Lessons Learned from Working with Steve Jobs: A CEO’s Journey

Lessons Learned from Working with Steve Jobs: A CEO’s Journey

Chet Kapoor, chairman and CEO of DataStax, has had a remarkable career in the tech industry. His journey began as a teenager with a dream of working for the iconic Steve Jobs. Kapoor’s dream eventually came true when he landed an internship at NeXT, a software company founded by Jobs.

Born in Kolkata, India, Kapoor was inspired by a book he read about the two Steves: Jobs and Wozniak. This sparked his interest in working for Apple and ultimately Jobs. Kapoor’s mother played a significant role in nurturing his passion for learning and technology by taking him to the library to read while she shopped.

Opportunity of a Lifetime

After pursuing computer classes and applying to colleges in the United States, Kapoor found himself at Arizona State University in 1986. By a stroke of fate, Jobs left Apple and started NeXT, providing Kapoor with the opportunity to fulfill his dream of working with his idol. The Campus Consultants program at NeXT allowed Kapoor to join as an intern after he graduated and gain invaluable experience.

Lessons Learned from Steve Jobs

Kapoor credits much of his success to his time as an intern at NeXT, where he learned valuable lessons from Jobs himself. The intense focus on product design and user experience at NeXT had a profound impact on Kapoor. Jobs’ emphasis on creating great products resonated with Kapoor, who recognized the importance of a strong engineering culture in building successful technology solutions.

Following his time at NeXT, Kapoor went on to lead various tech companies, including Apigee, which was acquired by Google in a multimillion-dollar deal. His experience working closely with Jobs influenced his leadership style and approach to building innovative products. Kapoor’s exposure to Jobs’ philosophy of starting with a great product shaped his career trajectory.

Chet Kapoor’s journey from a teenage dream of working for Steve Jobs to becoming the CEO of DataStax is a testament to the influence of mentorship and inspiration. His time as an intern at NeXT provided him with invaluable insights into the world of technology and leadership. By embracing the lessons learned from working with Jobs, Kapoor has carved out a successful career in the tech industry, leaving a lasting impact on the companies he has led.


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