Apple’s obsession with secrecy is well known. Adam Lashinsky’s new book Inside Apple offers some interesting details into the company’s practices to ensure secrecy.
According to conversations he had with Apple employees, the company puts fresh recruits on dummy projects for a while to test their how trustworthy they are:
For new recruits, the secret keeping begins even before they learn which of these building they’ll be working in. Despite surviving multiple rounds of rigorous interviews, many employees are hired into so-called dummy positions, roles that aren’t explained in detail until after they join the company. The new hires have been welcomed but not yet indoctrinated and aren’t necessarily to be trusted with information as sensitive as their own mission. “They wouldn’t tell me what it was,” remembered a former engineer who had been a graduate student before joining Apple. “I knew it was related to the iPod, but not what the job was.” Others do know but won’t say, a realization that hits the newbies on their first day of work at new-employee orientation.
While Lashinsky was speaking at LinkedIn’s HQ, a former Apple employee corroborated his claims in a Q&A session with the author:
A friend of mine who’s a senior engineer at Apple, he works on — or did work on — fake products I’m sure for the first part of his career, and interviewed for 9 months. It’s intense.
The whole video, around 50 minutes long, is embedded below:
Lashinky’s book, Inside Apple, talks a lot more about Apple’s secretive culture, including a room at 1 Infinite Loop solely dedicated to designing product packaging, and improving the “unboxing” experience.
It is quite possible that some of these so-called fake products that Apple employees work on, end up getting shelved but making employees work on fake projects just because it doesn’t trust them seems a little extreme and unbelievable. It is also difficult to believe that employees some of whom are the brightest minds in the industry will tolerate such things.
What do you think? Sound off in the comments.