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Alaina Love
Leadership author

Alaina Love

Alaina Love is co-author, with Marc Cugnon, of The Purpose Linked Organization and co-founder of Purpose Linked Consulting.

Secret Apple-sauce

For years competitors in the tech world have longed to replicate Apple's success. Many have attributed the company's performance to the brilliance of Steve Jobs,
but brilliance alone is not enough to revolutionize a business and build an empire in a ruthlessly competitive global marketplace. Yet, that is precisely what Apple's leadership under Jobs has achieved.

Following in the footsteps of famed Washington Post reporters, Woodward and Bernstein, I decided to find my own "Deep Throat" contact inside Apple. After months of clandestine meetings and assurances of anonymity, he has provided me with the recipe for Apple's Secret Sauce for dominating the market. Listen up competitors -- the code has now been cracked.

The basic ingredients of the secret sauce for Apple's success are these:

• Take one genius CEO who is a strong conceiver and creator with a laser-sharp eye for detail and a burning passion for the business;

• Fold in a team of equally brilliant leaders who embrace the vision for "The Apple Way": creating smart products that set the benchmark for communications, computing and media access;

• Effectively recruit and develop 34,000 evangelists who like to color outside of the lines; stir gently;

• Drizzle in one teaspoon of virus that stimulates an insatiable appetite for innovation throughout the company;;

• Adjust the mixer speed to high, re-setting the bar for contenders by striving to outperform Apple's personal best, rather than playing against a field of "lesser thans;"

• Preset the oven temperature for media by carefully controlling the messages released by the company, always remembering that brand image doesn't begin and end with product design alone;

• Add spice to the sauce by reinventing the meaning of "cool" with relentless attention to product aesthetics, ease of use, and quality;

• Bring sauce to a gently rolling boil by paying close attention to the customer and their needs;

• Artfully serve the sauce by mastering demand creation. Staff stores with talented evangelists who transform students, business people, and grandmothers alike, into product converts with equal ease, making Apple products a staple rather than a luxury;

• Finally, deglaze the pan drippings with the curve balls of life (like the serious illness of a CEO) and use them to address the question: What would Apple be without Steve Jobs?

Answer: The envy of all its competitors.

Author's note: This post was written on a MacBook Pro.

By Alaina Love

 |  January 28, 2010; 2:11 PM ET
Category:  Corporate leadership Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
Previous: Give them iPads! | Next: It's always been personal


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Great article. It was well written, and quite funny. Microsoft you should be taking notes on this killer recipe.

Posted by: CharlesCarmichael | January 29, 2010 6:18 PM
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Corny, but entertaining. The chances of someone whipping this particular recipe up their corporate kitchens is slim to none. Apple has created a business DNA that's their strategic advantage.

Posted by: jmail2 | January 28, 2010 6:29 PM
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I like this tongue-in-cheek, fun and accurate depiction of Apple's secret sauce. They are leading the pack because their stuff works well, looks good, has killer functions and slick apps. Hiring a bunch of genius geeks hasn't hurt either. Kudos to their leadership for being willing to think outside the box!
Now that the code is cracked... Microsoft, are you listening???

Posted by: MaryR2 | January 28, 2010 3:31 PM
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