Just went through a very inspirational book about Apple. Book is titled “Inside Apple: How America’s Most Admired and Secretive Company Really Works”. That very analytical books was written by a Fortune magazine writer Adam Lashinsky. Wow, Apple (or at least Steve Jobs) certainly preferred doing things differently. So differently that it has been called the World’s Biggest Startup. But how can a company giant that has 72,800 employees be compared to a startup?
In 2010 a former Apple employee told this about the startup-like teamwork within the Apple…
“Apple doesn’t build large teams to work on every product they make. Instead, they hire very few, but very intelligent people who can work on different projects and move around as needed.”
The engineers on the Mac OS and iOS teams move back and forth between the two projects based on release cycles and what needs to ship next.
An engineer at Apple can’t just assume they will be working on one project forever. And teams at Apple won’t grow to sizes beyond what is absolutely necessary.”
Certainly Apple has done many things right. In 1997 the company almost went bankrupt – and now it is about the world’s most valuable company. Unfortunately it may not be easy to replicate Apple’s “magic sauce”. But at least one part of the “magic sauce” is the concept of “DRI”; which refers to Apple’s practice of assigning a “Directly Responsible Individual” to every single task.
On the other hand in some practices Apple operates directly in violation to the current paradigm that tells what’s the right thing to do. For example…
- Apple has never been famous for launching early – nor utilizing its “believers” as beta testers
- Apple is a very secretive company in all levels – products and practices are just not open… they are magical
Key points: Simplify, Simplify, Simplify…