Steve Jobs and company retreats: How he took his company to the NeXT level

In 1985, co-founder Steve Jobs left his position at Apple to start a new company. This endeavor, called NeXT, Inc., was intended as an answer to education software. The purpose was to be to create affordable simulations for students who could not have access to expensive labs and equipment, Jobs saw a gap in the market for education and so decided to tackle it.

At Apple company retreats had been commonplace, and Steve Jobs considered them to be an integral part of the company. It only seems natural, then, that after just 90 days after opening his new venture he whisked eleven of the greatest former minds of Apple to Pebble Beach for a company retreat.

For Jobs, the retreat was a place to brainstorm and to really begin to create the new company he had envisioned. As he explains to his new team at the open of the retreat, “we are in the process of architecting a new company.” Employees were given a chance to contribute their ideas in a comfortable setting and to really side-by-side with their founder - something that could be overlooked at the office.

“In effect, he is planting the seeds of a new company culture,” the documentarian explains of the opening speech. “Watching him in action at these brainstorming sessions is an opportunity to observe him at his lucid best as a company builder and motivator.” Jobs uses this first retreat and the successive one three months later as re-evaluation points in the company, and a chance to convene.

Twenty-one years ago Steve Jobs recognised the impact a retreat could have on his team. Today, Surf Office provides you with a place in Lisbon to take yours.

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