“Boscutti’s Steve Jobs” (Screenplay)
Steve Jobs’ relentless quest to become Steve Jobs began when he was still a teenager, building circuit boards to patch together the first personal computer that would pioneer an industry and ultimately revolutionize the world.
“Boscutti’s Steve Jobs” channels the spirit of the man who constantly bent reality to his will, who knew what we wanted before we knew we wanted it. A man with a gift for humanizing technology but not himself. Intense, absorbing and thought-provoking.
An intense, precise and haunting biography of a visionary genius succumbing to his own mortality.
A deeply personal look at a renegade whose vision is still changing our lives.
‘Where does genius come from? What spurs it on? What propels someone like Steve Jobs to create the world in his image. That’s what I wanted to explore.’ Stefano Boscutti
‘Fascinating, captivating look at how history is made.’ John Misiano
‘Deep insights into Steve Job’s singular personality and imagination.’ Carol Cahn
‘Captures the elusive quality of genius with savage wit and startling clarity.’ Russell Wolfe
“Boscutti’s Steve Jobs” is based on true events. Features improved screenplay format to make it easier and more enjoyable for you to read.
Rated NC-17 / ISBN 9780987446558 / 57,000 words / 228 minutes of vibrant reading pleasure
Prefer to read free online? Scroll on to read the entire screenplay.
‘Everything, at first, is an idea, a special creation.’ Paramahansa Yogananda
BOSCUTTI’S STEVE JOBS
Copyright 2013 Stefano Boscutti
All Rights Reserved ISBN 9780987446558
Discover new stories, screenplays, novels and more by Stefano Boscutti at boscutti.com
2007 - TED CONFERENCE - DAY
JOHN MAEDA, 41, is backstage of the auditorium. About to deliver a presentation on designing for simplicity. Japanese-American, short cropped black hair. Spry, a little intense. Sombre gray collarless shirt, black trousers, black jacket. Thin metal-framed glasses.
Maeda is deep in conversation with a YOUNG TECHNICIAN who’s holding a white Apple iPod.
What Steve Jobs has done is prove that at a technology company, you don’t need everyone to get it.
FLOOR MANAGER rushes past, clipboard in hand. Maeda holds up one index finger.
You need one person to get it. One. It’s not a democratic model - it’s a model based on convergence. And convergence is not something you can make other people understand. You either understand it or you don’t.
And Steve Jobs understands that?
Better than anyone ever has. I have a lot of companies call me and say, ‘We want to make another iPod.’ Meaning they want it to be white. Meaning they want something that does this and this, and looks something like an iPod.
Maeda shakes his head.
But that’s not how it works.
He points to the iPod in the Young Technician’s hand.
The iPod looks the way it does because of what’s inside. And you can’t see that. Everyone’s like, ‘Steve Jobs is all about nice-looking hardware.’ No. He’s all about the software.
He can see software - that’s his gift. It’s tangible to him. He’s all about the invisible. He’s all about making the invisible visible, about making people see what he sees.
Young Technician looks at the iPod in his hand.
Apple products look a certain way because they have to. That’s what’s meant by design.
But Steve Jobs is no designer.
No, and he’s no software engineer. But he’s the one who mediates between them, the one who knows the place where the visible and the invisible meet is also the place where we go to meet both.
Floor Manager points Maeda to the stage entrance.
He’s the one who knows how human that place is.
Maeda smiles and heads to the stage entrance.
He’s the one who makes sure it stays human.
Sounds of opening applause as the audience welcomes him on stage.
1955 - SANTA CLARA HOSPITAL - NIGHT
JOANNE SCHIEBLE, 23, is folding her nightgown on a tightly made bed in the maternity ward. She folds it and refolds it, an open overnight bag sits to one side.
She had come to San Francisco to give birth. An unmarried graduate student from a good family in Green Bay, Wisconsin. She fell pregnant to a handsome student from Syria.
ABDULFATTAH JANDALI, 24, fell in love with Simpson the moment he saw her. He was studying political science. She was thin, vibrant and forthright. So American.
It was her idea to come to San Francisco. She didn’t even want him to come. It was her idea to give up their child for adoption.
Jandali steps into the room. He’s late but she doesn’t mind.
He steps to the bedside table, picks up the aluminum pitcher to pour himself a glass of water. It’s empty.
He doesn’t want to tell her that he hasn’t seen their newborn son. Doesn’t want to tell her that he doesn’t want to see the him.
I signed the papers.
For the lawyers. He is to be adopted by lawyers, yes. Graduates, yes. College graduates.
Schieble look down.
They wanted a girl.
Jandali is thirsty. He looks around the room for water. A NURSE strides along the hallway.
I spoke to another couple
Schieble looks away.
They promised me they would give him a college education.
Jandali swallows, forces a smile.
He steps out into the hallway, spots a water cooler and heads towards it.
But he doesn’t stop, he keeps walking away.
2011 - APPLE CAMPUS - DAY
It’s a fine summer day. APPLE STAFF are scurrying in and out of the main building at Apple’s corporate headquarters in Cupertino. Three flags ripple from thin silver flagpoles out front. America. California. Apple.
The entire building is wrapped in extensive landscaping. Cherry trees surround the entrance. PEOPLE walk past. A silver town car idles by the kerb, back door open.
The campus looks more like an office park than something STEVE JOBS would oversee. That’s because the cluster of four story buildings was built in 1993 by JOHN SCULLEY after he sacked Jobs.
The executive suite was signed off by GIL AMELIO who took over from Sculley. When Jobs returned to Apple he had it demolished and moved into a smaller office on the fourth floor, overlooking the campus’ inner courtyard.
Teak benches line the wide walkway leading to the front glass doors. VISITORS are sitting on them. The glass doors open and Steve Jobs, 55, springs out. Wearing his trademark Issey Miyake black long-sleeved mock turtleneck, well worn Levi’s 501 classic cut blue jeans, New Balance 991 gray sneakers. He looks up through his round rimless Lunor Classic Rund PP glasses.
A smile cuts his short, gray white beard. He is thin, frail. But he still has that spring in his step. Pushing forward from the balls of his feet. Always pushing forward.
He smiles at some visitors as he heads to the waiting car. A family gathers near the metal sign on the sidewalk. FATHER, MOTHER, TWO YOUNG TEENAGE DAUGHTERS.
Jobs spots two small white flowers on the ground, withered.
Sir, excuse me, would you mind taking our photo?
Jobs turns around, a little startled to realize she’s addressing him. It’s as if she doesn’t know who he is.
She’s holding out her iPhone 4. Jobs looks at it, smiles.
He takes her iPhone and frames the shot. Tilts his head, backs up a few steps and reframes. Taps the screen to lock focus. His smile widens into a grin.
All their smiles widen too. Jobs snaps the shot. Checks it on screen, happy with the photo. He hands back her iPhone.
Jobs nods and steps into the back to the town car. He closes the door and the car drives off.
On the sidewalk, the family are admiring the photo.
1966 - MOUNTAIN VIEW HOME - LATE NIGHT
Steve Jobs, 11, is lying wide awake on top of his bed. Wearing blue jeans and green flannelette shirt. Arm behind his head, staring at the ceiling.
His dark hair is slicked across his forehead. Books are tumbled over his desk in the corner of his bedroom in the Diablo Avenue home. It’s just past 1am.
His younger adopted sister, PATTI, is asleep in her room. His adoptive parents, PAUL and CLARA, asleep in theirs. Everyone lost in their dreams except Steve.
He can hear the last southbound Caltrain start to pass by, clanking through the dark night.
All he can think about is how terrible his new school is. He’d alway been bright but after he was tested, the teachers wanted him to skip two grades to remain challenged and stimulated. His parents decided to skip just one grade.
That meant going to a new school, Crittenden Middle. It’s only eight blocks from his old school but a world apart. Fights every day, shakedowns in bathroom. What’s the use of being smart when every student carries a knife.
The boys are all a year older. Steve is socially awkward, doesn’t fit in. He likes to stick to himself. He likes electronics and gadgets. He doesn’t like knives.
Everyone teases him for being adopted. Even the teachers. One teacher asked him if that meant his real parents didn’t want him.
A young girl who lived across the road has asked him the same question when he was seven. Lightning bolts had gone off in his head. He’d run into the house, crying.
His parents had sat him down and looked him in the eye and told him how they had picked him out, how he was their special son, how he was the one. How they were his real parents.
Steve’s parents never hid the truth from him. Never hid their love.
Steve rolls onto his side and looks at the closed bedroom door
Tomorrow it will all be different.
1966 - MOUNTAIN VIEW HOME - MORNING
California modern. Exposed post and beam construction, walls of glass, and simple roofline. Smartly styled and affordable.
The kitchen, an airy space with modern appliances and clean cabinetry, opens onto the living area. Sunlight floods in.
Paul Jobs is finishing his breakfast at the round table, dressed in an ill fitting shirt and tie. Patti, 9, is picking up her books, dressed and ready for school. Clara is cleaning up and getting ready to leave for work.
Paul calls out to his son.
Come on, Steve. You don’t want to be late for school again.
Jobs, 11, steps into the kitchen. Thin, wispy. Wearing blue jeans and green flannelette shirt. He hasn’t slept a wink. His fists are thrust into the pockets of his jeans. His voice low.
I’m not going to school.
Paul is not sure whether to be worried or annoyed. Clara checks Jobs’ forehead with the back of her hand.
Are you not feeling well?
I’m sick and tired of being picked on every day.
Patti stops packing her books.
You’ve just moved to Crittenden. Why not give it chance?
I want to go to a different school. I want to go to a better school.
Steve, you can’t just transfer to a new school.
Why not? You’ve already moved me up a grade. Why can’t you move me to another school.
Well, we have to move to a new school district for a start. That means buying a new house and --
-- moving to Cupertino Junior High?
Well, what I wanted to say was --
It’ll be great for Patti too when she has to go to junior high. She’ll love it at Cupertino.
Patti looks excited. Jobs smiles.
