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自比毕加索 揭秘神秘的苹果大学|鸭脖娱乐罗志祥

2021-06-19 

本文摘要:CUPERTINO, Calif. — Apple may well be the only tech company on the planet that would dare compare itself to Picasso.加州,库比蒂诺——苹果公司也许是这个星球上唯一一个不敢把自己和毕加索(Picasso)相提并论的技术公司了。

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CUPERTINO, Calif. — Apple may well be the only tech company on the planet that would dare compare itself to Picasso.加州,库比蒂诺——苹果公司也许是这个星球上唯一一个不敢把自己和毕加索(Picasso)相提并论的技术公司了。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.公司的内部培训计划被称作“苹果大学”,在其中一堂课上,导师将11张包含毕加索《公牛》(The Bull)的版画与苹果公司打造出智能手机及其他产品的方式联系一起。他的意思是:苹果设计师像毕加索一样执着简练,去除繁复的细节,建构出有最出色的艺术品。

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.史蒂夫·P·乔布斯(Steven P. Jobs)创办苹果大学的目的是向员工灌输苹果的商业文化,并传授公司的历史,尤其是公司的发展和技术经济的变革。课程并非科目,只作为引荐课程,但是更有新的雇员来讲课根本就不成问题。

Although many companies have such internal programs, sometimes referred to as indoctrination, Apple’s version is a topic of speculation and fascination in the tech world.许多公司也有类似于的内部培训,有时不会被视为“灌输”,而苹果公司培训的主题则是思维与技术世界的魅力。It is highly secretive and rarely written about, referred to briefly in the biography of Mr. Jobs by Walter Isaacson. Apple employees are discouraged from talking about the company in general, and the classes are no exception. No pictures of the classrooms have surfaced publicly. And a spokeswoman for Apple declined to make instructors available for interviews for this article.培训高度保密,完全没有人写出过涉及的东西,只是在沃尔特·艾萨克森(Walter Isaacson)为乔布斯所做到的传记中有所牵涉到。公司不希望雇员们公开发表谈论公司,这些课程大自然也不值得注意。没任何课堂上的照片公之于众。

苹果公司的一位女发言人拒绝接受获取导师们的联系方式,可供本文作者展开专访。But three employees who have taken classes agreed to speak to The New York Times on the condition that they not be identified. They described a program that is an especially vivid reflection of Apple and the image it presents to the world. Like an Apple product, it is meticulously planned, with polished presentations and a gleaming veneer that masks a great deal of effort.但是三位上过课的雇员表示同意拒绝接受《纽约时报》电子邮件专访。

他们叙述的课程尤其需要独特地体现出有苹果公司的状况,以及它呈现出给世界的形象。和苹果公司的产品一样,苹果大学的课程也经过精心设计,具有精致的呈现出和闪亮的装饰,其下掩藏着相关者代价的极大劳动。“Even the toilet paper in the bathrooms is really nice,” one of the employees said.“就连卫生间的厕纸都很高级,”一位雇员说道。

Unlike many corporations, Apple runs its training in-house, year round. The full-time faculty — including instructors, writers and editors — create and teach the courses. Some faculty members come from universities like Yale; Harvard; the University of California, Berkeley; Stanford; and M.I.T., and some continue to hold positions at their schools while working for Apple.和其他许多公司有所不同,苹果公司的内部培训长年开学。设计和教授课程的教学人员都是全职,其中还包括教师、作家和编辑。有些教学人员来自耶鲁、哈佛、加州大学伯克利分校、斯坦福和麻省理工等大学,有些人在自己的学校保有教职,同时又在苹果教课。The program was devised by Joel Podolny, then the dean of Yale School of Management. Mr. Jobs selected him when the program was founded, in 2008, and he remains head of the effort.该项目由乔伊·波多尔尼(Joel Podolny)设计,他当时是耶鲁大学管理学院的院长。

培训计划于2008年开始创办时,乔布斯自由选择了他,如今他依然领导着这项工作。On an internal website available only to Apple staff members, employees sign up for courses tailored to their positions and backgrounds. For example, one class taught founders of recently acquired companies how to smoothly blend resources and talents into Apple. The company may also offer a course tailored specifically to employees of Beats, perhaps including its founders, Dr. Dre and Jimmy Iovine. Neither Apple nor Beats would comment.在只对苹果公司员工对外开放的内部网站上,员工可以注册为自己的职务与背景量身定做的课程。

比如其中有一门课专门向新近并购的公司的创始人们对外开放,教教他们如何稳定地将原公司的资源和人才带入苹果。苹果公司难道也专门为Beats公司的雇员开办了一门课程,其创始人Dr. Dre和吉米·艾欧文(Jimmy lovine)有可能也在学员之中。苹果公司与Beats公司拒绝接受回应做出评论。Some of the courses teach case studies about important business decisions that Apple made, one of the employees said, including the one to make the iPod and its iTunes software compatible with Microsoft’s Windows system. This was a topic of fierce debate among executives. Mr. Jobs hated the idea of sharing the iPod with Windows, but he eventually acquiesced to his lieutenants. It turned out that opening the iPod to Windows users led to explosive growth of the music player and the iTunes Store, an ecosystem that would later contribute to the success of the iPhone.一位雇员说道,有些课程的内容是案例研究,就是苹果公司如何做出根本性商务要求的事例,比如让iPod和它设施的iTunes软件与微软公司的Windows系统相容的决策。

