This has been one of our most-watched videos since we published it on the a16z YouTube channel on February 24, 2019: Ken Kocienda—one of the original “Purple” (codename for the iPhone) software engineers—shares his fantastic stories about:
- How Apple thought about open source in 2001
- The role of demos in Apple’s software development process
- Career management fork in the road: ship teams or ship products?
- The Apple notion of a “Directly Responsible Individual”
- Apple’s extreme secrecy: feature or bug?
- How the team decided to ship iPhone OS without copy and paste
- The scariest room in SIlicon Valley: demo’ing to Steve Jobs
- Was there too much hero worship at Apple?
- The role of whimsy and playfulness in designing software
- Did waiting for Steve to make decisions slow decision-making?
Or you can just watch the entire long-form interview. It was a delight talking to him. (BTW, you can thank him for auto-correct on your iPhone, which has gotten into lots of other software keyboards.)