Honestly, I was shocked. I have never heard somebody order 4,000 lattes to go. I didn’t say anything because I was shocked. But my first impression was that he was just being humorous. He sounded like a gentleman.
My friends were surprised and jealous, like, “Wow, you got a chance to talk to Steve Jobs?” They say to me, “You should’ve said more! You just say Good morning and How can I help you.”
Before him, we never received such an order. After he made the call, everyone copied him, prank calling our store and ordering thousands of lattes—to this day!
(Source: Fast Company)
Steve and I spent more time negotiating the social issues than we did the economic issues. He thought maintaining the culture of Pixar was a major ingredient of their creative success. He was right.
Periodically he would call and say, “Hey, Bob, I saw the movie you just released last night, and it sucked”. Nevertheless, having Jobs as a friend and adviser was additive rather than the other way around.
Apple chairman Arthur D. Levinson spoke at Stanford’s Graduate School of Business on February 19th, 2013.
I’m still not to the point where I walk into that boardroom and don’t miss Steve, He was a one of a kind guy. The Steve Jobs that was in the public eye was not, for the most part, the Steve Jobs that I knew.
I had been a contributor to Apple’s eWorld online service, a paid site managed by AOL. One of the first things Steve did when he came back was ax eWorld, which had just been made obsolete by the emergence of the Web. A lot of people were heartbroken by the shutting down of this cute little virtual walled garden. I attended the Boston Macworld that year, with a press pass, and at a “Meet Steve” party, I told him I had worked on eWorld, but congratulated him on axing it. “The Web, right?” he replied with a smirk. It’s ironic to see that Apple and other companies are inexorably moving toward creating their own walled gardens in the cloud, in part to provide protection to their customers.
Not only did he (Steve) know and love product engineering, it’s all he really wanted to do. He told me once that part of the reason he wanted to be CEO was so that nobody could tell him that he wasn’t allowed to participate in the nitty-gritty of product design. He was right there in the middle of it. All of it. As a team member, not as CEO. He quietly left his CEO hat by the door, and collaborated with us. He was basically the Product Manager for all of the products I worked on, even though there eventually were other people with that title, who usually weren’t allowed in the room
I am off doing other things now, again, but it’s still Product Design, and I still love it. That is what I remember most about Steve, that he simply loved designing and shipping products. Again, and again, and again. None of the magic that has become Apple would have ever happened if he were simply a CEO.
Steve’s magic recipe was that he was a product designer at his core, who was smart enough to know that the best way to design products was to have the magic wand of CEO in one of your hands. He was compelling and powerful and all that, but I think that having once had the reigns of power wrestled away from him, he realized that it was important not to let that happen again, lest he not be allowed to be a Product Manager any more.
“There were people like, ‘Do you want to meet Steve? Wait here, wait here, wait here… and all of a sudden he appeared.”
I got hired to work at the Apple store in San Jose in 2010 and had my first day of training at Apple Corporate. It was time for lunch at Caffe Mac’s, where all the engineers at Apple have lunch everyday. Our trainers gave us a full disclosure that sometimes Steve Jobs has lunch at Caffe Mac’s but it’s very rare. However, if it does happen, not to freak out and to just leave him alone.
Me and my new co-workers went off to Caffe Mac’s, sticking together because we were a little intimidated by the environment, afraid we were going to accidently do something or say something to offend the engineers. Suddenly, I started hearing a lot of chatter amongst my co-workers. I asked what the fuss was about and they said “Steve Jobs is in here getting lunch”. Gulp.
While I was getting lunch, I did everything I could to avoid him. I made sure to be on the opposite side of the room from him because a) I am awkward as hell and will say something weird b) I am a clutz and afraid I will trip and spill my food in front of him.
I got my food and headed towards the door. There were a couple of people walking in front of me. Someone was holding the door open for all of us, and it was Steve Jobs. I tried holding on to the door to let him and the people behind me pass. But he continued to hold on to the door, and like a kind gentlemen said, “No, after you” and then smiled at me.
Best first day of work ever.
