Invincible Apple: 10 Lessons From the Coolest Company Anywhere

by / Thursday, 24 June 2010 / Published in Leadership
Everyone wants to be like Steve Jobs and his powerhouse company. It's not as easy as it looks.

On Wednesday, May 26, 2010, just after 2:30 p.m., the unthinkable happened: Apple became the largest company in the tech universe, and, after ExxonMobil, the second largest in the nation. For months, its market capitalization had hovered just under that of Microsoft — the giant that buried Apple and then saved it from almost certain demise with a $150 million investment in 1997. Now Microsoft gets in line with Google, Amazon, HTC, Nokia, and HP as companies that Apple seems bent on sidelining. The one-time underdog from Cupertino is the biggest music company in the world and soon may rule the market for e-books as well. What’s next? Farming? Toothbrushes? Fixing the airline industry?

How does one become the “Apple of [insert industry here]”? After speaking with former employees, current partners, and others who have watched Apple for many years, it’s clear that the answers center around discipline, focus, long-term thinking, and a willingness to flout the rules that govern everybody else’s business. It’s an approach that’s difficult to discern and tougher to imitate. But everyone wants to give it a try. Here, then, is our report on the Apple playbook. Short of something falling into your hands in a Bay Area bar, this may be as close to the truth about Apple as you’re going to get.

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