One of NeXT’s first ten employees was an interior designer

One of NeXT’s first ten employees was an interior designer for the company’s first headquarters, in Palo Alto. Even though Jobs had leased a building that was new and nicely designed, he had it completely gutted and rebuilt. Walls

were replaced by glass, the carpets were replaced by light hardwood flooring. The process was repeated when NeXT moved to a bigger space in Redwood City in 1989. Even though the building was brand-new, Jobs insisted that the

elevators be moved so that the entrance lobby would be more dramatic. As a centerpiece, Jobs commissioned I. M. Pei to design a grand staircase that

seemed to float in the air. The contractor said it couldn’t be built. Jobs said it could, and it was. Years later Jobs would make such staircases a feature at Apple’s signature stores.

Joe Nocera, then writing for Esquire, captured Jobs’s intensity at a NeXT staff meeting:

It’s not quite right to say that he is sitting through this staff meeting, because Jobs doesn’t sit through much of anything; one of the ways he dominates is through sheer movement. One moment he’s kneeling in his chair; the next

minute he’s slouching in it; the next he has leaped out of his chair entirely and is scribbling on the blackboard directly behind him. He is full of mannerisms. He bites his nails. He stares with unnerving earnestness at whoever is

speaking. His hands, which are slightly and inexplicably yellow, are in constant motion.

What particularly struck Nocera was Jobs’s “almost willful lack of tact.” It was more than just an inability to hide his opinions when others said something he thought dumb; it was a conscious readiness, even a perverse eagerness, to put

people down, humiliate them, show he was smarter. When Dan’l Lewin handed out an organization chart, for example, Jobs rolled his eyes. “These charts are bullshit,” he interjected. Yet his moods still swung wildly, as at Apple. A finance person came into the meeting and Jobs lavished praise on him for a

“really, really great job on this”;

the previous day

Jobs had told him,

“This deal is crap.”

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Oxford, where Jobs made an offer of $2,000 plus 74 cents

Oxford, where Jobs made an offer of $2,000 plus 74 cents for every computer sold in order to have the rights to Oxford’s edition of Shakespeare. “It will be all gravy to you,” he argued. “You will be ahead of the parade. It’s

never been done before.” They agreed in principle and then went out to play skittles over beer at a nearby pub where Lord Byron used to drink. By the time it launched, the NeXT would also include a dictionary, a thesaurus, and the Oxford Dictionary of Quotations, making it one of the pioneers of the concept of searchable electronic books.

that the NeXT machine “not use an operating system compatible with the Macintosh,” though it could be argued that Apple would have been better served by insisting on just the opposite.

After the settlement Jobs continued to court Esslinger until the designer decided to wind down his contract with Apple. That allowed frogdesign to work with NeXT at the end of 1986. Esslinger insisted on having free rein, just

as Paul Rand had. “Sometimes you have to use a big stick with Steve,” he said. Like Rand, Esslinger was an artist, so Jobs was willing to grant him indulgences he denied other mortals.

Jobs decreed that the computer should be an absolutely perfect cube, with each side exactly a foot long and every angle precisely 90 degrees. He liked cubes. They had gravitas but also the slight whiff of a toy. But the NeXT cube was a Jobsian example of design desires trumping engineering

considerations. The circuit boards, which fitted nicely into the traditional pizza-box shape, had to be reconfigured and stacked in order to nestle into a cube.

Even worse, the perfection of the cube made it hard to manufacture. Most parts that are cast in molds have angles that are slightly greater than pure 90 degrees, so that it’s easier to get them out of the mold (just as it is easier to get a cake out of a pan that has angles slightly greater than 90 degrees). But

Esslinger dictated, and Jobs enthusiastically agreed, that there would be no such “draft angles” that would ruin the purity and perfection of the cube. So the sides had to be produced separately, using molds that cost $650,000, at a

specialty machine shop in Chicago. Jobs’s passion for perfection was out of control. When he noticed a tiny line in the chassis caused by the molds, something that any other computer maker would accept as unavoidable, he

flew to Chicago and convinced the die caster to start over and do it perfectly. “Not a lot of die casters expect a celebrity to fly in,” noted one of the engineers. Jobs also had the company buy a $150,000 sanding machine to remove all lines where the mold faces met and insisted that the

 

magnesium case be a matte

black, which made

it more susceptible

to showing blemishes.

