I thought I was done writing about Steve Jobs when I wrote this post but then I read Inside Apple by Adam Lashinsky (editor at large at Fortune Magazine). I finally understand why Apple was able to achieve so much. We all know of Jobs the visionary, Jobs the communicator and Jobs the bully. But frankly, I never thought of Jobs the manager. I learned much more about Apple and maybe even Jobs from this book than the Walter Isaacson’s bio. I am not going to review Inside Apple other than to say, I think it was done very well and it is worthing reading not only to understand Apple’s past, present and future but also as a business management book.
Now I am left with a puzzle. How did Jobs learn to manage in such an effective way (even if it was not in a nice way)? How would his approach translate to other businesses and organizations? I am also struck the similarity between Digital Equipment Corp and Apple. I vaguely remember that someone left Digital Equipment to run HR at Apple but I am not sure that is correct. It seems that Jobs took emulated some of the things Ken Olsen did (for instance the off site meeting of 100 key people which was not based on reporting structure but on who Ken wanted) and he rejected some of the things that really damaged Digital like the product lines having a P&L.