Apple Culture

Apple's botched MobileMe launch and the failure of fear-based management

MobileMe launched in 2008 as a replacement for .Mac and ended up being replaced itself just three short years later by iCloud. So terrible was its launch, so tarnished was was the perception of its service, that Steve Jobs reportedly walked the halls of Apple with a flame-thrower, dressing down the troops and handing over responsibility for the service to his fixer, Eddy Cue. But was MobileMe's failings the fault of the engineers, or of the managers in charge of the project? Former member of the MobileMe team, Erin Caton believes the latter:

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Apple and the Power of Passion

I spent the wee hours of my Saturday morning in line for the grand opening of a new Apple Store. If you've never been to one, it's an event.

The line starts early and by the time the store is almost ready to open, it snakes its way around the mall or down the street. Suddenly, the noise starts to build and build, and then Apple Store employees come racing around the corner or down the stairs, clapping and cheering and screaming. They run down the line, pumping fists and slapping hands, and it gets louder and louder. They form up in front of the store, bright colored shirts against wood, glass, and steel. Managers and specialists and concierges and geniuses all, they cheer for the crowd, and they scream for the crowd to bring that noise right back at them. Then they race away, the lights go out, the employees re-appear inside the store, and the doors open.

When line is released and it's the crowd's turn to run, into the store, grabbing one of the thousand free, location branded t-shirts they give away, and through the gauntlet of Apple Store employees who cheer and slap hands again, greeting every new customer.

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