Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Working Inside Apple - A Big Secret?


How come there is no book that describes what Apple's organizational structure looks like or how decisions are actually made?  There is a brief Fortune Article on the subject, but there is no full fledged book like there is for other tech giants.

One of the reasons I know I should be in executive management is because I love studying organization structure and how that can completely change the culture and success of a company.   I am particularly interested in Apple because it seems extremely unique.  Steve Jobs is at the center of it all.  By all accounts, every major decision is run through him.  This seems almost impossible at an organization the size of Apple but yet the story is consistent.  It also seems that they don't align themselves in traditional business units.  The Fortune article explains that only the CFO has a PNL and that nobody acts as a General Manager.

As a organizational structure geek, I'm fascinated to see how Apple is able to maintain this.  Lots of big companies give lip service to trying and run themselves like a startup but I think so few succeed.  Apple may be one example of a big company that was able to keep some of its small company roots.  At the very least, they found some way to keep one man at the center of it for so long.  I someday want to start and run my own tech company so would love to get some insight on how Apple has made this possible.

Given the number of people who have worked at Apple and have left, and the fact that the culture is so unique there, I'm actually very surprised nobody has taken the time to write a book.  I'm sure it would be very successful.  Can this just be another example of the people fearing the wrath of Jobs for divulging too many Apple secrets?