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Icon Ambulance

One Sunday morning, January 6th, 2008 I was attending religious services when my cell phone vibrated. As discreetly as possible, I checked the phone and noticed that my phone said "Caller ID unknown". I choose to ignore.

After services, as I was walking to my car with my family, I checked my cell phone messages. The message left was from Steve Jobs. "Vic, can you call me at home? I have something urgent to discuss" it said.

Before I even reached my car, I called Steve Jobs back. I was responsible for all mobile applications at Google, and in that role, had regular dealings with Steve. It was one of the perks of the job.

"Hey Steve - this is Vic", I said. "I'm sorry I didn't answer your call earlier. I was in religious services, and the caller ID said unknown, so I didn't pick up".

Steve laughed. He said, "Vic, unless the Caller ID said 'GOD', you should never pick up during services".

I laughed nervously. After all, while it was customary for Steve to call during the week upset about something, it was unusual for him to call me on Sunday and ask me to call his home. I wondered what was so important?

"So Vic, we have an urgent issue, one that I need addressed right away. I've already assigned someone from my team to help you, and I hope you can fix this tomorrow" said Steve.

"I've been looking at the Google logo on the iPhone and I'm not happy with the icon. The second O in Google doesn't have the right yellow gradient. It's just wrong and I'm going to have Greg fix it tomorrow. Is that okay with you?"

Of course this was okay with me. A few minutes later on that Sunday I received an email from Steve with the subject "Icon Ambulance". The email directed me to work with Greg Christie to fix the icon.

Since I was 11 years old and fell in love with an Apple II, I have dozens of stories to tell about Apple products. They have been a part of my life for decades. Even when I worked for 15 years for Bill Gates at Microsoft, I had a huge admiration for Steve and what Apple had produced.

But in the end, when I think about leadership, passion and attention to detail, I think back to the call I received from Steve Jobs on a Sunday morning in January. It was a lesson I'll never forget. CEOs should care about details. Even shades of yellow. On a Sunday.

To one of the greatest leaders I've ever met, my prayers and hopes are with you Steve.

-Vic
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444 comments
 
I'm about to embark on creating my own tech company, and I hope some days stories like this are told about me.
 
Great story. Thank you for sharing!
 
Wow that teared me up a little
 
That is a passion for the product
 
May I submit that, while attention to detail makes all the difference at every level of the organization, boards really hire CEOs for their strategic vision?
 
What more can you say. It is the moments that we share together that makes us all human.
 
Nice story Vic ! Share some other ones too.
 
Great story about a great innovator. The devil is in the details. And Steve Jobs delivered great products and UI by refusing to compromise the best end user experience,
 
CEOs should care about details. Even shades of yellow. On a Sunday....
 
Nice story. I recall attending a talk by him at Cornell. Those were his NeXT computer days, and he was as inspiring and engaging as ever. And his best was still ahead of him. I wish Steve Jobs happiness and good health.
 
Thanks for sharing that story, Vic.
 
+Vic Gundotra You were lucky to know him, the story is full of passion, he was full of it, probably the thing we are missing the most these days.
 
I honestly can't imagine Apple without Steve, but he has built a solid legacy. Let's hope that they continue to innovate and push the boundaries as much as he has. My thoughts are with him. i <3 you Steve!
 
great story! just gotta say don't be afraid to say church, synagogue, temple, whatever, what you believe is part of who you are, if others don't like it then they have some problems they need to sort out.

just my $0.02 .

Keep up the good work Vic!
 
That's a really great and touching post. Thanks a lot for sharing this story with us, Vic.
 
Wow. Thanks for sharing, Vic. It really is true--he really does care about everything, right down to the half-pixel.
 
Thank you for giving us some personal insight to a man you knew in person, it really makes him seem like more of a man than just a CEO and the creator of Apple.
 
Thank you for sharing that story. Brilliant business mind. I grew up with a Mac in the house. Mom designed print materials on that tiny screen. I inherited it years later. 3.5MB hard drive. iPod early adopter in 2004. MacBook Pro late adopter in 2010. Ishuffle. Refused to do iPhone. Droid instead. We are thankful for changing and influencing so many facets of our lives.
Lil Peck
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And the graphics guy/gal rolled their eyes, "the yellow still isn't right?" :)
Ze Wong
 
Nice Story, Thanks for sharing
 
Good story. It is good to hear that Steve Jobs didn't treat competitors as enemy and still looking for the perfection.
 
Fantastic story, and Steve Jobs is an absolute legend. If he is having health issues, I hope he pulls through with flying colors.
 
I'm bummed +Vic Gundotra that I missed you on the Google campus today. These stories of Steve Jobs rock. I hope we have many many more of them.
 
never personally owned an apple product in my life. whatever though. this story got to me, Thanks Steve, for everything.
 
I wish I could share this story from G+ on my Droid. 
 
Awesome story. Loved it. "...unless the Caller ID said 'GOD', you should never pick up during services" LOL :D Steve Jobs...what a great guy.
 
