The Story Of The iPhone: Weekends And Nights Given Up For Years, Working In A Fort Knox-Like Environment
Earlier today we told you that Steve Jobs was very open to the idea of a 7-inch iPad in 2011. This news came from Scott Forstall (Apple’s iOS head), who gave a testimonial at the ongoing Samsung vs Apple trial. During Forstall’s testimony he also talked about what a challenge it was to assemble a team to build the iPhone, known as “Project Purple” back then.
According to AllThingsD, Steve Jobs gave Forstall the job of building the software for the iPhone. In order to build this software he was required to assemble a team from within the company. He was not permitted to hire anyone from outside the company, and he could not tell the potential candidates about the project they would be working on, or even who they would report to.
The sales pitch Scott Forstall used to entice employees to work on the project with him was less than ideal as well.
“We’re starting another project,” he would tell those he brought into his office. “It’s so secret I cannot tell you what the project is.” Rather than say they needed to take his offer, Forstall would tell them they would probably have a great career even if they turned him down. Plus, he promised little but long hours if they accepted the offer. “You are going to have to give up nights and weekends probably for a couple years,” he said.
Despite the amount of sacrifices needed to be made to be on the team, Forstall was able to attract some extremely talented people. With his team selected he took over one of Apple’s Cupertino buildings and locked it down… literally. Cameras, badge readers and tight security was implemented, forcing some workers on the team to show their badges five or six times a day.
As you can probably tell creating the iPhone was an amazing feat to say the least, with the end goal being creating a phone Apple employees themselves would want to carry. I bet you would have never guess so much work went into creating the revolutionary smartphone that I bet over three quarters of you reading this article have in your possession right now.