Jobs had skipped a grade and moved to Crittenden Middle School in order to remain challenged and stimulated. Instead he was being bullied every day.
The older children would taunt him about his adoption. Tease him that his mother never loved him.
Clara pushes his hair off his forehead with her fingers.
2008 - APPLE TOWN HALL - MORNING
The auditorium on the Apple campus has seating for around 500 people. Beige with plush seats and blonde wood. It’s usually reserved for new product unveilings to select journalists.
But on this mild summer day the space is filling with TEAM MEMBERS from Apple’s recently launched MobileMe service. Everyone is a little downcast.
Despite the fanfare, MobileMe has proved a rare misfire for the company. Media reports slammed the service as inadequate with systemic problems. Some SENIOR EXECUTIVES are milling about.
MobileMe failed on the launch day and then continued to fail for an agonizing week afterwards. It’s all everyone is talking about at Apple. Not loudly, but in hushed whispers and accusations.
The lights darken slightly and people take to their seats. SCOTT FORSTALL, 40, heads out the door. Badly cut clothes, crew cut, tense manner. Forstall is senior vice president of software.
Steve Jobs, 52, steps into the room in his black mock turtleneck, blue jeans and sneakers. He clasps his hands together as if he’s praying. He doesn’t look up.
The room quietens.
Can anyone tell me what MobileMe is supposed to do?
You can hear a pin drop. People shift uncomfortably in their seats. YOUNG DEVELOPER answers from a few rows back.
It synchronizes email, calendars and contacts so you can access them from any internet enabled device.
Jobs looks up.
So why the fuck doesn’t it do that?
Jobs stares down the Young Developer.
Everybody hates it. Mossberg hates it. Mossberg, our friend, is no longer writing good things about us.
He glares at everyone.
You fucked up. You’re tarnishing Apple’s reputation. You should fucking hate each other for having let each other down.
Jobs isn’t just talking about the directly responsible individuals, or DRI’s as Apple calls them. In his eyes, everyone on the MobileMe team has failed.
You’ve let me down. You’ve let Apple down. You’ve let down our customers. You’ve let down everyone else who works here. You should be fucking ashamed of yourselves.
ROB SCHOEBEN, 42, stands. He has been leading the MobileMe team as Apple’s vice president of applications marketing.
Steve, I admit it hasn’t been our finest hour but --
It’s been a complete fuck up, Rob.
That’s a bit harsh --
You want to know what’s harsh?
Schoeben stands a little taller.
Yes, there’s a collective gasp. Schoeben feels like he’s been slammed in the stomach. His legs almost buckle under him. He knows if he doesn’t start moving, his legs are going to give way. He swallows hard and starts walking for the door.
Jobs crosses his arms.
Schoeben walks out.
EDDY CUE, 43, stands up. He is Apple’s vice president of internet services. His nickname is “Fixer.” He looks like an old boy scout in his olive green polar fleece top.
Eddy, you’re taking over.
For those of you who don’t know Eddy Cue, he’s been running the iTunes store and the App store. Doing a great job too.
People are craning around to catch a glimpse of Eddy.
Eddy, get this fixed.
1968 - LOS ALTOS HOME - LATE AFTERNOON
Modern suburban ranch-style home nestled in Crist Drive. Deep front lawn and wide driveway. Three bedrooms, small porch, large garage.
There are two cars in the driveway. The family car and one Paul Jobs is working on to resell. The hood is propped up and Paul in his overalls is wiping his hands. His tools gleam on the vinyl protector slung over the front panel.
The family had moved so Steve Jobs could go to a better school. It wasn’t easy. They had to scrape together every dime they could to buy the $21,000 home in this nicer district.
The sectional garage door is open. Steve Jobs, 13, is huddled over the work bench at the back of the garage. Wearing a white t-shirt and blue jeans. It’s his side of the work bench. His father had marked it off the first day they moved in.
Black and white pictures of beautiful, graceful cars line the walls. Black American classics, Grey BMW sedans, silver Mercedes coupes. These are the cars Paul likes to admire, pointing out the design details to his son. The lines, the vents, the chrome, the trim of the seats.
Ready for supper, Steve?
Jobs holds out the Heathkit FM Portable Radio GR-61 he’s just built. The Heathkit manual lies to one side. Along with a single shiny white plastic earphone. Jobs is looking pretty pleased with himself.
Paul takes the radio, pleased. He looks carefully over the face with admiration at his son’s handiwork. He inspects the side detail with a smile. Then turns it over to check the back. His smile drops.
Paul points to the bottom corner of back of the radio.
It’s missing a screw, Steve.
I couldn’t find it anywhere. I don’t think it came in the kit.
Did you look everywhere?
Jobs nods for sure and starts searching for another screw that might fit. Paul crouches down and spots the lost screw under the bench. He reaches for it.
Did you look under here?
Paul holds out the small countersunk screw to his son. Jobs takes it along with the radio and carefully screws it in place.
If you don’t care, Steve, who will?
Jobs puts down the screwdriver, looks at the radio.
Well, are you going to switch it on?
Paul smiles and nods of course.
Jobs turns it on and rolls up the volume as the sound of static flows out. He pulls up the telescoping antenna and the static modulates. He turns the frequency dial through fields of voices and songs and tunes into 106.7 Radio KPPC.
Bob Dylan’s “Subterranean Homesick Blues” spills out of the speaker. Rapid fire lyrics about mixing medicine and government and looking for a new friend over a rollicking blues rhythm borrowed from a Chuck Berry doing and a Robert Browning poem.
It’s like nothing no one has ever heard before. Paul’s a little startled. Jobs is awed.
Jobs turns up the volume as the song cascades through the valley.
The orchards that had covered the valley had recently been bulldozed to make way for new housing estates and new firms making semiconductors.
Silicon Valley as we know it hasn’t yet come into being. But a new world is rising.
2008 - APPLE CUBICLE - MORNING
Monday morning. An Apple monitor sits darkened on the desk. Sounds of Apple’s opening F-sharp major chord chimes as the screen comes to life and operating system powers up.
Apple Mail automatically opens and the application window fills the screen.
Sounds of email arriving. It’s from email@example.com
The launch of MobileMe was not our finest hour. There are several things we could have done better:
– MobileMe was simply not up to Apple’s standards – it clearly needed more time and testing.
– Rather than launch MobileMe as a monolithic service, we could have launched over-the-air syncing with iPhone to begin with, followed by the web applications one by one – Mail first, followed 30 days later (if things went well with Mail) by Calendar, then 30 days later by Contacts.
– It was a mistake to launch MobileMe at the same time as iPhone 3G, iPhone 2.0 software and the App Store. We all had more than enough to do, and MobileMe could have been delayed without consequence.
We are taking many steps to learn from this experience so that we can grow MobileMe into a service that our customers will love. One step that I can share with you today is that the MobileMe team will now report to Eddy Cue, who will lead all of our internet services – iTunes, the App Store and, starting today, MobileMe. Eddy’s new title will be Vice President, Internet Services and he will now report directly to me.
The MobileMe launch clearly demonstrates that we have more to learn about Internet services. And learn we will. The vision of MobileMe is both exciting and ambitious, and we will press on to make it a service we are all proud of by the end of this year.
This message has gone out to all 35,000 Apple employees around the world.
That’s a hell of a team. It’s a team that’s grown from 24,000 since the first iPhone was launched just a year ago.
The iPhone changed everything.
1998 - APPLE CONFERENCE ROOM - DAY
DAVID KAPLAN, 41, is seated at the glass walled conference table at the Apple campus. Wearing a blue blazer and white oxford shirt. Anxious, thickset, bearded, fidgeting with his tie. Straightens his reporter’s notepad and pen.
Kaplan is working on a book on the history of Silicon Valley. He’s spent the past six months trying to get an interview with Steve Jobs.
Jobs has been a hard man to pin down since his return as the interim CEO of Apple. Kaplan has called favors on everyone he knows at Apple. Vanessa Rios, Matt Hutchison, Rhona Hamilton, Katie Cotton. Even Emily Oakley.
It’s only after Kaplan has interviewed every other leader in Silicon Valley that approval is finally been granted.
Jobs is a busy man. He’s only recently launched the new iMac to wonder and acclaim. The bulbous see-through machine in a range of candy colors is like no other computer on the market. Sales have skyrocketed.
It’s the hit that’s put Apple back on the map.
The door opens and Jobs, 42, lopes in. Wearing an open brown flannelette shirt over a black long sleeve t-shirt tucked into his jeans. Jobs has a three-day growth.
You got twenty minutes.
Kaplan straightens in his chair. Jobs slumps into a chair and looks Kaplan up and down.
You’re not from around here, are you?
Why do you ask?
Man, look at how you’re dressed.
I was trying to show you some respect, Mr. Jobs.
Jobs nods, smiles slightly.
Do you have any idea how the Valley works?
Well, that’s what I’m writing the book about, Mr. Jobs.
Jobs gets up and heads to the whiteboard.
Please, call me Steve.
Jobs uncaps a marker and scrawls 1938 on the whiteboard. Under that he adds the names Bill Hewlett and Dave Packard.
Hewlett and Packard develop the audio oscillator in their Palo Alto garage. This is where Silicon Valley starts.
They used silicon?
No, they use an incandescent bulb and a Sears-Roebuck drill press. Silicon isn’t used in microchips for another twenty years. But the idea starts here. The future starts here.
Kaplan takes notes. Jobs scrawls 1956 and the name William Shockley on the whiteboard.
William Bradford Shockley Junior invents the transistor and then founds the first semiconductor company here in Mountain View.
I know. Nobel Prize and a complete asshole. All that eugenics shit. Not even his children would talk to him. But Shockley was the man who first started research into silicon-based semiconductors.
He abandoned that project, didn’t he?
Yeah, so his engineers abandon him.
On the white board Jobs scrawls 1957 and the names Gordon Moore, Bob Noyce and Gene Kleiner.
