Category: Daring Fireball

Sounds like a lovely place to work…


The new Apple campus sounds like a collaborative hellhole…

From the article:

“The new building features open floor plans and few traditional offices”

So the staff who are crap at their jobs can hide behind those workhorses that do all the work.

“management must be at a vice president level or above to get a formal office”

So that those same staff can then leapfrog over those silent hard-workers and grin at them from shiny, quiet offices.

“The new campus will include bench seating, long work tables, and open cubicle spaces, potentially irking employees used to quiet office environments”

So that nobody can take credit for any one task (even though it’s usually the hard work of one, quiet person that creates ‘innovation’), and that person cannot then rise through the ranks, jeopardising the roles of senior management.

“Apple’s presentations to the city of Cupertino have indicated that the open floor plan designs are conducive to collaboration between teams”

Ewww. Collaboration.

A word created by those who have never created anything in their entire life, but have found that if they stand in the same place where that creation is happening, it will be assumed by management that they were part of it.

You know, what I’ve found over the years is that the only reason executives love this fashion of open plan, collaborative workplaces is so that no-one stands out.

No single person can be attributed to creating something, and rise above the rest.

We’re all winners.

We’re all a team.

All working ‘collaboratively’

And because no one stands out, no single person can rise to executive level and make those executives look dumb.

It’s a protective response by senior management who know that they aren’t fit for the job, but they don’t want the investors to know about it from a bright, innovative, hard working person. Just ‘yes men (or women)’ here please.

Steve Jobs ‘secret sauce’ was in part, all about people, small teams of smart people and one person in that team where the buck would stop.

Tim’s Apple doesn’t sound like that, it sounds like every other large company I’ve heard of.

Steve once said:

A small team of A+ players can run circles around a giant team of B and C players.”

It looks like Apple’s going to be full of B & C players, but at least they will all work collaboratively.

Maybe they’ll get around to figuring out how all those engineers who’ve now left Apple, who created the MacPro managed to do it.

I’m sure they will all get around that long work table, pull up a bench and nod, like they’re understanding what’s actually going on.


Gruber nails it… 10 times…


Apple’s 10 biggest problems as outlined by Gruber, via Fortune.

I have immense respect for John Gruber and his blog Daring Fireball, having been an avid reader since its inception.

He imparted his opinions (10 of them) recently at Macworld 2010, and it makes very interesting reading.

I sometimes spend fruitless hours trying to find something to blog about in which I have an opinion that I’d like to share – and then Gruber comes along and gives me almost 10.

Gruber’s 1st point, Steve Jobs:

It can be argued, Gruber maintains, that Steve Jobs’ most important product — the thing he’s spent the better part of his energy building since he returned to Apple — is not the Mac, the iPod, the iPhone or even the iPad. It’s Apple Inc., the company. The pessimistic dig on Apple, says Gruber, is that it’s a supremely well-organized company organized around one irreplaceable guy. The optimistic view is that Jobs has structured it to run like his other company, Pixar, which manages to turn out hit after hit, year after year, without a charismatic celebrity leader.

I remember many years ago when Steve went on stage at Macworld, and gave us the ‘one more thing’ that Apple sorely needed at the time – THINK PROFIT.

Apple made, on a previous quarter’s loss of $700 million+, a meagre profit of $34 million – and the crowd went wild.

That, in essence is Steve’s most important product. Doesn’t matter about market share, it doesn’t matter about simply filling existing markets, it’s about creating product they want to make, and market them to make LOTS OF MONEY.

What’s Apple going to do with that money? – that’s the unanswered question.