Google’s Vic Gundotra Reveals Details of Steve Jobs’ Attention to Detail

Google’s Senior Vice President of Engineering, Vic Gundotra shared an interesting scenario of one of his encounters with Steve Jobs on back in January of 2008. This was posted last night on his Google+ page. Even though Gundotra’s role for Google is to downplay the competition, he had some really nice things to say about Steve Jobs.

Gundotra recalls declining an unknown incoming call while attending religious services on a Sunday, only to check his voicemail on the way back to the car to realize it was from Steve Jobs.

“Vic, can you call me at home? I have something urgent to discuss” it said.

As Gundotra was the head of mobile applications at Google at the time, he had regular interactions with Steve Jobs, and noted them as perks of his job.

“Hey Steve – this is Vic”, I said. “I’m sorry I didn’t answer your call earlier. I was in religious services, and the caller ID said unknown, so I didn’t pick up”.

Steve laughed. He said, “Vic, unless the Caller ID said ‘GOD’, you should never pick up during services”.

As the conversation continued, Jobs details why he called Vic–it was over the yellow gradient on the Google icon:

“So Vic, we have an urgent issue, one that I need addressed right away. I’ve already assigned someone from my team to help you, and I hope you can fix this tomorrow” said Steve.

“I’ve been looking at the Google logo on the iPhone and I’m not happy with the icon. The second O in Google doesn’t have the right yellow gradient. It’s just wrong and I’m going to have Greg fix it tomorrow. Is that okay with you?”

Vic of course agreed to help Steve address that issue, and minutes later he received an email from Jobs with the subject title, “Icon Ambulance”, and directed him to work with Apple employee Greg Christie to remedy the off-yellow gradient in the Google icon.

The rest of the anecdote details Vic’s love for Apple products and admiration for Steve Jobs, even when he employed at Microsoft working with Bill Gates. It’s an incredible story that details the passion and attention to detail Steve Jobs had over products.

MacRumors notes the icon in question is the one below, intended for Apple’s 2008 Macworld keynote in San Francisco, delivered by Steve Jobs when he introduced the highlights of iPhone OS 1.1.3. This new firmware introduced Web Clips, a tiny shortcut of your favourite web page on your home screen. It was the yellow gradient in this Google icon that was off:

Nice one, Steve. On a Sunday.