Moore, Noyce and Kleiner were part of the “Traitorous Eight.” They bolt to launch Fairchild Semiconductor in San Jose in 1957.
Jobs taps Noyce.
Now pay attention, this is important. Noyce believes in silicon as a substrate in transistors. It’s cheap, it’s easily available. Hell, it’s just sand. He believes that lowering the cost of silicon semiconductors will herald the start of disposable appliances. Electronic components so cheap they won’t be repaired but merely discarded when worn out.
Jobs leans forward.
Electronic components that supersede themselves.
Kaplan is enthralled.
So he invents the first commercially practical integrated circuit. This changes everything. It means transistors can be made much easier, much cheaper, and with much higher performance. Other transistor processes are made obsolete overnight.
Jobs starts shooting lines out of 1957.
From Fairchild comes a whole heap of spin-offs. They call them “Fairchildren.”
Jobs scrawls 1968 to the end of one of the lines and adds the names Moore and Noyce underneath.
The most famous was a little company started by Moore and Noyce called Intel.
Jobs stands against the whiteboard, next in line. He looks back down the chronology he’s just penned.
They’re all my mentors.
He points at Packard and Noyce.
When I got fired from Apple in nineteen-eighty-five, I met with Packard. Met with Noyce.
Jobs drops his head.
Apologized for screwing up so badly.
Kaplan jots down some more notes.
You know Woz and I started Apple Computer in nineteen-seventy-six.
With the Apple I, right? Your first computer?
Jobs gives a wry smile.
Guess the latest Macintosh must be a lot more complicated machine.
Not really. Maybe a little more complex, faster for sure, more beautiful. But computers are actually pretty simple.
Jobs looks around.
We’re here in this conference room. Let’s assume you understand only the most rudimentary of directions and you ask how to find the rest room. I would have to describe it to you in very specific and precise instructions. I might say, ‘Scoot sideways one meter off chair. Stand erect. Lift left foot. Bend left knee until it is horizontal. Extend left foot and shift weight 300 centimeters forward...’ and on and on.
Kaplan looks at is body.
If you could interpret all those instructions a hundred times faster than any other person, you would appear to be a magician.
Jobs points to the teapot and cops on the credenza.
You could run over and grab a tea and bring it back and set it on the table and ...
Jobs snaps his fingers.
... I’d think you made the tea appear, because it was so fast relative to my perception.
That’s exactly what a computer does. It takes these very, very simple-minded instructions... ‘Go fetch a number, add it to this number, put the result there, perceive if it’s greater than this other number...’ but executes them at a rate of, let’s say, a million per second. At a million per second, the results appear to be magic.
People really don’t have to understand how computers work. Most people have no concept of how an automatic transmission works, yet they know how to drive a car. You don’t have to study physics to understand the laws of motion to drive a car.
You don’t have to understand any of this stuff to use a Mac -- but you asked.
Kaplan grins too.
1968 - ST. LUKE LUTHERAN CHURCH - MORNING
It’s Sunday. It’s a busy, well attended service.
The Sunnyvale church is low-key, modernist. Cream brick walls, tall timber clad ceiling, steel cross over the sanctuary. The eternal flames hangs from the ceiling by a chain.
REVEREND HAROLD MITCHELL, 47, is giving the day’s closing lesson. Clean cut in a suit and tie, telling the congregation that when Jesus was tempted in the wilderness, he was able to stand strong thanks in part to his knowledge of scripture and the leading of God’s spirit.
The Jobs family are sitting in a pew. Paul, Clara, Steve, Patti. Clara looks over to her son. Steve Jobs, 13, is wearing a white shirt and black tie. His hair longish and lank, over his ears. Clutching his plain sweater rolled into a ball. He looks lost in the lesson but Clara knows better.
A telescoping antenna protrudes from the sweater. As does a thin white lead that snakes up Jobs’ shirt to the shiny white plastic earphone jammed in his ear. The Heathkit FM Portable Radio GR-61 he built is bundled in his sweater, tuned too 106.7 Radio KPPC.
Bob Dylan’s “One Too Many Mornings” seeps in. A tender, forlorn ballad that is to become Jobs’ favorite song.
Jobs has been listening to his radio relentlessly. Even at the dinner table, even while sleeping.
Ask yourself, what scripture verses do you know off by heart? There is value in memorizing God’s word, there is good.
Jobs doesn’t really hear him. He’s too busy listening to the song streaming in his ear.
‘The one who trusts in him will never be put to shame...’ Isaiah twenty-eight, sixteen.
Clara glares at Steve, then nods to her husband. Paul calmly nods back. He knows she wants him to have a talk to Steven about his radio.
Take that with you as you enter the day.
Church bells ring as the service draws to a close and the congregation begins to leave.
Outside Clara takes Patti’s hand and heads to the family car. Paul ambles along with Jobs who is subtly trying to reposition his hidden radio to gain better reception.
Jobs doesn’t hear him. Paul raises his voice.
Jobs snaps to attention. He spots his mother and sister by the car. He figures he’s in for a talking to. He looks up to his father.
Steve, if you do something and it turns out pretty good, then you should think about doing something else wonderful.
Jobs thinks about it.
You don’t want to dwell on it for too long. Just figure out what’s next.
Jobs thinks some more.
A color TV? A Heathkit Color-TV GR-295A?
Steve, we already have a TV.
But it’s only black and white. This is color, solid-state color. Modular plug-in circuit board, three-stage IF for higher gain, automatic fine tuning, automatic color control.
Paul looks impressed. Jobs recalls the advertisement he saw in Popular Mechanics magazine, excited.
Glorious twenty-one inch screen in a deluxe walnut cabinet. It’s unlike any other color TV you’ve ever seen.
Paul can almost see it.
1999 - LOS ANGELES HOME - EVENING
Top of the line big screen Sony TV plays out the last shot of the TNT telemovie “Pirates of Silicon Valley.”
Noah Wyle is playing Steve Jobs, who has just returned to Apple and is closing his appearance at the 1997 Macworld Expo in Boston with an announcement of a partnership with former rival Microsoft.
Behind him on a giant video screen, Anthony Michael Hall as Bill Gates exclaims how interesting it’s going to be with both of them working together. Wyle as Jobs behind the lectern on the stage clasps his hands together, looks up at the giant screen and agrees. Then turns to the audience and smiles to himself.
Freeze frame as a subtitle announces Microsoft now owns part of Apple Computer.
Talking Heads’ “Burning Down the House” kicks in over the credits.
Move back to reveal NOAH WYLE, 28, watching the credits with his fiancee, TRACY WARBIN, 31, on the sofa in his living room. He’s all smiles. Warbin had been his makeup artist on the shoot.
The phone rings. Wyle presumes it’s his mother who calls him after every show he’s in. Given Wyle has been playing Dr. John Carter on “E.R.” for five years, that’s a lot of calls.
Wyle gets up to answer the phone.
He realizes it’s someone else on the line. His voice drops.
His eyes widen when the caller reveals himself.
Wyle is mouthing the caller’s name to Warbin as he listens. She shrugs her shoulders, shakes her head. Can’t make out the name.
Wyle’s heart is beating through his shirt.
Thank you. Sir.
Wyle can’t believe his ears. He starts to nod in agreement.
The caller hangs up. Wyle hangs on for a beat, then slowly hangs up.
Who was it?
Said he was just calling to tell me I did a good job. Hated the movie, hated the script, said if we’d spent a little more time and a little more money and maybe a little more attention to detail, we could have had something.
But said I was good.
Wyle drops into the sofa.
Said the next Macworld convention is in New York, at the Javits Center. There’ll be about ten-thousand people there. And he thinks it would be hilarious if I came out on stage dressed as him and did the first five minutes of his keynote address.
Asked me if I’m interested?
Wyle smiles to himself.
1980 - INTERNATIONAL APPLE CORE MEETING - MORNING
Steve Jobs has just turned twenty-five and has rushed from Apple’s Cupertino head office to this Daly City group meeting. He steps up to a small podium, lank hair, glasses, mustache and soul patch. Wearing an expensive well-cut shirt.
AUDIENCE of computer engineers and programmers and retailers in this fledgling industry shifts in their seats. It’s a small dedicated crowd, around thirty men representing Apple user clubs around the country. They’ve come to see the future.
Jobs seems a little shy, a little unsteady. A TECHNICIAN is adjusting sound cables on the floor. Jobs is sweating.
Hi. I must apologize to you all for being late. I was driving here at ninety-miles an hour. I couldn’t find a parking place, and after all the experiences you’ve been through, I was like, sheesh ...
The lighting is flat. There’s no Apple logos, no stage craft. Two microphones on stands, one of which doesn’t work that well.
Jobs sweeps his hand through his hair.
I had a photographer from “Scientific American” that wanted to take some pictures in the last few days, so we went over to a school. They decided they wanted to take some pictures of someone from Apple in an educational setting using some computers.
Jobs flips his hands in the air as if flipping through a book. A PHOTOGRAPHER snaps some photos.
Turns out there’s a little booklet put out in Cupertino, and there’s about twenty different schools with Apples, and we picked one out that had six Apple computers and wandered over there one afternoon, and this happened to be the afternoon that the fourth and fifth graders were going to be there.
Apple has always courted schools and education as a key market for their computers.
Once a week, fourth and fifth graders from this one school, from an advanced learning program will come over and use the Apple computers.
Jobs breaks into smile, his confidence lifting as he recollects the events.
And I had the most delightful conversation with some four and five-year olds. They probably know as much as much about the computer as I do, maybe even more.
Jobs laughs at himself. Audience chuckles.
And they’re totally fluent in it, and they’re very much at home in it, and they beat me in most of the games in it.
And it was really quite an experience because we always talk about all these things happening at an intellectual and verbal level, but I actually got a chance to see twenty students interacting with these computers on a one-on-one basis, and I couldn’t help remembering my own school days when none of these things existed, and we’d just get in trouble all the time.
Laughter as the audience warms to him.