Quite a story, and very true, +Vic Gundotra, sometimes we are hated by the people we work with for being so "picky" but truth is, yes, we should care about details such as the one you mentioned. Great post. ++
 
Thank you for sharing your experiences with Steve and Apple..., Vic;
 
Mac, Pixar, iPod, iPhone, iPad. Creating even one of these would've made a man a legend. Creating all... GOD.
 
What a great story and that which sets a great leader apart, his passion and attention to details that matter. Thank you for sharing.
 
Inspiring. I am sure the same attention to detail has been implemented in succession planning. 
 
Wonderful story. My first computer (which we still have in storage) was the Apple IIe, and I've always used a Mac since.
 
Wow, what a great story. I was told that life is "in the details." It's inspirational that a very successful mega-business man is still paying homage to that truth. I hope his next detail is the sailcloth for his boat!
Thanks for sharing +Vic Gundotra
 
Thanks for sharing Vic........its wonderful to read such passages....
 
Great anecdote. Hope you write down as much as you can remember about your encounters with Mr. Jobs. Like most everyone else, I'm hoping this is just a temporary thing, and that he'll be around as Apple's arbiter of taste for many more years.
 
The adapted adage, "The design is in the detail" has been proven true over and over again by Steve Jobs. It's a gift, no doubt that not many have. 
 
what a beautiful story! Thanks for sharing.
 
And in the Google Market App we have white text on light gray background... sheesh
 
Love it all Love what you have written, especially this part which is what I believe in: "But in the end, when I think about leadership, passion and attention to detail, I think back to the call I received from Steve Jobs on a Sunday morning in January. It was a lesson I'll never forget. CEOs should care about details. Even shades of yellow. On a Sunday." Thank you so much sir +Vic Gundotra
 
Great story +Vic Gundotra! It's not often a leader like Steve Jobs comes around but when they do they leave a path of inspiration around all that they do. I wish him many more years of happiness and health!
 
Steve Jobs has been one of the greatest icons of our times, and arguably the best CEO industry has ever seen. The immaculate Apple products bear the glowing testimony of his attention to detail, passion for perfection and competitiveness. The famous story of his turnaround of Apple from an also-ran to the greatest titan of the tech industry has become folklore and will be told for generations. His exit is a great loss to Apple in particular and to the tech industry and consumers in general. You will be missed Steve.
 
this sounds like Steve Jobs just died. But in any case, for a 55 year old, he's too young to be very sick.
 
Nice story Vic - thanks for sharing it.
 
It's really great to hear a personal story like this. It's filling out the picture everyone's getting from the more general statements & news stories about this moment. Thanks for sharing that +Vic Gundotra !
 
Oh and well written as well! Wish you had more time for these, but um... I think you're busy these days :)
 
...and! most of the comments as well sounds like Steve Jobs just died.@_@
 
Explains why my Android apps screen looks uglier than iOS :)
 
+Tom Weizenegger +Chino Yray Sheesh. It's not that he died. It's that we have massive respect and emotional connection to a man who was CEO of Apple and today he stepped down. We have high hopes that everything will be fine. But during this period of uncertainty, some of us feel compelled to say positive things.
 
Great story Vic, and for the first 7 paragraphs I thought it was going somewhere completely different. It's nice to read more personal stories about someone who has been so central to most of our lives, professionally, personally, or just as a fan of him and/or his work.
 
Thank you sharing the story. On this sad day, these stories are really a contrasting joy to read..
 
I sincerely believe that we would not all be here on Google+, ultimately were it not for the unique vision of Steve Jobs.

The world has come incredibly far in thirty years, thanks to you, Steve Jobs.
Thank You.
 
This story sums up "leadership" which Steve did not learn but born with. That's in my humble opinion.
 
Thank you. Steve Jobs has touched every person I know in ways big and small, known and unknown. I will keep him and his family in my prayers.
 
+Vic Gundotra I know. That's why in my first comment above, I wished him well. Also, one way or another, there are ways that Steve Jobs inspired all of us. It's just that after reading all the articles around (including this), it sounds like he died.

In any case, this is one story that will teach a lesson for managers and not just CEOs around the world. "CEOs should care about details. Even shades of yellow. On a Sunday."
 
Hmmm. I have had occasion to work with a very senior manager who had a similar penchant ( I call it OCD) for pointing out the very minutest of detail in a power point deck ( why is that box misaligned or why is this comma missing or why are the USD numbers in millions instead of billions etc) . Frankly, whilst it can be classified as an 'eye for detail ' but I do think it is hugely in the camp of micro managing. Whilst Steve is or has been an iconic leader, I think most mortal people at that level of seniority with such traits will tend to be obfuscated from the more important things as they get mired in such minutae ! My 2 cents
 
I was reading this and did not understand why the grave responses, then I read the news. I don't give a hoot he resigned, only thing I can think about is his wife and kids....
 
What an awesome awesome story. Thanks a lot for sharing
 
Thanks for sharing, my prayers and hopes are also with Steve!
 
This is a great story, thanks 
 
It is that attention to detail, like a musician almost, that makes Apple. Most software/hardware feels unfinished in comparison.
 
