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Inside Apple: How America's Most Admired--and Secretive--Company Really Works [Hardcover]

Adam Lashinsky
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Jan. 22 2012
INSIDE APPLE reveals the secret systems, tactics and leadership strategies that allowed Steve Jobs and his company to churn out hit after hit and inspire a cult-like following for its products.

If Apple is Silicon Valley's answer to Willy Wonka's Chocolate Factory, then author Adam Lashinsky provides readers with a golden ticket to step inside. In this primer on leadership and innovation, the author will introduce readers to concepts like the "DRI" (Apple's practice of assigning a Directly Responsible Individual to every task) and the Top 100 (an annual ritual in which 100 up-and-coming executives are tapped a la Skull & Bones for a secret retreat with company founder Steve Jobs).

Based on numerous interviews, the book offers exclusive new information about how Apple innovates, deals with its suppliers and is handling the transition into the Post Jobs Era. Lashinsky, a Senior Editor at Large for Fortune, knows the subject cold: In a 2008 cover story for the magazine entitled The Genius Behind Steve: Could Operations Whiz Tim Cook Run The Company Someday he predicted that Tim Cook, then an unknown, would eventually succeed Steve Jobs as CEO.

While Inside Apple is ostensibly a deep dive into one, unique company (and its ecosystem of suppliers, investors, employees and competitors), the lessons about Jobs, leadership, product design and marketing are universal. They should appeal to anyone hoping to bring some of that Apple magic to their own company, career, or creative endeavor.



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Review

Adam Lashinsky, one of America's best and most diligent technology reporters, has produced a fascinating glimpse inside Apple as it makes its transition into the post-Jobs era. It's filled with colorful reporting and smart analysis that offer lessons not just about Apple but about creative business leadership in general.
--Walter Isaacson, author of Steve Jobs


Frankly, a business book hasn't grabbed me like that in a long-time.
--Bob Sutton, author of Good Boss, Bad Boss and The No Asshole Rule.


I'm not a heavy reader. It's extremely rare that I'll read a book in one sitting. This one kept me hooked start to finish - I could not put it down.
--John Tokash, co-founder at Kartoffl.ly


Apple, Inc. could teach the Chinese a few tricks about secrecy. In this crisply written, engrossing book, Adam Lashinsky lifts the veil on how Apple really works and why it has been such as astonishing success. That is yesterday. What this book also does is explore tomorrow, including the challenges confronting a gifted group of executives trained by Steve Jobs but bereft of his leadership. I devoured this book in one sitting.
-- Ken Auletta, columnist for The New Yorker and the author of Googled: The End of the World As We Know It


Much more than Isaacson's, this is the one I've been waiting to read.
--John Lilly, Partner at Greylock, former CEO at Mozilla.

Lashinsky's book, then, is an important rebuttal of today's Silicon Valley orthodoxy that a successful 21st century company needs to be organizationally flat and open. Lashinksy may indeed be telling a truth that most of us don't want to hear. Apple, rather than Google, is the future of corporate America. And that future will be defined by secrets and lies, rather than by transparency and truth.
-- TechCrunch



This book's real strength - besides lots of insight from people who knew and worked with Jobs, Cook and the rest of the executive team - is the way it frames different scenarios that could result from Apple sans Jobs... You get the feeling when reading this that people inside the company will be just as keen to pick up a copy as those of us on the outside.
--Erica Ogg, GigaOm

"Inside Apple" makes a worthwhile companion to last year's best-selling "Steve Jobs," by Walter Isaacson. If Isaacson's book was the definitive biography of Apple's chief visionary, who died in October, then "Inside Apple" is a revealing guided tour of his greatest creation."
-- San Francisco Chronicle

Essential reading for anyone interested in management...
-- Steve Dennings, Forbes.com

If you're a real Apple fan, I'd recommend that you pick a weekend to read this because once you pick it up, you won't be able to put it down. Much of that has to do with Adam Lashinsky's skilled research, interviewing and writing skills that make you feel like you are really part of the action
-- Business Insider


A profound portrait of Apple and Jobs.
-Michael Maccoby, author, Narcissistic Leaders: Who Succeeds and Who Fails


Mr. Lashinsky's book is about the company's maniacal emphasis on secrecy, its management practices and other pieces of the blueprint that make Apple successful.
-Nick Wingfield, The New York Times



Inside Apple takes a peeler to the company, going beyond the legacy of Steve Jobs to analyze how a company with constantly moving walls and changing security checkpoints turned into a powerhouse for consumer technology innovation.
-Emi Kolawole, The Washington Post

A truly investigative work -- given the title -- worthy of any Kremlin watcher during the Cold War.
-Brian Tolle, Huffington Post


Lashinsky's account rings true in its analysis of how Apple has been willfully oblivious to current management orthodoxies.
-Richard Waters, Financial Times

This is a remarkable insider peak into one of this country's most secretive companies.
-Larry Cox, The Tucson Citizen



Lashinsky paints a fascinating picture of an organization headed by a charismatic, but dominating, leader.
-Morgan O'Rourke, Risk Management magazine

