Are We Really Surprised About The Apple Empire?

When we watched the video about the way Apple is actually run in class the other day, I was really interested in seeing how surprised some people were. It was never realistic for me to believe that Apple would some how be the most amazing place to work for and that’s why they produce such popular products.

The first thing that came to my mind was Disneyland. It is also discussed in hushed tones how much of a tyrant Walt Disney was, but look at the empire he created. I grew up on Disney and I don’t think there’s a person in this world who doesn’t have a connection to Disney whatsoever. It’s brought so many of us joy and I think that for that reason we don’t want to associate it with anything negative, like employee abuse.

Maybe I’m just synical, but I don’t understand how a company would reach such high success with a horizontal orginizational structure. It’s very difficult for me to imagine that everyone shows up to work with their best ideas everyday. For example, last week I discussed the work environment of Amazon. I said I was shocked by how hostile it seemed to be but when I realized how succesful Amazon really was, it all started to make sense again.

I don’t believe that success is a result of everyone being nice or on the same page all the time. I believe that success is based on constant fixes in inefficiency. I think there needs to be someone at the top overlooking everything for an organizaion to work. If the structure is horizontal and everyone is on the same level it’s hard to call people out or even fire them when they are no longer performing to the best of their abilities. Having a verticle structure allows for detachment between the boss and the employee so that it’s easy to count someone as replaceable.

Steve Jobs, Walt Disney, Jeff Bezos had visions of where their company would go. The reality is that it’s unlikely to keep the same team on the journey to success until the end of the road. It’s unlikely that all employees will be treated fairly- for the sake of efficiency, sometimes the most unscrupulous decisions are made. But these companies try so hard in portraying themselves as honorable organizations because no one wants to be associated unconscientious brand.

It’s hard for me to envision high success for organizations without some kind of darwinistic approach, as sad as that is.

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