Fanatical attention to detail is a key tenet. Early in construction, Apple managers told the construction team that the ceiling - composed of large panels of polished concrete - should be immaculate inside and out, just as the inside of the iPhone’s audio jack is a finished product, a former construction manager recalled.
Thus, each of the thousands of ceiling panels had to win approval from both Apple's in-house team and the general contractor, once at the shop and then again at the construction site.
"The things you can’t see, they all mattered to Apple,” the former construction manager said.
This does seem excessive:
When Apple tapped general contractors Holder Construction and Rudolph & Sletten to finish the main building in 2015, one of the first orders of business was finalizing a door handle for conference rooms and offices.
After months of back and forth, construction workers presented their work to a manager from Apple’s in-house team, who turned the sample over and over in his hands. Finally, he said he felt a faint bump.
The construction team double-checked the measurements, unable to find any imperfections – down to the nanometer. Still, Apple insisted on another version.
The construction manager who was so intimately involved in the door handle did not see its completion. Down to his last day, Apple was still fiddling with the design - after a year and a half of debate.
I'm looking forward to all of this inhouse Apple design and management effort being redirected into products.