Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Apple, "The Biggest Start Up on the Planet?"

The nerdy side of me is a big fan and follower of Apple Inc. and tonight I was reading through the notes from an interview with Apple CEO, Steve Jobs, at the D Conference. The usually tightlipped and secretive Jobs actually opens up a little bit about his role in the company and gave a very interesting response to "What do you do all day?"

One of the keys to Apple is that Apple is an incredibly collaborative company. You know how many committees we have at Apple? Zero. We're organized like a startup. We're the biggest start up on the planet. We meet for 3 hours every morning and talk about all the business, about what's going on everywhere. We're great at figuring out how to divide things up into great teams, and we talk to each other. So what I do all day is meet with teams of people.

For a company that just passed Microsoft in market capitalization [an estimation of the value of a business that is obtained by multiplying the number of shares outstanding by the current price of a share] to be the second largest US company behind Exxon-Mobil (Apple now valued at $222 billion), this seems to be quite a statement. Keeping that startup mentality seems to be key to innovation and not getting caught up in the day to day operations that may hinder new product development when the size of a company grows. I suppose the takeaway is: fear not, big companies can be innovators too if they don't get bogged down in bureaucracy of their massive operations.

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