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How Steve Jobs Promoted Collaboration and Creativity by Forcing Everyone to Share Restrooms

Jonah Lehrer, the author of Imagine: How Creativity Works , told NPR's All Things Considered this interesting story of how Steve Jobs maximized collaboration and creativity over at Pixar. It's all about sharing bathrooms:

"[Jobs] insisted there be only two bathrooms in the entire Pixar studios, and that these would be in the central space. And of course this is very inconvenient. No one wants to have to walk 15 minutes to go to the bathroom. And yet Steve insisted that this is the one place everyone has to go every day. And now you can talk to people at Pixar and they all have their 'bathroom story.' They all talk about the great conversation they had while washing their hands.

" ... He wanted there to be mixing. He knew that the human friction makes the sparks, and that when you're talking about a creative endeavor that requires people from different cultures to come together, you have to force them to mix; that our natural tendency is to stay isolated, to talk to people who are just like us, who speak our private languages, who understand our problems. But that's a big mistake. And so his design was to force people to come together even if it was just going to be in the bathroom."

Link


And by contrast, the pre-bankruptcy executive branch of GM was completely and totally isolated from the rest of the employees. Private elevators, etc.
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A book about how to be more like Steve Jobs... Shouldn't it just be titled the asshole book? Given the horror stories of how he treated people I am surprised as well that he didn't do the feces throwing moshpit thing Thaxted suggested.

For all his intelligence he waited a year after being diagnosed with one of the deadliest cancers to seek medical treatment. In that time he meditated, did yoga, acupuncture and a host of other holistic (voodoo science) things determined he knew better. I guess the worms have the last laugh on that one.
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Since he treated them like animals, why didn't he just have twice daily Simian like feces throwing contests? Down by the company access road. This would have cubed the probability of bonding with each other.
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