6 things I never knew about Apple

May 7, 2011, 1:30 PM UTC

Adam Lashinsky’s “Inside” story in the new issue of Fortune is packed with juicy revelations

SVPs: Phil Schiller clowning for Jony Ive, Eddy Cue and Scott Forstall on the Apple campus in 2010. Photo: Robyn Twomey

After the simultaneous, and more-or-less disastrous, launch of the iPhone 3G and MobileMe in the summer of 2008 — the launch one Gizmodo reader dubbed “iPocalypse” — Steve Jobs summoned the MobileMe team to the Town Hall auditorium on Apple’s (AAPL) Cupertino campus for an obscenity-laden dressing down. “You’ve tarnished Apple’s reputation,” he told them. “You should hate each other for having let each other down.” Then he named a new executive on the spot to run the team.

That’s the lead anecdote of “Inside Apple,” Adam Lashinsky’s feature story in the new issue of Fortune — available to subscribers on the iPad. It’s an anecdote I’d never heard before, one of dozens of juicy details that Lashinsky — who wrote the definitive profile of Apple COO Tim Cook in 2008 — managed to extract from the secretive company through several months of old-fashioned shoe-leather reporting. Among the other revelations:

  • The sermon on the “Difference Between the Janitor and the Vice President” — a kind of managerial parable Jobs reportedly tells every exec who reaches the VP level
  • Apple’s radical approach to “P&L” (the financial statement by which individual managers in other companies are held responsible for profits and losses in their divisions) that turns the concept on its head
  • The effect Jobs’ “Top 100” off-site meetings have on the employees who are invited and those who are left behind
  • An elaborate org chart — centered around Jobs — that includes dozens of VPs whose names you’ll never get from Apple PR
  • The mission-critical task assigned to the “band of eggheads” that Jobs hired just before his second medical leave

You can read Lashinsky’s story — and the rest of the May 23 Fortune 500 issue — on the iPad for free if you are a Fortune subscriber. You can get the Fortune iPad app on iTunes here. If you’re not a print subscriber, click here. You can conduct the entire transaction online.

PAYWALL UPDATE: Time Inc. is also selling Adam’s piece on Amazon’s (AMZN) Kindle reader or via Kindle apps for PC, Mac, iOS, Blackberry and Android devices. Cost: $0.99. Click here.

BEHIND THE SCENES: Peter Kafka, who tweeted Saturday about how much trouble he was having downloading the iPad version, posted a piece on All Things Digital Monday about why Fortune put the Lashinsky piece behind a paywall.

Also on Fortune.com:

[Follow Philip Elmer-DeWitt on Twitter @philiped]