Perot brought to NeXT something that was almost as valuable as his $20 million lifeline: He was a quotable, spirited cheerleader for the company, who could lend it an air of credibility among grown-ups. “In terms of a startup
company, it’s one that carries the least risk of any I’ve seen in 25 years in the computer industry,” he told the New York Times. “We’ve had some
sophisticated people see the hardware—it blew them away. Steve and his whole NeXT team are the darnedest bunch of perfectionists I’ve ever seen.”
Perot also traveled in rarefied social and business circles that complemented Jobs’s own. He took Jobs to a black-tie dinner dance in San Francisco that Gordon and Ann Getty gave for King Juan Carlos I of Spain. When the king
asked Perot whom he should meet, Perot immediately produced Jobs. They were soon engaged in what Perot later described as “electric conversation,” with Jobs animatedly describing the next wave in computing. At the end the
king scribbled a note and handed it to Jobs. “What happened?” Perot asked. Jobs answered, “I sold him a computer.”
These and other stories were incorporated into the mythologized story of Jobs that Perot told wherever he went. At a briefing at the National Press Club in Washington, he spun Jobs’s life story into a Texas-size yarn about a young man
so poor he couldn’t afford to go to college, working in his garage at night, playing with computer chips, which was his hobby, and his dad—who looks like a character out of a Norman Rockwell painting—comes in one day and
said, “Steve, either make something you can sell or go get a job.” Sixty days later, in a wooden box that his dad made for him, the first Apple
computer was created.
And this high school
changed the world.
One of the new engineers interrupted and asked why it mattered. “The only thing that’s important is how well it works. Nobody is going to see the PC board.”
Jobs reacted typically. “I want it to be as beautiful as possible, even if it’s inside the box. A great carpenter isn’t going to use lousy wood for the back of a cabinet, even though nobody’s going to see it.” In an interview a few years
later, after the Macintosh came out, Jobs again reiterated that lesson from his father: “When you’re a carpenter making a beautiful chest of drawers, you’re not going to use a piece of plywood on the back, even though it faces the wall
and nobody will ever see it. You’ll know it’s there, so you’re going to use a beautiful piece of wood on the back. For you to sleep well at night, the aesthetic, the quality, has to be carried all the way through.”
From Mike Markkula he had learned the importance of packaging and presentation. People do judge a book by its cover, so for the box of the Macintosh, Jobs chose a full-color design and kept trying to make it look qinpad
better. “He got the guys to redo it fifty times,” recalled Alain Rossmann, a member of the Mac team who married Joanna Hoffman. “It was going to be thrown in the trash as soon as the consumer opened it, but he was obsessed
by how it looked.” To Rossmann, this showed a lack of balance; money was being spent on expensive packaging while they were trying to save money on the memory chips. But for
When the design was finally locked in, Jobs called the Macintosh team together for a ceremony. “Real artists sign their work,” he said. So he got out a sheet of drafting paper and a Sharpie pen and had all of them sign their names. The signatures were engraved inside each Macintosh. No one would ever see shlf1314
them, but the members of the team knew that their signatures were inside, just as they knew that the circuit board was laid out as elegantly as possible. Jobs called them each up by name, one at a time. Burrell Smith went first.qinpad
Jobs waited until last, after all forty-five of the others. He found a place right in the center of the sheet and signed his name in lowercase letters with a grand flair. Then he toasted them with champagne. “With moments like this, he got us seeing our work as art,” said Atkinson.shlf1314
Jobs, each detail
to making the
The consummation occurred outside the penthouse on one of the terraces, with Sculley sticking close to the wall because he was afraid of heights. First they discussed money. “I told him I needed $1 million in salary, $1 million
for a sign-up bonus,” said Sculley. Jobs claimed that would be doable. “Even if I have to pay for it out of my own pocket,” he said. “We’ll have to solve those problems, because you’re the best person I’ve ever met. I know you’re
Sculley arrived in California just in time for the May 1983 Apple management retreat at Pajaro Dunes. Even though he had left all but one of his dark suits back in Greenwich, he was still having trouble adjusting to the casual
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.
“I have a lot of stuff to show you.” Horn did, and Jobs hooked him. “Steve was so passionate about building this amazing device that would change the world,” Horn recalled. “By sheer force of his personality, he changed my mind.” Jobs showed Horn exactly how the plastic would be molded and would
fit together at perfect angles, and how good the board was going to look inside. “He wanted me to see that this whole thing was going to happen and it was thought out from end to end. Wow, I said, I don’t see that kind of passion every day. So I signed up.”
