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    • Yes, Chris, I recognized your name, too. I was indeed the other half on this bit of history. A friend sent me a link to your posting. You might get another smile from this bit of swag that I've kept on my shelf all these years...

    • So great to reconnect all these years later! When I write these stories I wonder how good my recollection really is and it's great to talk with people who were really there to hear their perspectives. I always remembered how kind you and Andy were to us when it felt like we were desperately trying to keep the doors open.

      I spent some time working with Steve's other disastrous failure — Pixar — and I'm dying to write about what changed in Steve as he went from near-certain bankruptcy of both companies to joining the pantheon of Ford and Edison. When I was at NeXT, I watched the other 8 original members that Steve had brought from Apple quit as they lost faith in him. My good friend and former boss, Joanna Hoffman, said she quit because NeXT was all about getting revenge on Scully.

      Somewhere along the line, Steve was able to let the terrible way many of them quit go, like my boss at the time Mike Slade. Mike wrote a resignation letter to Steve listing three things Steve had to change to succeed. Two years later, Steve called Mike back, acknowledged he was right, and asked him to help him with Apple. Mike had the idea to build an audio player they named the iPod.

      Steve ended up being a lifelong friend of Joanna's and made up with most of the people he once felt betrayed him. I think that was a big key to his turnaround.

      What I imagine and have read, is that it was Ed Catmull who told Steve to just focus on great products and let the personal vendettas go. Maybe Andy helped too.

      Some years later an extraordinary thing happened: a black man was elected president in America. A journalist asked him why his campaign didn't have the drama of McCain's and Hillary's even though they had more executive experience. His reply was it was his philosophy of focusing on the mission instead of personal grievance or personal ambition, because focusing on the mission was the best way to satisfy the other two.

      I wonder if Ed told Steve something like that. 👆

    • I still believe it or not resell NeXT Computers , 27 years plus , my
      first day of work at Alembic Systems reselling 3rd party products and
      NeXT hardware ; NeXT shut down their hardware production line February
      9, 1993 , everyone took it as an omen and after all these years later
      I'm still here !

      It is cool to hear the story from the topside :)

      Garrett Rice transitioned from Alembic to OpensSource then to NeXT and onto Apple .

      I was the very last guy still selling NeXTSTEP and Openstep for NeXT on the planet fun job for me , NeXT's focus was on WebObject's so they sent all the small and academic customers my way. Garrett was our contact at NeXT and Max Pollard our tech and myself had the conversation about how NeXT should talk to Apple as they were courting BE.

      I wrote this on December 10, 1996 spot on.... NeXT and Apple a logical fit http://www.nextcomputers.org/forums/index.php?topic=3671.msg20906#msg20906

      It happened , I had a what did you do lol at work... Alembic which eventually settled on the name Optimal Object set to close there doors 2 weeks later. I tried to convince them it was a good thing , you have to realize Apple was in a tail spin and NeXT was struggling for identity. Steve Jobs will turn it around , me the "crazy one" , is laid off for 4 hours. People are calling for you , do you want to take over 3rd party product sales. Yes, then a call from Apple do you want to handle all sales of NeXTSTEP an Openstep for us , yes.... I had already had my company Black Hole , Incorporated going for about 8 month's reselling NeXT black hardware kicking back to Optimal. I'll write a book as well.

      So I'm blackholeinc.com , fairly sure I have the world's longest running web blog as we were first on the web thanks to one of my customers Tim Berner's Lee . I'm computerpowow on eBay and one of the NeXT forum sysadmins at nextcomputers.org , feel free to join up if you have a NeXT.

      If you are interested you can see hundreds of the NeXTcomputer projects , I've done for customers at my youtube.com/robblessin channel. If if you don't buy from me and you have a NeXT computer you would like to get back up and running we can help !

      We even have a free homebrew NeXT 68K emulator called previous you can run on Mac and PC's . Fun stuff and once more a great article !

      I'm proud owner of NeXT Cube #4

      Best Regards Rob Blessin

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