Amazing Apple Anecdote: Hiring Employees Steve Jobs Style

Amazing Apple Anecdote: Hiring Employees Steve Jobs Style

We’re back with another Amazing Apple Anecdote for you to feast on. This week we learn the secret to Steve Jobs hiring great employees, but apparently one person didn’t quite understand.

Tom Zito recalls (via Folklore):

I first met Steve Jobs in 1978 when, as a reporter for The Washington Post, I had come to the Valley to cover the technology business. Steve not only charmed me into writing a profile about him (and a year later, a cover story for Newsweek), but also charmed me into an Apple II and out of a $2,500 check to pay for it — which at the time was more than a month’s salary for me. I found the thing fairly useless, other than as an expression of how great Steve was as a salesman. A decent word processing program (not to mention VisiCalc) had yet to be written, and I wound up justifying the investment by teaching myself Basic.

By 1983 I was working on a book about the birth of the personal computer industry, and Steve had granted me carte blanche to wander around Bandley 3 and stay current on the Mac’s development. One day in September, in a conference room populated with about 25 members of the Mac team, Steve was lecturing on how to hire.

“A players hire A players,” he said. “B players hire C players. Do you get it?”

Apparently not. Somebody in the back of the room raised his hand and asked, “so how do you hire more B players?”

It’s certainly proven to be a very good strategy over the years, and even though Steve has passed away, hopefully Apple will still continue with the same strategy for years to come. That’s it for this week, but we’ll be back soon with another Amazing Apple Anecdote. For now though, enjoy!