From the Wall Street Journal’s Tripp Mickle, the dramatic, untold story inside Apple after the passing of Steve Jobs by following his top lieutenants-Jony Ive, the Chief Design Officer, and Tim Cook, the COO-turned-CEO-and how the fading of the former and the rise of the latter led to Apple losing its soul.
Steve Jobs called Jony Ive his “spiritual partner at Apple.” The London-born genius was the second-most powerful person at Apple and the creative force who most embodies Jobs’s spirit, the man who designed the products adopted by hundreds of millions the world over: the iPod, iPad, MacBook Air, the iMac G3, and the iPhone. In the wake of his close collaborator’s death, the chief designer wrestled with grief and initially threw himself into his work designing the new Apple headquarters and the Watch before losing his motivation in a company increasingly devoted more to margins than to inspiration.
In many ways, Cook was Ive’s opposite. The product of a small Alabama town, he had risen through the ranks from the supply side of the company. His gift was not the creation of new products. Instead, he had invented countless ways to maximize a margin, squeezing some suppliers, persuading others to build factories the size of cities to churn out more units. He considered inventory evil. He knew how to make subordinates sweat with withering questions.
Jobs selected Cook as his successor, and Cook oversaw a period of tremendous revenue growth that has lifted Apple’s valuation to $3 trillion. He built a commanding business in China and rapidly distinguished himself as a master politician who could forge global alliances and send the world’s stock market into freefall with a single sentence.
Author Tripp Mickle spoke with more than 200 current and former Apple executives, as well as figures key to this period of Apple’s history, including Trump administration officials and fashion luminaries such as Anna Wintour while writing After Steve. His research shows the company’s success came at a cost. Apple lost its innovative spirit and has not designed a new category of device in years. Ive’s departure in 2019 marked a culmination in Apple’s shift from a company of innovation to one of operational excellence, and the price is a company that has lost its soul.
"Mickle penetrates the veil of secrecy shrouding one of the great dramas of modern business history: how Apple not only survived but thrived after the death of its brilliant, charismatic founder - and at what personal cost to his successors, Tim Cook and Jony Ive. After Steve is both a feat of reporting on what may be the most secretive company in the world and a gripping narrative that brings readers inside the "Spaceship," Apple's futuristic headquarters." - James B. Stewart, author of New York Times bestsellers Den of Thieves, Blood Sport and DisneyWar "Pulls off the rare feat of illuminating Apple's spiritual misdirections through the life and times of Jony Ive before and after Steve Jobs's death. This extraordinary book has a lot of heart, but also lessons on how a visionary company can lose its soul in search of even greater profits." - Bradley Hope, co-author of the New York Times bestseller Billion Dollar Whale "Mickle pierced Apple's culture of omerta to deliver an intimate portrait of how Steve Jobs's top disciples - Tim Cook, the inscrutable operator, and Jony Ive, the passionate artist - grappled with the loss of their master and their own differences to bring his creation to unprecedented success." - Sara Gay Forden, author of House of Gucci and editor at Bloomberg News "A thrilling account of the characters, intrigues, and decisions that drove Apple to become the world's most valuable corporation. After Steve is sure to become the definitive account of the post-Jobs era at Apple."- Bhu Srinivasan, author of Americana "A fascinating look at Apple in the post-Jobs era. Mickle highlights the link between professional dynamics and personal relationships and how large-cap companies need different skills as they scale. A master class in how creatives and operators work together to build value." - Scott Galloway, best-selling author of The Four and Post Corona
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