Art Meets Technology
Apple Inc., is a Global Technology Company that designs, develops, and sells Consumer Electronics, Computer Software and Online Services. Apple is one of the 'Big Tech' Companies and has created Iconic Products and Services such as iPhone, iPad, MacBook, iPod, Apple Watch, iTunes, Apple Pay, to name a few.
Organization for Focus and Growth
We were at Apple at the time when the Company was experiencing tremendous growth of its Mac Portables Business. Apple wanted to create dedicated Teams to deliver its 'PowerBooks' (Professional Laptops) and 'iBooks' (Consumer Laptops). To support that aim, we formed the Mobile Mac System Engineering Teams in Cupertino, California. These Teams were responsible for Engineering Management, Program Management, Electronic Circuit Design, Introduction to Manufacture and Support of all Laptop products. We also led the creation of a Joint Development and Manufacture (JDM) Team to work more efficiently with manufacturing partners in Taiwan and China.
Exploration and Prototyping
In order to create a 'home' for Innovation within the Organization, we set up a small ‘skunk-works’ Team that prototyped a number of new product concepts, including the Mac mini. This Team eventually evolved into a fully fledged ‘Exploration and Prototyping Group’ whose brief was to explore new technologies and ideas, create prototypes and pitch these to the Executive Team, including Steve Jobs. Working on a 12-18 month horizon, in partnership with the Industrial Design and Product Design Teams, we explored and validated technologies to be used in future Apple products.
Delivering a Vision
The most innovative and successful project we were involved in, which was personally briefed by Steve Jobs, was the Exploration and Development of the first iPad prototypes. The project involved Design, Development and Customization, to a production-ready level, and required numerous visits to Japan and China to oversee successful component development and system manufacture. Several hundred units were produced and were subsequently used by the Software Teams for iOS and Multi-Touch Application Development.