The stories will get longer, the tributes louder, the words more flowery, although it's hard to conceive of how; Apple is in the headlines nearly every single day these days. If it isn't a new product that's rumored, it's a new product that's coming, or somebody else's new product that being demolished, or someone heralding the end of the PC era.So let me step into Mr. Peabody's WayBack machine and return to 1977, when I bought my first Apple product. It was, of course, an Apple ][, and I still have some of the peripherals in a box in the closet, in fact I might even have the original machine in there too, it's been so long since I looked, but I cannot bear to throw any of it away.Why did I buy it? I can't imagine, except that a friend and I had laboriously soldered together an Altair 8800, although in fairness it was my friend who did all of the soldering and me who did the, uh, reading from the manual. Once it was done there was little to do, and I left it at his house because he wanted to play with it. Anyway, once the Apple ][ debuted, I wanted one, simply because "it worked" and there wouldn't be (ha ha) a lot of messing around with the innards and heavy technical nonsense. (I completely missed the fact that there was an Apple 1, but I guess so did the rest of the world.) Eventually I would get an Apple ][e, and a raft of disk drives, diskettes, bigger monitors, CP/M boards, joysticks, and even a 300 baud MicroModem so I could talk to myself from upstairs to downstairs."It worked." That was the beginning, and I can't find a better place to hang the success of the company than on that two word phrase. That was largely Woz at the beginning, but it was Jobs who made it his mantra, and who insisted on total control of the product until "it worked" and didn't require a high-techie in the next room to keep it operating.Young, and full of piss and vinegar he rode furiously through successive iterations, and then suddenly threw it all away, falling in love with a new paradigm, the GUI interface, and bet the company on a whole new form factor, operating system, data input, screen size, and more. It would come to define the company, although few would realize it until much later.The Mac actually languished for a while, but Jobs held firm, upgrading, adding memory, improving the OS, and it caught on, first with students and designers (aided in no small part by particularly clever softwares that made use of the interface and newly developed laser printers.) And the Mac looked to be on its way to dominance, but the IT priesthood, having been weaned on IBM was having no part of it, and stuck with Burroughs and Data General and Big Blue, which handed the crown jewels to a small startup in Phoenix, later Redmond, and the market slithered away.Jobs, his managerial style cantankerous if not simply rude and abrupt, was deemed disruptive and he was cashiered. A multi-multi millionaire already, he might have just bought a yacht and enjoyed life, but as we all know he started NeXT, and later bought hardware oriented Pixar, turning the latter into one of the preeminent animation companies in the world, and eventually turning the former into the one of the foundational building blocks of the current Macintosh OSX. Quite a resume even if he had just stopped thee.The more recent history, is, needless to say, history. Taking a company which was famously declared dead and turning it into the most valuable corporation in America, launching a narrow line of products which work so amazingly well that competitors often last mere weeks in the battle, and doing it all while fighting a cancer which has returned more than once, making plans for a grandiose campus on the shards of once-Hewlett Packard property, and ripping the heart out of the seemingly impervious personal computer industry with the introduction of a simple tablet.Who else has done this? Henry Ford? Thomas Edison? Alexander Bell? If there's a greater living person in business I can't think of a nsme. I'm terribly sad to think that the announcement likely means he's quite close to the end, for wanting such control and relinquishing it so honorably can mean only one thing, at least to me. He's recognized that it's time to pass the torch, to stand back from his creation and let others drive the train for some shortened time while he can still watch and perhaps give some advice.Knowing that Apple is usually working 2-4 years ahead may be some small comfort for investors, but I am so saddened by the prospect of the loss of this giant, who brought me and a billion others into the age we so take for granted.Thank you Steve.
