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
At the rehearsal the night before the launch, nothing was working well. Jobs
hated the way the animation scrolled across the Macintosh screen, and he kept
ordering tweaks. He also was dissatisfied with the stage lighting, and he directed
Sculley to move from seat to seat to give his opinion as various adjustments
were made. Sculley had never thought much about variations of stage lighting
and gave the type of tentative answers a patient might give an eye doctor
when asked which lens made the letters clearer. The rehearsals and changes
went on for five hours, well into the night. “He was driving people insane,
getting mad at the stagehands for every glitch in the presentation,”
Sculley recalled. “I thought there was no way we were going to get it
done for the show the next morning.”
a bushy beard, wild hair, goofy grin, and twinkling eyes named Lee Clow, who was the
creative director of the agency’s office in the Venice Beach section of Los Angeles. Clow
was savvy and fun, in a laid-back yet focused way, and he forged a bond
with Jobs that would last three decades.
Clow and two of his team, the copywriter Steve Hayden and the art director Brent Thomas,
had been toying with a tagline that played off the George Orwell novel: “Why 1984 won’t be like
1984.” Jobs loved it, and asked them to develop it for the Macintosh launch. So they put together
a storyboard for a sixty-second ad that would look like a scene from a sci-fi movie. It featured a
rebellious young woman outrunning the Orwellian thought police and throwing a
sledgehammer into a screen showing a mind-controlling speech by Big Brother.
The concept captured the zeitgeist of the personal computer revolution. Many young people,
especially those in the counterculture, had viewed computers as instruments that could be used by
Orwellian governments and giant corporations to sap individuality. But by the end of the 1970s,
they were also being seen as potential tools for personal empowerment. The ad cast Macintosh
as a warrior for the latter cause—a cool, rebellious, and heroic company that was the only thing
the way of the big evil
corporation’s plan for
and total mind control.
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.”
The entire information age? Was George Orwell right about 1984?” At that moment a screen
came down from the ceiling and showed a preview of an upcoming sixty-second television ad for
the Macintosh. In a few months it was destined to make advertising history, but in the meantime
it served its purpose of rallying Apple’s demoralized sales force. Jobs had always been able to draw
energy by imagining himself as a rebel pitted against the forces of darkness. Now he was
able to energize his troops with the same vision.
Jobs was at the Grand Hyatt in Manhattan, preparing for the press previews, so a Sunday morning
conference call was scheduled. The software manager calmly explained the situation to Jobs, while
Hertzfeld and the others huddled around the speakerphone holding their breath. All they needed
was an extra two weeks. The initial shipments to the dealers could have a version of the software
labeled “demo,” and these could be replaced as soon as the new code was finished at the end of
the month. There was a pause. Jobs did not get angry; instead he spoke in cold, somber tones. He
told them they were really great. So great, in fact, that he knew they could get this done. “There’s
no way we’re slipping!” he declared. There was a collective gasp in the Bandley building work space.
“You guys have been working on this stuff for months now, another couple weeks isn’t going to make
that much of a difference. You may as well get it over with. I’m going to ship the code a week from
Monday, with your names on it.”
“Well, we’ve got to finish it,” Steve Capps said. And so they did. Once again, Jobs’s reality distortion
field pushed them to do what they had thought impossible. On Friday Randy Wigginton brought in a
huge bag of chocolate-covered espresso beans for the final three all-nighters. When Jobs arrived at
work at 8:30 a.m. that Monday, he found Hertzfeld sprawled nearly comatose on the couch. They talked
for a few minutes about a remaining tiny glitch, and Jobs decreed that it wasn’t a problem. Hertzfeld
dragged himself to his blue Volkswagen Rabbit (license plate: MACWIZ) and drove home to bed.
A short while later Apple’s Fremont factory began to roll out boxes emblazoned with the colorful line
drawings of the Macintosh.
Real artists ship, Jobs had
declared, and now the
Macintosh team had.
The “1984” adReal Artists ShipThe high point of the October 1983 Apple sales conference
in Hawaii was a skit based on a TV show called The Dating Game. Jobs played emcee,
and his three contestants, whom he had convinced to fly to Hawaii, were Bill Gates and
There was one more hurdle: Hertzfeld and the other wizards had to finish writing the code for the
Macintosh. It was due to start shipping on Monday, January 16. One week before that,
the engineers concluded they could not make that deadline.
two other software executives, Mitch Kapor and Fred Gibbons. As the show’s jingly theme
song played, the three took their stools. Gates, looking like a high school sophomore, got
wild applause from the 750 Apple salesmen when he said, “During 1984, Microsoft expects
That put all the more pressure on the Macintosh, due out in January 1984, three months away,
to save the day against IBM. At the sales conference Jobs decided to play the showdown to the hilt.
