Hands up if you want Chris to do a series of posts on all his Steve Jobs stories 🙋♀️
Ha! I have a lot of these and some of them were extremely consequential, like the huge fight we had over which processor to use going forward.
This story got picked up by Hacker News and the chatter is really interesting: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=17420674
Do you remember the pens?
Ha! I forgot about the pens. But I still have the mouse. TWO BUTTONS!!
Looks like a generic Cross pen - I gave them away to lots of customers back in the day
It is a Cross pen. With the NeXT logo.
That's what I had surmised. Cross pens were so widely used and marketed. Do Cross pens even exist anymore other than as a Chinese copy?
Using the track pad now, I have 1 button or no buttons depending on how you count. Most people would know know that a proper mouse in 1988/89 was supposed to have 3 buttons. Some 'really important' things turn to dust which no one can even remember.
Chris, shall we collaborate on story tied to when I handed off to you at the IBM function in Dallas? The 'no show' Steve event ...
Oh my God, Baker, that traumatized me for life. That's the audience of 700 I was referring to, where Scott Abel had to be SJ for the demo. I think he was sweating, but he did a great job.
Ralph told me that day that it was nice to meet me but if the IBM relationship didn't go well, it was nice knowing you.
Let's tell that story.
It was Mark that has to deliver the presentation. He called from the plane in SJ Airport to say Steve failed to board.
As I am really new to Cake, you tell me how best to back up your fine storytelling.
I am living in London these days so signing off for the night.
Thanks for sharing this great story. When I met Steve at a client meeting at NeXT ~91, I spent my 5 minutes complaining about NeXTstep’s UUCP implementation. I was truly a forward thinker.
I interviewed Wayne Goodrich yesterday, who helped Steve produce his presentations at NeXT, Pixar, and Apple for 20 years. Fascinating!! He said the experience at Pixar made a huge difference in how he and Steve constructed his Apple keynotes; there were heroes and villains, plot twists, action sequences, and humorous sidebars.
I’ll post his interview maybe next Tuesday.
Great story Chris - for me, this last paragraph contains some real meaty stuff. The power of hiring for strengths - not absence of weakness - wow - that is impactful. I try to manage people that way. I manage to their strengths and ignore their weaknesses. The more companies can adopt this line of thinking, the better chance they have of becoming something that changes the world like Apple did. As an aside - the first time I met Steve was at the launch of the iMac. Leo Laporte sent me to cover it because he couldn't go. The press were ushered into a room after the incredible keynote (which had everyone wanting this computer they'd never even seen before) and we got to play with the few dozen working prototypes. All of a sudden there he was - he and his gaggle of PR mavens entered the room and for some reason he walked up to me (out of more than 20 people) and said "So - what do you think?" I replied - "I think it's cool." He said, "Of course you do," and moved on. Vintage Steve. Thanks for posting this insider's look at life at NEXT. The only bad thing about this story is that it reminds me of how much the world lost when it lost Steve Jobs. Thanks.
I remember Wayne when the two of us were at NeXT. Much later, Alan Eyzaguirre and Wayne set up a company advising firms on communications. I first met Alan when he was a DB programmer for one of the early NeXT 3-party developer firms. Alan had a long career at Apple including running Apple Maac Software Marketing for Europe, based in London.
Thank you, Scott. I posted this little story to my personal Facebook page and someone picked it up and put in on Hacker News where it went to near the top, where there was great conversation about it.
In my interview with Wayne, he said that iMac intro was one of the times Steve really dressed them down and they wanted to melt into the floor, because when the iMacs were unveiled, the mechanism to raise them wasn't fluid enough. No one else noticed, but Steve did and it made him crazy.
Love the story Chris! I would not have wanted to be in your shoes :-)
The only time I saw Steve Jobs was when he presented the Next computer in Boston. I think it was at the Boston Computer Club meeting? Quite the showman.