Design Element
Comment on "Apple's Secret Ingredient"
by Mr. Crane — Sep 03
Having worked for both Apple and Microsoft, I can tell you that the most direct difference between the two is leadership clarity. In the 80s and 90s at Microsoft, BillG = God ( Douglas Coupland did such a great job depicting in Microserfs). Microsoft lost that in clarity in 2000 when Bill stepped aside and left a massive leadership (clarity) vaccum.

Inversely Apple suffered from a leadership crisis until the return of Steve Jobs. Prior to his return, the company suffered from exactly the same issues Microsoft suffers from now. Since Steve's return, there is a total clarity ("Steve says so...") that keeps things flowing briliantly.

While it's a bit dictorial having Steve (or Bill) in charge, it does make things happen (without comittees, infinite focus groups or legal review) and "that has made all the difference".

As an employee, the secret ingrediant is clarity, especially in confusing and risky times.
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