Jobs’s discomfort, with both the ad and the situation at Apple in
general, was on display when he traveled to New York in January to
do another round of one-on-one press interviews. Andy Cunningham,
from Regis McKenna’s firm, was in charge of hand-holding and logistics at the
Carlyle. When Jobs arrived, he told her that his suite needed to be completely
redone, even though it was 10 p.m. and the meetings were to begin the next day.
The piano was not in the right place; the strawberries were the wrong type.
But his biggest objection was that he didn’t like the flowers. He wanted calla lilies.
“We got into a big fight on what a calla lily is,” Cunningham recalled. “I know what
they are, because I had them at my wedding, but he insisted on having a different
type of lily and said I was ‘stupid’ because I didn’t know what a real calla lily was.” So
Cunningham went out and, this being New York, was able to find a place open at
midnight where she could get the lilies he wanted. By the time they got the room
rearranged, Jobs started objecting to what she was wearing. “That suit’s disgusting,”
he told her. Cunningham knew that at times he just simmered with undirected anger,
so she tried to calm him down. “Look, I know you’re angry, and I know how you feel,” she said.
“You have no fucking idea how I feel,” he shot back, “no fucking idea what it’s like to be me.”
Thirty Years Old
Turning thirty is a milestone for most people, especially those of the generation
that proclaimed it would never trust anyone over that age. To celebrate his own
thirtieth, in February 1985, Jobs threw a lavishly formal but also playful—black tie
and tennis shoes—party for one thousand in the ballroom of the St. Francis Hotel in
San Francisco. The invitation read, “There’s an old Hindu saying that goes, ‘In the first
30 years of your life, you make your
habits. For the last 30
years of your life,
your habits make you.’
Come help me celebrate mine.
The dark mood was evident in the ad that was developed in January 1985,
which was supposed to reprise the anti-IBM sentiment of the resonant “1984”
ad. Unfortunately there was a fundamental difference: The first ad had ended on
a heroic, optimistic note, but the storyboards presented by Lee Clow and Jay
Chiat for the new ad, titled “Lemmings,” showed dark-suited, blindfolded corporate
managers marching off a cliff to their death. From the beginning both Jobs and
Sculley were uneasy. It didn’t seem as if it would convey a positive or glorious image of
Apple, but instead would merely insult every manager who had bought an IBM.
It was on this trip that Jobs first got to know Jean-Louis Gassée, Apple’s manager in France.
Gassée was among the few to stand up successfully to Jobs on the trip. “He has his own
way with the truth,” Gassée later remarked. “The only way to deal with him was to out-bully him.”
When Jobs made his usual threat about cutting down on France’s allocations if Gassée didn’t
jack up sales projections, Gassée got angry. “I remember grabbing his lapel and telling him to
stop, and then he backed down. I used to be an angry man myself. I am a recovering assaholic.
So I could recognize that in Steve.”
In Italy, he took an instant dislike to Apple’s general manager, a soft rotund guy who had come
from a conventional business. Jobs told him bluntly that he was not impressed with his team
or his sales strategy. “You don’t deserve to be able to sell the Mac,” Jobs said coldly. But that
was mild compared to his reaction to the restaurant the hapless manager had chosen. Jobs
demanded a vegan meal, but the waiter very elaborately proceeded to dish out a sauce filled
with sour cream. Jobs got so nasty that Hoffman had to threaten him. She whispered that if he
didn’t calm down, she was going to pour her hot coffee on his lap.
The most substantive disagreements Jobs had on the European trip concerned sales forecasts.
Using his reality distortion field, Jobs was always pushing his team to come up with higher
projections. He kept threatening the European managers that he wouldn’t give them any
allocations unless they projected bigger forecasts. They insisted on being realistic, and
Hoffmann had to referee. “
By the end of the trip, my
whole body was
Guan Yu was still angry of the Prime Minister’s breach of decorum.
One day Guan Yu said to Liu Bei, “Brother, why did you prevent me from killing that rebel and so ridding the world of a scoundrel？ He insults the Emperor and ignores everybody else.”
