Tech companies spend a lot of money on product launches and they spend even more through the development process. A leak can be harmful or it can help, it depends, but for the most part companies want their new hardware under wraps until launch. Apple is among the most secretive companies and a report show how obsessed the company is with preventing leaks.
An interesting report by The Outline obtained an internal briefing from within the walls of Cupertino. The presentation aims to educate employees on the culture of leaks. Titled “Stopping Leakers – Keeping Confidential at Apple,” the briefing lasts an hour and is run by Apple's security experts.
Yes, the irony is thick here, with this being a leaked briefing discussing the nature of leaks within Apple. Nevertheless, it is a new initiative that is being set up by the company. During the talk, it is revealed Apple employs investigators around the world to prevent internal information being spread.
This isn't just any old team, it is comprised of former NSA, FBI, and U.S. military experts. Their job is to find a leak and report it back to Cupertino. Considering I have seen about 100 iPhone 8 ‘leaks' this week, it could be argued the team is not doing a very good job.
However, it perhaps highlights that most the leaks (read 99.9%) are complete BS … hardly a shock.
The presentation shows Apple CEO Tim Cook unveiling a product and discusses the famos “one more thing”:
“So you heard Tim say, ‘We have one more thing.' So what is that one more thing? Surprise and delight. Surprise and delight when we announce a product to the world that hasn't leaked. It's incredibly impactful, in a really positive way. It's our brand. But when leaks get out, that's even more impactful. It's a direct hit to all of us.”
Importance of Secrecy
Greg Joswiack, vice president of iPod, iPhone, and iOS marketing, says Cook is obsessed with secrecy:
“This has become a big deal for Tim,” Joswiack says in a video. “Matter of fact, it should be important to literally everybody at Apple that we can't tolerate this any longer.” Later, Joswiak adds that “I have faith deep in my soul that if we hire smart people they're gonna think about this, they're gonna understand this, and ultimately they're gonna do the right thing, and that's to keep their mouth shut.”
Through the briefing, the security team explains how employees should even avoid discussing what they work on in their private life.