Former Apple CEO and cofounder Steve Jobs had high standards for his employees. This was especially true for the design team, according to one person who previously worked at Apple.
Jobs didn’t work closely with every team at the company — but he kept close tabs on the Human Interaction division.
He met with the team every other Monday, which many considered to be a perk. But it also meant the Human Interaction team was constantly under pressure to impress Jobs, and they had to work every other weekend to prepare for their meeting with him.
Here’s an account of what those meetings were like, which we heard from a former Apple employee who spoke with another employee on the Human Interaction team:
Every two weeks, we meet with Steve Jobs and it’s on a Monday. So that means every other weekend, I don’t get. No matter what’s going on, whether it’s a deadline or new ideas for the future. We have to work every other weekend all the time no matter what … And then you meet with him, and he craps on all of it. He might like one or two ideas, and usually he wants you to redo those one or two ideas. And so that whole next week, you’re redoing those one or two ideas plus coming up with new ones. That’s all year, all the time, every two weeks.
Jobs liked to test people, and he had a reputation for doing so. There’s an old rumor that’s told around Apple that said Jobs once shared an elevator with an intern. He asked the intern what he or she did, and that person didn’t give a clear answer by the time the two had reached their floor. The intern was fired soon after. It’s unclear if that actually ever happened, but it’s been told around the company, a former Apple employee said.
Steve Wozniak, the cofounder of Apple who was a close friend of Jobs, said that some of his best friends from Apple said they would never work with Jobs again given the chance