Jobs from insisting that one of his suggestions had been ignored.

Jobs from insisting that one of his suggestions had been ignored. “By the fourth model, I could barely distinguish it from the third one,” said Hertzfeld,

“but Steve was always critical and decisive, saying he loved or hated a detail that I could barely perceive.”

One weekend Jobs went to Macy’s in Palo Alto and again spent time studying appliances, especially the Cuisinart. He came bounding into the Mac office that Monday, asked the design team to go buy one, and made a raft of new suggestions based on its lines, curves, and bevels.

simple. Really simple.” Apple’s design mantra would remain the one featured on its first brochure: “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.”

Jobs felt that design simplicity should be linked to making products easy to use. Those goals do not always go together. Sometimes a design can be so sleek and simple that a user finds it intimidating or unfriendly to navigate.

“The main thing in our design is that we have to make things intuitively obvious,” Jobs told the crowd of design mavens. For example, he extolled the desktop metaphor he was creating for the Macintosh. “People know how to

deal with a desktop intuitively. If you walk into an office, there are papers on the desk. The one on the top is the most important. People know how to

switch priority. Part of the reason we model our computers on metaphors like the desktop is that we can leverage this experience people already have.”

Speaking at the same time as Jobs that Wednesday afternoon, but in a smaller seminar room, was Maya Lin, twenty-three, who had been catapulted into fame the previous November when her Vietnam Veterans Memorial was

dedicated in Washington, D.C. They struck up a close friendship, and Jobs invited her to visit Apple. “I came to work with Steve for a week,” Lin

recalled. “I asked him, ‘Why do computers look like clunky TV sets? Why don’t you make something thin? Why not a flat laptop?’”

Jobs replied that this

was indeed his goal,

as soon as the

technology was ready.

“I don’t think we really need it,” said Atkinson, who explained

“I don’t think we really need it,” said Atkinson, who explained that it would be almost impossible to do. “I wanted to keep the graphics routines lean and limit them to the primitives that truly needed to be done,” he recalled.

“Rectangles with rounded corners are everywhere!” Jobs said, jumping up and getting more intense. “Just look around this room!” He pointed out the whiteboard and the tabletop and other objects that were rectangular with rounded corners. “And look outside, there’s even more, practically

everywhere you look!” He dragged Atkinson out for a walk, pointing out car windows and billboards and street signs. “Within three blocks, we found seventeen examples,” said Jobs. “I started pointing them out everywhere until he was completely convinced.”

strip of plastic at the top so that it avoided the Neanderthal forehead that made the Lisa subtly unattractive. The patent for the design of the Apple case was issued in the name of Steve Jobs as well as Manock and Oyama. “Even

though Steve didn’t draw any of the lines, his ideas and inspiration made the design what it is,” Oyama later said. “To be honest, we didn’t know what it meant for a computer to be ‘friendly’ until Steve told us.”

spirit. It emphasized rationality and functionality by employing clean lines and forms. Among the maxims preached by Mies and Gropius were “God is in the details” and “Less is more.” As with Eichler homes, the artistic sensibility was combined with the capability for mass production.

Jobs publicly discussed his embrace of the Bauhaus style in a talk he gave at the 1983 design conference, the theme of which was “The Future Isn’t What It Used to Be.” He predicted the passing of the Sony style in favor of Bauhaus

Every month or so, Manock and Oyama would present a new iteration based on Jobs’s previous criticisms. The latest plaster model would be dramatically

unveiled, and all the previous attempts would be lined up next to it. That not only helped them gauge the design’s evolution, but it prevented

simplicity. “The current wave of industrial design is Sony’s high-tech look, which is gunmetal gray, maybe paint it black, do weird stuff to it,” he said. “It’s easy to do that. But it’s not great.” He proposed an alternative, born of

the Bauhaus, that was more true to the function and nature of the products. “What we’re going to do is make the products high-tech, and we’re going to package them cleanly so that you know they’re high-tech. We will fit them in a small package, and then we can

make them beautiful

and white, just like

Braun does

with its electronics.”

