Apple's Secrecy Extends to Putting New Employees on Fake Projects

Discussion in ' News Discussion' started by MacRumors, Jan 30, 2012.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001


    In his new book, Inside Apple, Adam Lashinsky details the process undergone by new hires at Apple, noting that many of them are hired without knowing the exact project they are working on that they are frequently put through a testing period working on a different project in order to provide time to evaluate their trustworthiness.
    As noted by Business Insider, a former Apple engineer confirmed that piece of information during the Q&A portion of Lashinsky's recent talk at LinkedIn (video clip via Fortune), going even farther to note that new hires are even sometimes placed on fake products during this probationary period.
    Lashinsky's tidbit on new hires is just one facet of his lengthier coverage of Apple's strict secrecy, part of which has been republished for Fortune as a look into how Apple's organizational structure maintains the company's security. His full 50-minute LinkedIn talk is also available on YouTube.

    Article Link: Apple's Secrecy Extends to Putting New Employees on Fake Projects
  2. Frosticus macrumors 6502a


    Oct 4, 2010
    Bristol, UK
    I really must read this book - read the first chapter as a sample on iBooks and still have a copy of the Jobs biography by Walter Isaacson to read too... Not enough hours in the day...!
  3. kolax macrumors G3

    Mar 20, 2007
    I'd love to know what the fake projects were.

    "Today guys, we're going to reinvent the toilet."
  4. talkingfuture macrumors 65816


    Dec 4, 2008
    The back of beyond.
    Thats amazing, although a good way of evaluating their work without making mistakes on a 'live' project.
  5. allpar macrumors 6502

    May 20, 2002
    "Thats amazing, although a good way of evaluating their work without making mistakes on a 'live' project."

    And yet, we have Lion and countless other examples of people making mistakes on "live" projects.
  6. dr Dunkel macrumors regular

    Nov 3, 2008
    "The new hires have been welcomed but not yet indoctrinated and aren't necessarily to be trusted with information as sensitive as their own mission."

    Quite telling.
  7. ILikeTurtles macrumors 6502

    Feb 17, 2010
    It must be a complete thrill and a total nightmare to work for Apple.
  8. DESNOS macrumors 6502

    Aug 24, 2011
  9. Blakjack, Jan 30, 2012
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2012

    Blakjack macrumors 68000


    Jun 23, 2009
    I always thought about it, but now I am convinced that Apple is a branch of the CIA.

    EDIT: I was only joking guys...Geeeez
  10. carboncow macrumors member

    Jul 1, 2009
    please you act like a new OS never has an issue or more...Lion is far from Vista status and with the exception of a couple changes I didn't like and a handful of's just fine, Leopard 2.0. Relax...
  11. Andronicus macrumors 6502a

    Apr 1, 2008
    Finally! A new post. I swear MacRumors just shuts down on the weekends. It's like a 9-5 job! Please post on the weekends, macrumors!

    On topic: it's insane how secretive apple can be. Insanely awesome.
  12. xlii macrumors 68000


    Sep 19, 2006
    Millis, Massachusetts
    North Korea could learn from these guys. Fake products... I never would have guessed it.
  13. samcraig macrumors P6

    Jun 22, 2009
    Who mentioned Vista or made any comparison? The OP just said that Lion is an example where mistakes were made.
  14. rhinosrcool macrumors 65816


    Sep 5, 2009
    Yeah, wow.
  15. allpar macrumors 6502

    May 20, 2002
    I tried Lion. It's not a Leopard II. You want fundamental mistakes? Screwing around unnecessarily with the user interface counts to me. Hiding the part of the file dialogue that lets you see the list of hard drives counts.

    Yeah, a few bugs always sneak through. These are not bugs, they're fundamental design errors. Macintouch has a huge discussion with both sides chiming in, and I really don't think the "get over it" side has much to go on.

    Just because Microsoft makes mistakes, doesn't mean Apple doesn't. That's like claiming I should love Adobe customer service because it's slightly better than Intuit's.
  16. jamesryanbell macrumors 68020


    Mar 17, 2009
    That's pretty much exactly what I thought when I saw the vid.
  17. jadot macrumors 6502


    Apr 6, 2010
    You should cut down, and then slowly try to re-integrate into the real world.
    This story satisfied your 'need' for something (anything) Apple related?
  18. HangmanSwingset, Jan 30, 2012
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2012

    HangmanSwingset macrumors 6502


    Feb 28, 2011
    Everett, WA
    "Alright newbie, we need you to go to the store and buy some elbow grease and headlight fluid."
  19. rwilliams macrumors 68040


    Apr 8, 2009
    Durham, NC
    My thoughts exactly. It seems like the shelf life for employees would be short because many people couldn't handle the constant paranoia and hassle of working at Apple (though one can understand WHY the company is like that). And interviewing for 9 months? There's no job in the world that I want that badly.

    If I had to take a wild guess, I'd say that the people running this site like to have a real life on the weekend and do things other than post to a website. Crazy, I know.
  20. whooleytoo macrumors 603


    Aug 2, 2002
    Cork, Ireland.
    It's all rather moot. As soon as you're relying on external companies for components - or in particular - for the entire manufacturing, assembly & packaging process; you completely lose control of product secrecy.

    And with the volumes that Apple needs in advance of the product launch; and the time the manufacturers need to manufacture those units; we're not just talking about handing designs to external manufacturers in the last couple of weeks of a project, but rather many months ahead of the launch.

    How often has Apple recently launched a product that was a complete surprise to all observers? Exactly.
  21. nick_elt macrumors 68000


    Oct 28, 2011
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_2_1 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/533.17.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.0.2 Mobile/8C148 Safari/6533.18.5)

    What news is going to come out on the weekend? Most of their sources will be 9-5. Ever thought about that?
  22. GenesisST macrumors 68000


    Jan 23, 2006
    Where I live
    Some people have lives, you know!
  23. koobcamuk macrumors 68040


    Oct 23, 2006
    I wish "new employees" rather than "new hires" was used.
  24. mave1969, Jan 30, 2012
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2012

    mave1969 macrumors newbie


    Mar 13, 2008

    Isn't it pretty much accepted that the "Asteroid" Garage Band audio breakout box that brought down Think Secret was, in fact, such a fake project designed to catch leaks?
  25. KdParker macrumors 601


    Oct 1, 2010
    This is not surprising for anyone that has worked as a developer on high profile initiatives.

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