How Steve Jobs solicited feedback

“Don’t just ask ‘Any questions’?” —Andy Raskin

From Raskin’s “Steve Jobs’ Secret for Eliciting Questions, Overheard at a San Francisco Cafe“:

“In the early 2000s,” Famous CEO said, “Jobs was splitting his time between Apple and Pixar. He would spend most days at Apple, but then he would parachute into Pixar. He would have to figure out where his attention was needed really fast, so he would arrange sessions with all the different teams—the Cars team, the technology team, whatever—so there were a dozen or so people in each one. Then he would point to one person in each session and say:

Tell me what’s not working at Pixar.

Famous CEO continued: “That person might offer something like, ‘The design team isn’t open to new technology we’re building.’ Jobs would ask others if they agreed. He would then choose someone else and say:

Tell me what’s working at Pixar.

According to Famous CEO, Jobs would alternate between the two questions until he felt like he had a handle on what was going on.

By Monday morning, Raskin’s post had received 926 plaudits on Medium.


  1. Fred Stein said:

    A popular myth persists that Steve was autocratic. Hmm.

    May 14, 2018
  2. Fred Stein said:

    This comment belongs with the article on Nader, but that’s no longer being read. Nader apparently owns about $1M of Cisco. I’d like Nader to show where Cisco’s CEO says and does what Tim Cook discusses here:

    Ralph Nader deserves espect for his many accomplishments. But using Apple as a foil because it’s famous and prosperous, is a cheap ploy.

    May 14, 2018
  3. Gregg Thurman said:

    I don’t know what happened to Jobs while in the wilderness, but he changed, and became a great leader.

    May 14, 2018

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