Thursday, November 17, 2011

the A

Excerpt from the book Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson:

For most things in life, the range between best and average is 30% or so. The best airplane flight, the best meal, they may be 30% better than your average one. What I saw with Woz was somebody who was fifty times better than the average engineer. He could have meetings in his head. The Mac team was an attempt to build a whole team like that, A players. People said they wouldn't get along, they'd hate working with each other. But I realized that A players like to work with A players, they just didn't like working with C players. At Pixar, it was a whole company of A players. When I got back to Apple, that's what I decided to try to do. You need to have a collaborative hiring process. When we hire someone, even if they're going to be in marketing, I will have them talk to the design folks and the engineers. My role model was J. Robert Oppenheimer. I read about the type of people he sought for the atom bomb project. I wasn't nearly as good as he was, but that's what I aspired to do. 

Jobs goal was to be vigilant against 'The bozo explosion' that leads to a company's being larded with second rate talent. He was always looking for the A rate players. And no compromise on that in anyway. 

(Woz - the co-founder of Apple)

Wonder how many of those at the top or those who are named 'leaders' worry about hiring only A players? or how many of them even invest their time in converting the B players to A. The point is to have only A players in the team. And hence if I am a C player, will I not be trying to get into the A category? 

I like the aspiration to have only A players in the team. 


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