Apple’s leaders manage functions, e.g., cameras, and are experts in their field; they are also the decision-makers regarding the incorporation of that function in all Apple products.


What makes Apple different from most other companies is that its senior executives are in charge of functions, not products. Apple sees its core purpose as developing products that make people's daily lives better. An excellent example of continuous innovation is the iPhone camera, which is regularly upgraded and improved. Apple's fundamental belief is that innovation depends on functional expertise. Steve Jobs, Apple's founder, insisted that at Apple managers should be experts in the areas which they managed. A good example is how Apple manages camera hardware. Apple's camera is part of iPhones, iPads, laptops and desktops.  In a conventional company, each of these products would be managed separately. In Apple, the camera is managed as a function, and the functional manager, who is a camera expert, makes the decision regarding camera upgrades for all Apple products that use cameras. Worth thinking about what we can learn from Apple.