Former iOS Chief Scott Forstall Shares Intriguing Story of His Interview With Steve Jobs at NeXT

forstallFormer Apple executive and iOS chief Scott Forstall made a rare public appearance this week at Code.org's virtual Code Break event, and in between classes, Forstall shared the intriguing story of how he was hired by Steve Jobs.

Forstall revealed that he had been considering working at Microsoft when he went to interview at NexT, the company started by Jobs after he had left Apple. Forstall described the NexT interview as "intense," involving seventeen people over the course of the day.

However, ten minutes into the first interview, Jobs burst into the room and grabbed the interviewer and took him out into the hallway. The two had an animated discussion as Forstall waited. Eventually, Jobs came back into the room to personally conduct the interview with him.

"He just started peppering me with question after question, and after about 15 minutes we really clicked – on design, philosophy, and a bunch of other things," Forstall recalled.

"Eventually he stopped, and said, 'I know you have to interview for the rest of the day. I don't care what anyone says, at the end of the day, I'm giving you an offer. But please, pretend you're interested in everyone's questions throughout the rest of the day.' Then he looked at me and said, 'I'm sure you're going to accept this offer.' So this was his way to convince me."

Forstall went on to reveal that he'd also had an offer from Microsoft, which he subsequently turned down that day. The next morning, he found a dead fish in a box on his doorstep.

Reminded of the mafia's use of a dead fish delivery as a threat, Forstall checked the box for a return address: It was from Microsoft. So Forstall called up his contact there, but it turned out the company had sent him a fresh king salmon from Seattle's Pike Place fish market, implying that he wouldn't be able to buy fish like that if he moved to the Bay Area.

Forstall said he ended up cooking the fish and eating it that evening, and then went on to work with Steve Jobs at NeXT and then Apple for the next 20 years, before departing the company in 2013.


The video is embedded above. You can watch the part where Forstall's shares his experience of joining NeXT and working with Jobs from around the 34-minute mark.

Top Rated Comments

jouster Avatar
18 months ago
I'm probably in a minority, but I liked Forstall's work on iOS more than Ive's. Sure--some of the skeuomorphic stuff could be a bit cheesy, but at least you knew when something was a damn button.
Score: 49 Votes (Like | Disagree)
hagar Avatar
18 months ago

its stories like the ones he relates in this article that brings it all back why i don't like this man.
at all.
heir apparent.
and a failure.
and still trying to live off steve job's memory.
no talent.
and still self-serving.
The very first sentence in the article states he made a very rare public appearance. So your statement about trying to live off steve’s memory is wrong. And if you can work with Steve Jobs for 20 years, you must have some talent.
Score: 42 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Glideslope Avatar
18 months ago
The Good Old Days.
Score: 30 Votes (Like | Disagree)
newyorksole Avatar
18 months ago
I like hearing stories like this. There’s probably sooo many like it that we’ll never get to hear unfortunately.

I also wonder what Apple would be like if he was still there. There’s probably a 0% chance of him returning so I guess we’ll never knowww.
Score: 20 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Relentless Power Avatar
18 months ago
I can’t imagine anything more intimidating than sitting in a room with Steve Jobs being bombarded with questions, But yet being recruited by a tech genius Where Jobs Was adamant Forstall to be part of his team. This behind-the-scenes stuff is great.
Score: 19 Votes (Like | Disagree)
MacFather Avatar
18 months ago
Deleted.
Score: 19 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

affinity designer contour tool

Serif Updates Affinity Photo, Designer, and Publisher With New Tools and Functions

Thursday February 4, 2021 1:58 am PST by
Serif today announced across-the-board updates for its popular suite of Affinity creative apps, including Affinity Photo, Affinity Designer, and the Apple award-winning Affinity Publisher for Mac, all of which were among the first professional creative suites to be optimized for Apple's new M1 chip. "After another year which saw record numbers of people switching to Affinity, it's exciting to...
studio buds family

Beats Studio Buds Debuting Today With Active Noise Cancellation, Stemless Design, and More for $150

Monday June 14, 2021 8:00 am PDT by
We've seen a lot of teasers about the Beats Studio Buds over the past month since they first showed up in Apple's beta software updates, and today they're finally official. The Beats Studio Buds are available to order today in red, white, and black ahead of a June 24 ship date, and they're priced at $149.99. The Studio Buds are the first Beats-branded earbuds to truly compete with AirPods...
maxresdefault