As a new Mac user its that attention to detail that I appreciate the product. If Steve did his job, which I am assuming he did, he created and nurtured a culture and philosophy at Apple that will take a couple of crappy CEOs to break. Right now, Tim Cook is not one of them, so their future is brighter than ever. Thanks for sharing your story.
 
And Vic, to gives props to Google, they made the transition to a new OS super easy simply because I'm a Google Apps user.
 
January 6 of any year would have been the day of Orthodox Christians' Christmas Eve. That probably was GOD's Christmas gift :-) Thanks for sharing . . . Steve Jobs is definitely a CEO to emulate.
Ray Lau
 
Thanks for sharing this piece. I echo with your earlier post Doing what one love. It's perfect. Steve loves what he does. This reminds me always
 
Thank you for sharing this. It's touching.
 
Wonderful insight into how Steve Jobs pushed himself and his team to perfection by paying attention to the smallest detail. It was all about flawless design and experience,. But Steve Jobs genius also lay in a rare ability to imagine, conceive and launch products that did not exist, for needs we did not know we had - up until the time when we actually held those products in our hands and wondered how we ever lived without them before!
 
Nice. But success always colors perception. If apple was not so successful then this would been interpreted as micro management and not giving creative flexibility.
 
Nice story. Steve was definitely a great CEO. But anyways let's hope Google concentrates on design a little more.
 
I bet he'll stick around Cupertino for many more years... He'll want to oversee the construction of the new headquarters ans well as the transition of ios into the cloud...
 
I wish I had that much attention to detail and the creative energy of Steve Jobs.
 
+Vic Gundotra , I read that Walt Disney was specific about the type of trash cans for his theme park. Now these cans are swapped out every two years and Disney repaints them every four months. Steve Jobs had a similar obsession about the trash icon for Mac - coincidence?
 
Thanks for sharing, please do share more down the road.
 
Steve is a perfect example of natural born genius.
 
Thank you Vic for sharing your story with us!
 
Amazing Vic, steve is still the best CEO I know
 
Now I understood the applications approval procedure for iTunes! It takes a weeeeeks before an application will appears in iTunes. ;)))
+Vic Gundotra will you check all Market's apps in the same manner? ;))
...just kidding... ))
Anyway, thank you for the story!
 
Never confuse a company with its leader, the human (for better or worse) lifeforce behind all innovation and growth. Apple has been portrayed in many lights by many media outlets, but regardless of their spin, Steve is a man with vision, passion and persistence and it's because of him that we have as much technological bounty as we do today.

He won't be with us forever -- obviously -- but his inherent transience should not be seen as cause for depression. It should be a wake up call to all of you who are waiting for the moment to break out of your shells and shine. This is that moment. Stop watching and start doing. We can't honor the work of good innovators like Steve Jobs without ourselves innovating, without daring to take one step further into the unknown.

What are you all waiting for?
 
I look forward to reading many more Stories like this from you, Vic. Truly motivational.
 
Really wonderful story Vic and I couldn't agree more, no detail is too small. If it's wrong it's wrong and needs to be fixed if you want the best possible outcome.
 
It is nice to see a Googler (and ex-Softie) give due respect to the Steve. Many tend to forget that while corporate allegiances and partnerships are formed and broken over time, visionaries stand tall earning the respect of friend and foe alike. Steve, you are one of a kind. Get well soon to inspire us a lot more. Nice post Vic.
 
Amazing Post really loved it...Steve Jobs Rocks...!!!
 
Thanks for sharing. That's truly how a passionate CEO should be. Inspirational. 
 
I dont think ive seen it put better than this. Brilliant
 
A really detailed person.. Neway, I like this story so much.. Thanks Vic..
Kun Li
 
Great story.
 
Where is the Google logo on the iPhone. We have a coloured Gmail one, where is Google? Amazing story regardless and thanks for sharing :)
 
CEOs appointed by boards don't often have the same passion. Who says a CEO shouldn't have attention to detail? Strategic vision combined with attention to detail is what's made Steve Jobs' Apple what it is today.
 
Could I translate in Japanese and share it? This is too good a story.
 
O一つとはいえないがしろにしてはいけない。ううむ。
 
Im sure there will be many calls to Tim Cook on a Sunday to discuss more than logo colors. Fantastic story Vic and thank you for sharing. 
 
Great story! this is truly mind blowing... to be that detail about so much as a CEO.. that's micro management to its best!
 
História legal. Obrigado por compartilhar!
Sam Ho
 
That was a great read. Thanks for sharing, Vic!
 
Definitely a +1. I especially like this comment: "Vic, unless the Caller ID said 'GOD', you should never pick up during services". :)
 
The tech world just lost its only true Rock Star. Everyone else is just a session player. Thanks for sharing, Vic.
 
WoW! Vic, that was a truly good post/story regarding Steve.
Truly awesome!
 
Great story, Vic! Thanks so much for sharing it with the world!
 
thanks for sharing ..
 
Wonderful tribute to one of the greats of our industry! Thanks for sharing Vic!
 
Jobs is so dedicated.
 
I wish I could +1 this more than once.
 
Thx, Vic to share this story. To people who would like to learn more about Steve, I strongly recommend the video called "Steve Jobs Stanford Commencement Speech 2005 " specially the 8:00 part.. it is a matter of the heart .
 
