Saturday, July 01, 2006

Apple visit

Some of us went for a tour of Apple on Monday.. Thanks to Vin for arranging for it.. Before I go on to tell u about the tour, let me tell you what Apple as a company means to me..

I've always had great respect and admiration for apple.. I loved the way they always added that special extra touch to their products.. the breathtaking designs, the amazing user interface and the beautiful simplicity - these were attributes common to everything that came out of 1, infinity loop. But most of all, I liked the fact that they were different. They were different from the mainstream and they intended to stay that way. In fact they begged to differ. And to me, that's really cool. I've always loved people and things that don't follow the rest like a herd but prefer to stand out and do things differently. And Apple was a fantastic example of just that. To me, Apple was the perfect company.

And then I visited Apple.

Just before actually starting the tour, I managed to get a quick peak at the stuff in the Apple store at the headquarters.. and what I saw of course reinforced my beliefs about apple... and then our tour guide for the day, Scott came, introduced himself and led us all to a conference room.. the presentation began after we all helped ourselves to some coffee and cookies..

the presentation was quite what you might expect at a tour like this.. a lot of 'we're apple, we're awesome, our sales are great, bla bla bla' stuff.. Scott complained a few times about how he hadn't slept at all the previous night (coz he jus flew back from a vacation).. and that he was really sleepy and tired.. you could make that out from his tone itself.. and then i guess he took out some of his frustration on fang and gwen.. haha yea that was funny! fang mentioned that he read something in the wall street journal about the apple and creative lawsuit.. and scott goes 'you read the wall st journal?!!'.. haha.. and from then on he kept calling fang 'mr. wall st journal'! and gwen mentioned something about her major (in european studies).. and he made fun of that too..

scott did make a few interesting points about apple's brand equity and stuff.. and he also mentioned the fact that the largest number of apple hires are from stanford.. but that's not what i came here for.. i wanted to see apple from the inside! how they design/make those ipods and imacs.. as i was busy dreaming about all that, scott coolly announces that the tour's over! i'm like wh-aa-at?!

apparently, he can't take us inside the main building and show us around coz its apple policy.. no1 is allowed to go inside.. not even business partners.. i guess this has something to do with the fact that apple tries to keep all its products a big secret until the day they are actually released.. so that they have a bigger impact upon their release.. and i think it works too..

but then i was too disappointed at that moment to understand the reasoning n all.. and then i remembered suddenly the fact that scott was here at 7am this morning even though he hadn't slept the previous night.. and the fact that steve enforces these really weird rules not allowing anyone to go inside the buildings.. i compared this to the google tour where they took pride in showing us the working environment and all the fun that the employees there get to have.. I put 2 and 2 together and somehow, all of a sudden, apple didn't seem to be such a cool company after all.. it quickly transformed from an uber cool fast company to an old, slow, crawling giant (which is pretty much what it is).. come to think of it.. apple's one of the oldest companies in the valley.. it had thousands of employees.. obviously, the work culture at apple is nowhere near as cool as google's!

yet, somehow, i had assumed otherwise, without even coming down to the apple headquarters.. perhaps, i had looked at all the cool products and assumed that everything else at apple would be cool too - including the work culture, the work hours, and steve jobs. Sadly, i guess that wasn't the case.


(i know this one's not well written... sorry, i am really sleepy right now.. will come back and edit it later :P)


sherene said...

google seems to have set the bar high in terms of a 'great work environment' but such a setup is difficult to implement in real life (bcoz it requires ridiculously awesome employees) which is why most companies, including the supposedly cool 'apple', have to settle for more conventional systems.

psycho said...

yea that's true! Man, you should see google! they've got a really cool work culture.. for eg, there's this 100 ft rule there.. which says that no employee should at any time be more than 100 ft away from food at google! I wonder how google employees manage to stay slim under such conditions!

Anonymous said...

I'm impressed with your site, very nice graphics!

Anonymous said...

Very pretty site! Keep working. thnx!