Craig Federighi and Greg Joswiak Discuss iPadOS 15, macOS Monterey, Privacy, Shortcuts on Mac, and More

Saturday June 12, 2021 6:12 am PDT by
As is tradition, Apple executives Craig Federighi and Greg Joswiak joined Daring Fireball's John Gruber in an episode of The Talk Show to discuss several announcements that Apple made over this weeks WWDC, including iPadOS 15, macOS Monterey, and a large focus around privacy. Federighi kicks off the conversation discussing the common architecture, now thanks to Apple silicon, across all of...
youtube apple tv

YouTube Discontinuing 3rd-Generation Apple TV App, AirPlay Still Available

Wednesday February 3, 2021 3:09 pm PST by
YouTube is planning to stop supporting its YouTube app on the third-generation Apple TV models, where YouTube has long been available as a channel option. A 9to5Mac reader received a message about the upcoming app discontinuation, which is set to take place in March.Starting early March, the YouTube app will no longer be available on Apple TV (3rd generation). You can still watch YouTube on...
adobe photoshop sketch ipad

Adobe Removing Photoshop Sketch and Illustrator Draw From App Store in July

Saturday June 26, 2021 4:02 pm PDT by
Adobe this week reminded customers that its Photoshop Sketch and Illustrator Draw apps will no longer be available for download on iOS and Android starting July 19. Adobe plans to stop supporting the apps for existing users on January 10, 2022. In a support document, Adobe said users can easily migrate to its Fresco app, which combines many Photoshop Sketch and Illustrator Draw drawing and...
REC ASA CODE2016 20160601 205816 2745

Elon Musk Reportedly Demanded to Become Apple CEO as Part of Potential Tesla Acquisition [Update: Musk Denies]

Friday July 30, 2021 9:04 am PDT by
Tesla CEO Elon Musk reportedly once demanded that he be made Apple CEO in a brief discussion of a potential acquisition with Apple's current CEO, Tim Cook. The claim comes in a new book titled "Power Play: Tesla, Elon Musk and the Bet of the Century," as reviewed by The Los Angeles Times. According to the book, during a 2016 phone call between Musk and Cook that touched on the possibility of ...
homepod feature blue2

Looking to Grab a HomePod Before They're Gone? These Retailers Still Have Stock

Monday March 15, 2021 6:54 am PDT by
Apple last week discontinued the original HomePod, marking just over three years on the market for the full-size smart speaker. If you're looking to purchase the larger HomePod before it's completely gone, there are still some options online today. The biggest retailer with remaining stock on the HomePod is Apple itself, which has the White HomePod for $299.00 on its website. Space Gray is...
september 2021 event ar logo

Apple's September 14 Event Page Features AR Logo on iPhone

Tuesday September 7, 2021 9:23 am PDT by
Apple this morning announced a digital-only event that will be held on Tuesday, September 14, and if you view the event webpage on an iPhone, you can tap on the logo to open up Apple's Safari AR viewer and you'll see the three-dimensional logo move in real-time in the real world. Just open up the event site on an ‌iPhone‌ or iPad and tap right on the logo to open up the AR version. The...
iphone 11 night mode photos

Apple Reveals New Night Mode Photo Feature Exclusive to iPhone 11 Series

Tuesday September 10, 2019 12:23 pm PDT by
Apple today announced the iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro, and the iPhone 11 Max, all-new models that boast improved cameras, and specifically, a dramatic new Night Mode photo feature. Last year, Google introduced its impressive Night Sight camera mode, a software-based feature that allows users to take detailed pictures in dark environments using Google Pixel smartphones. Apple's new Night...
iPhone 13 Dummy Thumbnail 2

Kuo: iPhone 13 to Feature LEO Satellite Communications to Make Calls and Texts Without Cellular Coverage

Sunday August 29, 2021 7:39 am PDT by
The iPhone 13 will feature low earth orbit (LEO) satellite communication connectivity to allow users to make calls and send messages in areas without 4G or 5G coverage, according to the reliable analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. In a note to investors, seen by MacRumors, Kuo explained that the iPhone 13 lineup will feature hardware that is able to connect to LEO satellites. If enabled with the relevant...