In 2002-2003, Doug Morris [former Universal head] asked me to go up to Apple and see Steve. So I met him and we hit it off right away. We were really close. We did some great marketing stuff together: 50 Cent, Bono, Jagger, stuff for the iPod — we did a lot of stuff together. But I was always trying to push Steve into subscription. And he wasn’t keen on it right away.
Beats co-founder, Luke Wood and I spent about three years trying to talk him into it. He was there, not there, he didn’t want to pay the record companies enough. He felt that they would come down, eventually. I don’t know what Eddy Cue would say — I’m seeing him soon — I think in the end Steve was feeling it, but the economics, he wanted to pay the labels, but the fees were not going to be acceptable to them.
Steve called me in once. He said, “You know something, you should feel really good. You’re the only guys from software that ever built a piece of hardware successfully. That means that we can be the guys who cracked this code as well. Because we live in both worlds. We’re actually arguably better at this than at hardware. You know why they call it hardware? It’s really hard.”
I think the big misconception around is that he was kind of, you know malicious. He was trying to be mean to people. He wasn’t. He was just trying to get things done right and it was– you just had to learn how to react to that. He did some lovely things for me in my life.
He made IDEO. Because he was such a good client. We did our best work for him. We became friends. We were both bachelors so he knew he could call me, right! So he’d call me at 3 o’clock and he’d just, with no preamble, say, “Hey, it’s Steve. You know those screws that we’re using to hold the two things on the inside?” I mean, he was deep into every aspect of things.
He said to us, “You know, for $17, I want you to make a mouse we’re gonna use in all our computers.” He gave us that number $17. But even after they solved that monumental problem, Jobs still wasn’t satisfied. He didn’t like the way the ball sounded on the table. So we had to rubber coat the ball. Well, rubber coating the ball was a huge technical problem because you can’t have any seams. You gotta get it just right.
You know, we both had cancer at the same time was when I got really close to him. I was at home, sitting around in my skivvies, waiting for my next dose of something and I think it was the day after the iPhone was announced. And he had one for me, right!
Your own iPhone delivered by Steve Jobs right after it comes out, was a lovely feeling. Anyway, so he decides to hook it up for me. So he gets on the phone to AT&T and he’s gonna hook up my phone and it’s not going well.
Eventually he pulls the “I’m Steve Jobs card”. He says to the guy, “I’m Steve Jobs.” I’m sure the guy on the other end says, “Yeah buddy, I’m Napoleon.” You know, like get outta here. But anyway– so he never did really get it hooked up. No, not that day.
Ken and I started at Apple on the same day so, technically, he’s the only original Safari team member I didn’t hire. But because we both worked at Eazel together, I knew that Ken was a world-class propellor-head and insisted Forstall assign him to my team — essentially a requirement for me taking the job.
Most of the time during those rehearsals, Ken and I had nothing to do except sit in the then empty audience and watch The Master Presenter at work — crafting his keynote. What a privilege to be a spectator during that process. At Apple, we were actually all students, not just spectators. When I see other companies clumsily announce products these days, I realize again how much the rest of the world lost now that Steve is gone.
At one rehearsal, Safari hung during Steve’s demo — unable to load any content. Before my pants could load any of its own, Ken discovered the entire network connection had failed. Nothing we could do. The IT folks fixed the problem quickly and set up a redundant system. But I still worried that it might happen again when it really mattered.
On the day of actual keynote, only a few of us from the Safari team were in the audience. Employee passes are always limited at these events for obvious reasons. But we did have great seats, just a few rows from the front — you didn’t want to be too close in case something really went wrong.
Steve started the Safari presentation with, “So, buckle up.” And that’s what I wished I could do then — seatbelt myself down. Then he defined one of our product goals as, “Speed. Speed.” So, I tensed up. Not that I didn’t agree, of course. I just knew what was coming soon:
And for the entire six minutes and 32 seconds that Steve used Safari on stage, I don’t remember taking a single breath. I was thinking about that network failure during rehearsal and screaming inside my head, “Stay online, stay online!” We only had one chance to make a first impression.
Of course, Steve, Safari and the network performed flawlessly. I shouldn’t have worried.