“No, that’s not right,” Ferris replied. “The lines should be voluptuous,

“No, that’s not right,” Ferris replied. “The lines should be voluptuous, like a Ferrari.”

“Not a Ferrari, that’s not right either,” Jobs countered. “It should be more like a Porsche!” Jobs owned a Porsche 928 at the time. When Bill Atkinson was over one weekend, Jobs brought him outside to admire the car. “Great art


stretches the taste, it doesn’t follow tastes,” he told Atkinson. He also admired the design of the Mercedes. “Over the years, they’ve made the lines softer but the details starker,” he said one day as he walked around the parking lot. “That’s what we have to do with the Macintosh.”

by Canon to build the machine he wanted. “It was the Canon Cat, and it was a total flop,” Atkinson said. “Nobody wanted it. When Steve turned the Mac into a compact version of the Lisa, it made it into a computing platform instead of a consumer electronic device.”1

He is a dreadful manager. . . . I have always liked Steve, but I have found it impossible to work for him. . . . Jobs

regularly misses appointments. This is so well-known as to be almost a running joke. . . . He acts without thinking and

with bad judgment. . . . He does not give credit where due. . . . Very often, when told of a new idea, he will immediately attack it and say that it is worthless or

even stupid, and tell you that it was a waste of time to work on it. This alone is bad management, but if the idea is a good one he will soon be telling people about it as though it was his own.

That afternoon Scott called in Jobs and Raskin for a showdown in front of Markkula. Jobs started crying. He and Raskin agreed on only one thing: Neither

could work for the other one. On the Lisa project, Scott had sided with Couch. This time he decided it was best to let Jobs win. After all, the Mac was a minor

development project housed in a distant building that could keep Jobs occupied away from the main campus. Raskin was told to take a leave of absence. “They

wanted to humor me and give me something to do, which was fine,” Jobs recalled. “It was like going

garage for me.

back to the

team and

I was in control.”

At that time there was not much exciting happening

At that time there was not much exciting happening in the realm of industrial design, Jobs felt. He had a Richard Sapper lamp, which he admired, and he also liked the furniture of Charles and Ray Eames and the Braun products of

Dieter Rams. But there were no towering figures energizing the world of industrial design the way that Raymond Loewy and Herbert Bayer had done. “There really wasn’t much going on in industrial design, particularly in Silicon Valley, and Steve was very eager to change that,” said Lin. “His design

sensibility is sleek but not slick, and it’s playful. He embraced minimalism, which came from his Zen devotion to simplicity, but he avoided allowing that to make his products cold. They stayed fun. He’s passionate and super-serious about design, but at the same time there’s a sense of play.”


things harder. He would keep the picture fuzzy until someone touched the antenna. Eventually he would make people

think they had to hold the antenna while standing on one foot or touching the top of the set. Years later, at a keynote

presentation where he was having his own trouble getting a video to work, Jobs broke from his script and recounted

the fun they had with the device. “Woz would have it in his pocket and we’d go into a dorm . . .

where a bunch of folks would be, like, watching Star Trek, and he’d screw up the TV,

and someone would go up to fix it, and just as they had the foot off the ground he would turn it back on,

and as they put their foot back on the ground he’d screw it up again.” Contorting himself into a pretzel onstage, Jobs

concluded to great laughter, “And within five minutes he would have someone like this.”

The Blue Box

The ultimate combination of pranks and electronics—and the escapade that helped to create Apple—was

launched one Sunday afternoon when Wozniak read an article in Esquire that his mother had left for him

on the kitchen table. It was September 1971, and he was about to drive off the next day to Berkeley,

his third college. The story, Ron Rosenbaum’s “Secrets of the Little Blue Box,” described how hackers and

phone phreakers had found ways to make long-distance calls for free by replicating the tones that routed

signals on the AT&T network. “Halfway through the article, I had to call my best friend, Steve Jobs, and

read parts of this long article to him,” Wozniak recalled. He knew

that Jobs, then beginning

his senior year, was

one of the few people who

would share his excitement.