当时这在管理层中曾引发相当大的争辩,乔布斯不讨厌iPod与Windows相容的点子,但最后还是阻挠手下这样做到。最后iPod向Windows用户对外开放的作法为这种音乐播放器与iTunes商店带给了爆炸式的快速增长,构成了一种生态系统,后来对iPhone的顺利大有裨益。The classes are taught on Apple’s campus in a section of buildings called City Center and are as thoughtfully planned as an Apple product, the employees said. The rooms are well lit and built in a trapezoid shape; seats in the back rows are elevated so that everyone has a clear view of the instructor. Occasionally, classes are given in Apple’s overseas offices, like one in China, and the professors travel there to teach.雇员们说道,教学地点是在苹果工业园内一个名为“城市中心”的建筑群,这些建筑和苹果的产品一样,经过精心设计。房间灯光较好,设计成梯形,后排的座椅是增高的,让所有人都能确切地看见教师。

有时候也不会在中国等海外办公室教学,教授们不会探亲授课。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.兰迪·尼尔森(Randy Nelson)是“苹果公司的交流”课程的教师之一,他来自皮克斯动画工作室,乔布斯是该公司的创办人之一。这个课程向有所不同等级的雇员对外开放,主要内容是明晰的交流技巧,不仅要凭直觉制作产品,也要与同伴们共享点子,为产品做到市场推广。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.在去年的交流课上,尼尔森敲了毕加索“公牛”的幻灯片,那是毕加索在1945年底期间,于一个月内画出有的11幅公牛图案。

早期阶段的公牛有口鼻、肩膀和蹄子,但是随着一次次的再行创作,这些细节慢慢消失了。最后的图像是曲线包含的形状,但仍让人能显现出是一头公牛。“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.“经历一次次再行创作,直到你能把信息以十分简练的方式传达出来,苹果品牌,乃至我们所做到的一切都是这样,”据一个参与过这门课程的人回想。In “What Makes Apple, Apple,” another course that Mr. Nelson occasionally teaches, he showed a slide of the remote control for the Google TV, said an employee who took the class last year. The remote has 78 buttons. Then, the employee said, Mr. Nelson displayed a photo of the Apple TV remote, a thin piece of metal with just three buttons.尼尔森有时还不会教教另一门名为“苹果何以沦为苹果”的课程,一个去年读过这门课的雇员说道,他不会在课上释放出谷歌电视遥控器的幻灯。

这个遥控器下有78个按钮,然后尼尔森拿走了一张苹果电视遥控器的图,它是一个薄薄的金属片,上面只有三个按钮。How did Apple’s designers decide on three buttons? They started out with an idea, Mr. Nelson explained, and debated until they had just what was needed — a button to play and pause a video, a button to select something to watch, and another to go to the main menu.苹果的设计师们是怎么要求只另设三个按钮的?尼尔森说明说道,他们一开始再行有了一个创新,然后之后辩论,直到构建了他们所必须的东西——一个按钮用来播出和停止视频,一个按钮作为选择键,另一个按钮用来返回主菜单。The Google TV remote serves as a counterexample; it had so many buttons, Mr. Nelson said, because the individual engineers and designers who worked on the project all got what they wanted. But, Apple’s designers concluded, only three were needed.谷歌电视的遥控器则是反例,它有过于多按钮了,尼尔森说道,这是因为参予项目的工程师和设计师们都构建了自己想的东西。

但是苹果的设计师们达成协议了完全一致:只有三个按钮是必须的。“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.还有一门课程叫作“最差的东西”,这个名字来自乔布斯的一句话。

它的目标是警告雇员们,要让最差的东西环绕在自己身边,比如有才华的同伴和高品质的材料,这样才能在工作中做最差。One of the teachers for this course, Joshua Cohen, a Stanford professor, brought up Central Park in New York. The space for the park was originally a rocky swamp. But, Mr. Cohen said, its designers wanted to transform it into an area that gave urban residents the experience of nature.这门课的教师之一乔舒亚·科恩(Joshua Cohen)是斯坦福大学的教授,他在课上举纽约的中央公园为事例。公园起初是一片岩石和沼泽,但设计师们想要把它改建成一片可供城市居民体验大自然的地方。

The comparison was to one of Mr. Jobs’s goals: to make complex computer technologies feel understandable and natural.这种对比正是乔布斯的目标之一:把简单的电脑技术显得让人更容易解读,显得十分大自然。Ben Bajarin, a consumer technology analyst for Creative Strategies, said Apple University would take on more importance as Apple continued to grow.本·巴贾林(Ben Bajarin)是创新战略公司的消费者技术分析师,他说道,随着苹果持续发展,苹果大学不会显得更为最重要。“When you do the case studies on Apple decades from now, the one thing that will keep coming out is this unique culture where people there believe they’re making the best products that change people’s lives,” Mr. Bajarin said. “That’s all cultural stuff they’re trying to ingrain. That becomes very difficult the bigger you get.”“研究苹果目前为止几十年的案例,你不会找到它们一直保留这样一种独有文化——坚信自己在建构需要转变人们生活的最差产品,”巴贾林说道。

“他们想要植入的几乎是文化上的东西,公司越大,要做这一点就就越艰难。


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