He took the stage and chronicled all the missteps made by IBM since 1958, and then in ominous tones
described how it was now trying to take over the market for personal computers:
“Will Big Blue dominate the entire computer industry?
to get half of its revenues from software for the Macintosh.” Jobs, clean-shaven and bouncy,
gave a toothy smile and asked if he thought that the Macintosh’s new operating system would
become one of the industry’s new standards. Gates answered, “To create a new standard takes
not just making something that’s a little bit different, it takes something that’s really new and
captures people’s imagination. And the Macintosh, of all the machines I’ve ever seen,
is the only one that meets that standard.”
But even as Gates was speaking, Microsoft was edging away from being primarily a collaborator
with Apple to being more of a competitor. It would continue to make application software, like
Microsoft Word, for Apple, but a rapidly increasing share of its revenue would come from the
operating system it had written for the IBM personal computer. The year before, 279,000 Apple IIs
were sold, compared to 240,000 IBM PCs and its clones. But the figures for 1983 were coming in starkly
different: 420,000 Apple IIs versus 1.3 million
Just when the Apple sales force was arriving in Hawaii, this shift was hammered home on the
cover of Business Week. Its headline: “Personal Computers: And the Winner Is . . . IBM.”
The story inside detailed the rise of the IBM PC. “The battle for market supremacy is already over,”
the magazine declared. “In a stunning blitz, IBM has taken more than 26% of the market in two years,
and is expected to account for half the world market by 1985. An additional 25%
of the market will be turning out IBM-compatible machines.”
IBMs and its
clones. And both the
Apple III and the Lisa
were dead in the water.
Belleville decided it was best to partially ignore Jobs, and he asked a Sony executive to
get its disk drive ready for use in the Macintosh. If and when it became clear that
Alps could not deliver on time, Apple would switch to Sony. So Sony sent over the engineer
who had developed the drive, Hidetoshi Komoto, a Purdue graduate who fortunately
possessed a good sense of humor about his clandestine task.
Whenever Jobs would come from his corporate office to visit the Mac team’s engineers—which
was almost every afternoon—they would hurriedly find somewhere for Komoto to hide.
At one point Jobs ran into him at a newsstand in Cupertino and recognized him from the
meeting in Japan, but he didn’t suspect anything. The closest call was when Jobs came
bustling onto the Mac work space unexpectedly one day while Komoto was sitting in one
of the cubicles. A Mac engineer grabbed him and pointed him to a janitorial closet.
“Quick, hide in this closet. Please! Now!” Komoto looked confused, Hertzfeld recalled,
but he jumped up and did as told. He had to stay in the closet for five minutes, until Jobs left.
The Mac engineers apologized. “No problem,” he replied. “But American business
practices, they are very strange. Very strange.”
Belleville’s prediction came true. In May 1983 the folks at Alps admitted it would take
them at least eighteen more months to get their clone of the Sony drive into production.
At a retreat in Pajaro Dunes, Markkula grilled Jobs on what he was going to do. Finally,
Belleville interrupted and said that he might have an alternative to the Alps drive ready soon.
Jobs looked baffled for just a moment, and then it became clear to him why he’d glimpsed
Sony’s top disk designer in Cupertino. “You son of a bitch!” Jobs said. But it was not in anger.
There was a big grin on his face. As soon as he realized what Belleville and the other engineers
had done behind his back, said Hertzfeld, “Steve swallowed his pride and
thanked them for disobeying him and
doing the right thing.
” It was, after all,
what he would have
done in their situation.
The team discussed the problem at the January 1983 retreat, and Debi Coleman gave Jobs
data about the Twiggy failure rate. A few days later he drove to Apple’s factory in San Jose
to see the Twiggy being made. More than half were rejected. Jobs erupted. With his face flushed,
he began shouting and sputtering about firing everyone who worked there. Bob Belleville, the head
of the Mac engineering team, gently guided him to the parking lot, where they could
take a walk and talk about alternatives.
One possibility that Belleville had been exploring was to use a new 3?-inch disk drive that
Sony had developed. The disk was cased in sturdier plastic and could fit into a shirt pocket.
Another option was to have a clone of Sony’s 3?-inch disk drive manufactured by a smaller
Japanese supplier, the Alps Electronics Co., which had been supplying disk drives for the Apple II.
Alps had already licensed the technology from Sony, and if they could build their own
version in time it would be much cheaper.
Jobs and Belleville, along with Apple veteran Rod Holt (the guy Jobs enlisted to design the first
power supply for the Apple II), flew to Japan to figure out what to do. They took the bullet train
from Tokyo to visit the Alps facility. The engineers there didn’t even have a
As they proceeded to visit other Japanese companies, Jobs was on his worst behavior. He wore
jeans and sneakers to meetings with Japanese managers in dark suits. When they formally handed
him little gifts, as was the custom, he often left them behind, and he never reciprocated with gifts
of his own. He would sneer when rows of engineers lined up to greet him, bow, and politely offer
their products for inspection. Jobs hated both the devices and the obsequiousness. “What are you
showing me this for?” he snapped at one stop. “This is a piece of crap! Anybody could build a better
drive than this.” Although most of his hosts were appalled, some seemed amused. They had heard
tales of his
obnoxious style and brash
behavior, and now
they were getting
to see it in full display.