“As more and more smoke has emerged around the Apple Car, I think I see one big thing missing in people’s speculation about why this might or might not make sense as a strategic initiative: Apple has to try to continue to be an exciting place to work,” Matthew Yglesias writes for Matt’s Newsletter. “If you could staff a company with emotionless Vulcans, then simply sticking to Apple’s core business of releasing iteratively superior smartphones and extending the franchise by releasing smartphones (and smartphone-like tablets) in different sizes might make sense.”

Yglesias writes, “But if you want to keep a bunch of people who are very smart and hardworking but also already quite well-to-do and easily employable elsewhere engaged, motivated, and on-task you really have to give them a bigger mission than ‘iterative improvements in a market-leading product.’

“If you listen to Apple’s PR, they dwell a lot these days on Apple’s commitment to clean energy and also on its commitment to accessibility features. Some of that is just PR for PR’s sake, but some of it has to be PR that’s directed internally — the company wants the people who work there to believe that they are working for a company that stands for something more dramatic than an ever-more-convenient way to access your Facebook feed,” Yglesias writes. “They are solving big problems in the world!”

“An electric car would be a huge deal for the environment. An autonomously piloted car would be a huge deal for the blind and people with other visual impairments. These are big topics,” Yglesias writes. “If you want people at your company to feel like your company is wrestling with the big socially significant problems, working on car-electrification and car-automation is the way to do it.”

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: There’s certainly an element of employee retention in there somewhere, especially for the likes of say, Jony Ive, who could walk away at any time, set for life, unless he’s mentally challenged. Cook needs to use all of the tools at his disposal to attract and retain critical talent like Ive. In fact, keeping Jony and his team happy and engaged is one of Cook’s most important jobs, if not his most important job. As per Steve Jobs, everything at Apple revolves around the designers.

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