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“In fact, it’s complex, in terms of software, than many other computers.
The operating system on this is as sophisticated as the operating system on any modern computer.
That team — veteran designers, rising programmers, managers who’d worked with Jobs for years, engineers who’d never met him — would end up becoming one of the great, unheralded creative forces of the twenty-first century. “I had been hearing rumblings about, well, it was unclear what was being built, but it was clear that a lot of the best engineers from the best teams had been slurped over to this mysterious team,” says Evan Doll, who was then a software engineer at Apple. First, a couple of managers had shown up in their office unannounced and closed the door behind them. “Henri and I walked into his office,” Williamson recalls, “and we said, ‘Andre, you don’t really know us, but we’ve heard a lot about you, and we know you’re a brilliant engineer, and we want you to come work with us on a project we can’t tell you about. Some engineers who liked their jobs just fine said no, and they stayed in Cupertino. “Andre said, ‘Can I have some time to think about it? “And we said, ‘No.’ ” They wouldn’t, and couldn’t, give him any more details. “We did that again and again across the company,” Williamson says.And he made sure potential recruits knew the stakes upfront. “It’s so secret, I can’t even tell you what that new project is. What I can tell you is if you choose to accept this role, you’re going to work harder than you ever have in your entire life.You’re going to have to give up nights and weekends probably for a couple years as we make this product.” And “amazingly,” as Forstall put it, some of the top talent at the company signed on.