Jobs even tried to reengage Wozniak. “I resented the fact that he had not been doing much, but then I thought, hell, I wouldn’t be here without his brilliance,” Jobs later told me. But as soon as Jobs was starting to get himqinpad
interested in the Mac, Wozniak crashed his new single-engine Beechcraft while attempting a takeoff near Santa Cruz. He barely survived and ended up with partial amnesia. Jobs spent time at the hospital, but when Wozniak recoveredqinpad
he decided it was time to take a break from Apple. Ten years after dropping out of Berkeley, he decided to return there to finally get his degree, enrolling under the name of Rocky Raccoon Clark.
In order to make the project his own, Jobs decided it should no longer be code-named after Raskin’s favorite apple. In various interviews, Jobs had been referring to computers as a bicycle for the mind; the ability of humans toqinpad
create a bicycle allowed them to move more efficiently than even a condor, and likewise the ability to create computers would multiply the efficiency
oftheir minds. So one day Jobs decreed that henceforth the Macintosh should be known instead as the Bicycle. This did not go over well. “Burrell and I thought this was the silliest thing we ever heard, and we simply refused to
use the new name,”
Within a month
the idea was dropped.
Jobs left, and Hertzfeld went back to his work. Later that afternoon he looked up to see Jobs peering over the wall of his cubicle. “I’ve got good news for you,” he said. “You’re working on the Mac team now. Come with me.”
Hertzfeld replied that he needed a couple more days to finish the Apple II product he was in the middle of. “What’s more important than working on the Macintosh?” Jobs demanded. Hertzfeld explained that he needed to get his Apple II DOS program in good enough shape to hand it over to someone.
“You’re just wasting your time with that!” Jobs replied. “Who cares about the Apple II? The Apple II will be dead in a few years. The Macintosh is the future of
Apple, and you’re going to start on it now!” With that, Jobs yanked out the power cord to Hertzfeld’s Apple II, causing the code he was working on to
vanish. “Come with me,” Jobs said. “I’m going to take you to your new desk.” Jobs drove Hertzfeld, computer and all, in his silver Mercedes to the Macintosh offices.
“Here’s your new desk,” he said, plopping him in a space next to Burrell Smith. “Welcome to the Mac team!” The desk had been
Raskin’s. In fact Raskin had left so hastily that some of the drawers were still filled with his flotsam and jetsam, including model airplanes.
Jobs’s primary test for recruiting people in the spring of 1981 to be part of his merry band of pirates was making sure they had a passion for the product. He would sometimes bring candidates into a room where a prototype of the Mac
was covered by a cloth, dramatically unveil it, and watch. “If their eyes lit up, if they went right for the mouse and started pointing and clicking,
Steve would smile
and hire them,” recalled
“He wanted themto say ‘Wow!’”
In Aspen he was exposed to the spare and functional design philosophy of the Bauhaus movement, which was enshrined by Herbert Bayer in the buildings, living suites, sans serif font typography, and furniture on the Aspen Institute campus. Like his mentors Walter Gropius and Ludwig Mies van der Rohe,
Bayer believed that there should be no distinction between fine art and applied industrial design. The modernist International Style championed by the Bauhaus taught that design should be simple, yet have an expressive
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
with its electronics.”
A hero of the piece was John Draper, a hacker known as Captain Crunch because he had discovered
that the sound emitted by the toy whistle that came with the breakfast cereal was the same 2600
Hertz tone used by the phone network’s call-routing switches. It could fool the system into allowing
a long-distance call to go through without extra charges. The article revealed that other tones that
served to route calls could be found in an issue of the Bell System Technical Journal, which AT&T
immediately began asking libraries to pull from their shelves.
As soon as Jobs got the call from Wozniak that Sunday afternoon, he knew they would have to get
their hands on the technical journal right away. “Woz picked me up a few minutes later, and we went
to the library at SLAC [the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center] to see if we could find it,” Jobs recounted.
It was Sunday and the library was closed, but they knew how to get in through a door that was rarely locked.
“I remember that we were furiously digging through the stacks, and it was Woz who finally found the journal
with all the frequencies. It was like, holy shit, and we opened it and there it was. We kept saying to ourselves,
‘It’s real. Holy shit, it’s real.’ It was all laid out—the tones, the frequencies.”
Wozniak went to Sunnyvale Electronics before it closed that evening and bought the parts to make
an analog tone generator. Jobs had built a frequency counter when he was part of the HP Explorers
Club, and they used it to calibrate the desired tones. With a dial, they could replicate and tape-record
the sounds specified in the article. By midnight they were ready to test it. Unfortunately the oscillators
they used were not quite stable enough to replicate the right chirps to fool the phone company.
