You may love it or hate it, but you cannot deny that Apple has become a technology empire. And, as the tech giant's market cap hovers around $400 billion and the company threatens to overtake Exxon-Mobil as the most valuable company in the world, everybody must be wondering about what really goes on in Apple, about the corporate culture of the world's most secretive company. Perhaps Adam Lashinsky holds the the answer.
Having interviewed many many people who used to work for the Cupertino-based company, Adam Lashinsky, a journalist and writer, gives us a glimpse of what goes on inside Apple in his newly-published book entitled, Inside Apple: How America's Most Admired - and Secretive - Company Really Works.
Lashinsky spoke to Techcrunch, giving us all a sneak peek of what goes on in Apple.
According to Lashinsky, the tech giant is organized like a terrorist cell. Only selected top leaders such as Tim Cook and Scott Forstall are in a closed caste system, to run the company collectively.
The ordinary employees in Apple exclusively focus on doing their discrete job, ensuring no multitask is involved. As a result, Apple employees and their projects are pieces of a puzzle. The snapshot of the completed puzzle is known only at the highest reaches of the organization, the book reads.
Before discussing a topic on the meeting, one must ensure others in the room are already 'disclosed' on the topic, CNet reported.
If necessary, Apple even makes physical barriers to keep the employees separated. Especially when a new project launched, people not involved in the project, are kept in the dark.
Apple employees know something big is afoot when the carpenters appear in their office building. New walls are quickly erected. Doors are added and new security protocols put into place. Windows that once were transparent are now frosted. Other rooms have no windows at all, Lashinsky wrote. They are called lockdown rooms: No information goes in or out without a reason.
Even after work, Apple employees, who happen to hang out together, try to avoid work-related topics, lest they break the company's protocol.
Moreover, confrontation is regarded as a virtue rather than a vice in Apple. In the confrontational atmosphere, the employees are encouraged to be at each other's throats.
The company also teaches the staff that there's no free lunch in the world. Lashinksy told TechCrunch that there's “no free lunch” at Apple, both metaphorically and literally. The staff have to pay for their own food, unlike Google where food is free.
This book might lead some people to think that Apple is full of secrecy, thrives in a confrontational environment and is authoritarian in nature. Perhaps. But it cannot be denied that Apple is one of the most admired companies in the world and is on its way to become the most valuable company too.