A look at Apple University


By

Brian X Chen for New York Times:

In a version of the class taught last year, Mr. Nelson showed a slide of "The Bull," a series of 11 lithographs of a bull that Picasso created over about a month, starting in late 1945. In the early stages, the bull has a snout, shoulder shanks and hooves, but over the iterations, those details vanish. The last image is a curvy stick figure that is still unmistakably a bull.

"You go through more iterations until you can simply deliver your message in a very concise way, and that is true to the Apple brand and everything we do," recalled one person who took the course.

In "What Makes Apple, Apple," another course that Mr. Nelson occasionally teaches, he showed a slide of the remote control for the Google TV, said an employee who took the class last year. The remote has 78 buttons. Then, the employee said, Mr. Nelson displayed a photo of the Apple TV remote, a thin piece of metal with just three buttons.

My understanding was at least some of this professional development was geared at Apple being Apple without Steve Jobs. A shared culture is important to any organization. Understanding why things happened is important, but also important to share this knowledge with people who weren't there when it happened.

I'm curious how things are understood within Apple when there's a high level of compartmentalized secrecy. I wonder if these programs help current employees feel connected to things or if its purely presented within historical context?