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Welcome to the News Feed! Here I regularly post news about Steve Jobs, which are automatically cross-posted on the Facebook page and Twitter account. Follow us on your favorite platform!

Chris MacAskill shares memories from his NeXT days

11 Jul 2018 | in Steve Jobs personality, Updates

Check out these great first-hand memories from Chris MacAskill, a former NeXT employee, who convinced Steve Jobs to speak at the 1991 Unix Expo.

Loved this bit in particular:

It seemed like a dream when, two years later, I walked into Steve’s office to ask him to give the keynote at Unix Expo in New York. It didn’t go well at first. I was nervous because I was new to the computer industry. Steve had a larger-than-life reputation.  His rapid-fire answer went something like this: “That’s INSANE! That’s a show for Unix weenies. They don’t get it. It would cost $25,000 to get me with desk and computer there. No!” And with that he pointed me to the door.

And of course these two, which ring particularly Jobsian:

My coworkers explained that Steve had to have a certain desk for his presentations because it was NeXT black. Steve was incredibly fussy about colors so NeXT machines and peripherals had to be that exact black.

One Saturday I was at work when we got a delivery at the front door. I went down to sign for it and it was case after case of white shirts that Steve had ordered from his favorite tailor in Florence, Italy, where he had spent the week. He loved hanging out in art museums. My memory could well be off, but I remembered it as 300 new white shirts. He wanted a new one each time he dressed up.

That last anecdote about the shirt echoes the one from John Lasseter about Steve’s collection of hundreds of black turtlenecks from Issey Miyake.

“He found this one really great black turtleneck which he loved – I think it was Issey Miyaki – so tried to buy another one and they didn’t have any more,” Mr Lasseter confided to the FT recently. “He called the company and asked if they would make another one, and they refused. So he said: ‘Fine, how many do you have to make before I can buy them?’ So they made them – I think he has a closet full of them.”

23 Jun 2018 | in Updates

The contemporary opera “The (R)evolution of Steve Jobs” now available on Spotify and Apple Music

Another John Carmack anecdote from ex-Apple Jim Black

28 May 2018 | in Steve Jobs history

Select excerpt from a detailed and lively anecdote posted on Facebook by Jim Black, retailing a visit of John Carmack to Apple’s offices to discuss graphics in Mac OS X (I presume this took place in 2001):

What happened next was one of the most impressive things I’ve ever witnessed about Steve or any Silicon Valley exec. Early on in the discussion, the Apple engineer realized that “graphics engineer” in the room was John Carmack. And he realized that he was going to need to defend his technical decision, on the merits, in front of Steve. After extended back and forth, the Apple engineer said, “John, what you’re arguing for is the ideal …”

He never made it to the next word because Steve suddenly stood bolt upright, slamming both palms onto the desk and shouting, “NO!!!!”

“NO!!! What John is saying is NOT the ideal. What John is saying is what we have to do!!! Why are we doing this? Why are we going to all this trouble to build this ship when you’re putting a TORPEDO IN ITS HULL?!!!!”

All of this was said with the utmost conviction and at extremely high volume. To his credit, John, seated directly next to a yelling Steve Jobs, didn’t even flinch. What was so impressive to me in that meeting was not the drama so much as it was that Steve Jobs made a decision on the merits to side with John on a technical issue rather than his longstanding and trusted graphics engineer.

Read the full story below:

I had the privilege of working with John Carmack as a technology evangelist at Apple when he ported Quake III Arena to…

Gepostet von Jim Black am Mittwoch, 16. Mai 2018

John Carmack opens up about his ambivalent relationship with Steve Jobs

15 May 2018 | in Steve Jobs personality, Updates

John Carmack remembers his work relationship with Steve Jobs. His last sentence sums it up:

“I corroborate many of the negative character traits that he was infamous for, but elements of the path that led to where I am today were contingent on the dents he left in the universe. I showed up for him.”

One particular anecdote stood out to me:

“One time, my wife, then fiancée, and I were meeting with Steve at Apple, and he wanted me to do a keynote that happened to be scheduled on the same day as our wedding. With a big smile and full of charm, he suggested that we postpone it. We declined, but he kept pressing. Eventually my wife countered with a suggestion that if he really wanted “her” John so much, he should loan John Lasseter to her media company for a day of consulting. Steve went from full charm to ice cold really damn quick. I didn’t do that keynote.”

Here is his mention in the keynote on his wedding day that he is referring to. It’s from Macworld 2000:

Notice that Steve is saying:

“John got married today. And this guy is so great, he offered to postpone his wedding to be here. And we said: no way. We’ll make a video. And he said, I hadn’t thought of that”.

Let’s say Steve’s version of the argument is … interesting. I would probably trust Carmack’s version on this one.

In general, it’s nice to see people open up on their ambivalent relationships with Steve Jobs. John Carmack’s story rings true to me. Steve’s single-mindedness on getting things his way – here to get speakers at his keynotes – or his way to get people to argue with him and defend their point of view by arguing the opposite and see how prepared they are; these are all things we’ve heard over and over about him.

Steve Jobs My wife once asked me “Why do you drop what you are doing when Steve Jobs asks you to do something? You…

Posted by John Carmack on Monday, May 14, 2018

11 May 2018 | in Updates

Another nice retrospective on the original iMac launch by Macworld veteran Jason Snell:

5 May 2018 | in Updates

Great retrospective that I encourage reading through as we celebrate the 20th anniversary of the iMac introduction! 20 years of iMac: A story of relentless design iteration | 9to5Mac

18 Apr 2018 | in Updates

“What did Alan Kay and Steve Jobs talk about at the 2007 iPhone keynote?” answered by Alan Kay himself on Quora

17 Mar 2018 | in Updates

Harper Collins reveals Steve Jobs’ first daughter, Lisa Brennan-Jobs, will publish a book about her relationship with her father in September – via Mac Rumors

17 Mar 2018 | in Updates

Steve Jobs’ 1973 job application fetches $174,000 at auction:

Happy Birthday Steve! and a new video from 1992

24 Feb 2018 | in Updates

Happy Birthday Steve Jobs, who would have turned 63 today! (coincidently it’s also my birthday today 🙂 )
I want to use today to bring to your attention a video that was posted by MIT Sloan School of Management last December but didn’t get a lot of attention.
It’s a Q&A session given by Steve to MBA students back in the spring of 1992, when he was still CEO of NeXT. It was at a difficult time for the company, even though it doesn’t transpire in the video – NeXT was struggling to find product-market fit with its expensive hardware, it was before it found success with the rise of the web and Open Step, which would come 2 years later.

It’s definitely worth a watch, as it’s rare to see Jobs speak of its work and company in business terms as opposed to product/design or marketing terms.
Check it out and tell me what you think in the comments!