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自分が読んで興味深く感じた英文記事を中心に取り上げる予定です

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Courses are not required, only recommended

 
Appleのことを話題にしていたので8月のニューヨークタイムズの記事を思い出しました。部外者にほとんど知られることのないAppleの社内研修を紹介してくれています。タイトルにある通り必修ではないようですが。。。

TOEICでも社内研修はよく出ますが、”not required”という表現に関しては求人広告でPrior experience working in a library is preferred but not required.のように使われることの方が多そうです。

Simplifying the Bull: How Picasso Helps to Teach Apple’s Style
Inside Apple’s Internal Training Program
By BRIAN X. CHEN
AUGUST 10, 2014

CUPERTINO, Calif. — Apple may well be the only tech company on the planet that would dare compare itself to Picasso.

In a class at the company’s internal training program, the so-called Apple University, the instructor likened the 11 lithographs that make up Picasso’s “The Bull” to the way Apple builds its smartphones and other devices. The idea: Apple designers strive for simplicity just as Picasso eliminated details to create a great work of art.

Steven P. Jobs established Apple University as a way to inculcate employees into Apple’s business culture and educate them about its history, particularly as the company grew and the tech business changed. Courses are not required, only recommended, but getting new employees to enroll is rarely a problem.


このApple UniversityはWalter IsaacsonのJobsの伝記でも軽く触れられているだけだそうです。以下がその部分です。下記の一カ所しかApple Universityは伝記では登場していません。

In order to institutionalize the lessons that he and his team were learning, Jobs started an in-house center called Apple University. He hired Joel Podolny, who was dean of the Yale School of Management, to compile a series of case studies analyzing important decisions the company had made, including the switch to the Intel microprocessor and the decision to open the Apple Stores. Top executives spent time teaching the cases to new employees, so that the Apple style of decision making would be embedded in the culture. This is one of the most emotionally intelligent things Jobs did, if you just read his actions in the book and know nothing else. Love the style or hate it – teaching it to the company reinforces a strong and consistent culture.

この記事で一番印象的なのは、ピカソの牛の絵の習作です(ピカソの絵はリンク先でご確認ください)。余分なものを削ぎ落とし最後は一筆書きのようになっても牛と認識できます。英語ではa curvy stick figure that is still unmistakably a bullと表現されています。これが、the drive to boil down an idea to its most essential componentsというアップルのデザインにもつながるというのです。興味深いのはこのトピックは“Communicating at Apple”という講座で教えられているようです。

Randy Nelson, who came from the animation studio Pixar, co-founded by Mr. Jobs, is one of the teachers of “Communicating at Apple.” This course, open to various levels of employees, focuses on clear communication, not just for making products intuitive, but also for sharing ideas with peers and marketing products.

In a version of the class taught last year, Mr. Nelson showed a slide of “The Bull,” a series of 11 lithographs of a bull that Picasso created over about a month, starting in late 1945. In the early stages, the bull has a snout, shoulder shanks and hooves, but over the iterations, those details vanish. The last image is a curvy stick figure that is still unmistakably a bull.

“You go through more iterations until you can simply deliver your message in a very concise way, and that is true to the Apple brand and everything we do,” recalled one person who took the course.

この記事では他にもいろいろな講座があるようですが、Jobsの有名な言葉に絡めた“The Best Things”というものもあるようです。

“The Best Things,” another course, takes its name from a quotation by Mr. Jobs. Its purpose is to remind employees to surround themselves with the best things, like talented peers and high-quality materials, so that they can do their best work.



It comes down to trying to expose yourself to the best things that humans have done and then try to bring those things in to what you're doing. I mean Picasso had a saying he said good artists copy great artists steal. And we have always been shameless about stealing great ideas. Ehm and I think part of what made the Macintosh great was that the people working on it were musicians and poets and artists and zoologists and historians who also happened to be the best computer scientists in the world.

つまり、人類が生み出してきた最高のものに触れるようにして、自分が取り組んでいるものに生かすようにするのです。ピカソが言っていたことに、「うまい芸術家はまねをし、偉大な芸術家は盗む」があります。我々はいつだって素晴らしいアイデアを盗むことに何のためらいもありません。マッキントッシュが素晴らしいものになったことの一つには、作った人々が音楽家や詩人、芸術家、動物学者や歴史家でありながら、たまたま世界最高のコンピュータ科学者でもあったことにあります。

このJobsの言葉の真意についてもう少し掘り下げた記事がCNetにありました。good artists copy great artists stealと言っているのになぜ特許訴訟合戦を他社と繰り広げているのか、というちょっと意地悪な導入で始まりますが、自分のモノにすることが大切であるといずれのAppleエグゼクティブたちが語っています。

What Steve Jobs really meant when he said 'Good artists copy; great artists steal'
Apple's Bud Tribble: "If you take something and make it your own ... it's your design and that is the dividing line between copying and stealing. That is part of Apple's DNA."
by Dan Farber@dbfarber January 28, 2014 8:04 AM PST

During a recent interview with Apple executives Bud Tribble, Phil Schiller, and Craig Federighi, I asked about Jobs' statement and the seeming contradiction between suing competitors and being shameless about stealing ideas.

"I think that's been misunderstood. Copying means -- I believe this is what he meant when he said it because we talked about it back then -- doing the same thing," said Schiller, senior vice president of worldwide marketing. "I think what he meant by 'steal' was you learn, as artists have, from past masters; you figure out what you like about it and what you want to incorporate into your idea, and you take it further and do something new with it. I can see why people might confuse that with the current use people have for that phrase. You don't just say, 'I want something that looks just like yours and I'm going to sell it too.'

"Great people actually understand at a deeper level what makes something great and then build on the shoulders of that and build something even more marvelous and take it further," he added. "I think that's the case. We all learn from everything in our industry. It doesn't matter what field you are in, but copying is literally just taking and doing the same thing."

"I think people focus on the Picasso statement and focus on the word 'steal,'" said Bud Tribble, Apple's vice president of software technology and leader of the Macintosh software team during its infancy. "If you take that word, which is kind of pejorative, and replace it with 'make it your own,' I think the underlying idea is that you can't do great design by copying something because you aren't going to care about it. If you take something and make it your own, what really happens is now you care about that design. It's your design and that is the dividing line between copying and stealing. That is part of Apple's DNA. The things we are building and creating, we really care about. We feel like they are ours, and we are making them as great as we can because we care."

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