Welcome to Apple

The note Instagrammed above and quoted below greets new Apple employees on their first day of work. That's not a new revelation, but seeing it turn up again online is a great reminder. Apple sweats a lot of little details. From day one.

There is work and there is your life's work.The kind of work that has your fingerprints all over it. The kind of work that you never compromise on. Thought you'd sacrifice a weekend for. You can do that kind of work at Apple. People don't come here to play it safe. They come here to swim in the deep end.They want their work to add up to something.Something big. Something that couldn't happen anywhere else. Welcome to Apple.

That sense -- that Apple is working on things that are insanely great, that will dent universes -- was deliberately made part of Apple's corporate culture during the Steve Jobs era, and is something the current executive team no doubt wants to maintain.

Ultimately, whether you find it inspirational or cultish, it's proven effective, over and over again, every time Apple ships a new device or announces record results.

Often in modern companies employees aren't instilled with a sense of value. Their individual contributions are recognized and they aren't made to feel as if they matter. Sometimes they're deliberately made to feel like they don't matter, like they're an insignificant cog in a giant wheel, expendable and always replaceable. That products are part of an assembly line, a unending conveyer belt of beige boxes. A machine.

There's no shortage of stories about Steve Jobs and Apple utterly annihilating employees, or about the stresses and pressures endured by those who work at Apple.

But on the first day, when employees are new and expectations are set, they're told they can change the world at Apple. And that's a tremendously powerful message.

Source: M via @nickbilton,

The Next Web

Rene Ritchie

Rene Ritchie is one of the most respected Apple analysts in the business, reaching a combined audience of over 40 million readers a month. His YouTube channel, Vector, has over 90 thousand subscribers and 14 million views and his podcasts, including Debug, have been downloaded over 20 million times. He also regularly co-hosts MacBreak Weekly for the TWiT network and co-hosted CES Live! and Talk Mobile. Based in Montreal, Rene is a former director of product marketing, web developer, and graphic designer. He's authored several books and appeared on numerous television and radio segments to discuss Apple and the technology industry. When not working, he likes to cook, grapple, and spend time with his friends and family.

  • A buddy of mine who applied to an Apple Store was telling me about their stringent hiring process. He made it all the way to the end of the process and the next thing he should hear from them is whether or not they've offered him a position. There were 3 stages of the process... the 1st & 2nd stages were putting you in real actual situations with other applicants and 2 Apple Employees would observe everything they did, i.e., reactions, interactions, observations, responses, etc. He said he thinks there was another Apple Employee observing behind the scenes as well. It's like Elimination - many people are eliminated in the 1st and 2nd stages and the 3rd stage is the actual interview which very few people survive to witness. There were other things that transpired during these sessions that I can't recall in detail but I found their hiring process quite intriguing.
  • I don't believe that! If it was that strict 70% of the people working in these shop would not be employed! The vast majority of Apple store workers are not that great. Remember it still just a retail store employing retail assistants!
  • I work there and i can confirm that the interview is just like watcher explained.
  • Me too. It is a difficult process and while not everyone is perfect there, most of the employees are perfect fits for apple.
  • My daughter works at an Apple store and she is still laughing at watcher's post..
    Said it was harder getting her second job at Kay Jewelers.. Apple was an application, interview, 2nd interview and hired..
  • I worked in an Apple Store a few years back. It actually is pretty stringent. I think I recall somebody saying that it's statistically harder to get into a job at Apple than it is to get into Harvard. That could just be b.s. though. What I remember, is that I applied online, they called me to come to an Apple "camp" or something with a bunch of other candidates, which they held in an vacant retail space close to the Apple store. We went through a bunch of roll playing scenarios to assess our knowlegde and customer interactions, etc. I think it was a couple days of it. Then we each had additional interviews with the managers. After that some made it and some didn't. I really enjoyed working there, as far as retail goes. The only thing I didn't like was that, even though they always stressed that we were only trying to sell the customer the best solution for them, they still pushed us to sell Applecare, iWork, and .Mac/MobileMe add-ons all the time, and we were basically scolded when we didn't close the deal on those (Applecare was the hard sell. iWork was easiest. MobileMe was 50/50). The only real incentive we had to sell those was to not get hassled by management. Apple retail employees don't make commission or anything. It was a good experience with cool coworkers and management for the most part. I only quit because they kept telling me they were going to train me to work the Genius bar and never did. Even the coolest retail job is still a retail job.
  • .... some people, if given a check for a million dollars, would complain about having to go to a bank and cash it ... if you don't want to work someplace, then don't, this isn't a communist country ... yet ...
  • good to know
  • “The larger the external rewards, the greater the risk of inhibiting or stunting the native drive for excellence. Big, fancy prizes remove what Dr. W. Edwards Deming, one of kaizen’s most passionate advocates, called ‘intrinsic motivation.’ Dr. Deming understood that most people want to be proud of their work and want to offer useful contributions. But big cash prizes in the corporate world can send the message that an employee is a cog in the machine who must be whipped into a frenzy by the possibility of personal gain. Large rewards can become the goal in and of themselves, usurping an employee’s natural desire to find stimulation and creativity in the work alone. Moreover, once the large reward is in hand, a person’s motivation to continue the new and desirable behavior tends to fade or disappear.”—Robert Maurer, Ph.D., in "One Small Step Can Change Your Life: The Kaizen Way"
    “The researchers found that if any of the three extrinsic aspirations—for money, fame, or beauty—was very high for an individual relative to the three intrinsic aspirations, the individual was also more likely to display poorer mental health. For example, having an unusually strong aspiration for material success was associated with narcissism, anxiety, depression, and poorer social functioning...
    “In contrast, strong aspirations for any of the intrinsic goals—meaningful relationships, personal growth, and community contributions—were positively associated with well-being. People who strongly desired to contribute to their community, for example, had more vitality and higher self-esteem. When people organize their behavior in terms of intrinsic strivings (relative to extrinsic strivings) they seem more content—they feel better about who they are and display more evidence of psychological health.”--Edward Deci, one of the world’s leading researchers on human motivation in the book, "Why We Do What We Do"