Former Wall Street Journal technology reporter Yukari Iwatani Kane delves deep inside Apple in the two years since Steve Jobs’ death, revealing the tensions and challenges CEO Tim Cook and his team face as they try to sustain Jobs’ vision and keep the company moving forward.
Steve Jobs' death raised one of the most pressing questions in the tech and business worlds: Could Apple stay great without its iconic leader? Many inside the company were eager to prove that Apple could be just as innovative as it had been under Jobs. Others were painfully aware of the immense challenge ahead. As its business has become more complex and global, Apple has come under intense scrutiny, much of it critical. Maintaining market leadership has become crucial as it tries to conquer new frontiers and satisfy the public's insatiable appetite for "insanely great" products.
Based on over 200 interviews with current and former executives, business partners, Apple watchers, and others, Haunted Empire is an illuminating portrait of Apple today that offers clues to its future. With nuanced insights and colorful details that only a seasoned journalist could glean, Kane goes beyond the myths and headlines. She explores Tim Cook’s leadership and its impact on Jobs’ loyal lieutenants, new product development, and Apple’s relationships with Wall Street, the government, tech rivals, suppliers, the media, and consumers.
Hard-hitting yet fair, Haunted Empire reveals the perils and opportunities an iconic company faces when it loses its visionary leader.
©2014 Yukari Iwatani Kane (P)2014 HarperCollins Publishers
I work in the mobile space and I invest in Apple stock so Apple is very central to my work and income. And as everyone knows, Apple is one of the most secretive large companies on the planet so for the past 5 years, I've been reading every single book or news story that comes out about Apple to try and keep up with what is really going on inside. But so far most books have been either about Steve Jobs or about Apple while Steve Jobs was still alive. So when I heard about this book, I just could not wait to read it. Great title, great promise of finally finding out whether Apple's still got it.
But that's pretty much when the excitement ended.
The book is full of assertions or doubts raised frivolously like whether Johnny Ive is really as talented or essential as everyone says BUT with no facts or even stories to back up the assertions. You're left wondering where the author got these impressions from and why she's so sure.
Some of these assertions are completely contradictory to the recent book about Jony Ive: "Jony Ive: The Genius Behind Apple's Greatest Products" which is excellently researched and wonderfully written (although the narrator has a somewhat annoying voice on Audible).
Even the author's thesis that Apple has lost its way is contradicted by the author herself at many points in the book. So the impression you're left with is that of a long boring narrative of events, which I had already read about in the news, peppered with assertions that don't hold together.
So to conclude, I hope that someone will write a book about the Tim Cook era at Apple that actually reads well and isn't full of obvious bias so readers can make their own opinions. Unfortunately that book has not yet been written.
The narrator does a decent job but it's pointless because the book is such a joke in the first place.
There are some cheap tactics employed to get reactions which often create weak and confusing arguments. Grasping at straws and throwing everything at listeners also makes for uneven storytelling with poor continuity. There's no meat to anything. There's seemingly no point. It just tries to be controversial and angry for the sake of cashing in. This is poor journalism. I believe they call it trolling.
No, I still love insider looks at the technology industry. It's a shame that Kane chose to go with such a cheap angle. Recent works by Vogelstein and Stone maintain my faith in the integrity of the work.
Flat, focused, and terse.
There's some good insight in there, it's just buried under heaps of dramatically skewed, inconsequential, and tangential information.
Imagine if Perez Hilton loved tech and decided to write a fan fiction piece on Apple. It reads like arguing with a crazy person.
I cannot stop listening to this book. Informative - well narrated. This is the best book on Steve Jobs. Historical information was spot - on. Haunted ranks in the top ten of my audiobook collection.
The most memorable moments was Steve last days on this earth. The presentation at the Cupertino city council meeting was illuminating. The narrator made this book come alive. As you know there were two Steve's. The polished Svengali that the attendees at the WWDC events and the tyrannical Steve that his employees experienced daily. At the presentation for 4 S when there were 500 plus wifi connections and his demo was not going as scripted, you witness the tyrannical Steve. Oops. This was priceless.
Arielle DeLisle did an outstanding job. Brought the book alive - voice inflections were perfect. The emotion just oozed through earbuds. Well Done indeed!
Insightful - emotional - in depth look at the worlds greatest CEO. THE MULTIFACTED STEVE JOBS.
Overall this book is a 10! Once you start, you will not be able to stop.
i was excited to get this book as published insights on apple culture AFTER steve jobs are rare. i was disappointed. the majority of the book gives nothing more than very well known events that happened BEFORE steve jobs passed away, including content that was already in steve jobs' biography, only retold in different wording. also, the narrator's voice is quite annoying. i fast forwarded most of the book. not a good experience.
The writing style, coverage of topics and performance of the narrator were professional, but they are the only positives.
The author demonstrates a clear lack of understanding of technology, product development and large companies. Various facts are selectively cherry picked to further the authors' argument, but it is far from balanced. While the central premise of the book is "Jobs = good, Cook = not as good", the facts and arguments presented are neither convincing to either support or not support the central premise. Much of the book is just a narrative of public information about Apple, it's operations and legal cases. It contains no analysis or expertise in either reporting, arguments or conclusions.
The book is tabloid quality journalism and isn't worth the investment in time or money. It reminds me of various unresearched podcasts that speculate about Apple, but fall flat because the presenters have never worked in large companies, been involved in large scale software or hardware product development, let alone work for Apple or a large silicon valley company.
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