But many others realized that despite his temperamental failings

But many others realized that despite his temperamental failings, Jobs had the charisma and corporate clout that would lead them to “make a dent in the universe.” Jobs told the staff that Raskin was just a dreamer, whereas he was a

doer and would get the Mac done in a year. It was clear he wanted vindication for having been ousted from the Lisa group, and he was energized by competition. He publicly bet John Couch $5,000 that the Mac would ship

before the Lisa. “We can make a computer that’s cheaper and better than the Lisa, and get it out first,” he told the team.


but they got a wrong number. It didn’t matter; their device had

worked. “Hi! We’re calling you for free! We’re calling you for free!”

Wozniak shouted. The person on the other end was confused and annoyed. Jobs chimed in,

“We’re calling from California! From California! With a Blue Box.” This probably

baffled the man even more, since he was also in California.

At first the Blue Box was used for fun and pranks. The most daring of these was

when they called the Vatican and Wozniak pretended to be Henry Kissinger

wanting to speak to the pope. “Ve are at de summit meeting in Moscow,

and ve need to talk to de pope,” Woz intoned. He was told that it was 5:30 a.m. and

the pope was sleeping. When he called back, he got a bishop who was supposed

to serve as the translator. But they never actually got the pope on the line.

“They realized that Woz wasn’t Henry Kissinger,” Jobs recalled. “We were at a public phone booth.”

It was then that they reached an important milestone, one that would

establish a pattern in their partnerships: Jobs came up with the idea that

the Blue Box could be more than merely a hobby; they could build and sell them.

“I got together the rest of the components, like the casing and power supply and

keypads, and figured out how we could price it,” Jobs said, foreshadowing roles he

would play when they founded Apple. The finished product was about the size of two

decks of playing cards.

The parts cost about $40,

and Jobs decided they

should sell it for $150.

Jobs thus became one of the first fifty employees at Atari

Jobs thus became one of the first fifty employees at Atari,

working as a technician for $5 an hour. “In retrospect,

it was weird to hire a dropout from Reed,” Alcorn recalled.


“But I saw something in him. He was very intelligent, enthusiastic,

excited about tech.” Alcorn assigned him to work with a straitlaced

engineer named Don Lang. The next day Lang complained,


“This guy’s a goddamn hippie with b.o. Why did you do this to me?

And he’s impossible to deal with.” Jobs clung to the belief that his fruit-heavy

vegetarian diet would prevent not just mucus but also body odor,

even if he didn’t use deodorant or shower regularly. It was a flawed theory.

Lang and others wanted to let Jobs go, but Bushnell worked out a solution.

“The smell and behavior wasn’t an issue with me,” he said. “Steve was prickly,

but I kind of liked him. So I asked him to go on the night shift. It was a way

to save him.” Jobs would come in after Lang and others had left and work through most

of the night. Even thus isolated, he became known for his brashness.

On those occasions when he happened to interact with others, he was prone

to informing them that they were “dumb shits.” In retrospect, he stands

by that judgment. “The only reason I shone was that everyone else was so bad,” Jobs recalled.

Despite his arrogance (or perhaps because of it) he was able to charm Atari’s boss.

“He was more philosophical than the other people I worked with,” Bushnell recalled.

“We used to discuss free will versus determinism. I tended to believe that things

were much more determined, that we were programmed. If we had perfect information,

we could predict people’s actions. Steve felt the opposite.” That outlook accorded

with his faith in the power of the will to bend reality.

Jobs helped improve some of the games by pushing the chips to produce fun designs,

and Bushnell’s inspiring willingness to play by his own rules rubbed off on him.

In addition, he intuitively appreciated the simplicity of Atari’s games. They came

with no manual and needed to be uncomplicated enough that a stoned freshman could

figure them out. The only

instructions for Atari’s Star

Trek game were “1. Insert

quarter. 2. Avoid Klingons.”

a high-resolution color display, a printer that worked without

a high-resolution color display, a printer that worked without a ribbon and could produce graphics in color at a page per second, unlimited access to the ARPA net, and the capability to recognize speech and synthesize music, “even

simulate Caruso singing with the Mormon tabernacle choir, with variable reverberation.” The memo concluded, “Starting with the abilities desired is

nonsense. We must start both with a price goal, and a set of abilities, and keep an eye on today’s and the immediate future’s technology.” In other words, Raskin had little patience for Jobs’s belief that you could distort reality if you had enough passion for your product.


sick, a really high fever. I dropped from 160 pounds to 120 in about a week.”

