On Wednesday, Scott Forstall, co-inventor of iPhone and iOS (and Tony-Award winning Broadway producer) joined Code.org co-founder Hadi Partovi and his daughter Sofia where he discussed, among other things, how his interview with Steve Jobs went.
Spoiler: It went well.
When I finished my graduate work, there were two places I was looking. I was looking at Microsoft where I’d been an intern, with you and others, and at NeXT. And NeXT was the computer company that Steve Jobs had started when he left Apple.
I was pretty interested in both. NeXT, I thought, had amazing technology and amazing people; it did not have a lot of customers, unfortunately, but had great technology. So I went to this interview they had set up and it was an intense interview. It was like seventeen people throughout the course of an entire day and I was in the very first interview and I was maybe 10 minutes into this interview and Steve Jobs bursts into the room. And he grabbed the person who was interviewing me and took them out into the hallway which was behind me and they were having this really animated discussion… something was happening that was big and I was waiting and waiting and waiting for my interview to continue and eventually I heard the door open and my interviewer came back in, but it wasn;t the person who had been interviewing me, it was Steve Jobs.
He just started peppering me with question after question after question, and after about 15 minutes we really clicked – on design, philosophy, and a bunch of other things. He stopped, he looked at me, and he said, “I know you have to interview for the rest of the day. I don’t care what anyone says, at the end of the day, I’m giving you an offer. But please, pretend you’re interested in everyone’s questions throughout the rest of the day.” Then he looked at me and said, “I’m sure you’re going to accept this offer.” So this was his way to convince me.
Now, I had an offer from Microsoft, so I called… and turned down their offer. And the next day, when I woke up, and I opened the door to my apartment, there was a box outside and I opened it up and it was a dead fish. It was this huge dead fish. And, I looked at the box and it had a return address: Microsoft.
This seemed like a threat. I called my contact at Microsoft and I said, “Uh, you know, I’ve watched movies with the mafia and I know that when you send someone a dead fish you’re trying to scare them. What message are you sending?” And, [Microsoft replied], “No, no, no, we’re trying to convince you to come to Seattle to Microsoft… The moment you said ‘no,’ we rushed down to the Pike Place Fish Market, which is that place in Seattle where they throw fish around, and they bought the largest King Salmon they could find, packed in ice and they overnighted it to me…
It was very funny. I cooked the fish that night on a barbecue. I was delicious, but I ended up going and working with Steve Jobs for the next twenty years.
Partovi and Forstall’s discussion begins at 28:30:
MacDailyNews Take: Smart choice by Forstall, of course!
Imagine being in the middel of a job interview and Steve Jobs busts in and takes over! 🤣
There’s much more in the full video via Code.org here.