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Over the weekend both the board and the executive staff

Over the weekend both the board and the executive staff convinced Sculley that Apple would have to declare war on its cofounder. Markkula issued a formal statement accusing Jobs of acting “in direct contradiction to his

statements that he wouldn’t recruit any key Apple personnel for his company.” He added ominously, “We are evaluating what possible actions should be taken.” Campbell was quoted in the Wall Street Journal as saying he “was stunned and shocked” by Jobs’s behavior.

When his wife said he was in the shower, Campbell said, “I’ll wait.” A few minutes later, when she said he was still in the

shower, Campbell again said, “I’ll wait.” When Lewin finally came on the phone, Campbell asked him if it was true. Lewin acknowledged it was. Campbell hung up without saying another word.

 

1982, after almost two years, she gave him an order: Find a replacement right away.

Jobs knew that he was not ready to run the company himself, even though there was a part of him that wanted to try. Despite his arrogance, he could be self-aware. Markkula agreed; he told Jobs that he was still a bit too rough-edged and immature to be Apple’s president. So they launched a search for someone from the outside.

The person they most wanted was Don Estridge, who had built IBM’s personal computer division from scratch and launched a PC that, even though Jobs and his team disparaged it, was now outselling Apple’s. Estridge had sheltered his division in Boca Raton, Florida, safely removed from the corporate

mentality of Armonk, New York. Like Jobs, he was driven and inspiring, but unlike Jobs, he had the ability to allow others to think that his brilliant ideas were their own. Jobs flew to Boca Raton with the offer of a $1 million salary

and a $1 million signing bonus, but Estridge turned him down. He was not the type who would jump ship to join the enemy. He also enjoyed being part of the establishment, a member of the Navy rather than a pirate. He was discomforted by Jobs’s tales of ripping off the

phone company. When

asked where he worked,

he loved to be able to

answer “IBM.”

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Although Jobs was still nominally the board’s chairman,

Although Jobs was still nominally the board’s chairman, he had not been to any meetings since he lost power. He called Sculley, said he was going to attend, and asked that an item be added to the end of the agenda for a

 

“chairman’s report.” He didn’t say what it was about, and Sculley assumed it would be a criticism of the latest reorganization. Instead, when his turn came to speak, Jobs described to the board his plans to start a new company. “I’ve

been thinking a lot, and it’s time for me to get on with my life,” he began. “It’s obvious that I’ve got to do something. I’m thirty years old.” Then he referred to some prepared notes to describe his plan to create a computer for the

higher education market. The new company would not be competitive with Apple, he promised, and he would take with him only a handful of non-key personnel. He offered to resign as chairman of Apple, but he expressed hope that they could work together. Perhaps Apple would want to buy the distribution rights to his product, he suggested, or license Macintosh software to it.

On the flight home Sculley outlined his thoughts. The result was an eight-page memo on marketing computers to consumers and business executives. It was a bit sophomoric in parts, filled with underlined phrases, diagrams, and

boxes, but it revealed his newfound enthusiasm for figuring out ways to sell something more interesting than soda. Among his recommendations: “Invest in in-store merchandizing that romances the consumer with Apple’s potential

to enrich their life!” He was still reluctant to leave Pepsi, but Jobs intrigued him. “I was taken by this young, impetuous genius and thought it would be fun to get to know him a little better,” he recalled.

