Inside Apple by Adam Lashinsky

Updated: 29 Jun 2012

Time Out says

Rating: 3/5, RM59.90

In the first of what is sure to be a slew of exposés following Walter Isaacson’s authorised biography of the late Steve Jobs, Adam Lashinsky goes on a kind of Reconnaissance mission, probing behind the Cupertino HQ walls to find out how the world’s most valuable company manages to maintain its secrecy and what makes Apple’s employees keep schtum in an industry where everyone on the outside is trying to guess their next move.

The answers, predictably, can be summed up in two words: Steve Jobs. Lashinsky finds an organisation that has been encouraged by its larger than life CEO to remain characterless, and where employees are never allowed to feel entirely comfortable, often giving up their social lives – to show their dedication, perhaps, but also to guard against accidentally spilling the beans about Apple’s innovations and work in progress. The author balances this with evaluations of less domineering – and still serving – board members and wonders whether the company can maintain its position without Big Brother Steve watching over every shoulder.

None of this is particularly new, but Lashinsky keeps the reader engaged with fly-on-the-wall tidbits that give the narrative an almost filmic quality. He opens with a very ill Jobs trying out the newly born Siri and closes with a death’s door meeting with the inventor of Lytro – a groundbreaking camera that allows users to focus their pictures after the fact – hinting at a possible new direction for iOS products.

Possibly a little business-heavy for the casual reader, the book suffers from a lack of new interviews with the main players. If you’re looking for more dirt on the Apple core, you might wait a little longer – this one’s disappointingly clean. Jon Wilks

Tags: Books