Sometimes, like when a student was entering the telephone booth, Woz would call the telephone booth and it would ring and student would answer it. Then Woz would say, “This is Ramar the Mystic. I see wetness in your future,” and as the guy is saying, “What?” Woz would throw a water balloon at him from the second floor. The guy would be all angry and Woz would say, “Well, Ramar was only trying to help.”
These kind of remind me of those YouTube pranks where guys randomly kiss girls on the street or pick fights with people for "social experiments". Not really "pranks", just idiotic fun at other people's expense.
Jobs got a printed circuit board made and he figured out where to get all the parts.
Jobs often gets put down as just "the marketer" from Apple's early days, with Woz doing all the execution, but when you get deeper it sounds like Jobs enabled a lot of the logistics, supply chain, etc. Without him, Woz's prototype would have remained just that - a one off. In this light, Woz almost appears as the "idea guy" (where idea includes initial concept + first execution), whereas Jobs is the one who made it a viable product and company.
I'm not sure of the exact ratio, but as far as I can tell, if they hadn't teamed up, Woz would have ended up an engineer at HP (or Google if it happened today) and Jobs would have ended up starting a cult or joining Scientology or something.
Maybe there would have been someone else to market Woz's genius, but I doubt they'd have done it better. Maybe Jobs would have found another Woz, but I doubt they'd have built as good of a product; Jobs would have been selling just as relentlessly, but a less compelling product.
They both had an important role to play. What came after? Who could have known.
He sort of did and it ended up being pretty successful.
You're just describing the general state of the industry (which I also lament).
But not, notably, of Linux.
I don't particularly subscribe to the narrative, there are these billions 'non-techie' users needing handholding by BigCo.
 - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Cult_of_Mac_(book)
Marketing involves manipulation. Despite being good at marketing, I don't see evidence that Apple resorts to lying more than other companies. More often, the "cult of Apple" label is directed at avid customers who are particularly enthusiastic about Apple's products, and its used pejoratively by people who don't share or understand their enthusiasm.
But it's metaphor, and it doesn't mean Apple or its fans are an actual cult.
The middle finger thing is really not at someone else's expense. It's a dumb prank. The water balloon thing is a bit more mean spirited, but it's still far more innocuous than assault or sexual assault "pranks".
The claim that humans have nothing to fear about getting wet is also less true than ever now that people are carrying electronics with them constantly, but that's not really relevant for people Woz targeted in his 20s.
Didn't you just define what a prank is?
That's the difference between a joke and a prank. A joke is told. A prank is done to someone.
This is technically correct, but traditionally you're only supposed to execute pranks against friends that you already know would appreciate this kind of humor. If that's what you're doing, it's not usually a negative thing for anyone involved.
Exactly. You have to wonder how many Einsteins we've had over the centuries/millennia that never even learned to read.
I've thought about trying to identify how many of the tech companies we rely on were started by first or second-generation immigrants. Apple and Google, obviously, but I'm sure there are many more.
Study: Immigrants Founded 51% of U.S. Billion-Dollar Startups http://blogs.wsj.com/digits/2016/03/17/study-immigrants-foun...
Bill : Also, be prepared as either a founder or an employee to spend your life on it. Be prepared to
give your life to the enterprise. Forget about family, forget about children, forget about your pets
or your garden. It is going to be all-consuming and that’s one reason why I’m starting my startup so
late. I waited until I could neglect my children without harm to them.
Craig : [Laughter] How so?
Bill : They’re out of the house now so I figured, “Okay, now I can do what I want.”
A recognition of what it had taken to START apple and the recognition that to survive, and thrive, they would need to get back to those roots, toss the beige boxes to the wind, devil may care here comes the blue bomdi iMacs dammit!
Fernandez' quote puts a finger on it:
"It wasn’t like this glamorous thing. It was this huge risk. Basically people would say, “Why would you quit Hewlett-Packard to go work for a couple of lame ass guys, you know, one of whom is like this hippy guy who wears Birkenstocks and torn jeans and dropped out of school and had to sell a beaten up VW van to just afford to get started on this. . . The short way of saying this, I guess, is there was no startup culture."
And as much of an egoist as Jobs was he nevertheless realized that he had to squarely define & embed that culture of "be crazy / think different" into Apple, and make it bigger than just more to the Jobs' mythos:
"According to Jobs’s biography, two versions were created before it first aired: one with Richard Dreyfuss voiceover, and one with Steve Jobs voiceover. In the morning of the first air date, Jobs decided to go with the Dreyfuss version, stating that it was about Apple." (1)
Stallman firmly fits within the statement: "And while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do."
Stallman may not be popular, but you can't argue that he's not crazy, flying in the face of adversity, and has had a great influence on the state of computing today.
No. My whole point is that they only chose the proven (and famous) 'crazies'. There's only room for 'success'. No room for the 'or not'. Stallman is proven to a niche of techies, but outside that niche, people think he's a whack-job, despite his profound effect on computing as a whole.
I've got a high opinion of Stallman, but Stallman is very much the kind of 'crazy' that Jobs would want to hide. Not 'bankable' enough.
(Meanwhile, from a storytelling perspective, it would be needlessly distracting to have to simultaneously educate people about some quiet unsung heroes. Your implied alternative version would be unworkable.)
Basically, safe 'crazy' people, with the benefit of historical hindsight. How safe? Of the 17 'crazy ones', only 4 were alive at the time of the tv adverts, and apart from Branson and Turner (both business figures rather than cultural), the glory days were long gone for all of them.
