2018 could be the year the Apple Park took over for good its role as the main campus of Ma after years of construction, but also an important landmark for its predecessor: this year, after all, that the mystic Infinite Loop complete 25 springs.
To remember the good (and bad) moments lived at Apple's house in the last quarter of a century, WIRED brought together several important figures from the past and present of the company to share memories about the space.
Obviously, the most iconic figure that inhabited Infinte Loop is no longer among us to tell his cases, but it may not be exactly a surprise to know that Steve Jobs never really liked the campus. The founder of Apple had a very different vision for the definitive space of Ma in the early 1980s, as stated by the former CEO John Sculley: Jobs imagined "something that would simulate the experience of going to Disney World, with monorails circulating and everyone walking in uniforms of different colors".
Of course, Jobs' idea was considered crazy and, after his “forced resignation” in 1985, Sculley followed up on the idea of building a campus in a more, let's say, sober manner and thus Infinite Loop was born, concluded in 1993. The difference was brutal: as the vice president of marketing stated Greg Joswiak, the employees went from cubicles, in the previous headquarters, to a space where “literally everyone could have their own office”.
In 1993, Apple was still sailing on good seas and the buildings on the new campus were gradually being occupied and christened with simple numbers the first and main taken by executives and the software team, the second by the Mac team, the third by the teams of technical support and marketing and so on. Times were simpler: as Joswiak recalled, the original occupants of each building named each space, which generated a confusing fruit salad named after two conference rooms, for example, "Here" and "There" ("Here and there").
Scott Forstall, until a few years ago one of the strong names of Apple, described the campus buildings as “mazes” the only visit he brought to the headquarters that was not lost in the corridors was a co-guide, who accompanied a visually impaired person who was l to assist in the development of a text reader.
According Chris Espinosa (Apple's # 8 employee is still hired by the company as a software engineer), when all Infinite Loop buildings were occupied, it became clear that the research and development team would have to be relocated elsewhere as there was no space. It was the one that started the downward spiral of Apple and the team was decreasing quickly and soon there was plenty of room for everyone.
The years passed, Apple changed CEO twice (from Sculley to Michael Spindler and, later, to Gil Amelio) and entered a financial crisis that left her on the verge of bankruptcy. The story is known: Ma bought Steve Jobs' company NeXT, and the good son came home first as a consultant, then as interim CEO, and finally as CEO.
But the house wasn’t quite like Jobs: Dan Whisenhunt, executive of the company until 2018, the CEO resented being in a place that was not designed by him; Jon Rubinstein he said Jobs looked at the buildings and shook his head. The co-founder then took charge of making the space more “his” and, in one of his first actions as chief executive, placed huge banners with the main Apple products in the main building trio. This, according to Espinosa, significantly raised the morale of employees for the battles of the coming months.
Tim Cook had fun remembering his first day at Apple. He had to overcome a barrier formed by a handful of company customers who were protesting in front of the main building, outraged by Newton's death. Cook said he commented to Jobs about the protest outside, and the CEO just replied "oh, don't worry about it", asking the protesters to serve coffee and donuts to show that the company cared about them and that the decision to discontinue the PDA was doda, but necessary.
The executives then recalled the meetings that took place in Jobs' office, where basically all the revolutions brought by Apple in the 2000s, such as the iPod and the iPhone, came from. Mike Slade, assistant to the CEO at the time, remembered when Jobs called Amazon, said “Hi, here Steve Jobs” and, in just a few minutes, secured the license to use the one-click purchase patent of the US e-commerce giant $ 1 million.
Forstall, for his part, recalled how Jobs always insisted on paying for his colleague's meals at Caff Macs, the campus cafeteria completely renovated under the co-founder's gesture:
Whenever I ate with Steve, he insisted on paying for me, which I thought was kind of weird. Even if we went together and he chose something like ready-made sushi and I ordered a pizza in the wood oven, he would wait for me at the checkout for 10, 15 minutes. I felt weird. Then one day I said, "Seriously, I can pay, you don't have to wait for me." And he said, “Scott, you don't understand. Do you know how we pay by passing our badge and having the amount deducted from our salary? I only earn $ 1 a year! Every time I pay, we get a free meal! ”
The following years, then, are history. Jobs became involved in the Apple Park project, applying (more wisely, of course) parts of his old vision for an ideal Ma campus, in fact, the CEO's last public appearance was in the Cupertino chamber, defending the project. Infinite Loop remains under Apple's ownership, being used to allocate secondary projects but Jobs's office remains intact; according to Cook, even some drawings made by his youngest daughter remain on the whiteboard.
Second Eddy Cue, in the end what mattered was not the campus itself, but people:
Would it work elsewhere? Yes. But does leaving it bring us very good memories? Sure. And sometimes it also brings sad memories.
The full report by WIRED can be read here and I strongly recommend that you do this.
via Cult of Mac