At eleven-thirty last night, a friend of mine Bob Metcalfe calls me up, and he’s got three German friends visiting from Germany, and they want to buy twenty-thirty Apples a month for some-God-awful-who-knows-what-reason.
And you know, a guy in Nebraska is using an Apple computer to calculate soil samples to know what kind of fertilizer to put on the ground.
Jobs stretches his hand out to infinity. Marvels.
It’s an endless array of things that people are doing.
Jobs leans in.
We had no absolutely idea what people were going to do with these things when we started out. Matter-of-fact, the two people it was designed for was Woz and myself because we couldn’t afford to buy a computer kit on the market, so we liberated some parts from Hewlett-Packard and Atari, and worked on a design for about six months and decided that we would build our own computer.
So we built one, and Woz was up until four in the morning for many moons, and we got it working. We showed some of our friends, and immediately everybody wanted one.
Turned out it took about forty hours to build one of these things, and about another twenty, thirty, forty to debug it. And we had a lot of friends that worked at similar companies who could liberate the parts also.
Audience cracks up.
We found ourselves spending every spare moment of our time helping our friends to build computers, and it was just getting to be a tremendous drain on our lives. So we got the idea one day that we could make a printed circuit board without the parts, sell these blank printed circuit boards to our friends, and probably cut the assembly and debug down to, you know, five-ten hours.
Jobs and Steve Wozniak had become fast friends over a shared love of electronics and Bob Dylan. Although Wozniak was a few years older, Jobs always led the way.
So Woz sold his HP scientific calculator and I sold my van, and we got thirteen-hundred bucks together, and we paid a friend of ours who was this PC board layout person thirteen-hundred bucks to do us a layout, and decided we’d sell printed circuit boards at twice what it cost to build them and hopefully recoup our calculator and transportation at some later date.
Wozniak never thought he’d make his money back.
I was out trying to peddle PC boards one day and walked into a byte shop. The first byte shop in Mountain View, and Paul Terrell, the then owner of the Byte Shop said he would like to take fifty of these computers, and I saw dollar signs in front of my eyes.
But he had one catch which was that he wanted them fully assembled and tested and ready to go, which is a new twist. So we spent the next five days on the phone at distributors and convinced the electronics parts distributors around here to give us about ten thousand dollars worth of parts on thin air, just on enthusiasm.
So we got the parts and we built a hundred computers, and we sold fifty of them for cash in twenty-nine days and paid off the distributors, and that’s how we got started.
The Apple I came in a wooden case with keyboard, power supply and 8kb of RAM.
So we got fifty computers left over. Well, that meant we had to sell them, so then we started worrying about marketing, worrying about distribution, and got on the phone with the other computer stores around the country.
Jobs hired Regis McKenna to do the advertising and publicity. The Apple I is priced at $666.66 with the promise of no more switches, no more lights, no more expensive teletype. It’s pitched as ‘an extremely powerful computer system that can be used for anything from developing programs to playing games or running BASIC.’
Green lines of code and a blinking green cursor on a black screen.
Gradually the whole thing began to build momentum. At that point in time we had some feeling that we were on to something, but the feeling is so different than the experience of actually seeing it happen right now.
The Apple I soon gives way to the remarkable Apple II and the personal computing revolution is born.
It’s entirely different and sometimes a lot of people ask, ‘Well, did you know it was going to mushroom into this phenomenon?’ And you can say yeah, you know, we planned it out and we had lead on a piece of paper, but it’s different than the experience of seeing five hundred people working at Apple Computer.
The Apple II became the first mass-market personal computer, with impressive sales around the US and the world.
It’s very different to the experience of seeing a five-year-old kid who really understands the tool that’s he’s got in front of him.
Jobs rubs his chin.
The best analogy I’ve ever heard is, “Scientific American” I think it was, did a study in the early seventies on the efficiency of locomotion. What they did was for all different species on the planet, birds, They measured how much energy does it take for a goat to get from here to there, right?
Jobs points to two alternate points in midair.
Kilocalories per kilometer or something, and they ranked them. They published the list, and a condor won. The condor took the least amount of energy to get from here to there. And man didn’t do so well, came into a rather unimpressive showing about a third of the way down the list.
Jobs shakes his head.
But fortunately someone at “Scientific American” was insightful enough to test man with a bicycle. And man with a bicycle won, twice as good as the condor, all the way off the list.
Jobs points up.
And what it showed is man as a toolmaker has the ability to make a tool to amplify an inherent ability that he has, and that’s exactly what we’re doing here.
Jobs makes the point.
It’s exactly what we’re doing here.
Jobs has always had a more philosophical outlook on the role of the computer on culture, on society.
We’re not making bicycles to be ridden between Palo Alto and San Francisco, okay? We’re making bicycles, and yes, certain bicycles have certain generic attributes like in general ten speeds are better at riding in mountains than one speeds and other things like that. But in general what we’re doing is we’re building tools that amplify a human ability.
Jobs is so certain no one can doubt him.
You could say that the industrial revolution was basically an amplification of human ability, sweat, right? We amplified sweat -- fractional horsepower motors, etcetera, etcetera.
Jobs believes personal computers are capable of a revolution of the mind.
What we’re working towards now is the ability to amplify another human ability, and we’re just starting to get the glimmerings of where it’s going to go. As an example, how many of you use VisiCalc?
Jobs smiles at the positive response.
Quite a few of you. At Apple, every secretary now has an Apple now on his or her desk. And they’re doing all their word processing on them. You’ve got to give them credit for that given the software that’s out.
Jobs grins. Audience laughs.
And they’re doing a tremendous amount of financial modeling on the thing. As an example I have to keep a budget for about forty-fifty people, and by the tenth of every month my secretary has got all the information from accounting, put it into the VisiCalc model, and given me the actuals versus forecast, and all the variances, and etcetera, etcetera.
In many ways Visicalc was the program that turned the microcomputer from a hobby for computer enthusiasts into a serious business tool
And we’re asking what if? questions on a daily basis. I can say, ‘What happens if I hire five more people this month?’ You know, ‘what’s that’s going to do to the budget?’
Jobs snaps his fingers.
An hour later I know. It’s incredible!
Banks were reluctant to lend Jobs money. The idea of a computer for ordinary people seemed absurd in 1976.
And what’s even more incredible is when you go talk to these fifth graders because they’re growing up with this thing. You know, it’s new for myself. I didn’t know anything about this stuff fifteen years ago, ten years ago, but these kids are growing up with it.
Jobs, Wozniak and Mike Markkula eventually co-signed a bank loan for two-hundred-and-fifty-thousand dollars, and the three formed Apple Computer on April 1, 1976. Yes, April Fool’s Day.
I’ve seen some of the kids of the people that work at Apple. I’ve seen go from being one to two years old where they push the return key, you know, they sit on their father’s lap or the mother’s lap, and what their part is to push the return key, to actually know how to program. It’s remarkable.
Jobs has seen the future.
So one of the things that Apple is going to try to do over the next three or four years is to further that goal, and the key area we’re focusing on is the following.
Jobs lowers his voice, serious.
Right now if you buy a computer system and you want to solve one of your problems, we immediately throw a big problem right in the middle of you and your problem, which is learning how to use the computer. Right? Substantial problem to overcome. Once you overcome that, it’s a phenomenal tool. But there is a barrier having to overcome that problem.
Despite Apple’s monumental growth since the launch of the Apple II, Jobs is convinced even more growth is possible as computers increasingly find their way into ordinary life.
What we are trying to do, and I think there’s a reasonable chance that Apple is going to make a real contribution to solving this problem in the next thirty-six months is to remove that barrier. So that someone can buy a computer system that knows nothing about it, and directly attack their problem without learning how to program their computer.
Jobs has always positioned Apple as there anti-IBM. At the Apple head office there’s a black and white photo of him in front of a chrome IBM logo, giving it the finger.
And the reason I think that Apple has got a chance of solving that problem versus a lot of other computer companies that we all know of that are much, much larger than we are now, although we’re catching up, is that our whole company, our whole philosophical base is founded on one principle.
Jobs truly believes in taking power away from the establishment and giving it to the people.
And that one principle is that something very special and very historically different takes place when you have one computer and one person. Very different than if you have ten people on one computer.
Jobs doesn’t just want to change the world, he wants to put a dent in the universe.
Now let’s look at some of the things that our segment of the computer industry has contributed to the industry because of that underlying philosophical concept.
Jobs is proud of Apple’s extraordinary achievements in just four years.
In general, we were in retail distribution channels three to four years before the rest of the computer industry. It’s now waking up to that fact. Why? Because to serve that one-on-one relationship it was necessary to distribute the products that way. It was necessary to have products priced so that a person one-on-one could afford the computer system, and therefore it was necessary to distribute them through a relatively lower cost distribution channel rather than a direct sales course.
Jobs has had to grow up fast in the past few years.
Interactive software, interactive video, a computer system that can be sold for a few thousand dollars that can actually do some animation. That actually have the video that it so tightly coupled to the rest of the computer you can do real-time editing.
When Jobs’ ex-girlfriend Chrisann Brennan gives birth to their daughter Lisa in 1978, he refuses to acknowledge paternity.
We’ve got a DEP 1178 at Apple where the terminals communicate with the 1170 at, you know, ninety-six hundred bits per second. They can’t do anything like this at CalCat. That’s a three-hundred thousand dollar computer system.
In 1978 he designs a case for the Apple III, and builds it too small to fit the components the engineering team had constructed.
And yet my secretary keeps the budgets on an Apple. It’s far superior. Again that comes from that one-on-one interaction, and that perspective is what gives us the feeling that we have an opportunity to really contribute to solving that problem, and that’s where Apple’s going.
Now, we’re very fortunate because the timing seems to be falling into place. In other words, as we move into the eighties, the amount of computational power, the amount of raw horsepower we can get into a small box for a reasonable price is just staggering. Even in the last three years, you know, four years since we started it’s increased a few orders of magnitude.
In 1979 Jobs buys a house in Los Gatos, and leaves it mostly undecorated. A mattress, a Tiffany lamp, some cushions and hi-fi equipment are his only possessions.
