Apple engineers' fake work to earn trust

Summary:Apple's issues with trust and obsession with secrecy have been well-documented. But now we're hearing of particularly tricky tactical twist.

Apple's issues with trust and obsession with secrecy have been well-documented. But now we're hearing of particularly tricky tactical twist.

In his new book, Inside Apple: How America's Most Admired — and Secretive — Company Really Works, author Adam Lashinsky writes that Apple puts new employees to work on "dummy projects" to see if they can be trusted. After earning their stripes with Apple brass, those employees will then be put on real projects to help the company.

Although the claim sounds extreme, at a LinkedIn event where Lashinsky was speaking recently, an audience member took the microphone to corroborate the author's story. The person, who said he'd worked at Apple for six years, recounted that he has a friend "who's a senior engineer at Apple" who "works on — or did work on — fake products, I'm sure, for the first part of his career, and interviewed for nine months".

As one might expect, Apple hasn't commented on the claim, and there's a good chance that it won't, given the company's penchant for secrecy. ZDNet Australia's sister site CNET has, however, reached out to Apple, seeking comment on the claim.

Apple has been similarly tight lipped on other claims that have come out of the Lashinsky book. The author argues in his book that Apple co-founder Steve Jobs was working on a major refinement to the iPhone's camera just months before he died last year. A key component in that idea was enlisting the help of a small company, called Lytro, that has developed cameras that let users change the focus of a picture after it's taken.

In addition, before the book was launched earlier this month, an excerpt from the title was released, saying that Apple senior vice president for iOS Software Scott Forstall is already making it clear that he wants to be the company's next CEO.

"If there's a knock on Forstall," Lashinsky wrote in his book, according to Fortune, which obtained a copy, "it's that he wears his ambition in plainer view than the typical Apple executive. He blatantly accumulated influence in recent years, including, it is whispered, when Jobs was on medical leave."

Via CNET

Topics: Apple

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