“Apple may well be the only tech company on the planet that would dare compare itself to Picasso,” Brian X. Chen reports for The New York Times. “In a class at the company’s internal training program, the so-called Apple University, the instructor likened the 11 lithographs that make up Picasso’s ‘The Bull’ to the way Apple builds its smartphones and other devices. The idea: Apple designers strive for simplicity just as Picasso eliminated details to create a great work of art.”

“Steven P. Jobs established Apple University as a way to inculcate employees into Apple’s business culture and educate them about its history, particularly as the company grew and the tech business changed. Courses are not required, only recommended, but getting new employees to enroll is rarely a problem… The program was devised by Joel Podolny, then the dean of Yale School of Management. Mr. Jobs selected him when the program was founded, in 2008, and he remains head of the effort,” Chen reports. “Although many companies have such internal programs, sometimes referred to as indoctrination, Apple’s version is a topic of speculation and fascination in the tech world.”

“Three employees who have taken classes agreed to speak to The New York Times on the condition that they not be identified,” Chen reports. “They described a program that is an especially vivid reflection of Apple and the image it presents to the world. Like an Apple product, it is meticulously planned, with polished presentations and a gleaming veneer that masks a great deal of effort.”

Read more in the full article here.

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Apple Hires Yale’s Business School Dean for Apple University – October 22, 2008