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.