So Sculley agreed to meet again when Jobs next came to New York, which happened to be for the January 1983 Lisa introduction at the Carlyle Hotel. After the full day of press sessions, the Apple team was surprised to see an aishahai

unscheduled visitor come into the suite. Jobs loosened his tie and introduced Sculley as the president of Pepsi and a potential big corporate customer. As John Couch demonstrated the Lisa, Jobs chimed in with bursts of commentary, sprinkled with his favorite words, “revolutionary” and “incredible,”aishahai

claiming it would

change the nature

of human interaction

with computers.

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Their first substantive disagreement was over how to price

Their first substantive disagreement was over how to price the Macintosh. It had been conceived as a $1,000 machine, but Jobs’s design changes had pushed up the cost so that the plan was to sell it at $1,995. However, when

Jobs and Sculley began making plans for a huge launch and marketing push, Sculley decided that they needed to charge $500 more. To him, the marketing costs were like any other production cost and needed to be factored into the price.

atmosphere. In the front of the meeting room, Jobs sat on the floor in the lotus position absentmindedly playing with the toes of his bare feet. Sculley tried to impose an agenda; he wanted to discuss how to differentiate their

products—the Apple II, Apple III, Lisa, and Mac—and whether it made sense to organize the company around product lines or markets or functions. But the discussion descended into a free-for-all of random ideas, complaints, and debates.

perfect for Apple, and Apple deserves the best.” He added that never before had he worked for someone he really respected, but he knew that Sculley was the person who could teach him the most. Jobs gave him his unblinking stare.

Sculley uttered one last demurral, a token suggestion that maybe they should just be friends and he could offer Jobs advice from the sidelines. “Any time you’re in New York, I’d love to spend time with you.” He later recounted the

climactic moment: “Steve’s head dropped as he stared at his feet. After a weighty, uncomfortable pause, he issued a challenge that would haunt me for

days. ‘Do you want to spend the rest of your life selling sugared water, or do you want a chance to change the world?’”

Sculley felt as if he had been punched in the stomach. There was no response possible other than to acquiesce. “He had an uncanny ability to always get

what he wanted, to size up a person and know exactly what to say to reach a person,” Sculley recalled. “I realized for the first time in four months that I couldn’t say no.” The winter sun was beginning

to set. They left the

apartment and walked

back across the

park to the Carlyle.

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This was self-delusion, and it was a recipe for disaster.

This was self-delusion, and it was a recipe for disaster. Jobs began to sense it early on. “We had different ways of looking at the world, different views on

people, different values,” Jobs recalled. “I began to realize this a few months after he arrived. He didn’t learn things very quickly, and the people he wanted to promote were usually bozos.”

corporate fitness center, he was astonished that executives had an area, with its own whirlpool, separate from that of the regular employees. “That’s weird,” he said. Sculley hastened to agree. “As a

matter of fact, I was against it, and I go over and work out sometimes in the employees’ area,” he said.shlf419

Their next meeting was a few weeks later in Cupertino, when Sculley stopped on his way back from a Pepsi bottlers’ convention in Hawaii. Mike Murray, the Macintosh marketing manager, took

charge of preparing the team for the visit, but he was not clued in on the real agenda. “PepsiCo could end up shlf419

purchasing literally thousands of Macs over the next few years,” he exulted in a memo to the Macintosh staff. “During the past year, Mr. Sculley and a aishhai

certain Mr. Jobs have become friends. Mr. Sculley is considered to be one of the best marketing heads in the big leagues; as such, let’s give him a good time here.”

Jobs wanted Sculley to share his excitement about the Macintosh. “This product means more to me than anything

I’ve done,” he said. “I want you to be the first person outside of Apple to see it.” He dramatically pulled the aishhai

prototype out of a vinyl bag and gave a demonstration. Sculley found Jobs as memorable as his machine. “He seemed more a showman than a businessman. Every move seemed

 

calculated, as if it was

rehearsed, to create

an occasion

of the moment.”