“When you throw stones at a rat, beware of the vase,” quoted Liu Bei. “Cao Cao was only a horse’s head away from Our Lord, and in the midst of a crowd of his partisans. In that momentary burst of anger, if you had struck and failed, and harm had come to the Emperor, what an awful crime would have been laid to us！”
“If we do not rid the world of him today, a worse evil will come of it,” said Guan Yu.
“But be discreet, my brother. Such matters cannot be lightly discussed.”
the Emperor sadly returned to his palace. With tears in his eyes, he related what had occurred in the hunt to his consort, Empress Fu.
“Alas for me！” said he. “From the first days of my accession, one vicious minister has succeeded another. I was the victim of Dong Zhuo’s evil machinations. Then followed the rebellion of Li Jue and Guo Si. You and I had to bear sorrows such as no others have borne. Then came this Cao Cao as one who would maintain the imperial dignity, but he has seized upon all real authority and does as he wishes. He works continually for his own glorification, and I never see him but my back pricks. These last few days in the hunting field, he went in front of me and acknowledged the cheers of the crowd. He is so extremely rude that I feel sure he has sinister designs against me. Alas, my wife, we know not when our end may come！”
“In a whole court full of nobles, who have eaten the bread of Han, is there not one who will save his country？” said she.
Thus spoke the Empress, and at the same moment there stepped in a man who said, “Grieve not, O Imperial Pair！ I can find a savior for the country.”
It was none other than the father of the Empress, Fu Wan.
“Have you heard of Cao Cao’s
wanton and perverse behavior？”
said the Emperor, drying his eyes.
One day the Emperor was riding toward the hunting grounds and noticed his newly found uncle respectfully standing by the roadside.
“I should like to see my uncle display his hunting skill,” said the Emperor.
Liu Bei mounted his steed at once. Just then a hare started from its form. Liu Bei shot and hit it with the first arrow.
the Emperor, much struck by this display, rode away over a slope. Suddenly a deer broke out of the thicket. He shot three arrows at it but all missed.
“You try,” said the Emperor turning to Cao Cao.
“Lend me Your Majesty’s bow,” Cao Cao replied.
Taking the inlaid bow and the golden-tipped arrows, Cao Cao pulled the bow and hit the deer in the shoulder at the first shot. It fell in the grass and could not run.
Now the crowd of officers seeing the golden-barbed arrow sticking in the wound concluded at once that the shot was the Emperor’s, so they rushed up and shouted “Wan shui！ O King！ Live forever！”
Cao Cao rode out pushing past the Emperor and acknowledged the congratulations.
they all turned pale. Guan Yu, who was behind Liu Bei, was especially angry. The silkworm eyebrows stood up fiercely, and the red phoenix eyes glared as, sword in hand, he rode hastily forth to cut down the audacious Prime Minister for his impertinence.
However, Liu Bei hastily waved him back and shot at him a meaning glance so that Guan Yu stopped and made no further move.
Liu Bei bowing toward Cao Cao said, “Most sincere felicitations！ A truly supernatural shot, such as few have achieved！”
“It is only the enormous good fortune of the Son of Heaven！” said Cao Cao with a smile.
then he turned his steed and felicitated the Emperor. But he did not return the bow； he hung it over his own shoulder instead.
the hunt finished with banqueting；
and when the entertainments were over,
they returned to the capital,
all glad of some repose after the expedition.
One Sunday morning Jobs brought his father to see the factory. Paul Jobs had always been fastidious
about making sure that his craftsmanship was exacting and his tools in order, and his son was proud to
show that he could do the same. Coleman came along to give the tour. “Steve was, like, beaming,” she recalled.
“He was so proud to show his father this creation.” Jobs explained how everything worked, and his father seemed
truly admiring. “He kept looking at his father, who touched everything
and loved how clean and perfect everything looked.”
for example, that the Macintosh group could decide not to use Apple’s marketing team and instead create
one of its own.) No one else was in favor, but Jobs kept trying to ram it through. “People were looking
to me to take control, to get him to sit down and shut up, but I didn’t,” Sculley recalled. As the meeting
broke up, he heard someone whisper, “Why doesn’t Sculley shut him up?”
