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Getting to the Core of Apple

10 October 2013 by Emma Blunt

They just reached number one on Interbrand’s annual list of most valuable brands but how much do we really know about this tech giant?

From the outside, it appears to be a very forward thinking place to work but what do Apple employees, past and present, think about its corporate culture? When this question was asked on Quora, a question-and-answer knowledge sharing website, we finally got a glimpse into life at the real big Apple!

  • Secretive

Describing the firm, one anonymous employee wrote that: “The culture is of extreme secrecy, even more extreme politics and marketing driven decision making.”

Another ex-employee, impressed by the company’s commitment to privacy, added that: “The measures that Apple takes to protect its creative and intellectual environment are unparalleled in the valley.”

  • Revolutionary

A designer who spent several years working for the company explained that when you are there, you are “part of something much bigger than you” and another added that: “Most workers, no matter how simple their job might be, truly feel they are changing the world with whatever they are doing.”

  • Structured

An anonymous employee described the management at the company as “paranoid” and wrote that: “Culture here is strictly top down: any attempt to streamline, impact change, or even discuss a better way to do anything is strictly frowned upon when it comes from the bottom.”

A former technology partner seemed to agree, adding: “The atmosphere is not as zanily creative as you might imagine. It’s very structured, very process driven…”

  • Hard-working

“Apple is one of those companies where people work on an almost religious level of commitment,” wrote one former employee, explaining that during the week before a product launch, “you work like mad for 12-16 hours days and even pull all-nighters to make sure your piece of the puzzle is ready for Apple’s big presentation… It’s a great rush and your whole team feels it.”

So, what do you make of these comments? Are secrecy and strict management necessary in a company like Apple? Does the buzz of being a part of something revolutionary outweigh the pressure of such an (allegedly) intense environment?