Hailed as the master of catch phrases, Apple’s late mercurial co-founder and CEO Steve Jobs was and continues to be a remarkable source of memorable quotes. Forbes shares some previously unknown tidbits about Steve Jobs life, leadership style and provides insight into some of the moves that marked his life in a featured article titled “Untold Stories About Steve Jobs: Friends and Colleagues Share Their Memories”. Here are a couple of highlights…
Forbes reports about some of the more interesting first-hand recollections by Jobs’s friends and colleagues.
Among the more interesting ones, Jobs despised anything but seamless white floor at Apple’s shiny stores and reportedly went through the roof just before a mini retail store design was introduced.
The floor too easily collected black scuff marks from shoes.
The store design that looked so great on paper didn’t stand up to real-world use. The walls showed off every handprint and the floors were marred by black scuff marks from the handful of people readying the store for the big reveal.
Jobs was so angry that he refused to meet reporters, who were waiting outside for the unveiling.
Jobs was ultimately convinced to step outside, and the curtain was drawn before the small gathering of reporters. When I saw the floor, I immediately turned to Jobs, standing next to me, and asked if he had been involved in every aspect of the design.
He said yes. “It was obvious that whoever designed the store had never cleaned a floor in their life,” I told him. He narrowed his eyes at me and stepped inside.
Jobs would later order all of the designers to return to the mini store “and spend the night on their hands and knees cleaning the white surface”.
Apple would eventually tweak the floors, which now incorporate the stone tiles.
Interestingly, Jobs used to make much fuss about the original white floors being made with “material used in aircraft hangars”.
Apple’s recently opened retail store in Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
Another recollection by software engineer Randy Adams details how Jobs intentionally left Gates waiting in the lobby at NeXT:
I could see him sitting in his cube, not really busy. But he didn’t get up or call Gates up. In fact, he left him waiting in the lobby for an hour. That speaks to their rivalry.
Another one involves Jobs, the aforementioned engineer and their love for racing cars.
Back in 1985, both men drove a Porsche 911 and one day Jobs told Adams in his NeXT office in Palo Alto that they have to immediately hide pricey cars from Texas businessman Ross Perot, who eventually invested $20 million in Jobs’s startup.
Randy, we have to hide the Porsches. Ross Perot is coming and thinking of investing in the company, and we don’t want him to think we have a lot of money.
My favorite story is one about a comment Marc Andreessen made at a private dinner a few months before the iPhone was unveiled.
After Jobs took him on a tour through all of the features using his personal prototype iPhone, Andreesen, self-proclaimed BlackBerry aficionado, asked:
Boy, Steve, don’t you think it’s going to be a problem not having a physical keyboard? Are people really going to be okay typing directly on the screen?
To this, Jobs quipped:
They’ll get used to it.
Touché, Steve, touché indeed.
Little did Andreessen know that Apple seriously considered giving the iPhone a physical keyboard, according to former engineer and the iPod Godfather Tony Fadell, who now runs the Nest startup which just launched version 2.0 of its futuristic-looking advanced home thermostat.