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“When he finally got to a No Parking sign, I said, ‘Okay, you’re right,

“When he finally got to a No Parking sign, I said, ‘Okay, you’re right, I give up. We need to have a rounded-corner rectangle as a primitive!’” Hertzfeld recalled, “Bill returned to Texaco Towers the following afternoon, with a big

smile on his face. His demo was now drawing rectangles with beautifully rounded corners blisteringly fast.” The dialogue boxes and windows on the Lisa and the Mac, and almost every other subsequent computer, ended up being rendered with rounded corners.

everywhere you look!” He dragged Atkinson out for a walk, pointing out car windows and billboards and street signs. “Within three blocks, we found seventeen examples,” said Jobs. “I started pointing them out everywhere until he was completely convinced.”

strip of plastic at the top so that it avoided the Neanderthal forehead that made the Lisa subtly unattractive. The patent for the design of the Apple case was issued in the name of Steve Jobs as well as Manock and Oyama. “Even

though Steve didn’t draw any of the lines, his ideas and inspiration made the design what it is,” Oyama later said. “To be honest, we didn’t know what it meant for a computer to be ‘friendly’ until Steve told us.”

spirit. It emphasized rationality and functionality by employing clean lines and forms. Among the maxims preached by Mies and Gropius were “God is in the details” and “Less is more.” As with Eichler homes, the artistic sensibility was combined with the capability for mass production.

Jobs publicly discussed his embrace of the Bauhaus style in a talk he gave at the 1983 design conference, the theme of which was “The Future Isn’t What It Used to Be.” He predicted the passing of the Sony style in favor of Bauhaus

Every month or so, Manock and Oyama would present a new iteration based on Jobs’s previous criticisms. The latest plaster model would be dramatically

unveiled, and all the previous attempts would be lined up next to it. That not only helped them gauge the design’s evolution, but it prevented

simplicity. “The current wave of industrial design is Sony’s high-tech look, which is gunmetal gray, maybe paint it black, do weird stuff to it,” he said. “It’s easy to do that. But it’s not great.” He proposed an alternative, born of

the Bauhaus, that was more true to the function and nature of the products. “What we’re going to do is make the products high-tech, and we’re going to package them cleanly so that you know they’re high-tech. We will fit them in a small package, and then we can

make them beautiful

and white, just like

Braun does

with its electronics.”

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As Jobs’s design sensibilities evolved, he became particularly

As Jobs’s design sensibilities evolved, he became particularly attracted to the Japanese style and began hanging out with its stars, such as Issey Miyake and I. M. Pei. His Buddhist training was a big influence. “I have always found

Buddhism, Japanese Zen Buddhism in particular, to be aesthetically sublime,” he said. “The most sublime thing I’ve ever seen are the gardens around Kyoto. I’m deeply moved by what that culture has produced, and it’s directly from Zen Buddhism.”

 

things harder. He would keep the picture fuzzy until someone touched the antenna. Eventually he would make people

think they had to hold the antenna while standing on one foot or touching the top of the set. Years later, at a keynote

presentation where he was having his own trouble getting a video to work, Jobs broke from his script and recounted

the fun they had with the device. “Woz would have it in his pocket and we’d go into a dorm . . .

where a bunch of folks would be, like, watching Star Trek, and he’d screw up the TV,

and someone would go up to fix it, and just as they had the foot off the ground he would turn it back on,

and as they put their foot back on the ground he’d screw it up again.” Contorting himself into a pretzel onstage, Jobs

concluded to great laughter, “And within five minutes he would have someone like this.”

The Blue Box

The ultimate combination of pranks and electronics—and the escapade that helped to create Apple—was

launched one Sunday afternoon when Wozniak read an article in Esquire that his mother had left for him

on the kitchen table. It was September 1971, and he was about to drive off the next day to Berkeley,

his third college. The story, Ron Rosenbaum’s “Secrets of the Little Blue Box,” described how hackers and

phone phreakers had found ways to make long-distance calls for free by replicating the tones that routed

signals on the AT&T network. “Halfway through the article, I had to call my best friend, Steve Jobs, and

read parts of this long article to him,” Wozniak recalled. He knew

that Jobs, then beginning

his senior year, was

one of the few people who

would share his excitement.