Inside Apple is the most important Apple book since Walter Isaacson's Steve Jobs. It is, in many ways, the perfect companion to the Jobs biography.
-Philip Elmer-DeWitt, Fortune.com

If you're a real Apple fan, I'd recommend that you pick a weekend to read this because once you pick it up, you won't be able to put it down. Much of that has to do with Adam Lashinsky's skilled research, interviewing and writing skills that make you feel like you are really part of the action.
-Ivana Taylor, Small Business Trends



An intriguing look into the inner workings at Apple while examining the management and product development strategies they've implemented to create numerous game-changing devices.
-Yoni Heisler, Network World



Lashinsky penetrates the legend of Steve Jobs and his company and breaks down the building blocks that make it all work.
-Dennis McCafferty, CIO Insight

Though the book will appeal to Apple fans wanting juicy details about Apple's corporate culture, Inside Apple is also meant to be a guide for business leaders looking to draw some leadership advice from a team many believe is the best in the business.
-Kelly Hodgkins, TUAW, The Unofficial Apple Weblog

If you haven't read Adam Lashinsky's awesome new book about Apple, you should. It takes on many of the lessons MBA programs and Corporate America have been teaching about business for the past 50+ years and questions whether lessons from Apple might be more applicable in thinking about the future.
-Mark Suster, venture capitalist, GRP Partners

Lashinsky takes us inside the walled garden at Apple's corporate headquarters compound, at One Infinite Loop, Cupertino, Calif., partially lifting the Kremlin-esque secrecy that shrouds the enigmatic company.
-Mark Veverka, Barron's

About the Author

Lashinsky is a Senior Editor At Large for Fortune Magazine, where he covers technology and finance. He is also a Fox News contributor and frequent speaker and moderator. Prior to joining Fortune, Lashinsky was a columnist for TheStreet.com and the San Jose Mercury News. He lives in San Francisco with his wife and daughter.

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Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover
There's no end to Apple junkies curiosity toward the company. The usual Apple books used to focus on Steve Jobs persona and legacy. This one takes us a step further into Cupertino's head office. Adam Lashinsky leads us into the mechanics of Apple secretive internal affairs. This is the farthest the general public can peek inside Apple without getting nailed by security guards.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Exceptionally Informative and Readable June 16 2013
By Dr. Bojan Tunguz TOP 50 REVIEWER
Format:Hardcover
As a longtime fan of Apple’s products, I’ve read a lot about this iconic company over the years. Apple’s willingness to break with the traditions is legendary, and it’s this revolutionary aspect of its products that has earned it the iconoclastic reputation that it has. Most of this revolutionary zeal, and Apple’s overall approach to business, was, of course, based in the particular vision of Steve Jobs, its founder and the CEO during some of the company’s most successful days. My own understanding of Apple’s esthetic and business approach was too based on numerous articles and books on Steve Jobs that I’ve read over the years. However, with his passing, the questions of how well will the company be able to carry on with his legacy and success will persist for some time. In order to better understand what is at stake, it’s important to take a closer look at the Apple itself, going beyond the man that was synonymous with it for many decades of its existence.

“Inside Apple” is a book that, as the title suggests, pulls the curtain ever so slightly away from Apple’s recondite inner workings and exposes those innards to the wider world. Apple is notoriously secretive about all aspects of its work, and this attitude of secrecy has a spell even over its former workers. Consequently, it has not been easy to gather valuable and verifiable information about the inside workings of Apple. This book, however, manages to present a very convincing and cogent view of what makes Apple unique. It shows how Apple’s business and management styles go against almost all business school wisdom that has been taught over the past several decades.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars great read Jan. 16 2014
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Really interesting learned a lot about Steve Jobs and the type of person he was. He was a genius. Hopefully Apple will continue to innovate now that he is gone.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Great Look At Apple! May 2 2013
By Dennis Madison TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
If you are a devout fan of Apple then this book isn't for you. If you want a non-fanboy account of how Apple really works then this is a great read. I'm not saying that this is an anti-Apple book, but the author tells it like it is when it comes to how Apple conducts itself. This book is also not an Apple-bashing book. The author aptly describes how successful Apple has been and how their business practices has moved the company into the powerhouse it currently is.
If you have any interest in business and tech you can't help but to respect Apple and this books give great insight into how it's been accomplished using both ground-breaking business tactics as well as more questionable, and some may say unethical, tactics.
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1 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars So Much Hostility May 1 2012
Format:Hardcover
Some of the insider stories and descriptions of Apple's internal workings are fascinating. And if the author had stuck to that (or even mostly to that), this would have been an enjoyable book. Unfortunately, for every sentence of interesting fact, there are two ranting about how terrible Apple and Steve Jobs are/were. I don't know what injustice the author was done by Apple to be so bitter (that would have been an interesting story no doubt) but his hostility keeps seeping though and ruins the book.

I'm sure the author feels like he's justified his rants but I wish he would have trusted his stories to stand for themselves and let readers form their own opinions. As it is, half the book reads like a 10-year-old calling another kid a jerk on the playground.
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