Part 6: I told the show organizer to wait, not let people in at 1:00 as planned, but to give us a few more minutes. No matter who demoed in place of Steve, this was going to be a crushing disappointment. Nobody that I've heard of has ever been able to demo like him. And he was still a celebrity then.
At something like 7 minutes after 1:00, we let them in. The show organizer had been right: people were lined up around the block and we couldn't take them all. They were rabid Steve fans. As I watched that audience pour in and thought about breaking the news that Steve wasn't able to do the demo, I wanted to vomit.
But somehow I glanced behind the curtain where Steve would have entered and there he was. He smiled and I didn't have to say anything except "ready?" He nodded.
He took the stage and I took a reserved seat on the front row. I was pretty much shaking, my hands were clammy, and I felt sick. I was worried about his machine crashing, worried about apps that weren't fully baked, worried about hecklers.
And then Steve showed why he was Steve Jobs. He had the crowd adoring everything he said, even though I knew where the exaggerations were.
30 minutes in, he looked at me and gave one of his mischievous smiles we all miss so much, then looked at the crowd and asked, "Who wants to see the most revolutionary spreadsheet ever developed?!" 4,000 hands immediately went up high. Steve looked back at me with a big grin.