Once he got healthy enough to move, he decided that he needed to get out

of Delhi. So he headed to the town of Haridwar, in western India near the

source of the Ganges, which was having a festival known as the Kumbh Mela.

More than ten million people poured into a town that usually contained fewer

than 100,000 residents. “There were holy men all around. Tents with this teacher

and that teacher. There were people riding elephants, you name it. I was there

for a few days, but I decided that I needed to get out of there too.”

He went by train and bus to a village near Nainital in the foothills of the Himalayas.

That was where Neem Karoli Baba lived, or had lived. By the time Jobs got there,

he was no longer alive, at least in the same incarnation. Jobs rented a room with a

mattress on the floor from a family who helped him recuperate by feeding him

vegetarian meals. “There was a copy there of Autobiography of a Yogi in English that

a previous traveler had left, and I read it several times because there was not a lot to do,

and I walked around from village to village and recovered from my dysentery.”

Among those who were part of the community there was Larry Brilliant, an

epidemiologist who was working to eradicate smallpox and who

later ran Google’s

philanthropic arm and the Skoll

Foundation. He became

Jobs’s lifelong friend.

he challenged Burrell Smith, withouttelling Raskin,

he challenged Burrell Smith, without telling Raskin, to make a redesigned prototype that used the more powerful chip. As his hero Wozniak would have done, Smith threw himself into the task around the clock, working nonstop for

three weeks and employing all sorts of breathtaking programming leaps. When he succeeded, Jobs was able to force the switch to the Motorola 68000, and Raskin had to brood and recalculate the cost of the Mac.


making kits and shipping them to Munich, where they were built into

finished machines and distributed by a wholesaler in Turin. But there was

a problem: Because the games were designed for the American rate of sixty

frames per second, there were frustrating interference problems in Europe,

where the rate was fifty frames per second. Alcorn sketched out a fix with Jobs

and then offered to pay for him to go to Europe to implement it. “It’s got to be

cheaper to get to India from there,” he said. Jobs agreed. So Alcorn sent him on his

way with the exhortation, “Say hi to your guru for me.”

Jobs spent a few days in Munich, where he solved the interference problem,

but in the process he flummoxed the dark-suited German managers. They

complained to Alcorn that he dressed and smelled like a bum and behaved rudely.

“I said, ‘Did he solve the problem?’ And they said, ‘Yeah.’ I said, ‘If you got any more

problems, you just call me, I got more guys just like him!’ They said,

‘No, no we’ll take care of it next time.’” For his part, Jobs was upset that the

Germans kept trying to feed him meat and potatoes. “They don’t even have a word for

vegetarian,” he complained (incorrectly) in a phone call to Alcorn.

He had a better time when he took the train to see the distributor in Turin,

where the Italian pastas and his host’s camaraderie were more simpatico. “

I had a wonderful couple of weeks in Turin, which is this charged-up industrial town,”

he recalled. “The distributor took me every night to dinner at this place where there

were only eight tables and no menu. You’d just tell them what you wanted, and they made it.

One of the tables was on reserve for the chairman of Fiat. It was really super.” He next

went to Lugano, Switzerland,

where he stayed with

Friedland’s uncle, and from

there took a flight to India.

such as when Apple’s stock price would rise,

such as when Apple’s stock price would rise, which Jobs brushed off. Instead he spoke of his passion for future products, such as someday making a computer as small as a book. When the business

questions tapered off, Jobs turned the tables on the well-groomed students. “How many of you are

virgins?” he asked. There were nervous giggles. “How many of you have taken LSD?” More nervous laughter, and only one or two hands went up. Later Jobs would complain about the new generation of kids, who seemed to him more materialistic and careerist than his own.

sit on zafu cushions, and he would sit on a dais,” she said. “We learned how

to tune out distractions. It was a magical thing. One evening we were

meditating with Kobun when it was raining, and he taught us how to use

ambient sounds to bring us back to focus on our meditation.”

