Byliner and Fast Company Announce the Publication of DESIGN CRAZY: Good Looks, Hot Tempers, and True Genius at Apple

A New Oral History Takes Readers Behind the Curtain in Cupertino

September 3, 2013—New York and San Francisco—Design Crazy, a Fast Company/Byliner Original e-book that publishes today, is unlike anything you have read about Apple. Award-winning business writer Max Chafkin led a team of Fast Company reporters that spent months interviewing more than fifty former Apple execs and insiders, many of whom had never spoken publicly about their work. The result is a compelling and deeply revealing oral history of how design evolved at the most creative enterprise of our time, the company that one entrepreneur says “taught the world taste.” Design Crazy is available for $1.99 in major digital bookstores, as well as through Byliner’s new subscription reading service.

Apple Inc. is one of the most successful—and influential—companies of our time, the transformational innovator that made computers not just personal but beautiful everyday objects. Technology met design, and our culture was altered forever. And yet very little is known about life inside Apple. The company is pathologically secretive—even with its own designers—about how it comes up with its groundbreaking products: iMac, iPod, iPhone, iPad, and the next “insanely great” thing on the horizon. Here, for the first time, the men and women who worked for and alongside Steve Jobs share their remarkable, nearly forty-year story. How Apple survived nearly catastrophic failure early on. How Jobs and his team came to understand and execute design like no one else. And how their philosophy ultimately changed the world.

Design Crazy takes readers behind the mythology that Steve Jobs so carefully cultivated,” says Fast Company editor Robert Safian. “So many assumptions about how Apple operates turn out to be wrong. So much of what we think we know has been deeply misunderstood.”

In interviews for Design Crazy, former colleagues describe Jobs at his most brilliant and bombastic—hurling unsatisfactory products across the lab and insulting employees, yet also singling out and celebrating craftsmanship and original work. Without a doubt, Jobs is the most important figure in the company’s history, but overlooked in Apple’s carefully cultivated mythos are the other ingenious men and women who’ve left an indelible mark on Apple, some of whom think they deserve much more of the credit. At Apple, the stakes were big, and so were the egos.

Design Crazy introduces us to dozens of these innovators, revealing Apple to be a deeply misunderstood company. And the greatest business story of the past two decades is far from over. Two years after the death of Steve Jobs, with many of his former colleagues now at startups like Tesla, Evernote, and Nest Labs, some think the end of Apple’s dominance is only a matter of time. The company has risen to the challenge before, but still the question lingers: Can Apple be Apple without Jobs?

About the Author: Max Chafkin is a contributing writer with Fast Company. His work has also been published in Inc., Vanity Fair, The New York Times Magazine, and The Best Business Writing 2012.

About Byliner: Byliner partners with the world’s best authors to bring readers the right story for every moment and mood. Perfectly sized fiction and nonfiction for a coffee break, a trip to work, or an evening in. Byliner publishes original fiction and nonfiction by top authors, including bestsellers such as Amy Tan’s Rules for Virgins, Margaret Atwood’s Positron, Jon Krakauer’s Three Cups of Deceit, Chuck Palahniuk’s Phoenix, Nicole Krauss’s An Arrangement of Light, and Sebastian Junger’s A World Made of Blood. These quick-read stories are written to be read in two hours or less, and can be purchased individually through major digital bookstores. The entire Byliner Originals library is available online to Byliner subscribers, as well as in the award-winning Byliner iPad app, which, with unique tools like a time selector that filters by reading time and story recommendations by bestselling authors, makes it even easier to discover the perfect story every time.

About Fast Company: Fast Company is the world’s leading progressive business media brand, with a unique editorial focus on innovation in technology, ethical economics, leadership, and design. Fast Company and inspire readers and users to think beyond traditional boundaries and create the future of business. Headquartered in New York City, Fast Company is published by Mansueto Ventures LLC, one of the U.S.’s leading media companies.

Design Crazy is available for $1.99 at Amazon, Apple’s iBookstore,, and Kobo, and can be read in its entirety by subscribers at or in the Byliner iPad app. For an Advance Reading Copy or to schedule an interview with the editor of Fast Company, Robert Safian, please contact Cole Wilson at, 212-389-5420; or Clare Hertel at, 505-474-6783.


About Us

Byliner works directly with the world’s best writers to deliver great stories to readers. Named “one of the 10 Most Innovative Media Companies in the World” (Fast Company), Byliner is a subscription reading service and digital publisher of award-winning short fiction and nonfiction. A Byliner subscription provides unlimited access to more than 30,000 stories by hundreds of bestselling authors, as well as personalized story suggestions based on your reading time and interests. The entire library of Byliner Originals—including bestselling e-books by Margaret Atwood, Nick Hornby, Jon Krakauer, Ann Patchett, Nicole Krauss, Alexandra Fuller, Richard Russo, and Sebastian Junger—is available in the subscription service and through the major digital bookstores.



Quick facts

Design Crazy is available for $1.99 at Amazon, Apple’s iBookstore,, and Kobo, and can be read in its entirety by subscribers at or in the Byliner iPad app.
Tweet this


Design Crazy takes readers behind the mythology that Steve Jobs so carefully cultivated. So many assumptions about how Apple operates turn out to be wrong. So much of what we think we know has been deeply misunderstood.”
Fast Company editor Robert Safian