Friday, July 27, 2012

What Steve Jobs Did Not Want You to Know about Apple

(Pic from Betanews)

Stanford’s Entrepreneurship Corner series has another great podcast featuring Adam Lashinsky, Senior Editor-at-large, Fortune Magazine.

Here's Stanford's summary for this podcast:

Adam Lashinsky, Fortune senior editor-at-large, shares an insider look at Apple, one of the world's most iconic and secretive companies. Based on his research into the technology giant's internal processes and approaches to leadership and building products, Lashinsky offers insights and surprises from his book, Inside Apple: How America's Most Admired--and Secretive--Company Really Works.

Highlights (in our view):

* "Your Business is None of My Business"

- Even employees who worked on one part of the product get to see the final product only when it's released to the world.

- Results in effectively NO Politics in the company - after all, if you don't know what I'm doing, how can you politic about me?
- Very unlike Google (which offers free food so that employees can mingle in the cafeteria).

* The Benefits of being Secretive (with consumers before launching a new product or a new version) or
Why Apple will say NO to rumours about New Product Launches (like the Apple TV) "until it is ready to say Yes"

- Provides the opportunity to Delight Customers
- Consumers will stop buying the current product/version if they know a new version is coming out soon
- The Story about a company should be about its products

* Say NO to New Projects - Take Big Bets, But Few Bets

- Apple has launched 5-6 products in the last 15 years (Very unlike Google again)

* Spend Right

- For a 30 Second Movie Ad Clip for a product, the company spent millions to get the commercial Just Right

* Culture of Work (Not Play)

- People crave to work for Apple not for the pay and perks, but to do better work and feel privileged for it.
- It's not clear if Google's success is correlated to its being so employee friendly (in terms of free food and other perks).

* Headquarters Centric Company

- Everyone Important in the Company is based in Cupertino - so that they can have Face to face meetings!

* No fiefdoms - 1 P&L, 1 Ad Budget

* Working in small teams preserves startup culture

* Obsession over details leads to excellence
Jobs is famous for checking the screws on the INSIDE of the mac.

* Ignore Customer Research - Before a Product is Launched 
- Because "They don't know what's possible"

Listen to the audio from here (mp3) - 57:31 Minutes, 26.5 MB.
(Use Right Click > Save As to download to your desktop)

PS: In his Death Certificate, Steve Jobs's family entered "Entrepreneur" for Occupation. Wow!