I just finished reading a great and insightful book, Dogfight, by Fred Vogelstein. The book chronicles the fight for dominance in the mobile computing market between Apple and Google. It’s extremely well written and a good page turner.
What interested me most about this book was the level of chaos the two companies went through writing the code to make the iPhone and Android devices. I went into the book believing that the smooth presentation Steve Jobs made when he unveiled the iPhone was a reflection of how together and polished Apple is as a developer. Being in the same sort of business, on a much smaller scale, I envied the apparent calm and organized development process a company like Apple or Google goes through to bring out a cool new product.
Of course nothing could be further from the truth. It was utter chaos coupled with a lot of nail biting right up until the moment the phone shipped out the door. And while our own development process also involves a flurry of activity customers never see, it pales in comparison to what the big guys go through.
When you pick up your shiny new product, whatever it may be, I think it’s good to know that a healthy chunk of people’s lives and passions went into its creation. That knowledge helps us relate to the soul and life of the machine.