Steve Jobs’ Original Opinion of Genius Bar: ‘That’s So Idiotic! It’ll Never Work!’

Posted in Apple News on 06/03/2017 by Chris Hauk

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Late Apple co-founder Steve Jobs wasn’t too hot on the idea of a Genius Bar in his Apple retail stores. His initial reaction to the idea was: “That’s so idiotic! It’ll never work!”

Steve Jobs' Original Opinion of Genius Bar: 'That’s So Idiotic! It’ll Never Work!’

Former Apple retail head Ron Johnson on the Recode Decode podcast:

“I remember the day I came in and told Steve about the Genius Bar idea and he says, ‘That’s so idiotic! It’ll never work!’” Johnson said. “He said, ‘Ron, you might have the right idea, but here’s the big gap: I’ve never met someone who knows technology who knows how to connect with people. They’re all geeks! You can call it the Geek Bar.’”

“And I said, ‘Steve, kids who are in their 20s today grew up in a very different world. They all know technology, and that’s who’s going to work in the store.’”

Johnson then went on to say that the next day, Steve called Apple’s general counsel to trademark the phrase “Genius Bar.”

Johnson’s Initial Interview With Steve Jobs

Johnson, who left Apple in 2011, also discussed his initial interview with Steve Jobs at Apple.

The two men “clicked from Day One,” Johnson recalled on the latest Recode Decode, hosted by Kara Swisher, and when he was interviewing for the position, Jobs gave him some homework.

“He said to me, ‘It’s Thanksgiving weekend coming up. Why don’t you write down what you would do? How would you approach retail? Tell me about it,’” Johnson said. “So I went back and I wrote this 10-page thesis of why Apple should do stores, what they should be like, blah blah blah.”

“I get the call, ‘Hey, can you come back?’” he added. “I walk in, he [Jobs] goes, ‘Hey, thanks for coming back.’ I said, ‘So what’d you think of my thesis?’ And he goes, ‘Well, I didn’t like it very much, but that’s okay. Let’s talk!’ That’s Steve. He offered me the job that day.”

The Genius Bar has long been a popular feature of any Apple retail store. Allowing users of the iPhone, iPad, Mac, and other Apple products to make an appointment to sit down with an Apple repair “genius” to troubleshoot their devices.


  • justmewhoelse12

    Now that Jobs is dead, Johnson keeps giving interviews claiming credit, as he was the one who had all the ideas about the store?

    Isn’t it strange that all of Johnson’s endeavors after leaving Apple have been failures. JC Penney? Johnson where is all your “genius” for that fail?

    Johnson is just like Scully now that Jobs is dead, in any interview claims how he really was successful as Apple CEO after firing Jobs. But he too can’t seem to be all that successful after all these years too.

    Two bigger rewriters of business history can’t be found.

    • Chris Hauk

      Good points. Sadly, all we have is their side of the story now.

Author

Chris Hauk

MacTrast Senior Editor, and self-described "magnificent bastard," Chris Hauk owns Phoenix Rising Services and writes for everyone's favorite "bad movie" website, Big Bad Drive-In.

His first Apple product was an iPod Classic 9 years ago, and he has since added a MacBook Pro, a number of iPads, iPhones, and multiple Apple TVs to his collection.

He lives somewhere in the deep Southern part of America. Yes, he has to pump in both sunshine and the Internet.