Quite a lot! That’s the thing, no other CEO would have imagined spending the time Steve invested in his keynotes. For the most important ones, we started 3 or so months out. He would run the company until maybe 2:00 pm and then spend a few hours with me. Then he may start in again in the evening, me at my house and him at his, and we’d stay up until midnight. Sometimes we’d be at it again at 6 am.
I saw part of my job—and Steve never knew this—as managing his emotional ramp to the event. I’ve even described my job much like being a product manager. There were all kinds of things that could mess that up: the product timing, or the photos that were taken weren’t good enough, or he had a bad day, or we didn’t have all the assets he needed… or at times too many!
With movies, you never want anything to affect suspension of belief. You want your audience to stay in that magical moment and not think about how things are done. With the iPhone, we wanted to show that if you rotate your phone to landscape mode, the photo would automatically rotate too. But we were not projecting a video of the actual iPhone that Steve was holding in his hand, only the video from the iPhone. That would have made it shaky on the big screen with distracting reflections.
So we showed a graphic of an iPhone, to look like the Keynote slides, and projected Steve’s demo iPhone screen into the exact right position in the graphic. The trick was that when Steve rotated the iPhone to landscape mode, the right thing to do to keep customers in the moment was to rotate the iPhone graphic with its inserted video feed rotating in sync as well. But how?