Thanks for sharing, all bosses of any company should who this much interest!
 
Thats brilliant. Brightened my Thursday morning!
 
Awesomeness! My hat's off to you. Thank you for that.
 
Your post is a worthy of great attention.
 
"Vic, unless the Caller ID said 'GOD', you should never pick up during services"

Not far from it, perhaps?
 
Nice read. Thanks for sharing
 
Thank you for sharing it Vic, The story does show the great deal of Passion a CEO has for his company and never ever lost touch with the fundamentals the company is known for. As they popularly say in Sanskrit " Yada Raja Thada Praja " hence Apple is the brand it is today.
 
Awesome, thanks for sharing.
 
Attention to detail is not just for the "workerbees" but for everyone up and down the chain! Thx for sharing!
 
“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma —which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.” Steve Jobs
 
Thanks for sharing this, Vic. Wonderful.
 
This is quintessential leadership on display by an iconoclastic designer and artist. Steve Jobs we adore you. Thank you Vic for posting this!
 
I don't mean to nitpick, but where is the Google icon on iOS?

Oh, and great story :)
 
Thanks for letting us know this, I've always had a PC but I've ever wanted a MAC. Cheers from Mexico.
 
This is simply inspiring...letting no imperfection go unnoticed
 
I hope he found the right yellow.
Xue C
 
Nice...Week b/f his Macworld 08 Keynote"....... there is a new iCon on your iPhones springboard 

09:29 am that takes you directly to the website 
 
Steve's amazing. I sorely hope he will stay heavily involved in the workings of Apple.
 
Great story! Thanks for sharing
 
Amazing story.... wow Steve is annoyingly perfection-focused! (the way it should be)
 
If only we had half as much passion as Steve Jobs in our work, this world would have be a better place
 
Nice tribute to a living icon...
 
You know, I'd held it together until now. No more!
 
Fabulous post! Thanks for sharing! Much LOVE and LIGHT always! Eternally stay scintillating! <3
 
HE'S. NOT. DEAD.

otherwise, cool story bro
 
great story! though I'm not sure why people are writing msgs as if he's dead...
 
What a genuine leader!!!!!!!
 
Guess Something we should learn. Everybody is a CEO for something. Being a Father you are a CEO of your family. Thanks a lot for sharing this.
 
I would say that this highlights perhaps the main reason that Steve Jobs is a unique person and business leader - not just because he has an uncanny understanding and dedication to product details but because he combines this ability with understanding the big picture and predicting/shaping the future thereby becoming the living icon he is today.

However, this is also at the heart of the problem of countless (wannabe) leaders having Steve Jobs as a role model. And that problem is that few humans have the ability to master both the details and the big picture. Most leaders I have encountered - counting both my personal career and as witnessed through media - have failed at both, some have been skilled at details and a few have been skilled strategists, but none have come close to combine these abilities at a level close to Steve Jobs.

So my main takeaway from this to (those who want to become) real leaders is to not try to lead their companies through micro management or cloud level management but rather to clearly define and assign the appropriate responsibilites to individuals having these capabilities as well as empower and work closely with them while you focus on what you do best.

In the end, knowing yourself will always be better than knowing Steve Jobs.
 
Great story about a great man. Thanks for sharing.
 
SImply an awesome story - and a real inspiration.
 
I worked for NeXT between 1988 and 1991. For part of that time Steve was my direct boss and other times he was my indirect boss.

The story I remember the best is the launch of a new partnership and a curtain.

A group of us were preparing the venue for the launch the next day. We had to set up the stage, demo areas and other details that makes a Steve Jobs launch special. Steve walks in late at night and takes a look around. As is his style he notices details and quickly offers his views. Up in the rafters there was a gap in the black curtains. Very quickly it was decided that we need to get a steeplejack in and a matching black curtain must to be hung. Around midnight the specialist arrives to climb to the ceiling and hang the curtain. I was told the cost was off the chart as this was a rush job late at night in a dangerous working environment.

Baker
 
It is posts like this that make Google+ the best. Such a simple story but a powerful message. Thank you for sharing it with us +Vic Gundotra
 
All our prayers are with Steve & his family.
May you get well soon & continue to inspire millions of people.

+Vic Gundotra , what a classy & graceful way to show your concern & admiration for the great Steve Jobs.
Hats off Sir. <bows> :)
 
A great man would spend his sunday with his family, not worrying about shades of yellow on a logo. That can surely wait until Monday.
 
Good story. Another one.
Once, I met a great CEO too.
He is a billionnaire, has a great stage presence and still looks humble, not acting like a rock star despite all the admiration surrounding him. Dont know if this CEO is better than the one I met.
Certainly they are different and possibly, both admire each other for a reason.
 
we are all fans, even if we don't actually use Apple products.. Good story.
 
Glad to know this story/event, vivek. :)
Steve has been such a force in the industry for so long.
Apple has come to this industry-leader level with his vison and touch.
A bit shocked to hear about his resigning!