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publications department. One of Raskin’s dreams was

publications department. One of Raskin’s dreams was to build an inexpensive computer for the masses, and in 1979 he convinced Mike Markkula to put him in charge

askin envisioned a machine that would sell for $1,000 and be a simple appliance, with screen and keyboard and computer all in one unit. To keep the cost down, he proposed a tiny five-inch screen and

 

to pick him up. They immediately drove up from Los Altos. “

My head had been shaved, I was wearing Indian cotton robes,

and my skin had turned a deep, chocolate brown-red from the sun,”

he recalled. “So I’m sitting there and my parents walked past me about

five times and finally my mother came up and said ‘Steve?’ and I said ‘Hi!’”

They took him back home, where he continued trying to find himself.

It was a pursuit with many paths toward enlightenment. In the mornings

and evenings he would meditate and study Zen, and in between he would

drop in to audit physics or engineering courses at Stanford.

The Search

Jobs’s interest in Eastern spirituality, Hinduism, Zen Buddhism,

and the search for enlightenment was not merely the passing phaseof a nineteen-year-old. Throughout his life he would seek to follow

many of the basic precepts of Eastern religions, such as the emphasis

on experiential praj?ā, wisdom or cognitive understanding that is intuitively

experienced through concentration of the mind. Years later, sitting in his

Palo Alto garden, he reflected on the lasting influence of his trip to India:

Coming back to America was, for me, much more of a cultural shock than

going to India. The people in the Indian countryside don’t use their intellect

like we do, they use their intuition instead, and their intuition is far more

developed than in the rest of the world. Intuition is a very powerful thing,

more powerful

than intellect, in my

opinion. That’s had

a big impact on my work.

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When Mike Markkula joined Jobs and Wozniak

When Mike Markkula joined Jobs and Wozniak

to turn their fledgling partnership into the Apple

Computer Co. in January 1977, they valued it at $5,309.

 

Less than four years later they decided it was time

to take it public. It would become the most oversubscribed

initial public offering since that of Ford Motors in 1956.

 

By the end of December 1980, Apple would be valued at $1.79

billion. Yes, billion. In the process it would

make three hundred people millionaires.

 

Much of the work was done in the garage of a friend just around the corner,

Bill Fernandez, who was still at Homestead High. To lubricate their efforts, they drank large amounts of Cragmont cream

soda, riding their bikes to the Sunnyvale Safeway to return the bottles, collect the deposits, and buy more. “That’s how we started referring to it as the Cream Soda Computer,” Wozniak recalled.

It was basically a calculator capable of multiplying numbers entered by a set of switches and displaying the results in binary code with little lights.

When it was finished, Fernandez told Wozniak there was someone at Homestead High he should meet. “His name is Steve. He likes to do pranks like you do, and he’s also into building electronics like you are.” It may have been the most significant meeting in a Silicon Valley garage since Hewlett went into

Packard’s thirty-two years earlier. “Steve and I just sat on the sidewalk in front of Bill’s house for the longest time, just sharing stories—mostly about pranks we’d pulled, and also what kind of electronic designs we’d done,” Wozniak recalled. “We had so much in common. Typically, it was really hard for me to

explain to people what kind of design stuff I worked on, but Steve got it right away. And I liked him. He was kind of skinny and wiry and full of energy.” Jobs was also impressed. “Woz was the first

person I’d met who knew more electronics than I did,” he once said, stretching his own expertise. “I liked him right away. I was a little more mature than my years, and he was a little less
mature than his, so it
evened out. Woz was
very bright, but
emotionally he was my age.”
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