As for Jobs, his devotion was intense. “He became really serious and

self-important and just generally unbearable,” according to Kottke.

He began meeting with Kobun almost daily, and every few months they

went on retreats together to meditate. “I ended up spending as much time as

I could with him,” Jobs recalled. “He had a wife who was a nurse at Stanford

and two kids. She worked the night shift, so I would go over and hang out

with him in the evenings. She would get home about midnight and shoo me away.”

They sometimes discussed whether Jobs should devote himself fully to spiritual

pursuits, but Kobun counseled otherwise. He assured Jobs that he could keep

in touch with his spiritual side while working in a business. The relationship turned

out to be lasting and deep; seventeen years later Kobun would perform

Jobs’s wedding ceremony.

Jobs’s compulsive search for self-awareness also led him to undergo

primal scream therapy, which had recently been developed and popularized

by a Los Angeles psychotherapist named Arthur Janov. It was based on the

Freudian theory that psychological problems are caused by the repressed

pains of childhood; Janov argued that they could be resolved by re-suffering

these primal moments while fully expressing the pain—sometimes in screams.

To Jobs, this seemed preferable to talk therapy because it involved intuitive

feeling and emotional action rather than just rational analyzing.

“This was not something to think about,” he later said. “This was something to do: to


close your eyes, hold

your breath, jump in,

and come out the

other end more insightful.”

Apple went public the morning of December 12

Apple went public the morning of December 12,

1980. By then the bankers had priced the stock at

$22 a share. It went to $29 the first day. Jobs had


come into the Hambrecht & Quist office just in time

to watch the opening trades. At age twenty-five,

he was now worth $256 million.

Baby You’re a Rich Man



Morgan Stanley planned to price the offering at $18, even

though it was obvious the shares would quickly shoot up.

“Tell me what happens to this stock that we priced at eighteen?”

Jobs asked the bankers. “Don’t you sell it to your good customers?


If so, how can you charge me a 7% commission?” Hambrecht recognized

that there was a basic unfairness in the system, and he later went on to

formulate the idea of a reverse auction to price shares before an IPO.


Fernandez, Wigginton, and Espinosa. Everyone loved Wozniak,

all the more so after his generosity, but many also agreed with

Jobs that he was “awfully na?ve and childlike.” A few months later

a United Way poster showing a destitute man went up on a company

bulletin board. Someone scrawled on it “Woz in 1990.”

Wozniak, who was living in an apartment nearby and working at

HP, would come by after dinner to hang out and play the video games.

He had become addicted to Pong at a Sunnyvale bowling alley,

and he was able to build a version that he hooked up to his home TV set.

One day in the late summer of 1975, Nolan Bushnell, defying the

prevailing wisdom that paddle games were over, decided to develop

a single-player version of Pong; instead of competing against an

opponent, the player would volley the ball into a wall that lost a brick

whenever it was hit. He called Jobs into his office, sketched it out

on his little blackboard, and asked him to design it. There would be

a bonus, Bushnell told him, for every chip fewer than fifty that he used.

Bushnell knew that Jobs was not a great engineer, but he assumed, correctly,

that he would recruit Wozniak, who was always hanging around.

“I looked at it as a two-for-one thing,” Bushnell recalled. “Woz was a better engineer.”

Wozniak was thrilled when Jobs asked him to help and proposed splitting the fee.

“This was the most wonderful offer in my life, to actually design a game

that people would use,” he recalled. Jobs said it had to be done in four days

and with the fewest chips possible. What he hid from Wozniak was that the

deadline was one that Jobs had imposed, because he needed to get to the

All One Farm to help prepare for the apple harvest. He also didn’t

mention that there

was a bonus tied to

keeping down

the number of chips.