Apple's Culture is actually not that creative.

Discussion in 'Apple, Inc and Tech Industry' started by Traverse, Oct 5, 2014.

  1. Traverse macrumors 603

    Traverse

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    #1
    I was doing a report on various businesses' cultures for a management project and I came across an interesting article with views from past Apple employees.

    http://www.businessinsider.com/what...panys-internal-corporate-culture-2013-10?op=1

    I'm not particularly surprised, but Apple is very strict and very one sided. After researching Google's atmosphere, Apple seemed like a boring and rough place to work. Other sources seemed to back this up. I'm not really surprised though.

    Curious what you all think.
     
  2. Jessica Lares macrumors G3

    Jessica Lares

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    #2
    There's a bit in Chrisann Brennan's book, The Bite in the Apple, where she's talking about the interview she did with Jeff Goodell who also was at Apple for a bit, and he said that it wasn't a place he could thrive in, and she said he agreed with him.

    I think the big issue these days is that a lot of people don't know their place within their workplace.
     
  3. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

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    #3
    Its apple's way or the highway. That's how they treat the customers so its no surprise its strict internally as well. Whether that inhibits innovation/creativity is another aspect. So far they've not had problems with creativity, but now that Steve's been gone for several years the proof will be in the pudding regarding any new products.
     
  4. grahamperrin macrumors 601

    grahamperrin

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    #4
    Secrecy, Google, green grass and hidden pins

    Traverse: that perception is not uncommon, and I'm certain that the response from maflynn is not knee-jerk.

    maflynn: it's an understandable perception, and you'll know that I have been harshly critical of Apple in recent months – in ways that can reinforce that perception – but I remain certain that people and groups within the company are suitably responsive to feedback. Typically via Feedback Assistant … a proper explanation belongs under http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?p=20398611#post20398611 but I'm not rushing that.

    There's a temptation for me to reveal a needle in a haystack but I'll keep it hidden because that post about Apple does paradoxically respect something that's suggested within the Business Insider article: 'First rule of Apple, don't talk about Apple'.

    Concerning Marklar (the reflection by Simon Woodside): I was astounded that such a huge secret had been successfully kept. Amongst all my memories of Apple, the announcement of the transition to Intel was probably the biggest "wow", and the surprise – the suddenness after the years of absolute secrecy – was a defining part of that wow.

    I was wowed so much that I had no desire to learn more about the secrets of Apple's internal culture. A stunning announcement was enough. And incidentally, I don't expect to be pleasantly stunned in that way more than once or twice in a lifetime. It's not something that I expect from the company.

    Relating to secrecy: Google Wave, or "Part of why I loved the traditional Apple"

    ----

    None of that addresses the 'creative' part of the opening post. Sorry … the relevant pin remains hidden!

    A thought: don't blindly wish to work in a more creative culture. The grass is always greener, and so on.
     
  5. Rogifan macrumors P6

    Rogifan

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    #5
    I think nothing of Business Insider.
     
  6. Traverse thread starter macrumors 603

    Traverse

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    That was only one of several sources I found that all seemed to express the same idea.

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    I've noticed that you've mentioned a mysterious article before, but refuse to actually post. Unless you think it isn't credible or isn't really on topic why would you conceal an article that could promote discussion?
     
  7. grahamperrin macrumors 601

    grahamperrin

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    #7
    Good point. I'm sorry for being repeatedly obtuse about it. The article is probably the most considerate thing that I have ever read about Apple. Yosemite had caused great bewilderment about a few things. For me, reading the article ended that bewilderment; challenged and changed my preconceptions; allowed me to take a more positive and constructive attitude in this forum and elsewhere. In an old-fashioned way, I feel that identifying the article and/or the author would be doing a disservice to the author, to some people within Apple, and to Apple. So the concealment is, in part, to avoid that disservice. Hopefully a fraction of what I write here and elsewhere can help to enable some of what's wished for within the article. :apple: Enough obtuseness; it's sort of here (in this forum) in spirit, but I'll not mention the article again.

    ----
     
  8. Rogifan macrumors P6

    Rogifan

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    #8
    Based on?
     
  9. Traverse thread starter macrumors 603

    Traverse

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    #9
    Mostly interviews with past Apple employees.
     
  10. Rogifan macrumors P6

    Rogifan

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    #10
    Wow I just happened to open that link to the "Yosemite looks terrible" thread and I can't believe people can be so obsessed up over the look of software. :eek:

    ----------

    Any links?
     
  11. Traverse thread starter macrumors 603

    Traverse

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    Yeah. There's no point in lamenting over visuals unless it hinders usability or practicality. I actually think Yosemite looks pleasant, but i went back to Mavericks because of the lack of contrast. That's why I've posted in that thread.

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    It was a basic review for a forced management class, so it isn't anything deep like my thesis, but these were a few links. I was just shocked at the environment when I read accounts from employees at other companies like Google. Google seemed like a more "fun" environment, which is what I expected at a creative firm like Apple. I suppose that secrecy has its price.

    http://appleinsider.com/articles/10...ed_light_on_apples_internal_corporate_culture

    http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/08/22/us-usa-apple-cook-insight-idUSBRE97L08B20130822

    http://appleinsider.com/articles/14...pels-myths-about-steve-jobs-corporate-culture

    http://www.businessinsider.com/what...panys-internal-corporate-culture-2013-10?op=1
     
  12. Rogifan macrumors P6

    Rogifan

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    #12
    I don't think Steve Jobs was much for fun. But I've read criticism of Google too. Basically for bring unstructured and lack of focus.
     
