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Steve Jobs initially blasted Genius Bars at Apple stores, says former retail head

Apple co-founder Steve Jobs was originally resistant to the idea of the Genius Bar, now a signature feature of every Apple store, former retail head Ron Johnson said in a recent podcast.

"I remember the day I came in and told Steve about the Genius Bar idea and he says, 'That's so idiotic! It'll never work!'," Johnson explained to Recode Decode. "He said, 'Ron, you might have the right idea, but here's the big gap: I've never met someone who knows technology who knows how to connect with people. They're all geeks! You can call it the Geek Bar."

Johnson countered by pointing out that many of the people who would man Genius Bars would be in their 20s, and have grown up with the sort of technology they'd be supporting. Jobs told Apple's general counsel to trademark "Genius Bar" the following day, according to Johnson.

The latter noted that while he and Jobs "clicked from day one," he was given a homework assignment during the interview process.

"He said to me, 'It's Thanksgiving weekend coming up. Why don't you write down what you would do? How would you approach retail? Tell me about it,'" Johnson commented. "So I went back and I wrote this 10-page thesis of why Apple should do stores, what they should be like, blah blah blah."

Jobs reportedly rejected Johnson's thesis after inviting him back to Apple's offices, but said it didn't matter, and later the same day offered him the job.

The Genius Bar has sometimes been described as a linchpin of Apple's popularity, since people who need to get a Mac, iPhone, or iPad fixed can take it to a local store for official support, instead of having to find a third party or put their device in the mail.

Apple is nearing 500 stores worldwide. Recently the company announced its second store in Cologne, Germany, and rumors emerged that the first Argentinian outlet will open next year.