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.
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A huge let down
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.
- D. Saguy "dsaguy"
Feels like tabloidy fan fiction at best
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.
- Vlad Preoteasa "vlad_p"