An Impactful Attention to Detail Story

An interesting story about attention to detail comes from Vic Gundotra, the man behind Google +.

In a post he made on Google + titled “Icon Ambulance” Gundotra remembered a story about CEO and co-founder of Apple, Steve Jobs.

The post is from August 2011, about two months before Jobs would pass away from pancreatic cancer– but it serves as a testament to the attention to detail Jobs took pride in during his time forming Apple into the billion-dollar corporation it is today.

Gundotra starts the story by explaining that on a Sunday morning in 2008, he had received a call to his cell phone during his religious service.
Obviously, he was unable to answer. The call was from Steve Jobs, who had left him a message, in which Jobs claimed he had something “urgent to discuss” with Gundotra.


Gundotra called Jobs back. Here is how he describes what happens from here:

“’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?’”

As Eyder Peralta of NPR puts it, this was quite the lesson for all of us to learn from.

“The CEO of Apple — the tech visionary who revolutionized personal computers, the way we listen to music and the way we think of mobile devices — was worried about the yellow in the second “O” in Google,” Peralta writes.

“Needless to say the problem was fixed, and Gundotra says it taught him a lesson on leadership and ‘passion and attention to detail.’”

“It was a lesson I’ll never forget,” wrote Gundotra. “CEOs should care about details. Even shades of yellow. On a Sunday.”


Featured Image: Photo by Sandro Schuh on Unsplash

By |2019-02-15T19:37:55+00:00February 1st, 2019|Attention to Detail, Coachability|

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