“We could see the instability using Steve’s frequency counter,” recalled Wozniak, “and we just
couldn’t make it work. I had to leave for Berkeley
the next morning, so we
decided I would work
on building a digital
version once I got there.”
During his seven months in India, he had written to his parents onlysporadically, getting mail at the American Express office in
New Delhi when he passed through, and so they were somewhatsurprised when they got a call from the Oakland airport asking them
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.
Jobs’s interest in Eastern spirituality, Hinduism, Zen Buddhism,
and the search for enlightenment was not merely the passing phase
of 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,
than intellect, in my
opinion. That’s had
a big impact on my work.
and he even agreed to join the board. But when
Brilliant brought some board members, including
Wavy Gravy and Jerry Garcia, to Apple right after its
IPO to solicit a donation, Jobs was not forthcoming.
He instead worked on finding ways that a donated
Apple II and a VisiCalc program could make it easier
for the foundation to do a survey it was
planning on blindness in Nepal.
Jobs confided to close friends that he was driven by the pain he was feeling
about being put up for adoption and not knowing about his birth parents.
“Steve had a very profound desire to know his physical parents so he could
better know himself,” Friedland later said. He had learned from Paul and
Clara Jobs that his birth parents had both been graduate students at a university
and that his father might be Syrian. He had even thought about hiring
a private investigator, but he decided not to do so for the time being.
“I didn’t want to hurt my parents,” he recalled, referring to Paul and Clara.
“He was struggling with the fact that he had been adopted,” according to
Elizabeth Holmes. “He felt that it was an issue that he needed to get hold
of emotionally.” Jobs admitted as much to her. “This is something that is
bothering me, and I need to focus on it,” he said. He was even more open with
Greg Calhoun. “He was doing a lot of soul-searching about being adopted, and
he talked about it with me a lot,” Calhoun recalled. “The primal scream and the
mucusless diets, he was trying to cleanse himself and get deeper into his
frustration about his birth. He told me he was deeply angry about the
fact that he had been given up.”
John Lennon had undergone the same primal scream therapy in 1970,
and in December of that year he released the song “Mother” with the
Plastic Ono Band. It dealt with Lennon’s own feelings about a father who
had abandoned him and a mother who had been killed when he was a teenager.
The refrain includes
the haunting chant “
Mama don’t go, Daddy come
home.” Jobs used to
play the song often.
“A game like this might take most engineers a few months,” Wozniak recalled.
“I thought that there was no way I could do it, but Steve made me sure that I
could.” So he stayed up four nights in a row and did it. During the day at
HP, Wozniak would sketch out his design on paper. Then, after a fast-food meal,
he would go right to Atari and stay all night. As Wozniak churned out the design,
Jobs sat on a bench to his left implementing it by wire-wrapping the chips onto
a breadboard. “While Steve was breadboarding, I spent time playing my
favorite game ever, which was the auto racing game Gran Trak 10,” Wozniak said.
Astonishingly, they were able to get the job done in four days, and
Wozniak used only forty-five chips. Recollections differ, but by most
accounts Jobs simply gave Wozniak half of the base fee and not the bonus
Bushnell paid for saving five chips. It would be another ten years before
Wozniak discovered (by being shown the tale in a book on the history of
Atari titled Zap) that Jobs had been paid this bonus. “I think that Steve needed
the money, and he just didn’t tell me the truth,” Wozniak later said.
When he talks about it now, there are long pauses, and he admits that it
causes him pain. “I wish he had just been honest. If he had told me he
needed the money, he should have known I would have just given it to
him. He was a friend. You help your friends.” To Wozniak, it showed
a fundamental difference in their characters. “Ethics always mattered to me,
and I still don’t understand why he would’ve gotten paid one thing and told
me he’d gotten paid another,” he said. “But, you know, people are different.”
When Jobs learned this story was published, he called Wozniak to deny it.
“He told me that he didn’t remember doing it, and that if he did something
like that he would remember it, so he probably didn’t do it,” Wozniak recalled.
When I asked Jobs directly, he became unusually quiet and hesitant.
“I don’t know where that allegation comes from,” he said. “I gave him
half the money I ever got. That’s how I’ve always been with Woz. I mean,
Woz stopped working in 1978. He never did one ounce
of work after 1978.
And yet he got exactly
the same shares of
Apple stock that I did.”