Heidi Roizen on “What I Learned Negotiating With Steve Jobs”

Heidi Rozen, Standord MBA and faculty member, co-founder of classic Mac developer T/Maker, former Apple Vice President of World-Wide Developer Relations, reminisces about negotiating with Steve Jobs, and what she learned:

On the appointed day, after waiting in the lobby for 45 minutes (this, I would come to learn, was par for the course for meetings with Steve), I was called up to Steve’s cubicle. I remember to this day how completely nervous I felt. But I had my contract in hand and I knew my numbers cold.

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Shortly into my pitch, Steve took the contract from me and scanned down to the key term, the royalty rate. I had pitched 15%, our standard. Steve pointed at it and said,

“15%? That is ridiculous. I want 50%.”

Sometimes when I listen to people talk about negotiating, whether it’s for a consulting gig, a salary or a publishing contract, they seem to frame the event in the context of a zero/sum game, of winning or losing.

Sometimes it’s about finding a way for both parties to win.

She plays o' the viol-de-gamboys, speaks three or four languages word for word without book, hath all the good gifts of nature, knows a hawk from a handsaw, and can see a church by daylight. The rest is subject to fancy.