n April 1, 1976, Jobs and Wozniak went to Wayne’s apartment in Mountain View to draw up the partnership agreement. Wayne said he had some experience “writing in legalese,” so he composed the three-page document himself. His “legalese” got the better of him.
Paragraphs began with various flourishes: “Be it noted herewith . . . Be it further noted herewith . . . Now the refore [sic], in consideration of the respective assignments of interests . . .” But the division of shares and profits was clear—45%-45%-10%—and it was stipulated that any expenditures of more than $100 would
require agreement of at least two of the partners. Also, the responsibilities were spelled out. “Wozniak shall assume both general and major responsibility for the conduct of Electrical Engineering; Jobs shall assume general responsibility for
Electrical Engineering and Marketing, and Wayne shall assume major responsibility for Mechanical Engineering and Documentation.” Jobs signed in lowercase script, Wozniak in careful cursive, and Wayne in an illegible squiggle.
The kids in the Explorers Club were encouraged to do projects, and Jobs decided to build a frequency counter, which measures the number of pulses per second in an electronic signal. He needed some parts that HP made, so he picked up the phone and called the CEO. “Back then, people didn’t have unlisted numbers. So I looked up
Bill Hewlett in Palo Alto and called him at home. And he answered and chatted with me for twenty minutes. He got me the parts, but he also got me a job in the plant where they made frequency counters.” Jobs worked there the summer after his
freshman year at Homestead High. “My dad would drive me in the morning and pick me up in the evening.”
His work mainly consisted of “just putting nuts and bolts on things” on an assembly line. There was some resentment among his fellow line workers toward the pushy kid who had talked his way in by calling the CEO. “I remember telling one of the
supervisors, ‘I love this stuff, I love this stuff,’ and then I asked him what he liked to do best. And he said, ‘To fuck, to fuck.’” Jobs had an easier time ingratiating himself
with the engineers who worked one floor above. “They served doughnuts and coffee every morning at ten. So I’d go upstairs and hang out with them.”
Jobs liked to work. He also had a newspaper route—his father would drive him when it was raining—and during his sophomore year spent weekends and the summer as a stock clerk at a cavernous electronics store, Haltek. It was to electronics what his father’s junkyards were to auto parts: a scavenger’s paradise sprawling over an
entire city block with new, used, salvaged, and surplus components crammed onto warrens of shelves, dumped unsorted into bins, and piled in an outdoor yard. “Out in the back, near the bay, they had a fenced-in area with things like Polaris submarine
interiors that had been ripped and sold for salvage,” he recalled. “All the controls and buttons were right there. The colors were military greens and grays, but they had
these switches and bulb covers of amber and red. There were these big old lever switches that, when you flipped them, it was awesome, like you were blowing up Chicago.”
At the wooden counters up front, laden with thick catalogues in tattered binders, people would haggle for switches, resistors, capacitors, and sometimes the latest
memory chips. His father used to do that for auto parts, and he succeeded because he knew the value of each better than the clerks. Jobs followed suit. He developed a
knowledge of electronic parts that was honed by his love of negotiating and turning a profit. He would go to electronic flea markets, such as the San Jose swap meet, haggle for a used circuit board
that contained some
valuable chips or components,
and then sell those to
his manager at Haltek.