How does Apple come out of an endless loop. Stories of the old campus
Photo: Michelle Groskopf, Wired
I feel strange, watching every year the presentation of new iPhones. Everything gets better, bigger, faster, shinier. But at the same time it seems to be shaken off from overclocked metabolism.
I have nothing against Apple and modern consumption of smartphones. Just from time to time the old fans drop a melancholy-nostalgic: "It's not this company bequeathed to us by Jobs." And a few days ago appeared, perhaps, the most beautiful, detached and subtly veiled expression of this opinion. Steven Levy, editor of Wired, who writes about Apple for about 30 years, recorded the history of the old campus of from the words of the people who worked there. They saw, it seems, everyone - armed people on the roof of the building, pickets of fans of Newton, tears of Jobs, when he found out that he was dying, the birth of iPod and iPhone.
In the article, almost no words from the author. It's called "The History of an Endless Apple by the Eyewitnesses" (Infinite Loop is the name of the old campus, which it received in honor of your well-known programmer term). But Levi saw in reality the best metaphor and ideally picked up the structure to express his attitude.
The text begins like this:
In the early 90's, Apple decided to expand its main office in Cupertino, building a new large campus. It was the idea of Steve Jobs, who was kicked out of the company in the mid-80's.
And it ends - as you probably guess - by returning to the beginning of the cycle.
We chose the best stories and quotes from the article.
The beginning of the infinite cycle is
Steve Jobs infected the idea of a new campus, John Scully, who was head of Apple from 1983 to 1992. "He called it Super Build, and wanted everything to look like a visit to Disneyland. Around the monorails, people in multi-colored uniforms. "
Chris Espinoza, a man who has worked in Apple since 197? says: "The leaders and the software group were the first to enter. They occupied Building 1. Building 2 was completely taken over by the Mac team. The third was taken for development tools, technical support and marketing. In building 4 there was a cafeteria and a library. According to the idea, the whole department of R & D also had to fit, but by the time of the move we were too big. Of course, then the business of the company went downhill, and as a result, there was enough space for everyone. By 199? we already worked in the Infinite Loop »
Employees called the corps abbreviated IL? IL2. The phrase "meet at Infinite Loop 7" meant "let's go get drunk", because there was a restaurant called Pepper Mill. From the very beginning, no one numbered conversations, and employees are accustomed to calling them "Ta" and "This." "We'll meet in that negotiation," they said, but in what, of course, they were forever confused.
"These buildings were a maze," says former vice president Scott Forstel, "whoever I put on campus, everyone was lost. I remember only one case when this did not happen. We made a screen for people with limited vision, and I called a person who was walking with a guide dog. He asked where the toilet was. Everyone who asked me about this, eventually lost on the way back. To the left, to the right, to the left, to the right, to the right. And then in five minutes the dog brought him back to us. So, this guide dog is the only one who did not get lost on campus, having got there for the first time. "
When Apple finally moved to Infinite Loop, she had serious problems. Employees at that time did not even dream about whether Apple would again be successful. They thought how long the company would last. The leaders changed one after another, and no one really understood what to do. Jill Amelio led the company from 1996 to 1997. "I was handed a trash can and I did what I could to clean it off," he says. At that time, losses were estimated at hundreds of millions, managers were continually reducing teams.
Apple turned into a "trash can", but Jobs returned
Steve Jobs at that time headed the company NeXT. When Apple announced its purchase, and that Jobs again take control, people whispered - "we are saved." Amelio realized that "his days are numbered, because Jobs will never leave him on the post."
"I absolutely did not fit into the culture," he says. "I managed the company in a very professional, disciplined manner. My goal was to have the company work. Significance had a solution to the fundamental problems. We created a new platform, we solved the quality problems. "
Steve, returning, proobesedovadal bunch of people, but he did not like. Then he remained in office himself. That day, Chris Espinoza brought a pirate flag to the campus, stuck the Apple logo on it and hung it in the atrium. Jobs did not enter Amelio's spacious office. He took a small room and very quickly filled it with all sorts of garbage and things that he was constantly sent.
He held meetings every Monday, and as the employee recalled, 75% of the time he spoke while the others listened. Then he launched the Think Different campaign, first of all, aimed at the employees themselves. He hung out giant posters on the campus with photos of workers, their products and this inscription. "If you are a manager or an engineer, nothing is more motivating than a 40-foot-tall banner with your product," says Espinosa.
Protests due to Newton and the mysterious Tim Cook
In 199? Jobs decided to close the Newton project, the same day that Tim Cook - the current head of the company - got a job.
"On my first day, I had to make my way through the picket to get into the office," he says. "People stood with tablets shouting, as it turned out because Steve decided to cut Newton. I say, "there are protesters outside," and he's like, "oh, yeah, do not worry about it."
To the bewilderment of staff Steve replied: "They have every right to be angry. They love Newton. It's an excellent product, but we have to close it, and it's sad, so we'll take out coffee and donuts, let's say that we love them, support them, and that we are sorry. "
One day before the launch of iMovie, Jobs gave employees new Sony cameras, gave out on iMac and punished everyone to make their film.
"The following Monday we returned with our films," says Mike Slade, who worked for Apple from 1999 to 200? "Most of us had children, and we made films about them. Steve also made a movie about his children. But it was not the films that turned out to be the most amusing. Tim Cook took off, as he ridicules the high prices for housing in Palo Alto. Interesting - but then it did not tell us anything about Tim. We knew nothing about him, he was impenetrable. "
In 199? Steve asked his friend Francesco Longoni to take control of the cafeteria management that Apple employees used. Francesco replied, "Only if I become an Apple employee and all cooks become employees, instead of this nonsense with outside companies. And then I received an offer. All the friends said that I was crazy, because Apple is dead. And I said, "No, Steve is back, and I know Steve very well - he'll turn everything up there." Francesco still feeds the company's employees, already 20 years.