And one of the things that people always ask me is, you know, what we’ve got right now is just fine. Visa-Calc runs fast enough. Some of the database stuff runs fast enough. What are we going to do with this extra-awesome power?
And the answer to that is that we’re going to put it into applying, into solving that problem again. In other words, we’re going to start chewing up power specifically to help that one-on-one interaction go smoother, and specifically not to actually do the number crunching and the database management and the word processing, whatever.
Jobs taps the tips of his fingers into his palm.
We’re actually going to start applying a lot of that power specifically to help us remove that barrier, and so assuming that we don’t get into World War Three, and assuming that we’re able to continue to recruit outstanding people, it looks like the timing’s just right for that to occur.
Jobs and his team have been working furiously to integrate a graphical user interface into their machine since they first saw a mouse work its magic at Xerox Palo Alto Research Center.
So hopefully when we have our International Apple Core meeting, you know, the third, fourth one from now, we’ll all be able to talk about how we solve that problem because I really think it’s going to happen, and I really think it’s going to come out of the industry that four years ago didn’t exist, that three years ago everyone said was a flash in the frying pan, you know?
And I think right now we are starting to wake up. So, thank you very much.
Audience bursts into applause.
AUDIENCE MEMBER #1 (O.C.)
There’s a lot of stories going around, but I want to know how the Apple name really came about?
Yeah, I knew wouldn’t get away without answering that. Everyone was suggestion names to us like Matrix Electronics, and that kind of thing. And that’s not us. We decided we’d call it Apple Computer unless someone came up with a better name by five on the day we had to file our business name statement.
Also partly because I like apples a lot, and partially to get ahead of Atari in the phone book because I used to work at Atari.
Jobs laughs. Audience laughs.
But we re-examined it on a regular basis, and we found that the juxtaposition of something that seemed to epitomize what we were going after, which was the simplicity and yet very refined sophistication. If you’ve seen our first brochure, probably some of you haven’t, but the title of it was ‘Simplicity is the Ultimate Sophistication’, and that wasn’t just a bullshit slogan. It actually was really what we’d been striving for, and the apple seemed to symbolize that, so I think we’re going to stick with it.
Audience laughs more. Jobs spots an audience member.
AUDIENCE MEMBER #2 (O.C.)
Getting back to what you were talking about your goals about eliminating this barrier of this obstacle in the computer there. You were talking about all this basically hardware power that’s available inside that little box. What sort of things are you talking about that’s going to translate that hardware power into removing the obstacle on a more concrete level?
Jobs smiles to himself.
Well, you’re asking me to talk about future products, and I don’t want to do that, but ...
AUDIENCE MEMBER #2 (O.C.)
Audience laughs a little nervously. Jobs ponders.
You know, when we first started out we didn’t know how to spell the word ‘software,’ and gradually we’ve learned. We’ve gone through the standard motions of setting up an internal application software department which proceeded to fall on its face, picking it up and watching it fall on its face again.
Finally, we went through a phase where we decided that what we were selling was solutions, not hardware, and so we realized that software was a big part of the solution therefore we better get out our software act together. Matter of fact, now we have more people in software engineering than hardware engineering, you know?
Jobs has been pushing his team hard to integrate graphical user interface into the Apple III and a project codenamed Lisa after his estranged daughter.
You know, a lot of times we ask ourselves what software is, matter of fact. Notice that every other word is software? That must give you some clue.
But what is software? You know, I’ve often thought about this. What is the difference between software and hardware, and the only thing I can think of is that software is something that either is changing too rapidly, or you don’t exactly know what you want yet, or you didn’t have time to get it into hardware, or the technology is not there to get it into hardware. That’s all I can think of.
So what I see happening is that more and more software is getting integrated into hardware. Yesterday’s software is today’s hardware. So, those two things are merging I think, and the line between hardware and software is going to get finer and finer and finer and finer.
Job slices the air finer and finer.
And one of the ways that we’re approaching the problem of how to remove the barrier is to try to look ahead a few years and make some, some predictions as to where the technology will be both hardware and software technology, and how they’re going to be merged together, and at the same time very carefully looking at the kinds of high-level tools that our customers are going to need, and trying to make those two point at the same target.
Jobs points the tips of his finger together.
And I know that’s very vague, and I guess I really don’t want to talk any more than that right now.
AUDIENCE MEMBER #3 (O.C.)
There are a lot of us that have bought Apple II computers here and that have put a tremendous amount of money and effort into using them, and many have been using them for many years in college. What does Apple have in mind for continuing support with Apple II? In other words, not dropping it like some other companies dropped this line and started up with a new one and everybody has to go and buy all the new things, or maybe they didn’t want to or whatever, but what do you have in mind for people who want to stay with the Apple II.
There’s three or four different parts of that answer and why don’t I address each one because I think it’s a really important question. For some crazy reason in the Universe, two people from Los Altos and Cupertino, California managed to want something that just so happened to be what about a million other people wanted. It seemed to fit the need fairly well, so well as matter of fact that in the last two and a half years nobody else has come close. So, I don’t think the Apple II ever going to be obsolete.
To answer it in another angle, the second angle. Apple is eventually going to have a broader line of products simply because, well, let’s look at automobiles. Compare a Volkswagen Rabbit and a dump truck and a Mercedes-Benz, let’s say. They all have transmissions. They all have engines, four wheels, seats, and they basically all perform the same basic function of transportation. What’s the difference?
Jobs makes the point.
There’s difference in emphasis. There’s a difference in emphasis, and I think that that’s what we’re going to look at doing is potentially broadening a product line with computers with a different emphasis, a slightly different emphasis than an Apple II.
Audience shifts in their seats.
And I hope you’re all pleased with the new product that will come out over the years, but I don’t think that many of you are going to actually feel like giving up your Apple IIs. I don’t see it happening.
One other thing, I heard a comment up here as you were asking your question somebody said, “Like Apple I,” right? And Apple I was an instance where we did obsolete our product. We absolutely did obsolete the product, and what we did was we decided that we were going to take care of the people who’d bought Apple once, and the people that contacted us and said, ‘Listen I’d really like to have an Apple II,’ we worked an arrangement that I think everyone was very happy with. So we did take care of those people, and I don’t think we’ll ever be in a situation like that again of obsoleting the product.
AUDIENCE MEMBER #4 (O.C.)
We can’t afford it!
Right, you can’t afford it.
We’ve got about five-hundred people now, and Apple will do this year probably somewhere between one-hundred and two-hundred million dollars worth of sales. And if you actually divide the sale number by the people, you’ll find that we probably have the highest sales dollars per employee that anybody has ever heard of.
As Apple has grown so has management. There’s been three different organizational charts in the past three months.
And the reason is because we’ve got the most incredible collection of people on the planet. At least the most incredible collection I’ve ever seen. And we’re working very, very hard, and if you actually look at why they’re there, why people have come to Apple, why people came originally, it certainly wasn’t for the salary.
Some of the various project teams at Apple’s head office have started closing themselves off from others.
A lot of people came to Apple and took fifty percent cuts in salary initially. We pay competitive salaries now, but we certainly don’t attract people on the basis of salary. We attract people on the basis of an opportunity to work your butt off and get something done right and kick it out the door without getting all screwed up, and an opportunity to work with professionals that are as good as you are in other disciplines.
Jobs’ meddling and maddening attention to detail is putting off many Apple employees. He’s pushed more than a few to the edge. Many have fallen off.
What we’re going to judge ourselves by, the senior management of the company is going to judge itself by is, can you maintain this atmosphere of creativity, tremendous productivity, a company where it’s just fine to fall on your face as long as you pick yourself up pretty fast.
But the loyalty of the Apple employees that stay is astonishing.
You know, an environment where we give people enough rope to hang themselves and hope that they don’t. If we can maintain that for the next ten years and beyond, we’ll have been successful, and the rest of the stuff will take care of itself.
Jobs smiles to himself.
The rest of the stuff will take care of itself.
When Apple goes public later that year it becomes one of the biggest initial public offerings in history.
By the end of the first day of trading, Jobs is worth $217 million.
1999 - NEW YORK FOUR SEASONS HOTEL - EVENING
Noah Wyle, 28, is ambling down the hallway of the luxury hotel.
The clean contemporary lines were designed by renowned architect I.M. Pei. The carpet is thick. The tones subdued.
Wyle stops outside the last door and knocks.
The door opens. It’s Steve Jobs, 43, in black mock turtleneck and blue jeans. Jobs looks Wyle up and down, and smiles. It’s as if he’s looking at a younger version of himself in a mirror.
Yeah, you do look like me.
A month earlier Jobs had called Wyle at home after the screening of the TNT telemovie “Pirates of Silicon Valley.” Congratulated Wyle on doing a good job of playing him. Asked Wyle whether he wanted to play a practical joke at the upcoming Macworld Expo.
How could he say no. Jobs had flown Wyle and his fiancee out to New York.
Come in, man, come in.
Jobs steps back into his suite. Wyle follows him in.
Thick curtains, gilt mirrors, walls of glass. Outrageous view of Central Park.
Jobs pulls some shopping bags from the sofa.
I bought you a matching sweater, some jeans. And some glasses too.
Wyle realizes Jobs is actually serious about him stepping out on stage at tomorrow’s Macworld Expo.
Jobs takes out a sheet of fax paper, grins.
I’ve written a bit of a sketch.
Wyle can hardly breathe.
It’s going to great.
1999 - NEW YORK JAVITS CENTER - MORNING
Black stage at the Macworld Expo. LARGE AUDIENCE waiting for the keynote address claps and hoots and cheers. Giant video screens flicker to life with the Apple logo. The words Macworld. The words Steve Jobs iCEO.
A lean figure strides onto the stage. It looks like Steve Jobs in his black mock turtleneck, blue jeans and sneakers. The round glasses are trademark Jobs.
The figure rubs his chins, drops his hands to his hips.
