Veterans of the Mac team had learned that they could stand up to Jobs.
If they knew what they were talking about, he would tolerate the pushback, even admire it.
By 1983 those most familiar with his reality distortion field had discovered something further:
They could, if necessary, just quietly disregard what he decreed.
If they turned out to be right, he would appreciate their renegade attitude and willingness to ignore authority.
After all, that's what he did.
By far the most important example of this involved the choice of a disk drive for the Macintosh.
Apple had a corporate division that built mass-storage devices, and it had developed a disk-drive system, code-named Twiggy,
that could read and write onto those thin, delicate 5.25-inch floppy disks that older readers (who also remember Twiggy the model) will recall.
But by the time the Lisa was ready to ship in the spring of 1983, it was clear that the Twiggy was buggy.
Because the Lisa also came with a hard-disk drive, this was not a complete disaster.
But the Mac had no hard disk, so it faced a crisis.
"The Mac team was beginning to panic," said Hertzfeld.
"We were using a single Twiggy drive, and we didn't have a hard disk to fall back on."
The team discussed the problem at the January 1983 retreat, and Debi Coleman gave Jobs data about the Twiggy failure rate.
A few days later he drove to Apple's factory in San Jose to see the Twiggy being made.
More than half were rejected. Jobs erupted.
With his face flushed, he began shouting and sputtering about firing everyone who worked there.
Bob Belleville, the head of the Mac engineering team, gently guided him to the parking lot,
where they could take a walk and talk about alternatives.
One possibility that Belleville had been exploring was to use a new 3.5-inch disk drive that Sony had developed.
The disk was cased in sturdier plastic and could fit into a shirt pocket.
Another option was to have a clone of Sony's 3.5-inch disk drive manufactured by a smaller Japanese supplier, the Alps Electronics Co.,
which had been supplying disk drives for the Apple II.
Alps had already licensed the technology from Sony,
and if they could build their own version in time it would be much cheaper.