  13. grahamperrin macrumors 601

    grahamperrin

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    #13
    Yesterday I watched just the beginning of Steve Wozniak: 'A Lot of Things Wrong' With Jobs Movie on YouTube.

    Two months ago I began reading the 1990 third impression of a book about John Sculley. Not because doing so is more relevant than reading about Steve Jobs; it's because the book was left in a corridor by a lecturer whose office was flood-damaged. I don't intend to finish the book, but the prologue was nice. A tad melodramatic, but nice. I can cope with melodrama.

    For what it's worth, I suspect that a collection of snippets of information, from individuals, can't paint as realistic a picture as a single substantial contribution from one well-informed, well-connected individual.

    I have no evidence to back up that suspicion – I have never properly dug into any one substantial thing (e.g. a feature film or book) about Apple – it's just a feeling that I have.
     
  14. grahamperrin, Nov 25, 2014
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2014

    grahamperrin macrumors 601

    grahamperrin

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    #14
    Listening to Steve Wozniak for fifteen minutes

    Not long after that post, I listened to the whole thing. Not my undivided attention, but enough to thoroughly enjoy the video.

    This morning I stumbled across Steve Wozniak says 'there were a lot of things wrong' with 'Jobs' movie | The Verge (2013-08-17).

    To anyone who read that brief article in The Verge: please take time to also watch the fifteen-minute video on YouTube.

    (The 'feel' of what's in the video is lacking from the written article, and that's not only due to brevity. I suspect that there's a mis-quote, and so on.)

    Postscript

    Around 05:02 on the timeline http://youtu.be/v6ciNXc_4OQ?t=5m2s "… (Jeff Raskin) was treated, like, so shabbily in the movie. No. I didn't like seeing a lot of people I know not get the respect that they deserved …"
     
  15. I7guy macrumors G5

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    #15
    I'm with you on that. The Internet has given everyone a voice to be heard instantly. That doesn't mean that what is read, seen, heard is of any quality.
     
  16. Renzatic Suspended

    Renzatic

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    #16
    As a standard commentator on the internet, I think the quality of an article mostly depends on whether I agree with it or not.
     
  17. Arran macrumors 68040

    Arran

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    #17
    Agreed. It's a very lightweight article. No real substance. Click bait.

    ----------

    I can't decide whether I agree with you or not! ;)
     
  18. Ulenspiegel macrumors 68030

    Ulenspiegel

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    #18
    A don't see anything abnormal in this culture. A lot of successful companies has similar practices.
    Apple has always been about personalities that influence the whole culture. Steve Jobs and now Jony Ive.
    What concerns creativity. Are Apple's product innovative, original? Yes, for sure.
    To sum it up: I think that Apple's "culture" as per the article is typical and shall I say normal for such a company (similar "stories" could have been told about Procter & Gamble etc.). And it is creative w/o any doubt, just look at their products. The outcome reflects everything.
     
  19. Renzatic Suspended

    Renzatic

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    #19
    I gave you a +1, though I'm not sure why!
     
  20. grahamperrin macrumors 601

    grahamperrin

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    #20
    Distinctions between culture (this topic) and products …

    Apple products

    In recent years, the most memorable innovation in Apple hardware was the design of the Mac Pro. Before that, maybe the original iPhone.

    Which other products, more recent than the iPhone, would you class as innovative?

    Pop Chart Lab --> Design + Data = Delight --> The Insanely Great History of Apple 3.0

    Apple – Diversity – Inclusion inspires innovation.

    Apple – Jobs at Apple (us)

    Which recent products?

    Culture

    The culture of a company may be creative without having creative products.

    Creative products may come from cultures that are not creative.
     
  21. Ulenspiegel macrumors 68030

    Ulenspiegel

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    #21

    Let me stress at the very outset: I am not an Apple fanboy. Nevertheless to my opinion all Apple products were and are creative, original (Mac line, iPod, iPhone, iPad etc.) That is - mainly - behind the Companies success.
    I have to agree though that lately (post S.J.) nothing extraordinary came out of the Labs of Apple, just some face-lifting of former original products.
     
  22. I7guy macrumors G5

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    #22
    You could make the argument since 2007 nothing extraordinary came out of Apple. Just updated products with some tweaks.
     
  23. grahamperrin macrumors 601

    grahamperrin

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    #23
    Software that is both original and creative?

    Thank you. What about software products?

    What about the producer's culture?
     
  24. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

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    #24
    You consider the nMP a face lift of the old Mac Pro? What about the Apple Watch?
     
  25. smallcoffee macrumors 6502a

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    #25
    I would argue that right now nobody is being exceptionally creative in the industry at the moment. I just saw a commercial for the Google Nexus 9 or something tablet. It's like watching an Apple commercial.

    I think people have come to expect great leaps in technology/product design as the norm (like the iPhone), but the truth of the matter is that we will primarily see incremental changes.

    For example, the A8 chip in the iPad. Wow. Incredible to be quite honest. But we're not talking about that because it's just a processor, not a new product or product category.
     

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