A billionaire who steals meals from his own company
Scott Forstel recalls that Jobs constantly paid him dinner.
"It always seemed strange to me. Even when we were walking together, he was grasping some ready-made sushi while walking, and for example I ordered pizza from a stove-he was still waiting for me at the ticket office, 10 minutes, or even 15. I was so embarrassed. Finally, I told him, "I can pay for myself, please stop standing and wait for me." And he said, "Scott, you do not understand. We pay for food with our badges, and money is deducted from our salary. And my salary is one dollar a year. It turns out that I eat for free. " That's how a multi-billionaire heated his own company every day for a few dollars. "
In 200? the Infinite Loop still seemed empty, and the company was far from the most successful. "It was a horrible time," recalls Tim Cook, "The shares collapsed by 60-70%. We got a call from Ted White, the founder of Gateway. He wanted to discuss the purchase of Apple. Steve and I went with him to a meeting - and then it was a completely different Steve. Quiet, listening to their comments, plans, what they will do with Apple. And I was sitting next to me, and it seemed to me that all the inside was cut out. When they said that maybe they have a place for Steve, I thought he would explode! Will explode at any moment! And when they started talking about the price, Steve looked at them - and he could look as if he had pierced his gaze - and said, "Who do you think is more expensive, Apple or Gateway?". The meeting ended in a couple of minutes. And after a few weeks they had problems, and their shares collapsed. "
iPod, iPhone and armed people
No matter how the company looked from the outside, it was hard work on the iPod.
"I came up with the idea that we can make a wheel on a music player. You can twist and twist it, and it will be really cool, "says Tim Schiller, vice president of international marketing.
But right after the presentation, when everyone wanted to go to celebrate, Steve had other plans. "Tony, Joni, Joe, Phil, let's go to ID room[студию индустриального дизайна], he said, - "In the next generation we have to do it, this, this, this, this, this, this ".
"That is, we literally celebrated nanoseconds, and then continued to work," - recalls designer Tony Fadell.
After the release of iPod Steve Jobs finally established itself as the center for solving all issues in the company. The design studio was outside the campus, but Jobs insisted that she be moved to the Infinite Loop as well. Not all employees wanted him to be able to break into them at any time and impose their ideas, but they could not argue. Jobs was wayward and eccentric. Often, he even held meetings not in negotiations, but on the move - turning circles around the corridors of the Infinite Loop.
On the campus, meanwhile, more and more often visited musical celebrities. One guest - an ambassador from a country that no one wanted to call - demanded armed guards around the perimeter. On that day, all the staff worked, while the rifles were looking at them from the roofs through the rifle sights.
"In the mid-2000s, we were working on prototypes of tablets that never saw the light," says senior engineer Evi Tevanian. "Multitouch, soft keyboard, a lot. We tried to understand that in general we can. "
According to Forstel, they once sat in the cafe, buried in the phones - like all the people around. But the phones, they thought, were just awful. And then Steve asked: "Do you think the technologies we are doing for the tablet can be applied to something that will fit into your pocket?" After that, they made a prototype. So began work on the iPhone.
He was made in terrible secrecy. The campus for this time has turned almost to a fortress. One of the employees even said that he took advice from friends from the CIA, how to avoid surveillance.
But long before the release, Jobs learned that he had cancer.
Apple again without Jobs, the cycle continues
"I can count on the fingers how many times Steve looked into my office," recalls Mike Slade. "One day he went in, closed the door and said," I have something very important to discuss with you. " And began to talk about his dispute with Lauren[жена Джобса]about the cheese. He believed that his children do not have it, and Lauren argued that cheese is an excellent source of protein. I said, "Steve, maybe you're right, but this is the situation that you'll lose when you win. Is not it better to leave the choice for her? "The next time he came in the fall of 2003 and said" I have something to tell you - I have pancreatic cancer, I'm dying. " He cried, I cried, it was terrible. Such here Monday ".
8 incredibly rich and important for the company passed. We all know how Apple influenced the world in the time that Jobs struggled with cancer. On October ? 201? he died.
"It was probably the only day in 20 years of work on the campus when I was not there. On this day there was shooting at Cupertino, police helicopters flew around and the criminal was still not caught, so I stayed at home, "one employee recalls. "When the news went, I decided that I should be at the office, with all the people. But when I got there, everyone was already separated. The campus was like a ghost town, it was so strange. "
"We locked Steve's office," says Tim Cook, "Neither I nor anyone else has moved into his office. I immediately decided that it would be wrong to change something there. There were his personal belongings, which are now with Lauren. But the table, the bookshelf, the chair - are still the same. On the board are still hanging pictures of his daughter. Last summer she came, I showed her these drawings. It seems that Steve is still there, because I've seen him so often in this office. Usually people visit graves to remember a person. I go there rarely, but often come to his office. "
Scott Forstel recalls: "Soon after buying the land for a new campus, Steve and I examined her. I thought he would be happy, but he was a little sad. We walked past an abandoned building with a Hewlett-Packard sign. Apple bought the land from HP, one of the largest companies in the history of the Silicon Valley, founded by two legendary people. Steve looked at the building and said, "Everything eventually comes to an end."
So Levi finishes the article - almost like it begins. The company is moving to a new state-of-the-art Apple Park campus - in Steve's idea, but without Steve. If Levi sees an endless cycle in this, it is rather amusing to reread the text a second time, not as a memory, but as a prophecy.
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