jobs passed away in October 2011. From that perspective, Mr Lashinsky speculates about Apples' post-Jobs era. Which is purely speculative, when it comes to a company that is full of surprises. Delighting it's customers with 'insanely great products'; always defying those who claim to know what Apple is going to do next.

ISBN: 1848547226

Rating: 4.1/5

Votes: 463

Other Formats: docx rtf txt doc

ISBN13: 978-1848547223

Publisher: John Murray Publishers (January 1, 2012)

Language: English

Subcategory: Biography & History

Pages: 240

Inside Apple
Business & Money
Author: Adam Lashinsky
Title: Inside Apple