I do not agree with all of his directions/actions/thoughts but i feel that this person has pushed the industry to such an incredible level!!!
Kudos to Steve. :)
Wishing the best for his health.

and great points by +Pär Eklund :)
I whole-heartedly on your last line.
 
+Alroy Ndhlovu : not to cut you ;), but In Southern India, we have a phrase,
Work is God. :)
as part of feeling the divine everywhere and in everything.
 
Too bad I never got to meet the guy during my time at Apple. Thanks for the great anecdote Vic!
 
Fantastic story, Vic! Steve deserves all the credit in the world for Apple's success, but we mustn't forget about Tim Cook...
 
Interesting story - although i guess he also has a dark side :) anyways it sounds a bit like Steve died - which fortunatly is not the case.
 
fantastic story, thanks for sharing!
 
Thanks Vic! This story shows once more the incredible attention for details that led Apple to its deserved success.
 
What a great farewell story. Thanks for sharing.
 
Thanks to have shared this little (big) story with us!
 
Thank You for sharing this lesson Vic Gundora. Steve is a great man.
 
Steve Jobs' achievement in this case is not that he's anal retentive -- it's that he somehow manages to find the time to be this anal retentive and still get stuff done.
 
one of the best G+ post I've ever noticed! and a salute for Steve Jobs!
 
Thanks for sharing. This is good example how Steve and Apple are working. The want to do everything in the right way, and they never stop until they succeed.
 
+Vic Gundotra inspirational! :) I personally respect and admire Steve for his contribution to tech.. Android would not be what it is had it not been for Steve!
 
What kind of idiot calls on a Sunday to discuss colour gradients? Pompous moron.
 
"By the way, what have you done that’s so great? Do you create anything, or just criticize others work and belittle their motivations?" - Steve Jobs.

One of my favorite quotes. You can draw so much from it.
 
Steve jobs will be a very missed player, I don't dig apple products (just the ipod's), but I have admiration for what he accomplished in his life, unfortunately cut in half by the dreaded cancer. If half of the CEO did care about this small details, world would a better place, with better products and better designs. Nevertheless, whacking someone in a sunday morning to discuss an icon color, geeezzz
 
Steve is a marvelous person, a rare genius :)
 
Steve is a legend. Nobody can produce goods that are so good without paying attention to details. As they say, God is in the details..
 
Great story, it shows that Steve in fact is a human person,a very special, competitive and genial person, but in fact, just a man.
Can I translate it into Catalan and Spanish to share it? Anyway, thanks for sharing this story.
 
Great Story. Cheers to the legend!
 
Wow touching story.
 
Inspirational as always ... Steve..
Thanks for Sharing Vic
 
Inspirational Stuff!! Thanks a ton!
 
What?.. Shades of Yellow?.. Are you kidding?.. Almost everyone out there in the Real World has chromatically uncalibrated displays, and every device will have slightly different "color" for the same set of R, G and B... I don't even tell about Brightness and Contrast settings and the age of the display itself...

Pfffft, Steve, come back to Earth from your Distant Galaxy Far Far Away...
Wen Tai
 
Best story today.
 
Steve showed the world how enjoyable and compelling mobile devices could be.
 
It takes guts to be a Man! God bless them!
 
+Humaid Merchant Well put. "Pompus moron" Great leaders stand behind their people, not in front taking all the credit and having god complex issues.
 
Para los que no acaban de defenderse con el inglés, os dejo una traducción lo más fiel que me ha sido posible al original, en castellano y en catalán. / Per a aquells que no acaben de defensar-se amb l'anglès, us deixo una traducció el més fidel que m'ha estat possible a l'original, en castellà i en català.

Castellano
Una mañana de domingo, el 6 de enero de 2008, había ido a misa cuando mi teléfono vibró. De la manera más discreta posible, miré el teléfono y vi que la pantalla mostraba “Número desconocido”, así que decidí ignorarlo.

Después de la misa, mientras caminaba hacia el coche con mi familia, miré los mensajes, el mensaje dejado era de Steve Jobs. Decía: “Vic, ¿puedes llamarme a casa? Tengo algo importante que discutir contigo”

