Jeremy Hobson: So what was it like on the inside
of Apple under the leadership of Steve Jobs?
For that part of the story, we turn to Reed Martin. He was a product designer at the company from 2003-2008, and he’s with us now from Cambridge, Massachusetts. Good morning.
Reed Martin: Morning.
Hobson: You’ve interacted personal with Steve Jobs a number of times over the years. Give us a sense of what he’s like in person.
Martin: You know, in person, I think I was always struck by the presence that he commanded in a room. He had an ability to sort of glance around a room and immediately know everybody’s reactions to what he was saying. If you had a great reason why you disagreed with him, he would put his trust into you to know somehting more about that than he might know in general. If you didn’t know what you were talking about, then you are going to be quickly trampled over.
Hobson: Do you remember a specific instance of that?
Martin: My first experience with him, actually, I was sitting on a couch right next to him about to show him a demo. And my heart was racing — you know, he was sort of a rock star to me. He grabbed the demo from me and he says, “I love this,” and then proceeds to rip it apart. And there were a couple times where he said something that I definitely thought was incorrect. I didn’t have the courage to speak up, but he noticed that I was reacting positively, so he turned to me. And he conceded, and said, “You clearly know more about this than I do, let’s go with that.”
Hobson: Let me just finally ask you — what was your thought when you heard the news that he was stepping down as CEO?
Martin: My heart sank. I’ve known this was going to happen for a while, I think all of us have. But he’ll continue to lead on in inspiration and vision no matter what he ends up doing.
Hobson: Reed Martin was a designer for Apple from 2003-2008. Reed, thanks for joining us.
Martin: Thanks a lot.
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