Steve Jobs talks about managing people

Steve: One of the keys to Apple is Apple’s an incredibly collaborative company and so you know how many committees we have at Apple?

Interviewer: No.

Steve: Zero, we have no committees.

Interviewer: No committee.

Steve: We are organized like a start-up. One person is in charge of iPhone, OS software. One person is in charge of Mac hardware. One person is in charge of iPhone hardware engineering. Another person is in charge of worldwide marketing. Another person is in charge of operations. It’s we’re organized like a startup. We’re the biggest startup on the planet and we all meet for three hours once a week and we talk about everything. We’re doing the whole business and there’s tremendous teamwork at the top of the company which filters down to tremendous teamwork throughout the company and teamwork is dependent on trusting the other folks to come through with their part without watching them all the time but trusting that they’re going to come through with their parts and that’s what we do really well and we’re great at figuring out how to divide things up into these great teams that we have and all work on the same thing touch bases frequently and bring it all together into a product. We do that really well and so what I do all day is meet with teams of people and work on ideas and solve problems to make new products, to make new marketing programs whatever it is.

Interviewer: And are people willing to tell you you’re wrong?

Steve: Yeah.

Interviewer: I mean other than snarky journalists

Steve: Oh yeah, we have wonderful arguments.

Interviewer: And do you win them all or?

Steve: Oh no I wish I did. See you can’t. If you want to hire great people and have them stay working for you, have to let them make a lot of decisions and you have to be run by ideas, not hierarchy. The best ideas have to win so otherwise good people don’t stay.

Interviewer: But you must be more than a facilitator who runs meetings. You contribute your ideas.

Steve: I contribute ideas, sure, well why would I be there if I didn’t?

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