Antes incluso de llegar al coche, devolví la llamada a Steve Jobs, yo era el responsable de todas las aplicaciones para dispositivos móviles en Google, y dado ese rol, tengo trato frecuente con Steve, ese era uno de los beneficios de este trabajo.
“Hey, Steve, soy Vic”, le dije, “perdona por no haber contestado antes a tu llamada, estaba en misa, y ponía “Número desconocido”, así que no la he respondido.
Steve se rió. Dijo. “Vic, a menos que ponga ‘DIOS’, nunca deberías responder durante la misa”
Me reí nerviosamente. Así como era costumbre de Steve llamar durante la semana alterado por algo, no era normal que me llamase un domingo pidiéndome que le llamase a casa, me preguntaba qué sería tan importante.
“Bien, Vic, tenemos un asunto importante, que necesito que sea abordado de inmediato. Ya he asignado gente de mi equipo para ayudarte, y espero que mañana puedas tenerlo solucionado”, dijo Steve.
“He estado mirando el logo de Google en el iPhone y no estoy contento con el icono. La segunda O de Google no tiene el gradiente –degradado- amarillo adecuado. Está simplemente mal y voy a tener a Greg arreglándolo mañana. ¿Te parece bien?”
Por supuesto que me parecía bien. Unos minutos después ese domingo, recibí un email de Steve con el asunto “Emergencia de icono”. El email me invitaba a trabajar con Greg Christie para arreglar el icono.
Desde que tenía once años y me enamoré del Apple II, tengo docenas de historias que contar sobre los productos Apple. Han sido una parte de mi vida durante décadas. Incluso cuando trabajé durante quince años para Bill Gates en Microsoft, tuve una gran admiración por Steve y lo que Apple produjo.
Pero al fin y al cabo, cuando pienso en liderazgo, pasión y atención por el detalle, vuelvo a pensar en la llamada que recibí de Steve una mañana de domingo en enero. Los CEO (Chief executive officer, Director ejecutivo), deberían cuidar los detalles. Incluso sombreados amarillos.En un domingo.
A uno de los líderes más grandes que he conocido nunca, mis plegarias y deseos son por ti, Steve.

------------------------------------


Català
Un matí de diumenge, el 6 de gener de 2008, havia anat a missa quan el meu telèfon va vibrar. De la manera més discreta possible, vaig mirar el telèfon i vaig veure que la pantalla mostrava "Nombre desconegut", així que vaig decidir ignorar-lo.

Després de la missa, mentre caminava cap al cotxe amb la meva família, vaig mirar els missatges, el missatge deixat era de Steve Jobs. Deia: "Vic, pots trucar a casa? Tinc una cosa important que discutir amb tu "

Abans fins i tot d'arribar al cotxe, vaig tornar la trucada a Steve Jobs, jo era el responsable de totes les aplicacions per a dispositius mòbils a Google, i donat aquest rol, tinc tracte freqüent amb Steve, aquest era un dels beneficis d'aquest treball.
"Ei, Steve, sóc el Vic", li vaig dir, "perdona per no haver contestat abans a la teva trucada, estava a missa, i posava" Número desconegut ", així que no l'he respost.

Steve va riure. Va dir. "Vic, llevat que posi 'DÉU', mai hauries respondre durant la missa"
Vaig riure nerviosament. Així com era costum de Steve trucar durant la setmana alterat per alguna cosa, no era normal que em cridés un diumenge demanant-me que li cridés a casa, em preguntava què seria tan important.

"Bé, Vic, tenim un assumpte important, que necessito que sigui abordat immediatament. Ja he assignat gent del meu equip per ajudar-te, i espero que demà puguis tenir solucionat ", va dir Steve.
"He estat mirant el logo de Google a l'iPhone i no estic content amb la icona. La segona O de Google no té el gradient-degradat-groc adequat. Està simplement malament i vaig a tenir a Greg arreglant matí. Et sembla bé? "

Per descomptat que em semblava bé. Uns minuts després aquest diumenge, vaig rebre un email de Steve amb l'assumpte "Emergència d'icona". L'email em convidava a treballar amb Greg Christie per arreglar la icona.

Des que tenia onze anys i em vaig enamorar de l'Apple II, tinc dotzenes d'històries per explicar sobre els productes Apple. Han estat una part de la meva vida durant dècades. Fins i tot quan vaig treballar durant quinze anys per Bill Gates a Microsoft, vaig tenir una gran admiració per Steve i el que Apple va produir.
Però al cap i a la fi, quan penso en lideratge, passió i atenció pel detall, torno a pensar en la trucada que vaig rebre de Steve un matí de diumenge al gener. Els CEO (Chief executive officer, director executiu), haurien de cuidar els detalls. Fins i tot ombrejats grocs. En un diumenge.

A un dels líders més grans que he conegut mai, els meus pregàries i desitjos són per tu, Steve.
 
Excellent anecdote, but all this feels like we're eulogizing a guy who is still very much alive.
 
Please share us many more stories of your encounter with Steve.
 
Impressive, illustrates why people have a love for the devices made by apple. That kind of attention to detail can not be taught.
Thanks for sharing that.
 
Bosses should never call their employees after business hours, it's simply wrong. It's exploitation of the workers, you know.
 
"CEOs should care about details. Even shades of yellow. On a Sunday." - Perfect :-)
 
Great story. However, for everyone one of these there are probably several more stories about "micro-management" zapping productivity, decision making, and teamwork at Apple. People work best when they feel they are responsible for the outcome. That may not be the case here, but it sounds awfully close to micro-management which doesn't really work in the long run.
 
Guys, please, stop saying "excellent post" or things like that. It clogs the post and makes finding a relevant information in the thread impossible. For this we have +1 feature. Nobody would want, let alone be able, to read all these cheers anyway. So, don't bother.
 
I think that Steve have no sense of urgency. The colour of an "o" is not urgent, I think, unless, you have nothing else to do.
 
This is probably one of the items that marks the difference between producing great products and producing shit (by ignoring detail no matter how important).
 
