Why Has Apple Neglected the Remote App? Because Just One Guy Made It

Illustration for article titled Why Has Apple Neglected the Remote App? Because Just One Guy Made It

Last week, I asked just why Apple has left its Remote App to rot in the App Store, unupdated despite new hardware coming out. The reason? One guy wrote it, and now he's working on other things.

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Yes, according to Posterous CEO Sachin Agarwal, Apple is run like a huge startup, with small, even one-man teams assigned to projects.

Apple doesn't build large teams to work on every product they make. Instead, they hire very few, but very intelligent people who can work on different projects and move around as needed.

One day you might be working on the Remote app, and the next day you might get pulled on to another project that needs your help.

It's a really interesting insight into Apple's corporate culture, and it seems to be working well for them. Although, come on, can't you just give the dude a week or two to update the app? Is that asking too much? Please, Apple? [Sachin via Apple Insider]

DISCUSSION

If Apple works anything like the software companies I've worked for, it's unlikely that this one guy was ever "assigned" to this project. He probably thought it was a neat idea and he whipped it up in between some other stuff he was working on, then showed it to his boss and got the go-ahead to publish it.

Lots of neat little projects come about this way in the world of software development. Some of them turn into major projects with teams assigned to maintaining them, some never go anywhere and rot on some guy's hard drive 99% finished, and some just end up getting thrown out there because they're neat but don't become a real product worthy of maintenance and upgrades

I think being run "like a huge startup" tends to be the average in this industry just because the people involved have such hugely varied talents and there's simply nothing routine about software development ever. Microsoft's strictly rigid department-based culture where they have teams of people that work on one thing and never move to any other project is the exception, not the rule.