As chairman of the company, Jobs went onstage first to start the shareholders’ meeting. He
did so with his own form of an invocation. “I’d like to open the meeting,” he said, “with a
twenty-year-old poem by Dylan—that’s Bob Dylan.” He broke into a little smile, then looked
down to read from the second verse of “The Times They Are a-Changin’.” His voice was high-pitched
as he raced through the ten lines, ending with “For the loser now / Will be later to win /
For the times they are a-changin’.” That song was the anthem that kept the multimillionaire board
chairman in touch with his counterculture self-image. He had a bootleg copy of his favorite version,
which was from the live concert Dylan performed, with Joan Baez, on Halloween 1964
at Lincoln Center’s Philharmonic Hall.
Sculley came onstage to report on the company’s earnings, and the audience started to become restless
as he droned on. Finally, he ended with a personal note. “The most important thing that has happened
to me in the last nine months at Apple has been a chance to develop a friendship with
Steve Jobs,” he said.
“For me, the rapport
we have developed
means an awful lot.”
When Jobs decided to build a state-of-the-art factory in Fremont to manufacture the Macintosh,
his aesthetic passions and controlling nature kicked into high gear. He wanted the machinery to
be painted in bright hues, like the Apple logo, but he spent so much time going over paint chips
that Apple’s manufacturing director, Matt Carter, finally just installed them in their usual beige and
gray. When Jobs took a tour, he ordered that the machines be repainted in the bright colors he
wanted. Carter objected; this was precision equipment, and repainting the machines could cause
problems. He turned out to be right. One of the most expensive machines, which got painted bright
blue, ended up not working properly and was dubbed “Steve’s folly.” Finally Carter quit. “It took so
much energy to fight him, and it was usually over something so pointless that finally I had enough,” he recalled.
be its salvation!” Levy pushed back. Rolling Stone was actually good, he said, and he asked Jobs
if he had read it recently. Jobs said that he had, an article about MTV that was “a piece of shit.”
Levy replied that he had written that article. Jobs, to his credit, didn’t back away from the assessment.
Instead he turned philosophical as he talked about the Macintosh. We are constantly benefiting from
advances that went before us and taking things that people before us developed, he said. “It’s a
wonderful, ecstatic feeling to create something that puts it back in the pool
of human experience and knowledge.”
Levy’s story didn’t make it to the cover. But in the future, every major product launch that Jobs was involved
in—at NeXT, at Pixar, and years later when he returned to Apple—would end
up on the cover of either Time, Newsweek, or Business Week.
January 24, 1984
Most of all, Jobs fretted about his presentation. Sculley fancied himself a good writer,
so he suggested changes in Jobs’s script. Jobs recalled being slightly annoyed, but their
relationship was still in the phase when he was lathering on flattery and stroking Sculley’s ego.
“I think of you just like Woz and Markkula,” he told Sculley. “You’re like one of the founders
of the company.
They founded the company,
but you and I are
founding the future.”
Sculley lapped it up.
At Apple his status revived. Instead of seeking ways to curtail Jobs’s authority, Sculley
gave him more: The Lisa and Macintosh divisions were folded together, with Jobs in
charge. He was flying high, but this did not serve to make him more mellow. Indeed
there was a memorable display of his brutal honesty when he stood in front of the
combined Lisa and Macintosh teams to describe how they would be merged. His
Macintosh group leaders would get all of the top positions, he said, and a quarter
of the Lisa staff would be laid off. “You guys failed,” he said, looking directly at those
who had worked on the Lisa. “You’re a B team. B players. Too many people here are B or
C players, so today we are releasing some of you to have
the opportunity to work at our sister companies here in the valley.”
He never ended up warming to Sculley. “He was incredibly phony, a complete poseur,” he later said.
“He pretended to be interested in technology, but he wasn’t. He was a marketing guy, and that is
what marketing guys are: paid poseurs.”