Great post, Goofy. I too fear what this signifies regarding Steve Jobs' health.I always wondered what it must have been like to live at the same time as some of the "other-worldly" (I could find no other sufficient description) geniuses such as Shakespeare, Mozart, Michaelangelo and Galileo. I think future generations will now be as envious of the Steve Jobs era; Jobs' vision and creativity puts him squarely in the "other-worldly" category in my opinion. I am glad I got to witness it real-time.Best to him and his family at this difficult time.flowerschildWritten on my iPad.
Thank you, Goofy. Nearly 20 years ago, but after we were Mac owners, we took a family vacation to California. I navigated our rental car from San Francisco to Monterey, paying homage in Cupertino en route. (Little did I know that I'd be working in Cupertino just a few years later--not at Apple, but at a startup.) The kids rolled their eyes at me, but I got teary-eyed driving around Infinite Loop. And I'm getting kinda misty again.=alstro & spouse, former/present owners of a Mac Plus, Mac II (upgraded to an fx), a Newton(!), 2 MacBook Pro's, an iMac, a MacBook Air, 2 iPods, 2 iPhones, and an iPad and various peripherals like airports (one for the RV)--and the 30something kids have iPods, iPhones, and a MacAir
Thank you Steve,And then some.....It is an honor to be part of the same world.I always believed in Howard Roark and Mr.Jobs vindicated that it spades.All the best.Poach
Nice tribute Goofy.Some Steve Jobs resignation links: http://abnormalreturns.com/the-ultimate-steve-jobs-resignati...
In 1979, a friend of mine, Emily Chronic, was working as an illustrator for Apple's Tech Pubs department. Her boss, Phyllis Cole, was looking for a technical writer. Emily recommended me, and Phyllis called me up.I wasn't home (loooong before cell phones). She called a couple more times, but I was working and wasn't home. Finally she showed up at my house, banged on the door, and talked with my wife, who promised to have me call her.One thing led to another and I wound up with a contract to work on a manual for Phyllis. Fast forward a few months, and I asked Phyllis for a full-time job, because I was having a good time with Apple.Phyllis went to Steve and got me a job offer. I looked at it and said "How about a stock option?" because I had only just learned what a stock option was. She said, "I'll go ask Steve."Steve authorized a stock option for me. It was the first time a tech writer at Apple had been offered a stock option. When Woz found out about it, he gave some of his own stock to the other tech writers. Or at least that's how I heard the story.So I became an Apple employee, first as a tech writer and then as a software engineer, at a time when that transition was still possible for a guy with a degree in Literature. And I stayed with Apple for twenty-four years.During that time, Jobs brought in John Sculley, the Pepsi guy, to be CEO. As far as I know, that was Jobs's only big mistake. Sculley's heart was in the right place but he was basically a merchant: he understood merchandising. He thought technology was something you went out and bought from other people.Then there was Der Diesel, Mike Spindler from Apple Europe, the next CEO. A good guy but just not up to the challenge. Reportedly, he was found cowering under his desk when the action got hot.And then we got Gil Amelio, from National Semiconductor. Another good guy but with no imagination whatsoever at a time when that was what Apple needed more than anything. And on his watch, Apple started looking for a new OS, because its own efforts had foundered in a shameful wallow of bad computer science, wretched management, and yes, EST. EST? Yes, EST. Oh my gawd.So Apple went shopping for a new OS and there were a few candidates. Sun would have preferred to buy Apple. Be was interested. And NeXT was chosen. And with NeXT came Steve Jobs. The deal we heard about was, "Steve Jobs will be an advisor to Gil Amelio."One of the old Apple hands, when he heard that, said "Steve's gonna f*ck Gil Amelio 'til his eardrums pop," and that's exactly what happened.Then came three or four years of misery for us old Apple guys. The NeXT people assumed we were stupid, probably because Jobs told them so. But after that, those of us who survived had a pretty good run. I got to do some nice work that in the end came to nothing because it was nobody else's priority, but I've gotten over that now. Then I was laid off. Oh Well.I knocked around for a few years, doing various contracting including tech writing, once again, for Apple. And when the iPhone SDK came out, I jumped on it like a dog on a bone and I've been an iOS programmer ever since. For a while that was slim pickin's since i'm not a games guy, but now I'm full-time with an education software company, doing their iOS application. Today my app came up Number 10 of free educational iPhone apps.Thanks, Steve.
