Inside Apple by Adam Lashinsky
The book is an interesting read, is well-written, and shares facts and stories about Apple that I hadn’t heard before. I loved the many ideas presented in the book, but I also didn't like a few. Among the many I loved are the following:
- focusing on the result, not on the implementation details
- mindfulness, the importance of maintaining focus, which is embodied within Apple's culture
- emphasis on the user experience
At times, I felt like the images the author painted of Steve Jobs were too rough, sometimes even rude. I didn't like this. It's possible to be productive and successful without being rude. Don't get me wrong; I value direct and concise communication, but let's not confuse it with rudeness.
The most interesting parts of this book were the ideas crucial to the success of Apple. These are:
Focusing on the result, not on the implementation details. We shouldn't allow ourselves to get slowed down by the nuances; instead, we should always keep the goal in view and be open to the new alternatives that may be discovered on the way toward the goal.
Mindfulness, focusing on the one current thing, obsession over quality. Ideas that otherwise can be summarized by saying, "wherever you are, be there wholly" and "do small things with great love."
Obsessing over details and bringing a Buddhist level of focus to a narrow assortment of offerings sets Apple apart from its competitors. Buddhism — a faith Jobs studied intensely — teaches that if you are going to prepare a cup of tea, the making of the cup of tea should command all your attention; even this insignificant task should be completed with all the mastery you can bring to it.
Focusing on the user experience. The book stresses the importance of always thinking about how the user will interact with and perceive the product. After all, Apple's goal is to provide the user with the best possible experience. Focusing on the user experience helps distance oneself from the implementation details and maintain mindfulness.
The book was an interesting and educational read. And, despite it painting a controversial picture of Apple and Jobs, it is hard not to admire the high level of work they both have done.