It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better.
The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.
Apple’s culture is infused with “clear direction (nope), individual accountability (nope), a sense of urgency (nope), constant feedback (nope), clarity of mission (okay)” but three other elements really stand out: secrecy (yes), intensity (sort of), and focus (nope).
It begins with having an engineering-led culture, where technology decisions are made on their technical merits, never on personal grounds. It also means allowing craftsmen to solve problems by creating new tools, rather than with just a labored application of the old. These are values that Google and Facebook, two veritable Guild halls of the Valley, tout to any engineer who asks.
Finally, the implicit compact that the Guild makes with a company is that their efforts will not be in vain. The most powerfully attractive force for the Guild is the promise of building a product that will get into the happy hands of hundreds, thousands, or millions. This is the coveted currency that even companies that have struggled to build an engineering reputation, like Foursquare, can offer.