The figure clasps his hands together. Camera flash. It’s Noah Wyle dressed as Steve Jobs.
ATTENDEES in the front few rows clap and laugh when they recognize who it is.
Realization rolls over the audience who start to cheer and laugh even more.
Hi. Thanks for coming. This is going to be a great Macworld.
Wyle has Jobs’ mannerism down pat.
You know, everybody at Apple has been thinking different for the last couple of years. We’ve sold a lot of computers, but there’s something else happening here.
Wyle clenches his fists.
The resurgence of Apple. And you’re going to see a lot of that today.
Wyle starts clapping.
We’ve got some great new products. Some really great new products. Some insanely great new products.
Audience roars their approval.
Some really totally wildly insanely great new products. We got products that are going to --
Someone interrupts him offstage. It’s Steve Jobs, waving his hands in the air as he lopes on stage
No, no, no!
Audience screams and cheers in delight.
That’s not me at all! That’s not me at all!! You’ve blown it!
You’re supposed to come over here --
Wyle follows Jobs to stand topped with water bottles. Jobs takes one and opens it.
-- open a water, get the slide clicker, then you can put your hands together. That insanely great thing? We stopped doing that a hundred years ago when --
Wyle laughs. Jobs puts his arm around him.
Ladies and gentlemen, Noah Wyle.
Audiences claps and cheers. Jobs is smiling from ear to ear.
1972 - FIAT 850 ABARTH COUPE - NIGHT
It’s past midnight and Steve Jobs, 17, is speeding behind the wheel. Steve Wozniak, 21, is in the passenger seat. Both are totally buzzed.
They look like suburban hippies. Jobs is wearing a black t-shirt and blue jeans. Wozniak a white shirt, jacket and blue jeans. There are three pens in his shirt pocket.
The pair spent the night with the infamous Cap’n Crunch in Wozniak’s dorm room, trading pizzas and spliffs for tips how to tweak an illegal blue box they’d built to make free calls across the country and around the world.
They left Berkeley about twenty minutes earlier and are heading to Job’s home in Los Altos.
They haven’t stopped talking. The car engine is whining.
It’s like the multibillion dollar telephone infrastructure is at our disposal. For free. For freaking free.
I know, I know. It’s freaking unbelievable.
Wozniak hold up their blue box. A numerical keypad with a small round speaker attached by wire. It’s not even blue.
We have complete control.
As they head into Hayward the car engine spins and clatters and spits and stops. Jobs rolls his eyes as the car rolls to a stop.
Out of gas?
Jobs taps the gas gauge. It’s more than half full.
Plenty of gas. Probably the electrics.
Wozniak looks out the window, a little worried. This is a low rent part of town.
Gee, Steve, what are we going to do now?
Jobs looks out into the night and considers the options.
We’re going to walk to the gas station.
Jobs steps out of the car. Wozniak follows him.
But you said it’s got plenty of gas.
The gas station will have a phone booth. We’ve got our blue box. We’ll phone John back at the dorm and he can come pick us up.
We’ll use our blue box?
Wozniak picks up their blue box and the pair head to the nearest gas station.
They spot a phone booth and smile. Open the door and step in. Jobs takes the blue box from Wozniak who picks up the handset. Dial tone purrs. Wozniak holds the small speaker to the mouthpiece and nods, excited. Jobs taps a series of tones meant to crack the phone line code to make a free call.
More dial tone.
Jobs tries again. Dial town crackles. They both smile. Dial tone spits and the OPERATOR comes onto the line.
Bell Operator, how may I assist your call?
Their smiles drop. Wozniak immediately hangs up.
What if the call was detected?
Jobs looks a little anxious.
On a public phone? In the middle of nowhere? Woz, you’re being paranoid.
Wozniak isn’t convinced.
Let’s try again.
Wozniak takes the handset off the receiver and places the speaker on the mouthpiece, worried.
Jobs smiles and presses number two on the keypad.
Blare of police siren, red and blue flashing lights ricochet through the telephone booth.
Jobs and Wozniak freeze. Police car brakes, doors open and two POLICE OFFICERS step out.
Don’t you two boys even think of moving.
Jobs is holding the blue box. The officers walk around the phone booth, checking to see if Jobs and Wozniak had tossed any drugs.
You boys didn’t throw any marijuana out here, did you?
No, sir. Our car broke down and --
You wouldn’t be lying to me, would you?
No, sir. I --
First Officer notices the blue box in Jobs’ hand.
Jobs swallows. Wozniak looks like he’s shat his pants, stammers.
It’s a music synthesizer, sir.
Second Officer takes the blue box from Jobs and presses a few buttons. Bleep bleep blup bloop.
First Officer points to the orange button that generates the 2,600 Hz tone.
What’s that for?
Second Officer presses the orange button and the blue box emits high-pitched beep. He looks at Jobs, blinks and then hands the blue box back.
Nice idea, but a guy named Moog beat you to it.
Second Officer laughs as he heads back to the patrol car. First Officer follows him and they drive off.
Jobs and Wozniak start walking to Los Altos. A car approaches. Jobs sticks out his thumb to hitchhike. The car passes.
Jobs looks at their blue box.
It was probably a bad diode. I got to replace the diode.
It should be blue.
Wozniak has no idea what he’s talking about.
It’s a blue box, right? So it should be blue. The same blue as the Bell System Technical Journal. You know, not navy or cobalt. More azure.
Wozniak still has no idea what Jobs is talking about.
A few months later, Jobs and Wozniak went into business making and selling illegal blue boxes to fellow students. Wozniak bought the parts for $40 from RadioShack. Jobs sold them for $170.
Every blue box came with a unique guarantee. A small piece of paper tucked inside that bore the words, ‘He’s got the whole world in his hands.’
If one of the boxes ever failed to work and came back with the little note inside, it would be repaired free of charge.
Guaranteeing an illegal product appealed to their sense of humor.
And building those boxes taught them the power of ideas.
Without those boxes there would be no Apple.
1994 - PALTO ALTO ASTRO STUDIOS - DAY
BRETT LOVELADY, 32, is busy working away with his team of industrial designers.
Not so much working as racing radio control cars across the floor of the studio. One car brakes hard around a corner then accelerates between two desks, narrowly avoiding a crash. Lovelady grins.
Everyone cheers. Lovelady looks out the window through the window of the small office next door.
It’s Steve Jobs private office.
Lovelady spots Jobs’ head bobbing up and down as he climbs a StairMaster. Wearing a gray marle t-shirt, sweating, swigging water. Red faced, puffed, determined.
Jobs, 39, has been taking life one step at a time since a boardroom coup saw him resign from his beloved Apple almost a decade ago.
1985 Jobs starts up NeXT Computer and a new computing paradigm that brings an industrial strength Unix-based operating system to the desktop.
1986 Jobs buys the motion picture computer graphics group Pixar from George Lucas. Picked it up for a song with $5 million diverted into operational costs so Lucas can finance his divorce.
1987 Jobs convinces Ross Perot to invest $20 million in NeXT. The startup has yet to release a product.
1988 Jobs introduces the NeXT Cube in San Francisco to great critical acclaim. It’s pitched as a workstation for higher education.
1989 Jobs convinces Canon to invest $100 million in NeXT, now valued at $600 million.
1990 Jobs fires almost half of Pixar’s staff and takes back all employees stock in an effort to cut costs.
1991 Jobs marries Laurene Powell in Yosemite under the blessing of his zen guru Kobin Chino. Laurene is already pregnant and their first son, Reed Paul Jobs, is born in September.
1992 Jobs licenses the operating system NeXTSTEP to run on x86 machines. NeXT Chief Operating Officer betrays Jobs by trying to sell the company to its giant competitor Sun.
1993 Jobs fires 300 employees at NeXT and discontinues all its hardware operations. NeXT Computers becomes NeXT Software. His father, Paul Jobs, dies.
On the StairMaster, Jobs wipes his face and takes the next step.
1967 - NASA AMES RESEARCH CENTER - DAY
Paul Jobs, 45, is deep in conversation with BEN WILLIAMS, 47, a friend from his Navy days. Williams is a senior electrical engineer at the space agency’s base in Moffet Field.
They are walking along, sharing a joke. Steve Jobs, 11, is walking behind them trying to take it all in. Williams leads the way through double glass doors.
You got to see this, Paul.
Paul follows Williams. Jobs follows his father.
Paul stands behind a COMPUTER OPERATOR in a white lab coat typing away at a computer console. Lights are dancing across the console’s upright panel. Jobs is intrigued.
Two banks of magnetic tape drives line the walls, spinning and whirring. A card reader sits to one side. Williams takes it all in, and smiles.
The IBM 7090 mainframe computer. Second-generation transistorized version of the earlier IBM 709. It’s a marvel to behold.
Jobs is entranced.
Set you back a cool three million dollars.
Which is half the price of its predecessor, yet it’s six times faster. Can you believe that?
Computer Operator punches some keys, tape drives spin and hold, then spin again.
It’s been handling the computation demands of most of space programs. It can simultaneously read and write three million bits of information a second.
Williams snaps his fingers.
Three million bits of information!
Paul shakes his head in disbelief. Jobs’ eyes grows wide.
It’s been responsible for a series of five unmanned Lunar Orbiter missions that photographed and mapped ninety-nine percent of the lunar surface.
Williams points through the ceiling to the sky above.
The spacecraft, equipped with a dual-lens Kodak camera, captured high-resolution and low-resolution images exposures on a single roll of seventy millimeter film.
Williams arcs his finger through the sky.
In orbit, the onboard system developed the film, scanned the images into a series of strips, and transmitted the data back to us here where it was written on those magnetic tapes.
Williams is pointing at the spinning tapes. Jobs is awed.
It’s the reason we’ll be able to send a man to the moon by the end of the decade.
Jobs is staring at the computer, falling in love.
1979 - XEROX PALO ALTO RESEARCH CENTER - DAY
Xerox PARC is a long, low concrete building, with enormous terraces looking out over Silicon Valley.