Matters came to a head when Jobs visited New York in March 1983 and was able to convert the
courtship into a blind and blinding romance. “I really think you’re the guy,” Jobs said as they walked
through Central Park. “I want you to come and work with me. I can learn so much from you.” Jobs,
who had cultivated father figures in the past, knew just how to play to Sculley’s ego and insecurities.
It worked. “I was smitten by him,” Sculley later admitted. “Steve was one of the brightest people
I’d ever met. I shared with him a passion for ideas.”
Sculley, who was interested in art history, steered them toward the Metropolitan Museum for a little
test of whether Jobs was really willing to learn from others. “I wanted to see how well he could take
coaching in a subject where he had no background,” he recalled. As they strolled through the Greek
and Roman antiquities, Sculley expounded on the difference between the Archaic sculpture of the sixth
century B.C. and the Periclean sculptures a century later. Jobs, who loved to pick up historical nuggets
he never learned in college, seemed to soak it in. “I gained a sense that I could be a teacher to a
brilliant student,” Sculley recalled. Once again he indulged the conceit that they were alike: “I saw
in him a mirror image of my younger self. I, too, was impatient, stubborn, arrogant, impetuous.
My mind exploded with ideas, often to the
exclusion of everything else.
I, too, was intolerant of
those who couldn’t live
up to my demands.”
For the time being, Jobs and Sculley were able to convince themselves that their friendship
was still strong. They professed their fondness so effusively and often that they sounded
like high school sweethearts at a Hallmark card display. The first anniversary of Sculley’s
arrival came in May 1984, and to celebrate Jobs lured him to a dinner party at Le Mouton
Noir, an elegant restaurant in the hills southwest of Cupertino. To Sculley’s surprise, Jobs had
gathered the Apple board, its top managers, and even some East Coast investors. As they all
congratulated him during cocktails, Sculley recalled, “a beaming Steve stood in the background,
nodding his head up and down and wearing a Cheshire Cat smile on his face.” Jobs began the
dinner with a fulsome toast. “The happiest two days for me were when Macintosh shipped and
when John Sculley agreed to join Apple,” he said. “This has been the greatest year I’ve ever had
in my whole life, because I’ve learned so much from John.” He then presented Sculley with a
montage of memorabilia from the year.
shrieks that erupted. Instead of basking for a moment, it barreled ahead. “Unaccustomed as I am
to public speaking, I’d like to share with you a maxim I thought of the first time I met an IBM
mainframe: Never trust a computer you can’t lift.” Once again the roar almost drowned out its
final lines. “Obviously, I can talk. But right now I’d like to sit back and listen. So it is with
considerable pride that I introduce a man who’s been like a father to me, Steve Jobs.”
Pandemonium erupted, with people in the crowd jumping up and down and pumping their fists
in a frenzy. Jobs nodded slowly, a tight-lipped but broad smile on his face, then looked down
and started to choke up. The ovation continued for five minutes.
After the Macintosh team returned to Bandley 3 that afternoon, a truck pulled into the parking
lot and Jobs had them all gather next to it. Inside were a hundred new Macintosh computers, each
personalized with a plaque. “Steve presented them one at a time to each team member, with a
handshake and a smile, as the rest of us stood around cheering,” Hertzfeld recalled. It had been a
grueling ride, and many egos had been bruised by Jobs’s obnoxious and rough management style.
But neither Raskin nor Wozniak nor Sculley nor anyone else at the company could have pulled off the
creation of the Macintosh. Nor would it likely have emerged from focus groups and committees.
On the day he unveiled the Macintosh, a reporter from Popular Science asked Jobs what type
of market research he had done. Jobs responded by scoffing, “Did Alexander
Graham Bell do any
before he invented
He bought the top-floor duplex apartment that he’d shown Sculley in the San Remo on Manhattan’s
Central Park West and hired James Freed of I. M. Pei’s firm to renovate it, but he never moved in.
(He would later sell it to Bono for $15 million.) He also bought an old Spanish colonial–style fourteen-bedroom
mansion in Woodside, in the hills above Palo Alto, that had been built by a copper
baron, which he moved into but never got around to furnishing.
