Former Apple CEO and co-founder Steve Jobs is regarded as one of the greatest visionaries in the technology industry. Few people know this side of him better than the employees who worked directly under him.
Ken Rosen, a managing partner at consulting agency Performance Works that previously worked with Jobs at Apple and NeXT, described Jobs’ ability to come up with solutions to problems almost instantly.
Rosen worked most closely with Jobs at NeXT, the company he started in 1985 when he was temporarily ousted from Apple.
People would frequently ask NeXT employees why they would put up with someone like Jobs, who had a reputation for being harsh on his workers.
“The answer for me always went back to these meetings at NeXT,” Rosen told Business Insider.
The meetings would usually consist of between six and eight people, and would take place every several weeks or so.
“Steve would walk in the door and say, ‘Alright, what’s going on?'” Rosen said. “Somebody in the room would say we’re trying to figure this out, maybe go to a whiteboard, and say we couldn’t figure out what to do.”
Jobs had a talent for immediately finding an answer to the problem.
“And [Steve] would say, ‘What about doing this?'” Rosen said. “And you could look around the room and you could just see people dumbfounded, their jaws dropping, because it was a really good idea.”
Often times, other employees were annoyed because they couldn’t come up with such a great idea on their own.
“You’d have this instant mixed reaction from people,” he said. “First of all, they were really pissed that they didn’t have the idea. I just always said, being able to hang out with someone like that and being near that decision making process is worth a whole lot of problems.”
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