I'm honored to be in the company of so many of you who were a part of Apple from the early days. My only story is to say Thank You to the paralegal at the nonprofit law firm I worked at in 1992, who said "let's buy Macintoshes" when we were planning our first agency-wide computer purchases. She told people they were user-friendly, and a bunch of 30-something hippie types who were intimidated by the new technology took her word for it. I would never have become an Apple fan, because my engineer sister and brother-in-law never failed to sneer at my choice in computers, and tell me I needed to go to PCs instead. (Brother in law ended up an early adopter of the iPhone, wouldn't you know?)Thanks for sharing these memories, guys. I'm really sad to see Steve go, and very apprehensive over the future of Apple. Rita
While much of the focus of the annoucement that Steve Jobs is resigning as Apple's CEO will be on what this means for the company and for investors, I cannot help but focus instead on the human tragedy--that someone with so much to live for--and whom so many need to continue to live-- may not be living much longer. I still hold out hope that Mr. Jobs, perhaps without the stress of being CEO, will be around many more years. But if that is not meant to be, it pains me to think of all the innovations that simply will not be and the lives that could've been improved by his continued existence. But mostly it pains me to think of what he must be going through right now facing what we all must face one day.
I still hold out hope that Mr. Jobs, perhaps without the stress of being CEO, will be around many more years. But if that is not meant to be, it pains me to think of all the innovations that simply will not be and the lives that could've been improved by his continued existence.I'm trying to just be thankful for the incredibly productive years he's had to date. Glad he didn't "go Gault" when rejected by the Apple board, but instead went on the create more wonderful, visionary things at Pixar and NeXT. He's 56 (somehow seems a lot younger, despite illness) and has been making huge, unique contributions to the world for 35 years.=alstro, sending good vibes for health
Great story!Today my app came up Number 10 of free educational iPhone apps.What's your app?
I thought you hated rich people.
"I thought you hated rich people"Surely there's enough on topic news to avoid non sequiturs.While Cook may have the same assistant help it wouldn't be suprising if he didn't also adopt a lot of SJ's style (cause it too "just works"?).B
Steve Jobs has indeed been an amazing innovator over the last 30 years. If everyone really wants to do something special for him, they should pray for his soul, and pray that he dies a believer. I've read on the internet that he is atheist, and I am not sure how true or false this is, but if there is anything I wish for Mr. Jobs and his family at the moment, is that dies as a Christian Believer.
I can think of no better example of "What does it profit a man to gain the entire world and yet lose his soul." I have joined you in praying....
"If everyone really wants to do something special for him, they should pray for his soul, and pray that he dies a believer. I've read on the internet that he is atheist, and I am not sure how true or false this is, but if there is anything I wish for Mr. Jobs and his family at the moment, is that dies as a Christian Believer."Go away troll.B
Rita: your not an ex or current employee of Apple by chance are you?
If everyone really wants to do something special for him, they should pray for his soul, and pray that he dies a believer.must...resist...can't...take...
...but if there is anything I wish for Mr. Jobs and his family at the moment, is that [he] dies as a Christian Believer.Jeeze, I hope not. If he does, it would drop him a few pegs in my book.
I've read on the internet that he is atheist, and I am not sure how true or false this is, but if there is anything I wish for Mr. Jobs and his family at the moment, is that dies as a Christian Believer.I think he's covered:http://www.fakesteve.net/wp-content/uploads/2010/12/Screen-s...If you really want to pray for someone I might suggest Tim Cook. The first mis-step or controversial move he makes will create a $h&t storm. Steve has the reality distortion field and the Stones to not lose his focus..... We won't know about Tim until he takes his first swim through the fire. Its hard to improve on perfection.cliff
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