“One of the most underappreciated realities about Apple is that it has always been a company that learns on the fly,” Rick Tetzeli reports for Fast Company. “This continual learning process is central to the way [Apple CEO Tim] Cook manages Apple. He accepts the inevitability of flaws, but relentlessly insists that employees pursue perfection. ‘I twitch less,’ says [APple executive Eddy] Cue cheerfully when I ask about the difference between Jobs and Cook. ‘No, no, no, just kidding! Steve was in your face, screaming, and Tim is more quiet, more cerebral in his approach. When you disappoint Tim, even though he isn’t screaming at you, you get the same feeling. I never wanted to disappoint Steve, and I never want to disappoint Tim. [Other than them,] I have that feeling with, like, my dad.'”
“Perhaps the best example of this continuous improvement at work under Cook is the company’s rehabilitation of its Maps app, which was universally scorned after its introduction in September 2012,” Tetzeli reports. “Apple Maps’ miscues were legion: Bridges seemed to plunge into rivers; hospitals were located at addresses actually belonging to shopping centers; directions were so bad they confused airport runways with roads. Apple didn’t have a billion customers at the time, but it had more than enough to turn the app into a national joke. ‘Look, the first thing is that you’re embarrassed,’ says Cue. ‘Let’s just deal with that one fact of emotion. These things mean a lot to us, we work really hard, and so you’re embarrassed. We had completely underestimated the product, the complexity of it.'”
“The changes didn’t come easy. Shortly after the app’s debut, Scott Forstall, a 15-year Apple veteran who was in charge of its development, was eased out. That was just the beginning. Forstall had overseen dozens of people working in relative isolation: Several thousand people now work on Maps,” Tetzeli reports. “But the company did more than just throw numbers at the problem. Cook also forced his execs to re-examine, and change, the way they worked with development teams. Famous for being secretive, Apple opened up a bit. ‘We made significant changes to all of our development processes because of it,’ says Cue, who now oversees Maps. ‘To all of us living in Cupertino, the maps for here were pretty darn good. Right? So [the problem] wasn’t obvious to us. We were never able to take it out to a large number of users to get that feedback. Now we do.’ Apple now does public beta testing of its most significant software projects, something that Jobs never liked to do. In 2014, the company asked users to test run its Yosemite upgrade to OS X. Last year, it introduced beta testing of iOS, which is the company’s most important operating system. ‘The reason you as a customer are going to be able to test iOS,’ Cue says, ‘is because of Maps.'”
Tons more in the full article – recommended – here.
There are no gains, without pains. — Benjamin Franklin