When Jobs arrived at the rock star’s townhouse, Jagger seemed baffled. He didn’t quite know who
Jobs was. Later Jobs told his team, “I think he was on drugs. Either that or he’s brain-damaged.” Jagger’s
daughter Jade, however, took to the computer immediately and started drawing with MacPaint,
so Jobs gave it to her instead.
ingredients. Another part of the recipe was media coverage. Jobs found ways to ignite
blasts of publicity that were so powerful the frenzy would feed on itself, like a chain
reaction. It was a phenomenon that he would be able to replicate whenever there was a
big product launch, from the Macintosh in 1984 to the iPad in 2010. Like a conjurer, he
could pull the trick off over and over again, even after journalists had seen it happen a dozen
times and knew how it was done. Some of the moves he had learned from Regis McKenna,
who was a pro at cultivating and stroking prideful reporters. But Jobs had his own intuitive
sense of how to stoke the excitement, manipulate the competitive instincts of journalists,
and trade exclusive access for lavish treatment.
In December 1983 he took his elfin engineering wizards, Andy Hertzfeld and Burrell Smith, to
New York to visit Newsweek to pitch a story on “the kids who created the Mac.” After giving
a demo of the Macintosh, they were taken upstairs to meet Katharine Graham, the legendary
proprietor, who had an insatiable interest in whatever was new. Afterward the magazine sent its
technology columnist and a photographer to spend time in Palo Alto with Hertzfeld and Smith.
The result was a flattering and smart four-page profile of the two of them, with pictures that made
them look like cherubim of a new age. The article quoted Smith saying what he wanted to do next:
“I want to build the computer of the 90’s. Only I want to do it tomorrow.” The article also described
the mix of volatility and charisma displayed by his boss: “Jobs sometimes defends his ideas with highly
vocal displays of temper that aren’t always bluster; rumor has it that he has threatened to fire employees
for insisting that his computers should have cursor keys, a feature that Jobs considers obsolete.
But when he is on his best behavior, Jobs is a curious blend of charm and impatience, oscillating between
shrewd reserve and his
On the morning that he and his teammates completed the software for the Macintosh,
Andy Hertzfeld had gone home exhausted and expected to stay in bed for at least a day.
But that afternoon, after only six hours of sleep, he drove back to the office. He wanted to
check in to see if there had been any problems, and most of his colleagues had done the same.
They were lounging around, dazed but excited, when Jobs walked in. “Hey, pick yourselves
up off the floor, you’re not done yet!” he announced. “We need a demo for the intro!” His plan
was to dramatically unveil the Macintosh in front of a large audience and have it show off some
of its features to the inspirational theme from Chariots of Fire. “It needs to be done by the weekend,
to be ready for the rehearsals,” he added. They all groaned, Hertzfeld recalled, “but as we talked
we realized that it would be fun to cook up something impressive.”
evoked the dystopian aura of Blade Runner. Just at the moment when Big Brother announces
“We shall prevail!” the heroine’s hammer smashes the screen and it vaporizes
in a flash of light and smoke.
When Jobs previewed the ad for the Apple sales force at the meeting in Hawaii, they
were thrilled. So he screened it for the board at its December 1983 meeting. When the
lights came back on in the boardroom, everyone was mute. Philip Schlein, the CEO of
Macy’s California, had his head on the table. Mike Markkula stared silently; at first it
seemed he was overwhelmed by the power of the ad. Then he spoke: “Who wants to
move to find a new agency?” Sculley recalled, “Most of them thought it was the worst
commercial they had ever seen.” Sculley himself got cold feet. He asked Chiat/Day to
sell off the two commercial spots—one sixty seconds, the other
thirty—that they had purchased.
Jobs was beside himself. One evening Wozniak, who had been floating into and out of
Apple for the previous two years, wandered into the Macintosh building. Jobs grabbed
him and said, “Come over here and look at this.” He pulled out a VCR and played the ad.
“I was astounded,” Woz recalled. “I thought it was the most incredible thing.” When Jobs
said the board had decided not to run it during the Super Bowl, Wozniak asked what the
cost of the time slot was. Jobs told him $800,000. With his usual
offered, “Well, I’ll
pay half if you will.”