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Former Apple managers talk of the 24/7 work culture: “these people are nuts”


With the extreme competition for senior jobs at Apple, it will come as no surprise that you’re expected to work hard and put in extra hours. But according to two former managers speaking in a Debug podcast, the demands are far greater than anyone realizes when they join, with immediate responses to emails expected even in the middle of the night.

Sunday is a work night for everybody at Apple because it’s the exec meeting the next day. So you had your phone out there, you were sitting in front of your computer, it didn’t matter if your favorite show was on […] You were basically on until, like, 2 o’clock in the morning …


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1500 senior execs name Apple most innovative company in the world 9th year running



The Boston Consulting Group’s annual list of the world’s most innovative companies has again named Apple as the leader of the pack, a position it has held since the survey began in 2005.

The list is based on a survey of 1500 senior execs across a range of industries, with five criteria applied:

The report singles out five factors that lead to strength in innovation: senior-management commitment, the ability to leverage intellectual property, customer focus, innovation portfolio management and well-defined and governed processes.

BCG also created a second list of up-and-coming companies that it feels to be innovative without having yet hit the big time. These companies include Groupon, Pinterest, Spotify, Rakuten, Netflix, Alibaba, Xiaomi Tech and WhatsApp.

Back in March, Apple retained the top spot in the JD Power phone satisfaction survey, also for the 9th year running, and earlier this month did the same for PCs in the American Customer Satisfaction Index for the 10th year in a row.

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Blackberry bows to the inevitable, seeking ‘strategic alternatives’ (buyout)



Trading in Blackberry shares was briefly suspended in the lead-up to the company’s announcement that it is exploring ‘strategic alternatives’.

The Company’s Board of Directors has formed a Special Committee to explore strategic alternatives to enhance value and increase scale in order to accelerate BlackBerry 10 deployment. These alternatives could include, among others, possible joint ventures, strategic partnerships or alliances, a sale of the Company or other possible transactions.

The company, which once dominated the enterprise market, was extremely late moving into touchscreen phones and found itself increasingly isolated by both Bring Your Own Device policies and aggressive pitching to the corporate market by both Apple and Samsung.

This tweet by Techmeme editor Mahendra Palsule perhaps says it best:

In an interesting development,  the press release notes Prem Watsa CEO Fairfax Financial has resigned from the board:

With the announcement of the Special Committee, Prem Watsa, Chairman and CEO of Fairfax Financial informed the Company that he felt it was appropriate to resign due to potential conflicts that may arise during the process. Fairfax Financial is the largest BlackBerry shareholder. Mr. Watsa said, “I continue to be a strong supporter of the Company, the Board and Management as they move forward during this process, and Fairfax Financial has no current intention of selling its shares.”

Perhaps this indicates that the Blackberry’s largest shareholder is at least considering a buyout.