Steve Jobs, 24, and his team have been kept waiting in reception for hours.
It’s three weeks before Christmas and Jobs, looking more than a little rambunctious, doesn’t really want to be there. Neither does Apple president MIKE SCOTT or Apple software designer BILL ATKINSON. Or the other TWO SOFTWARE DESIGNERS.
Jobs has been pushing everyone hard for more than a year to develop a computer to supersede the Apple II and the Apple III. One team is working on what is to become the Apple Lisa. Another team is working on what is to become the Apple Macintosh. Jobs is pitting one team against the other.
Jef Raskin had convinced Jobs to visit Xerox PARC because the Xerox research team had been publishing one innovation after the other. Raskin had wanted Jobs to see the future of computing.
Jobs had thanked him by pulling him off the Macintosh team and threatening to close down the project altogether.
Unknown to Jobs and his team, the Xerox research team are arguing with senior Xerox executives about showing off their latest technology to these upstarts from Apple.
Unknown to the Xerox research team, Jobs has promised Xerox a batch of Apple shares ahead of the much anticipated stock offering if Xerox PARC opened its, as Jobs put it, kimono.
A door slams open in a distant conference room and CHUCK THACKER, 35, storms out. Thacker is project leader of the Xerox Alto personal computer system.
THREE XEROX EXECUTIVES walk out and spread into the building. One of them takes the elevator.
ADELE GOLDBERG, 34, strides out and down the hallway towards Jobs and his team. She looks like she’s been crying.
Short, wavy red hair. Looks more like a high school teacher than one of the most respected computer scientists in the world.
Jobs spots her, smiles.
Hi, I’m Steve Jobs.
I know who you are.
Jobs grins. Goldberg turns and heads back to the conference room, fuming under her breath.
Jobs looks at his team, shrugs, then follows her. They follow him.
Inside the conference room, Xerox PARC researcher LARRY TESLER, 34, is sitting at the long table in front of a Xerox Alto experimental workstation.
Jobs and his team step closer. The Xerox Alto consists of a detached keyboard and cathode ray tube screen in portrait mode on a tilt-and-swivel base. The drive sits in a metal cabinet under the table, gently humming.
I like the display.
Atkinson smiles. Tesler presses three keys simultaneously to boot up. The elevator door pings opens in the hallway. Goldberg steps over and closes the conference room door.
Atkinson and Jobs look at each other. Jobs is expecting a black screen with green lines of code like every computer he’s ever seen.
The screen shudders to a white background with three white windows keylined in black. Jobs scratches his chin.
Tesler pulls a rudimentary three-button computer mouse out of his jacket pocket and plugs it into the serial port. Jobs is perplexed. Tesler answer his question before he even asks it.
We call it a mouse.
Atkinson giggles. Tesler moves the mouse back and forth on top of the table. Nothing happens on the screen.
It doesn’t work every time on timber. Costs three hundred dollars a piece and only last a few weeks.
Goldberg crosses her arms. Tesler tries again and suddenly the mouse’s metal rolling ball catches, sweeping the cursor across the screen.
There we go.
Jobs moves closer to the screen.
See, it moves the cursor around the display screen.
Jobs’ eyes light up. Tesler clicks one of the buttons to bring one window on top of the other.
The selected window displays above other windows, much like placing a piece of paper on top of a stack on desk.
Atkinson moves closer. Tesler clicks the top left hand corner of the window and a small menu box opens.
A simple command allows you to choose a new frame.
Jobs has never seen anything this before. Jef Raskin was right. Directing a conventional computer meant typing in a command on the keyboard. Apple had experimented with graphic displays onscreen but nothing like this.
Tesler clicks the mouse to close one window. Then clicks again to open a new one. He types ‘We call it GUI - Graphical User Interface’ into the window.
Jobs has just seen the future of computers.
My God, that’s incredible!
Jobs starts pacing around the room.
Jesus Christ, that’s completely insane. That’s completely amazing.
Jobs is trying to catch his breath.
Why aren’t you doing anything with this? This is the greatest thing. This is revolutionary!
Tesler looks at Goldberg. Tesler’s voice is low.
Management doesn’t get it.
What’s not to get!? What the hell’s wrong with those bozos?!
The main thing wrong with Xerox is Xerox president Archie McCardell, an accountant by trade who just didn’t understand technology. In August 1977, he killed a plan to market the Xerox Alto as a commercial project.
Xerox had too much invested in making typewriters and leasing copiers. The company was too scared to move forward.
Goldberg drops her head and walks out of the conference room. Tesler realizes Jobs understands what they have a lot better than Xerox management.
Tesler clicks the mouse and moves another window around on the screen.
I hear you’re now paying competitive salaries at Apple.
Jobs can’t take his eyes away from the screen.
Oh yeah. Sometimes a little more.
Most of Jobs’ team have already left the conference room and heading to the parking lot. Atkinson follows them. Jobs is last to leave.
It’s obvious to him that some day all computers would work like this. You can argue about how many years it will take. You can argue about who the winners and losers might be. But you can’t argue with the inevitable.
In the parking lot Jobs is rushing to his new silver Mercedes Benz 380 SLC coupe. He calls out to Atkinson.
Tell Jef and everyone else we got to have windows, got to have menus.
We’re going to need more --
We’re going to need a mouse. Not than klutzy piece of shit we just saw.
Jobs opens the driver’s door.
We need to manufacturer it for less than fifteen bucks, we need it to work on any surface, we need it not to fail for a couple of years.
Jobs gets in and and slams the door shut. Window slides down.
One more thing.
Its got to be as simple as possible to use. So one button, not three.
Jobs roars off.
Three months later Tesler joins Apple as the company’s chief scientist. More Xerox PARC researchers soon follow.
1997 - APPLE TOWN HALL - MORNING
It’s autumn and Steve Jobs, 41, has only been back at Apple for a few short months after 12 years in exile. He’s on the stage at the main auditorium on the Apple campus, wearing a black mock turtleneck with the sleeves shoved up, khaki shorts and sandals. No watch.
Two Apple computers are on a table. Jobs is leaning against a stool, looking out over the Apple sales and marketing EMPLOYEES scattered in the first few rows.
The last few years have been terrible for them. Apple’s share of the computer market had plummeted from a peak of 14 percent to below 3 percent.
The company was in a death spiral when Jobs returned. The first thing he cut was the latest CEO. Then he cut a few layers of senior management. Then he cut the product line from 14 to 4.
Even more important than management or products was the brand. In his eyes it had been tarnished beyond believe. Apple had been running more than 25 different advertising campaigns. Nothing was coordinated or aligned.
To me marketing is about values. This is a very complicated world. It’s a very noisy world.
Jobs shakes his head.
And we’re not going to get a chance to get people to remember much about us, no company is. And so we have to be really clear on what we want them to know about us.
Job starts pacing across the stage.
Now Apple, fortunately, is one of the half a dozen best brands in the whole world.
Jobs starts counting them off on his left hand.
Right up there with Nike, Disney, Coke, Sony. It is one of the greats of the greats, not just in this country but all around the globe.
Jobs clasps his hands together.
But even a great brand needs investment and caring if it’s going to retain its relevance and vitality, and the Apple brand has clearly suffered from neglect in this area in the last few years, and we need to bring it back.
Jobs pinches his lips.
The way to do that is not to talk about speeds and feats. It’s not to talk about megs and megahertz. It’s not to talk about why we’re better than Windows.
Jobs crosses his arms.
The dairy industry tried for 20 years to convince you that milk was good for you. It’s a lie, but they tried anyway.
Employees laugh. Jobs slides his hand down through the air.
And the sales were going like this, and then they tried ‘Got Milk?’ and the sales have gone like this.
Jobs slides his hand up.
‘Got Milk?’ wasn’t even talking about the product. As a matter of a fact, the focus is on the absence of the product.
Spattering of clapping from Employees.
But the best example of all, and one of the greatest of jobs of marketing the universe has ever seen is Nike. Remember, Nike sells a commodity. They sell shoes!
Jobs can’t believe it.
And yet when you think of Nike, you feel something different than a shoe company. In their ads as you know, they don’t ever talk about the product. They don’t ever tell you about their Air Soles and why they are better than Reebok’s Air Soles. What does Nike do in their advertising?
They honor great athletics, and they honor great athletes. That’s who they are. That’s what they are about.
Jobs shakes his head.
Apple spends a fortune on advertising. You’d never know it.
Nervous laughter from Employees.
You’d never know it.
So, when I got here Apple had just fired their agency and was in a competition with twenty-three agencies that, you know, four years from now would pick one, and we blew that up and we hired Chiat/Day, the ad agency that I was fortunate to work with years ago.
Chiat/Day had created the famous 1984 television commercial to launch the Apple Macintosh computer. It put Apple on the map.
We created some award winning work, including the commercial that was probably the best ad ever made in nineteen-eighty-four by advertising professionals.
Jobs clasps his hands together.
We started working about eight weeks ago, and the question we asked was, ‘Our customer want to know who is Apple, and what is it that we stand for? Where do we fit in this world?’
Jobs considers the point.
And, what we’re about isn’t making boxes for people to get their jobs done, although we do that well. We do that better than almost anybody in some cases.
But Apple’s about something more than that.
Jobs sits on a stool.
Its core value is that we believe that people with passion can change the world for the better. That’s what we do, and we’ve had the opportunity to work with people like that. We’ve had an opportunity to work with people like you, with software developers, with customers who have done it in some big and some small ways.
Jobs stands and paces.
And we believe that in this world, people can change it for the better, and that those people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones that actually do.
And so, what we’re going to do in our first brand marketing campaign in several years is to get back to that core value.
Jobs looks down.
A lot of things have changed. The market is a totally different place than it was a decade ago, and Apple is totally different and Apple’s place in it is totally different, and believe me, the products and the distribution strategy and manufacturing are totally different and we understand that.
Jobs speaks from the heart.
