1. Define the requirements, but don’t be rigid.
At first glance, this point will sound painfully obvious. But in my experience, too often the person doing the hiring has not given enough thought to defining the need precisely enough. When that’s the case, you might be interviewing the perfect person and not realize it. Or the person in charge of filling the position might be looking for the wrong type of candidate. Worse, you run a high risk of hiring the wrong person—guaranteed to set your project back.
Steve always had a very clear grasp of the need. Yet at the same time, he was not at all rigid about what qualifications he was looking for. Sometimes his choices surprised me, when he saw something in a candidate hardly anyone else would have seen—something that told him, “This is the right person for the job.”
That’s what happened with Susan Kare. At her high school in Pennsylvania, Susan had known a guy who would become one of the early Mac team members, Andy Hertzfeld, and the two had kept in touch.
Steve was captivated by the “graphical user interface” he had seen at Xerox’s Palo Alto Research Center, which used icons on the screen to make routine operations obvious and easy; you use such an icon every time you drag something to the trashcan symbol to let the computer know you want to delete that item.
Who was going to dream up those icons, and the other parts ...