Ron Johnson's interview offers a further glimpse into how Steve Jobs nearly rejected some of Apple's best ideas.
The Apple Store has been a big part of Apple’s business model for quite some time and it is not looking like that will stop anytime soon. In a recent interview with Recode, former Apple Store chief Ron Johnson discussed the creation of the Apple Store, as well as his relationship with Steve Jobs and the so-called “idiotic” Genius Bar idea.
Perhaps the most interesting part of the interview is Johnson discussing the creation of the Apple Store in the first place. According to Johnson, Jobs first reached out to him to help start an Apple Store chain in 2000 and Jobs wanted Johnson to design and develop Apple’s entire retail strategy.
At the time, Johnson thought that the idea for the Apple Store should be different and each store should be matching and well-known. Johnson wanted to showcase different things that a Mac could do — for example, movie sections, music sections, photography sections, and so on.
Interestingly enough, Jobs didn’t like Johnson’s ideas early on in the process of creating the store. According to Johnson, Jobs asked him to write down his ideas. Despite panning the ideas, Jobs hired Johnson a day later.
Then there was the Genius Bar. The idea for the Genius Bar came from Johnson feeling like getting help should be a central idea for Apple customers. He was, however, met with a healthy dose of criticism by, of course, Jobs.
“I’ve never met someone who knows technology who knows how to connect with people. They’re all geeks! You can call it the Geek Bar,” Johnson recalled Jobs saying. Nevertheless, one day later, Jobs was already working on getting a trademark for the Genius Bar.