One thing that makes Jobs a legend is that he can always persuade people into what he thinks awesome, and make his subordinates believe what they're doing is revolutionary.
 
nice story... i will share with my streams
 
This intense attention to detail is what has made Apple such a great consumer product company. Great story Vic, thanks for sharing!
Kyu Kim
 
So it's true!
 
I hope that Google can mirror this passion when it comes to Android and Google+
 
That's inspiring!
 
This reminds me of something, +Vic Gundotra . I have an icon ambulance for you too... If you're using Chrome (15.0.861.0 dev-m), press <Ctrl> + <0> and then <Ctrl> + <+>. Now look at the Games icon at the top of your G+ interface. When you hover your mouse over it, it turns from grayscale to colorful. But this colorful version has a height that is one pixel smaller than the grayscale version. The "Home" icon also has this problem. If you press <Ctrl> + <+> again and again, you see each icon may have this problem. Can you fix that? :-)

p.s. Firefox also has the same issue (but it happens to different icons when zoomed at the same level). So it's not a browser-specific issue. It's G+'s issue.
 
Amazing story, Vic! Thank you so much for sharing it.
 
Vic, this is a wonderful tribute and a great anecdote about what makes Apple so successful. Thank you for sharing it with the world at large.
 
Too bad some people here seem to think that which yellow is used is representative of the kinds of things Steve cares about. He cares about ALL the details. The consistency of user interface that Mac users have enjoyed since 1984 is because Steve requires people to write Mac software so that it's Mac-like. That makes it easier to use, that makes it a beautiful tool. Thanks Steve for all the beautiful tools.
 
Godspeed Steve! Thanks Vic for sharing this story. Definitely illustrates why Steve Jobs as CEO was always thinking different and has always just flat out executed and not settling for anything but the very best.
 
Thanks for sharing your great story. I posted the version translated into Japanese to my blog (http://bit.ly/ni6wZR) since I wanted to share it with Japanese people :D
 
CEOs should delegate people to deliver the right yellow. If this doesn't happen a couple of times, they should get rid off them.
 
The last two paragraphs made cry. What a man. Thanks for the amazing read Vic.
 
I think if I had Steve Job's mobile number - I might file it under 'GOD'. Definitely the closest person I'd have in my address book. :) Kidding aside - thank you for sharing. Wonderful story.
 
too bad Steve left Apple :(
 
He didn't leave. They've already moved to put him as chairman of the board. As someone who has always looked up to Jobs, one of his best features was his leadership, his drive to make everyone around him the best they could be. With that being said, he has put direct operations in very capable hands.

“My job is to not be easy on people. My job is to make them better.”
 
thats a lot of comments, nice story, sad to see him go but as long as Phill is still at apple we should stay on track
 
I might not like Steve Jobs in any way, shape, or form, but I do respect the man. He had a vision and he wasn't afraid to tell everyone else how it was going to work. He might have been an ass sometimes, from what I hear, but he did produce a legend.
 
Really a wonderful story, shows his true passion... most would say that the very definition of a CEO is NOT to care about details at that level. I think the Steve Jobs has turned that notion on its head. You can never argue with his success. Period.
 
thanks for share, we love Steve Jobs :D
 
Yeh, definitely fix the colour of the yellow O on the ipad. Thats far more important than getting your own products working. Google docs has only just updated to allow emailing documents as attachments... Now we know why :-/
 
A lesson to us all :) no detail too small.
 
Good stuff. Thanks for sharing Vic!
 
One day. I would maybe like to work at Google or Apple.
 
An excellent story, goes to show how vital Steve Jobs was and what an inspiration he should be to CEOs globally.
 
I don't get how this story is a positive reflection on the CEO of a major tech company. The gradient on the yellow isn't right? Does the board know this is how he spends his time?

Am I missing something?
 
When I first read the title of the post, and realized it was about Jobs, I thought Jobs himself was the icon you would talk about. The guy's a miracle worker and an icon.
 
I agree, today's leaders don't seem to take a details interest anymore.
 
Great story with a valuable lesson behind it. Thanks for sharing!
 
Great story, Great Steve.
 
Thanks for this Vic- a very neat story which affirms my belief in the type of CEO Steve Jobs is/was.
 
Such an interesting story and truly speaks to the heart of the man...thanks for the read.
 
wow, that's unbelievable.
 
Now, we have someone to miss.
 
Very inspiring, thanks! Attention to detail at its best.
 
+Vic Gundotra Thats what leadership is all about. Caring about the things that matter, and instilling that level of care in others. We cannot expect others to care about the things we care about, without a little help and prodding.
 
Bravo Vic, this story is right on time, right on place, in a right tone and of the right colour. Luckily there is no patent office for excellent example :-) We are in fact all encouraged to not just blindly copy, but embrace good deeds and emphasize their essence.
Thank you!
 
+Stuart Allen - Yes. Let it go. The CEO complaining about the yellow gradient on a single letter of one of the most recognizable brands in tech is silly. How is it not?
 
GREAT STORY! IT'S ALL ABOUT THE DETAILS, THE PERFECTION, THE MIND BEHIND A GREAT COMPANY. BEAUTIFUL!
 
Steve appears to show a unique ability as an executive showing great attention to detail, without become mired in those details.
 
