In late 2011, Apple acquired Israeli flash memory startup Anobit. After working for nearly a year for Apple, Anobit’s founder and CEO Ariel Maislos left the company, reportedly to work on a new startup. Now that he can talk freely to the press, Maislos discussed the acquisition and Apple’s work culture at a recent Israel Semiconductor Club meet.
“We had already had a close working relationship with Apple,” Maislos revealed. “When you are working in the flash memory industry, it’s kind of hard not to come across Apple at some point, as a partner or a customer – and they were a very big customer. We developed a very good relationship with them, and a mutual appreciation developed between both companies.”
Maislos noted that the founders of Anobit weren’t keenly looking for an exit, since they already had enough capital from their past acquisitions to continue to invest in the company.
Maislos also contrasted the culture at Apple and Intel, having been in the unique position of working closely with both companies (Intel was an investor in Anobit):
While Intel engineers are given assignments and are rewarded for ingenuity and creativity, he said, it’s a given at Apple that engineers will be at the top of their game. “At Apple, you have to run ahead just to stay in place, and there are very high expectations of everyone. Apple expects everything you do to be amazing.
“That is not the case at Intel, where no one expects you to be ‘amazing’,” said Maislos, although Intel does reward those who give their “A+ game”.
He added that working at Apple “ was an amazing experience.”