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Steve Jobs's Legacy to Live On in 'Apple University'

Photo courtesy of Robert Scoble
The LA Times provides some new details about an internal project at Apple designed to take the company succesfully into the future despite the premature passing of Steve Jobs.

We first heard details about this "Apple University" project back in May when it was revealed that Steve Jobs had hired dean of Yale School of Management Joel Podolny to run an internal group featuring business professors and Harvard veterans to prepare employees for life at Apple after Jobs.

The LA Times cites an anonymous former Apple executive who describes the reasoning behind the project:
"Steve was looking to his legacy. The idea was to take what is unique about Apple and create a forum that can impart that DNA to future generations of Apple employees," said a former Apple executive who spoke on the condition of anonymity to preserve his relationship with the company. "No other company has a university charged with probing so deeply into the roots of what makes the company so successful."
Podolny left his position as Yale Business School dean and moved into an office between Steve Jobs and Tim Cook after he accepted the position in 2009. Podolny, himself, was personally influenced by Steve Jobs and Apple and even described writing his first computer program on an Apple II. In his farewell to Yale students, he wrote "While there are many great companies, I cannot think of one that has had as tremendous personal meaning for me as Apple".

Jobs reportedly identified specific tenets at Apple that he believed was responsible for Apple's success. Those included accountability, attention to detail, perfectionism, simplicity, and secrecy. Jobs is said to have personally overseen the creation of the courses and had sustained an interest in it since its inception. According to the LA Times, Jobs' other successful company, Pixar, also uses a similar corporate University model.

Steve Jobs passed away on Wednesday, October 5th.

Top Rated Comments

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100 months ago
Steve Jobs, prepared for everything. Even his own death.

Apple will still thrive and succeed. Thanks to Steve.

If only I could attend iUniversity..
Rating: 21 Votes
100 months ago
I think that, 50 years from now, Jobs will be a single chapter in computer classes but will be taught very heavily in business schools.

The way he ran Apple and, more importantly, the way he set it up to run after he was gone seem to be just as impressive as any electronic product he created.
Rating: 16 Votes
100 months ago

Sounds pretty weird, but it is genius. He cared for Apple more than we will ever understand.

Sad he left so early. Wish he was more like Bill though. Maybe the more laid back lifestyle could have added some years.

Unfortunately, cancer does not care whether you're laid back or not. It's an equal opportunity killer.
Rating: 15 Votes
100 months ago
That is very interesting. Steve is gone and will not impact a product directly ever again, but seems to have laid a foundation for a long time
Rating: 9 Votes
100 months ago
I think that Steve has ensured that the ship is set on course and sails smoothly. The itinerary is set, and there's much more to come.
Rating: 9 Votes
100 months ago
The best tribute to Steve Jobs is to celebrate (and support) the team he hand picked to succeed him. :apple:
Rating: 9 Votes
100 months ago

Apple becomes a religion, looks like.

Just go away will you.:mad:
Rating: 8 Votes
100 months ago

You have said it perfectly.

And honestly, I laughed when you said "go rub your dick on some Android POS"

The mods deleted it...I'm gonna edit the insults and repost.


Wow, what an honor! Like Hamburger U.

Jobs had no desire to see Apple succeed after he was gone. If you disagree, either you don't know Jobs or don't want to know Jobs. Exhibit #1: iPhone 4S.


The 4S is amazing, and I said that from day one.

To think a man who devoted his life, even in the worst of health, to a company would want it to ever fail is just plain wrong.

You're just acting butthurt because you were one of the people who put all their faith in the idea of an iPhone 5, when all evidence (including the jump from the 3G to the 3GS) showed it would be a 4S. Every other year is an "S" year. Get over it and get used to it, or go rub your dick on an Android POS.

The best part is that If Apple had released the exact phone but in a different shell, many nay-sayers would be stroking their dongs over how awesome it is (fandroids not included, of course).
Rating: 8 Votes
100 months ago
Steve's legacy

The passing of Steve Jobs hit me like a fridge. It's outright ridiculous how much it affected me emotionally since I have never met him personally, but his products changed my life.

Like most of you I am awakened in the morning by an iPhone. I then work all day on a MacBook Pro. Watch some TV shows that come from an iMac. I go to bed listening to an iPod.

All of that I do in a condo I could never have afforded if I hadn't realized just how much a game changer the original iPod was and invested around $6,000 in AAPL stock just before it went on sale. :D

It was always obvious to me that Apple affected everything I do (I work in a publishing house: desktop publishing wouldn't exist if it hadn't been for Apple.) Just how much Steve himself meant to me though, was something I hadn't fathomed.

As bad as his death at a relatively young age is, what would make his passing outright unbearable would be an Apple Inc. loosing its ways.

From what I can tell, Steve was the lens that focused all the creative efforts Apple undertook. He was by no means the only creative person at Apple, but he kept the rest of them on track. Hopefully Apple University will fill the void Steve's passing will leave at Apple.

Here's to a bright future for Apple, post Steve. Either way, I miss him already. Surely he could have made "one more thing" that's "insanely great" if he just had had more time.

- Sebi
Rating: 7 Votes
100 months ago

We'll only know how successful this is when Tim or others do an about-face and reject one of Steve's peeves. Continuing the turtlenecked one's petty grievances is disrespecting the Apple that Steve created.

Embrace Flash and Blu-ray - Apple's customers want them. Lay off the legal team that's trying to sue everyone else in the industry. Pay for other companies' IP that you're using, and forget the nonsense that a tablet form factor is a holy design.

Much of the value of the Apple brand is coolness, and all the lawsuits are very, very uncool.

No, Apple customers don't want the CPU eating, computer crashing, battery eating, virus portal known as Flash. Maybe YOU do, but as can be seen by the wide adoption of iOS, most Apple customers don't care.

The web and the world is moving forward to HTML5, and we have Steve to thank for pushing us there.
Rating: 7 Votes

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