Wonderful story, wonderfully told. Thank you.
 
A good story with details
 
Is this true? That explains why the gui and icons are pretty. They should be. 
 
Jobs, the Perfect Things's guy.
 
Waouh !!! thanks for sharing ... speechless !
寒韩
 
牛逼啊!
 
This story, and the sentiment behind it is amazing. What a great lesson, and in perfect context.
 
Too bad he didn't focus on reception as much as he did the color of the logo. He's doing the same thing Martha Stewart has done to destroy her business, obsessing over details that 99% of users don't instead of focusing on the things that 99% DO care about. Classic Jobs.
 
So thats why you called him a Draconian Dictator? In Public? In I/O?
And you love Apple so much that can put an Apple logo in Android's mouth mascot?
I'm sorry you waited that much in order to speak good things about Steve Jobs. Anyway, blocked ...
 
A fine compliment to Steve Jobs, his dedication and his commitment. Let's pray it doesn't have to become a tribute much too soon!
 
"steve jobs" one of the greatest innovator of all time................and +1 for a nice story "vic".........
 
Everyone who has interacted with him has a great story about his attention to detail, it seems.
 
great story about one of greatest tech leaders ever to walk the face of the earth
 
Steve is pure inspiration. Vic, this story effectively merges the human being with the icon. Thanks, we all need stories such as these to touch our hearts and stimulate our minds...
 
Absolutely brilliant post +Vic Gundotra. It really highlights Steve's attention to deal that is unlike anyone else. Thank you for sharing.
 
Very nice.. (but has Steve tried iTunes at all? 'couse that thing is the worst player of all time)
 
Thanks for sharing, great story Vic but you should've told him you're holding it wrong.
 
Great story, Vic. You should have mentioned there was a bite missing out of his logo. ;)
 
Thank you for sharing this. Over the last 11 or so years I have heard many similar stories about Jobs quietly from employees and those who work closely with Apple. Jobs has and attention to detail and knowing what is right that goes beyond nearly another other leader in any type of business at any level, but Jobs was CEO. Not only was Jobs right because he was CEO, he was dead on right (this is incredibly rare). Jobs' focus on detail covered everything and there was seemingly nothing beyond his review and examination with a careful eye, vision, and understanding what is right.
 
Great story! thanks for sharing! And yes, all is about details, those details that some people don't pay attention are the ones that makes others so successful. Steve Jobs is a perfectionist and make a tribute of this.
 
Great men always care about details, thus perfect will be made.
 
Boom! That story was magical and revolutionary.
 
"Icon Ambulance" :D Nice story!
 
+Vic Gundotra did you notice about this post...it has got most ever +1's and and more than even 10k share!! wow!
 
I doubt apple will add more to it's name after Steve.
 
+Pratyush Rai You are right. This is the most +1'd post ever.
 
+Drew Jones Yes, I am very lucky to be working at Google. It's how almost all Googlers feel every day.
Dave B
 
How is this a positive story? This isn't passion for details - it's obsession. What was gained by making that call on a Sunday morning as opposed to waiting until Monday or sending an email? Take Jobs out of this story. It's your boss calling. On a Sunday morning. About a minute detail. Would it be the greatest thing on earth? Or would it be disruptive, annoying, an invasion of your solace? Maybe I'm too used to being called about critical production issues but changing the gradient of an icon doesn't seem to me to be worth interrupting a Sunday morning.
 
Dave, i think the point here is that leadership is as much about attention/obsession as it is about relationship and attitude. It can be any kind of story you like, positive, negative, but remember, you have to live with your interpretation.
Life doesn't always hand you candies; best you know how to get the sweet stuff out of something. even on a sunday. on a call to your boss.
 
I don't think its legend stuff. Its rival thing. Why just Google icon. There are so many apps who doesn't have right gradients.. Steve knew very well this will be news and history someday.. and it will show Google lack of efforts to the world
 
Nothing could be inspiring than this to me as an entrepreneur I do agree with closing statement "CEOs should care about details..."
 
Wowww, I am googling a lot of stuff today about Google as Google's birthday today. And, I am very happy to find this post.. It gave me immense pleasure, and motivation that needs to pump unlimited energy to keep spirits high up above the sky.... Thanks +Vic Gundotra , you made my day..... RIP Steve Jobs..
 
I miss Steve too ㅜ,.ㅠ
 
+Lisa Bettany True! Tim Cook doesn't ideas do not really align to what Apple really was in the past.. +Vic Gundotra Can you post the logo that Steve Jobs found the issue with (before and after), we can use it in some presentations for designers to see if they spot the difference.
 
+Paola Bonomo And from your years of experience working with Steve, you found that vision lacking in him?
 
+Paola Bonomo
 thats y we have seen steve jobs fail right??
Strategic vision comes when u want to strategically create money "only" to attract shareholders.
Passion and perfectionism(which steve stood for) comes when u only care about the customer.Who is ultimately going to use the product and pay you.
 
"CEOs should care about details. Even shades of yellow. On a Sunday"
 
Excellent story! Steve Jobs was an incredible person.
 
If only there were more people like him!!
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