The ability to reach out locally and have hardware components custom made seems kind of important for the small innovator in today's fast economy. The speed of revisions and product evolution and all that.
I agree. There's always a lot of talk about how engineers neglect sales and its utmost importance to a startup's success. But I haven't seen lots of literature on encouraging engineers to come out of the shell to (rationally) "brag" about your product. Not all engineers have the confidence to do it or are just plain humble - Woz comes to mind.
A search for "marketing for engineers" only turns up content that explains marketing concepts and strategies to the uninitiated (inbound, organic, SEO...), but I'd like to see more on how to effectively step outside of your code editor, take pride and broadcast your technical creation to the world - for either economic or nonprofit motivations.
I figured that this could be pretty interesting and I was living with my parents and my car was paid off and I was very employable. So I figured that if this fell through that it would be easy for me to get another job and there’s no big loss, right?
> An early showdown came over employee badge numbers. Scott assigned #1 to Wozniak and #2 to Jobs. Not surprisingly, Jobs demanded to be #1. “I wouldn’t let him have it, because that would stoke his ego even more,” said Scott. Jobs threw a tantrum, even cried. Finally, he proposed a solution. He would have badge #0. Scott relented, at least for the purpose of the badge, but the Bank of America required a positive integer for its payroll system and Jobs’s remained #2.
Isaacson, Walter (2011-10-24). Steve Jobs (p. 83). Simon & Schuster. Kindle Edition.
Seems like the actual event right before coming back to Apple, where he mysteriously becomes an amazing CEO, is when he met his wife.
One passage that stuck out to me in which Isaacson clearly pressed present-day Jobs on his personal viewpoint was bringing up the episode in which Jobs, according to Woz and Bushnell, cheated Woz out of his bonus for building the Breakout game:
> Astonishingly, they were able to get the job done in four days, and Wozniak used only forty-five chips. Recollections differ, but by most accounts Jobs simply gave Wozniak half of the base fee and not the bonus Bushnell paid for saving five chips. It would be another ten years before Wozniak discovered (by being shown the tale in a book on the history of Atari titled Zap) that Jobs had been paid this bonus.
> “I think that Steve needed the money, and he just didn’t tell me the truth,” Wozniak later said. When he talks about it now, there are long pauses, and he admits that it causes him pain. “I wish he had just been honest. If he had told me he needed the money, he should have known I would have just given it to him. He was a friend. You help your friends.” To Wozniak, it showed a fundamental difference in their characters. “Ethics always mattered to me, and I still don’t understand why he would’ve gotten paid one thing and told me he’d gotten paid another,” he said. “But, you know, people are different.”
> When Jobs learned this story was published, he called Wozniak to deny it. “He told me that he didn’t remember doing it, and that if he did something like that he would remember it, so he probably didn’t do it,” Wozniak recalled.
> When I asked Jobs directly, he became unusually quiet and hesitant. “I don’t know where that allegation comes from,” he said. “I gave him half the money I ever got. That’s how I’ve always been with Woz. I mean, Woz stopped working in 1978. He never did one ounce of work after 1978. And yet he got exactly the same shares of Apple stock that I did.” Is it possible that memories are muddled and that Jobs did not, in fact, shortchange Wozniak? “There’s a chance that my memory is all wrong and messed up,” Wozniak told me, but after a pause he reconsidered. “But no. I remember the details of this one, the $ 350 check.” He confirmed his memory with Nolan Bushnell and Al Alcorn. “I remember talking about the bonus money to Woz, and he was upset,” Bushnell said. “I said yes, there was a bonus for each chip they saved, and he just shook his head and then clucked his tongue.”
This passage, early in the biography, cast a negative pall over Jobs's personality in my mind. He's in his final years, and not only is he facing death, but he's experienced success so far beyond the first Apple days and his name will likely be much more well-known and remembered than Woz's. Assuming that Jobs isn't actually right, what purpose does he have to perpetuate this mistruth? Why couldn't he just own up to it, to say something like, "Yes, back in those days I did things I regret, and I regret even more that I did it to my future business partner, Woz, one of the [insert superlative] men I've had the pleasure to work with"? But no, he had to keep denying it until his near-death, even slagging on Woz as if Woz was some lazy bullshitter who sat on Jobs' coattails.
The episode as recounted by Isaacson at least ends with something that reflects well on Woz (as if Woz's honest reputation needed more bolstering). In fact, I think Woz, in his characteristically honest and straightforward way, has the best description of Jobs' legacy:
> Whatever the truth, Wozniak later insisted that it was not worth rehashing. Jobs is a complex person, he said, and being manipulative is just the darker facet of the traits that make him successful. Wozniak would never have been that way, but as he points out, he also could never have built Apple. “I would rather let it pass,” he said when I pressed the point. “It’s not something I want to judge Steve by.”
As a side note, reading through all of Folklore.org is a great way to kill a few hours next time you have a free evening. I'm pretty sure I've read through all of it 2-3 times at this point, but there's part of me that wants to read through all of it again. It's basically just a collection of Apple anecdotes, mostly about the development of the first Macintosh. I'm sure it was hard at times, but it does sound like a fascinating project to have participated in.
I figured Woz as an electronics engineer would prefer 0 for technical reason (i.e. 0 to 9 or binary 0) and he's such a math freak too.
Happily, I was given my old employee number (number 4), and my new title was “Member of Technical Staff”.
Robot assisted surgery
> Craig : Wait, really?
I don't know what is so surprising about think. Jobs was not an engineer or even really a geek. He was a visionary and a businessman. If he had gotten Woz into electronics, that would have been a big deal.