To what extent influence the nature of a company in your culture? And in his vision and progress? It is possible to see somehow something as intangible as? the way of working of a company? Such questions are difficult to answer, especially for those who see the technology and companies that develop it from outside.
Today we can already have a response that brings us a little more in the way of Apple and Google. Two companies that they compete in many areas, friends before and now enemy. Two very different companies both in philosophy and way of working. And now, we can see with our own eyes how different are thanks to their patents.
Two completely different forms of research
The publication FastCoDesign has published a very interesting article about Apple, Google and its patents. But it is not the typical article on patents of old war already nearly extinct. Lol It focuses on the way to investigate both companies, looking at people who are listed as responsible for a patent. The result is this image (Apple left, Google on the right):
In appearance, are two clouds formed by points. Each one represents a person and the size is on the relationship the number of patents that have been granted. There are also lines connecting points when two or more persons have worked together in some development, forming a more or less dense cloud depending on the zone.
Thus, for example, in the image above you can see Steve Jobs highlighted in a light green and the core of the cloud. Jony Ive point can also be seen, much larger than that of Jobs. But here we see that there are other persons unknown to the public, as Christopher Stringer and other members of the industrial design team Apple. Some essential figures to the recent success of Apple.
Now, let’s look at an extension of the cloud of Google patents. Here you can see both founders, Sergey Brin and Larry Page marked in green. The contrast between the three founders of the two companies is evident: Steve Jobs received 347 patents in the last decade, many of them posthumously, while Page and Brin got only 27.
And it is that Google’s cloud may be that obtaining patents is much more distributed. There is no great figures as at Apple, where a few people stand to be very prolific. What does all this?
Apple and the collaboration between teams
When one sees this type of graphics you can end up thinking they are obvious. Inevitable consequence of the organization that has each of these companies. In the case of Apple, we have a company that designers direct product strategy of the company and have power over the rest of Apple computers. Jony Ive acts as Chief Design Officer, a title that was a few years ago and reflects the orientation towards the design of Apple.
It makes no sense to hire smart people and then tell them what to do. We hire smart people that tell us what we need to do- Steve Jobs.
As a result, the rest of the company is organized to carry out the ambitions of design team in the form of product. Engineering, hardware, software, finance, acquisition of companies, all accommodated the demands of the team Ive. Something that contrasts with other manufacturers, where the engineering team is who usually take the lead are organized. Without a doubt, this type of organization is responsible for the success of Apple in the last fifteen years.
The collaboration between people remains critical for Apple, which is strange given the secrecy of the Californian company
In the article that gives rise to these graphics is also mentioned one interesting fact. Despite this hierarchy apparently rigid, vertical, collaboration between teams is much higher with Apple than in Google. The average of inventors named on a patent of the company from Cupertino 4.2 people, While at Google are 2.8.
The collaboration between teams is a recurrent theme When we observe Apple. And it is behind the circular and flat design of the new Apple Park devised by Steve Jobs. These are not coincidences. They are the materialization of the culture, organization and vision of a company in ways that we had never raised.
If you are interested in the visualization of patent, you can visit the website of Periscopic, showing all the records from the USPTO’s 40 years of visually.