Think Secret: Apple’s Secrecy Has Served It Well

The New Yorker

There are two really interesting articles about Apple in Fortune and The New Yorker. In The New Yorker, Malcolm Gladwell has a great piece on how Xerox PARC played a huge role in making Apple what it is today – Creation Myth.

In Fortune magazine a feature article called How Apple works: Inside the world’s biggest startup pulls back the curtain on how Steve Jobs runs Apple by interviewing past and present employees. The Top 100, secret three-day strategy sessions and Apple University are a few of the highlights in this article.

Apple’s culture of secrecy has served it well. The development of the iPhone took three years and gave Apple a huge lead in the smartphone market. The launch of the iPad came out of left field and surprised everyone. As a result of this secrecy, Apple owns the tablet market and has a one-year lead on the competition.

Imagine if Xerox PARC refused to let Steve Jobs and Bill Atkinson tour its labs and spend time with the Xerox Alto personal computer. Jobs would never have pushed for the creation of the Macintosh. Thankfully, Xerox wasn’t as secretive as Apple is today.

Jobs recognized that Xerox was sitting on a brilliant idea – a personal computer with a mouse and a graphical user interface. He simplified the Xerox Alto and brought it to the masses. Then he did it again with the iPod, iPhone and iPad. What’s next? Only the Top 100 inside Apple know. Secrecy has worked well for Apple and it seems that the public loves the element of surprise, especially when it comes from Cupertino.

Posted in Apple at 10:41 PM