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Jun 1 '13

Steve Jobs’ Aquarium

“One of my favourite Steve Jobs stories was the time the engineers working on the iPod brought their finished prototype to him in his office. He said it was too big, they needed to make it smaller. They said it was as small as they could make it, it couldn’t be made any smaller. So he took the prototype over to his aquarium and dropped it in. The iPod sank to the bottom, and as it did, tiny little bubbles came out. ‘See those bubbles,’ he asked. ‘They’re air inside the iPod. Make it smaller.’

“Another story about Steve Jobs was when they brought the prototype for the iPad 2 to his office. The engineers told him it was faster than the first iPad. He took it over to his aquarium and dropped it in. ‘Look how slowly it sank,’ he told them. ‘Make it faster.’

“One time a newly hired intern had been sent out to get Steve a sandwich. When she brought it to him, he looked at it. ‘I thought I ordered the beef on rye,’ he asked. She told him it was indeed beef on rye. He took it over to his fish tank and dropped it in. ‘Does that look like beef on rye?’

“He was always dropping things in that fish tank. We couldn’t stop him. We told him he had to stop, he wouldn’t listen. It was full of stuff that shouldn’t be in an aquarium.

“The fish had all died years ago. One had been crushed under an early generation iMac. The others were all poisoned. He didn’t care.

“It got to the point where there was no room for anything in the fish tank. When we emptied it after he died, we found a body in there. We never found out who it was.”

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