Pretty much everyone who met or worked with Steve Jobs has some anecdote about Apple’s late CEO that shines a light on an aspect of his personality and/or approach to life.
The latest is Evan Doll, co-founder of news reading app Flipboard, who worked at Apple from 2003 to 2009. In a series of tweets, Doll recalls the time Jobs was asked why Apple didn’t better remunerate its engineers.
Jobs’ response was classic Steve: part obfuscation, part passive-aggressive masterclass, all while subtly (or not-so-subtly) reminding the asker that they were lucky to be at Apple, and that it was their own fault if they weren’t being paid more.
His steely-eyed reply: “Maybe you should ask your manager why they don’t think you’re worth more.” 😐😐😐
— Evan Doll (@edog1203) December 28, 2015
Jobs’ “steely-eyed” advice underlines the way in which Apple under his rule — while very much a team in a lot of ways — encouraged employees to look at those above them as holding them down, and asked them to view working relationships as competitive efforts to reach the top.
There is, of course, a bit more to it than that. During the time Doll was at Apple, the company was illegally working with “rivals” like Google to make sure they didn’t poach each other’s employees — thereby suppressing wages. Doll just received his check from the eventual lawsuit settlement, which he notes worked out at just $1,000 per year for the time he worked at Apple.
Doll also points out that Apple engineers were well-remunerated in stock options, if not basic salary. Short-sightedly, he sold his almost immediately. “I naively sold my first ESPP stock in 2004, netted $4k to pay student loans- 2x my money, pretty sweet!” he wrote. The problem? “[I]t’d be worth $500k today,” he continues. Doh!
I still love the Steve Jobs quote, though.
Via: Business Insider.