Apple Inc. has become a boring operations firm under Tim Cook, as per former employee, Bob Burrough. He said there is less conflict inside the company now. This is not necessarily a good thing because the invention of iPhone was partly the outcome of chaos at Apple under co-founder Steve Jobs.
Apple Was ‘Wild West’
Burrough said that in 2007, organizationally Apple was the “wild west,” and he was hired under a particular manager. However, for the first two years he worked on the project that was not related with the manager’s core responsibility. This was the case because projects, not organization was the priority, and it was the exact opposite of ‘not my job,’ he said.
“It was ‘I’m here to solve whatever problems I can, irrespective of my role, my title, or to whom I report.’ It was wild. But it was also very rewarding, because everything you did had maximal impact on the product,” Burrough said.
However, in present situation the dynamic has changed entirely, as per Burrough, who recently founded a 3D printing company – named Bilt. Burrough said, “Working at Palm, the teams were highly organizational, [hierarchical] and responsibilities were siloed.”
Now at Apple Inc. , there is a clear distinction when it comes to responsibility, and employees rarely deviate from it. He added that upon approaching someone to solve a problem, common response was ‘not my job.’
Apple under Cook
Tim Cook became Apple’s CEO in 2011, and made it the richest company in the world. Under Cook, Apple has seen a two-fold increase in its revenue from $108.2bn in 2011 to $215.7bn in 2016. Innovative employees in the firm like Scott Forstall, who headed the iOS platform, are no longer with the firm due to the apparent clash with Cook and other Apple executives, notes CNBC.
No doubt, the California-based firm has become cash rich, but it has also been criticized for lacking innovation in areas like self-driving cars, video and TV, and the Internet of Things (IoT). The iPhone still is the largest contributor to Apple’s revenue despite introducing products such as the Apple Watch.
In his string of tweets, Burrough has raised the issues, which are worth the read for fans who doubt that Apple Inc. will be able to compete with the like of Amazon, Google and Samsung on the innovation front.
Jobs had the conflict centric approach to management. In an interview after his return to Apple, Jobs admitted that the teams smacking against each other and having fights have helped the company “polish” each other and their ideas to bring really great products.