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Inside Apple: How America's Most Admired--And Secretive--Company Really Works Mass Market Paperback – 10 Oct 2012

4.4 out of 5 stars 18 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Business Plus; Reprint edition (10 Oct. 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1455523488
  • ISBN-13: 978-1455523481
  • Product Dimensions: 11.2 x 2 x 17.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 542,231 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

'Adam Lashinsky's snappily written slim volume succeeds in getting behind the veil of secrecy that cloaks Apple, painting a portrait of a company in transition to a post-Jobs era' (Irish Times)

'Fascinating, entertaining, accessible...doesn't carry a single dull sentence' (Wired)

'Lashinsky keeps the reader engaged with fly-on-the-wall tidbits that give the narrative an almost filmic quality' (Time Out) --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

Book Description

How the world's most famous company works. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
If for whatever reasons you have not as yet -- and will not -- read Walter Isaacson's biography of Steve Jobs, this would be an excellent source for information about the internal operations of a company he founded and headed for much of its history thus far, one that now continues without him. Credit Adam Lashinsky with providing a rigorous, comprehensive, balanced, and insightful examination of an organization and a culture unlike any other.

Here is Dallas, there is a farmers market near downtown at which several merchants offer slices of fresh fruit as samples. In that spirit, I now offer a representative selection of brief passages that caught my eye.

According to Michael Maccoby, Steve Jobs was a "productive narcissist," as were all the other greats of business history..."visionary risk takers with a burning desire to `change the world.'"

Lashinsky adds, "Corporate narcissists are charismatic leaders willing to do whatever it takes to win and who couldn't give a fig about being liked. Steve Jobs was the textbook example of a productive narcissist." (Both excerpts from Page 18)

Lashinsky on working at Apple when Jobs was its CEO: "To succeed in a company where there is obsessive focus on detail and paranoid guarding of secrets, and where employees are asked to work in a state of permanent start-up, you must be willing to mesh your talents with those of the corporation. You have to forgo your desire to be acknowledged by the outside world and instead derive satisfaction from being a cell in an organism that is changing the world.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I enjoyed the book and learnt a few things about Job's Apple I didn't know. The thrust of the book is mostly can Apple survive without Jobs, but the book also gives a vivid description of the environment prevalent at Apple for those who work there and for those who try to probe into Apple's secrets. The degree of compartmentalisation and 'need to know' for Apple employees is quite staggering and also Job's perverse nature is covered at some length. Basically, Jobs was a bully and thus Apple as a company was a bully who never took prisoners, but there were a few who Jobs treated well, those who he obviously respected and needed.
I used Macs for about 7 years, but migrated to the PC just before 2000- in my view PCs are as 'good' if not much better than Macs- a very good book about Jobs, which he did not like is the book 'Icon'. The word 'icon' can be taken to have two meanings as in the widely used phrase relating to Jobs, 'distorted reality field'... In my view Apple inevitably will run out of products to inovate and certainly without Jobs the company will gradually fade. Jobs was an extremely unique character, a man of his time, at the right time, on the edge of a new technology, a time probably never to be equalled again, especially as we are witnessing a decline in prosperity of the general population.
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Format: Paperback
'Inside Apple' is not an insider's view. It doesn't really present much novelty. It talks a lot about secrecy without telling any secrets. If you read the biography of Steve Jobs you will get much more information, much more insights into how Apple works.

'How America's most admired and secretive company really works' is not explained in this book. That's the broken promise to me, the frustrated reader.

Given that, it still gets 3 stars: good reading, good structure. It will be interesting for those that did not read the biography of the great man. I can only guess the anger, perhaps even the sadness of the author when the biography came out. After all, unlike Walter Isaacson, Lashinsky did not have privileged access to Steve Jobs, his family, friends, enemies and colleagues. It's really an unfair, uneven comparison, but as a reader, this book broke the contract with me - it is a shallow approach to Apple, not the inside view.

Potential spoiler: Perhaps the only real novelty is that working for Apple is not that appealing after all...
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Adam Lashinsky's book "Inside Apple" is a well written, researched and 'illuminating' portrait of Steve Jobs, an obsessive control freak, surely unrivaled in the annuls of 'those-that-must-be obeyed'.

The book covers the period after his rejoining Apple as CEO in 1997 after being ousted in 1985 and carefully, bit-by-bit details the complete and totality of the company's operations, over which Steve Jobs stamped with an iron hand his will, and decisions, not just over the final result of each departments input/output but over every single interim step. His management style was a mixture of zealous inspiration through to awe, bordering on fear. Employee's were kept completely in the dark on new products or developments and their access strictly restricted to only the parts of the Apple Campus relating to something they were working on. The Cupertino HQ could not have been a joyous or morale building environment, just a place to keep your head down and fastidiously obey the instructions and visions harbored by the highly 'explosive' Mr Jobs.

But, what the hell, this mans foresight, and ambitions saved Apple from ruin and turned it into a phenomenally successful company both in terms of profits and revolutionary product designs, so his management style was, obviously highly effective. However, it remains to be seen whether those having to run Apple after Mr Job's death, such as new CEO Tim Cook were given sufficient real responsibility and the freedom to develop their own talents, to move Apple onwards and upwards. The jury is out and only time will tell.

An interesting read.
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