A Fascinating Oral History of Apple’s Infinite Loop
- October 4, 2018
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Steven Levy has authored a masterpiece of oral history (written down) about Apple’s Infinite Loop. Offices are integral to a company’s culture and character. You shape the space, and to some extent the space shapes you. The struggles for space can be cultural watershed moments.
I fondly recall what we referred to as “office space Risk” (as in the war game simulation) with my first employer. We were crowded into an overstuffed building on the hill, with an amazing view of downtown – along with a few other fast growing Austin companies – Tivoli and Dazel – and we tried hard to outlast them and pick up the spare empty offices here and there to box them in so that they would move and we could take all of the space (which eventually we did). Our parties on the patio looking over the lake were fond times to relax after a tough week, and before coming in to work over the weekend (no one had Internet access at home yet).
In this piece by Steven Levy, we get insight into how key folks at Apple perceived their space at Infinite Loop, even as the center of gravity has now moved to the mothership at Apple Park. A small sample of the great nuggets inside:
Tim Cook (Apple CEO, 1998–present): My first day at work I had to cross a picket line to get in the building—they are out with signs and yelling and I’m asking myself, “What have I done?” I learned that it was because Steve decided to kill the Newton. I told him there’s protesters outside, and he says, “Oh yeah, don’t worry about that.”
It’s kind of amazing to have worked for a place where the little tidbits and war stories about office space are actually worthy of journalism. I bet someone could write an epic story about IBM’s acquisition of its vast real estate empire, for example.