Check out this intriguing NYT article about the “auteur theory of design,” comparing Apple’s strategy, in which Steve Jobs’ creative vision reigns supreme, to Google’s committee-based approach. Like the “film director who both has a distinctive vision for a work and exercises creative control,” as Apple’s “auteur”, Jobs acts as a kind of style guide, unifying the diverse work of Apple’s many contributors under his own vision. By comparison, Google’s “creative lab” practices what creative director Chris L. Wiggins calls “really fruitful back-and-forth.” Though the article focuses mainly on these two competing (?) models for software development, the application to other creative endeavors seems clear.
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