But values and core values, those things shouldn’t change. The things that Apple believed in at its core are the same things that Apple really stands for today, and so we wanted to find a way to communicate this, and what we have is something that I am, uh, I am very moved by.
When Jobs first saw the deceptively simple campaign conceived by art director Craig Tanimoto and written by Rob Siltanen he hated it. Said it was typical advertising shit, told the agency’s chief creative officer to get some real writers on the job. Clow bought in an agency creative director Ken Segall who tweaked a word here and there.
It honors those people who have changed their world. Some of them are living. Some of them are not, but the ones that aren’t as you’ll see, you know that if they ever used a computer it would have been a Mac.
Employees laugh and clap. Jobs smiles quietly.
And the theme of the campaign is ‘Think Different.’ It’s the people honoring the people who think different, and who move this world forward.
It is what we are about. It touches the soul of this company. So I am going to go ahead and roll it, and I hope that you feel the same way about it I do.
The auditorium slips to black. Sounds of slow strings and lilting piano fade up with black-and-white footage of Albert Einstein smoking a pipe, smiling.
Richard Dreyfuss’ gritty voice over.
Here’s to the crazy ones.
Bob Dylan moving to his harmonica. Martin Luther King ending his Washington speech.
The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes.
Richard Branson shaking champagne. John Lennon and Yoko Ono singing.
The ones who see things differently. They’re not fond of the rules, and they have no respect for the status quo.
Buckminster Fuller demonstrating a Buckyball. Thomas Edison thinking
You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them.
Mohammed Ali dancing for the press. Ted Turner boxing the air with a smile.
But the only thing you can’t do is ignore them because they change things.
Maria Callas blowing a kiss. Mahatma Gandhi smiling.
They push the human race forward.
Amelia Earhart arriving. Alfred Hitchcock speaking.
And while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius.
Martha Graham dancing. Jim Henson puppeteering. Frank Lloyd Wright walking. Picasso painting.
Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.
A child opening her eyes as if making a wish.
Fade to black. Fade up simple white type that reads ‘Think different.’
Fade up multicolored Apple logo.
1985 - TASSAJARA ZEN MOUNTAIN CENTER - DAY
America’s first Zen monastery sits at the end of a twisting dirt road in the rugged mountains above Carmel.
A zendo meditation hall surrounded by smaller buildings, all crafted in traditional Japanese joinery.
Darkening storm clouds hang low. Rain is falling.
A han wooden board is being rapidly struck by a mallet. A transcription inked on the board seems to pulsate. ‘Wake Up! Life is transient. Swiftly passing. Be aware. The Great Matter. Don’t waste time.’
The board is struck three times to signal the beginning of a zasen mediation session.
Inside the meditation hall sits KOBUN CHINO OTOGAWA, 46, in a black robe. He is a Japanese Soto Zen roshi, a master. Wiry, dusky, handsome.
Wisdom does not come from anywhere. It is always there as the exact contents of awakening. It is always there and everywhere.
A student is sitting in front of him facing the plain gray wall. It’s Steve Jobs, 34. Wearing a black shirt and jeans. Narrow red scarf around his neck. Barefoot.
What can you do to uncover it? It is like going to the origin of a river. Have you been to the source of a river? It is a very mystic place. You get dizzy when you stay a while.
Jobs is sitting with legs folded in full lotus position. Right foot on left thigh, left foot on right thigh, both soles upward. In his lap his left hand is in the palm of the right hand, thumbs gently touching, forming a circle.
A big river has several sources, and the real source, the farthest point which turns to the major stream, is moist and misty, with some kind of ancient smell, and you feel cold. And still you cannot see the source.
Jobs’ back is straight, chin pulled in, holding the sky gently with the top of his head. His upper body is relaxing as he inhales and exhales through the nose, pushing his breath deeper into his abdomen, letting out his breath as long and slowly as possible.
Yet such a place exists in everyone. The center of us is like that. From this place, the ancient call appears, ‘Why do you not know me? Living so many years with me, why can you not call my real name?’
Inside you is a river. It flow eternal. And the source is never-ending
Jobs’ eyes are open, looking directly at the wall.
His life has been in turmoil since the Apple board stripped him off all executive duties three months earlier. John Sculley, the Apple CEO he sought to lead the company had led the coup. The board had sided with Sculley.
Jobs resigned rather than lose face. He had teetered closer and closer to the edge. Friends were worried he would kill himself.
Jobs has been in a rage not knowing which way to turn. Buddhism helps. It puts life in perspective. It puts his mind in order.
Jobs keeps looking at the wall. He first met Otogawa at the San Francisco Zen Center. Otogawa had left Japan to bring Zen to the west. Like Jobs he was adopted as child.
Jobs is looking into the wall. Your thoughts are your illusions that causes unnecessary suffering as you inevitably face change, loss, disease, old age, and death.
Think different, think bigger, think deeper. Jobs thinks to himself, think deeper. Only one thought settles on his mind. Think deeper.
Jobs feels a light breeze on his face. Before his eyes the gray wall rolls into gray storm clouds, broiling, shifting. A ribbon of light dances behind the clouds, a glimpse of blue sky.
His red scarf flutters softly. The clouds are moving, parting. His sense of self is shifting, his ego dissolving.
The clouds part, scatter and slip away to reveal a glorious blue sky and an endless landscape.
2001 - JOBS’ APPLE OFFICE - DAY
Jobs’ office is next to the boardroom. A glass wall looks straight in to the boardroom with a long birch table surrounded by thirty System Supporto task chairs in olive green leather.
The desk on Jobs’ office is in the same style. As are the chairs. Along one wall there is a giant whiteboard with three columns drawn by hand and a spattering of numbers.
Windows look out onto the Apple campus below. There’s a aquarium in the corner. It’s meant to have a calming effect.
Jobs is signaling somebody to come into his office.
TONY FADELL, 31, and JON RUBINSTEIN, 44, anxiously enter. Fadell is a Lebanese American computer science engineer recently brought in to Apple to develop the new iPod. He looks like he hasn’t slept for weeks. He is carrying a locked perspex shoe box.
Rubinstein had run hardware engineering for Jobs at NeXT. At Apple he is the senior vice president of hardware engineering and a member of the executive staff. He looks like he hasn’t slept for days.
Fadell puts the perspex box on Jobs’ desk. Jobs, 45, crosses his arms.
Rubinstein unlocks the box and take out the latest iPod prototype and hands it to Jobs.
Jobs takes it and looks carefully over the face, inspects the sides and turns it over to check the back. He weighs it in the palm of his left hand. The size looks a little odd and he’s not completely happy.
Fadell glances at the aquarium. Along with other Apple designers and engineer, Fadell and Rubinstein had already produced more than a hundred prototypes in every imaginable shape and form with every imaginable menu system. They’d burned through hundreds of hard disk and battery combinations until settling on a new Toshiba 5GB model.
They are sure they’ve nailed it with this prototype. There’s nothing they can make better.
Jobs plans to launch the iPod in a month and manufacturing is already on standby, ready to start producing them in the thousands.
Are we good to go, Steve?
Jobs weighs the prototype in his hand. It has the familiar white top casing with the mono screen and distinctive scroll wheel. The bottom casing is in metal.
No, Jon, we’re not.
Jesus, Steve, we’ve got to go.
Digital music players to date had been big and clunky with unbelievably awful user interfaces. Jobs had taken to throwing them against a wall. They tended to shatter on impact.
Even though the iPod is yet to be launched, it’s key to Apple’s digital strategy. The company bought SoundJam MP MP3 Jukebox and brought the developers into the fold a year earlier to create iTunes.
Apple brought in PortalPlayer and Pixo to help develop the iPod software and user interface.
Fadell had been an independent contractor and hardware expert who’d helped develop handheld devices at General Magic and Philips.
Jobs had a list of features he wanted in the iPod including Apple’s preferred music format, AAC, as well as Audible’s audio book format, and a five-band equalizer.
Jobs also wanted it to feel smaller, thinner, lighter.
Meetings with Jobs went from weekly to daily. He went over every single detail dozens of times.
There are too many buttons to push to get to a song. The menu isn’t responding fast enough. The volume isn’t loud enough. The sharps aren’t sharp enough.
The iPod is louder than most MP3 players because Jobs is partly deaf. Engineers had to drive the sound up so he could hear it.
But he’s not worrying about the quality or loudness of the sound today. Something else is on his mind.
Jobs stands and again weighs the latest iPod prototype in his hand. Looks at it.
It’s too big.
Rubinstein is exasperated. Fadell almost faints from lack of sleep.
Steve, we’ve reinvented everything. We’ve done everything. We’re down to microns. It’s impossible to make it any smaller.
Jobs walks over to the aquarium. Looks at the fish drifting by.
He calmly drops the prototype into the water. It sinks to the bottom, lands into the gravel and topples to one side. Bubbles float to the surface.
See those are air bubbles?
Rubinstein and Fadell can see them.
That means there’s space in there. Make it smaller.
Jobs walks out.
1971 - FERNANDEZ GARAGE - DAY
BILL FERNANDEZ, 15, is passing a soldering iron to his neighbor Steve Wozniak, 19, who’s working on a circuit board.
Wozniak has spent the past year enrolled at Berkeley’s Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences. Although he’s spent most of his time away from campus, tinkering with electronics of his own design and devising elaborate pranks.
Hiss of solder.
Wozniak earned his Ham Radio license in sixth grade and designed his first computer at age thirteen. It played Tic-Tac-Toe. He spends weekends at the Stanford Linear Accelerator library brushing up on his skills. Wozniak is the the neighborhood’s resident electronics genius.
Solder drops onto a resistor pad on the back of the circuit board.
Steve Jobs, 15, walks into the garage. Fernandez is Jobs’ only friend at school. They first met and Cupertino Junior High, and both transferred to nearby Homestead High School. They both love pranks and electronics.
Hey, Steve, meet Steve.
Fernandez smiles goofily at his own lame joke.
Jobs reaches out his hand.
Hi, I’m Steve Jobs.
Wozniak keeps soldering.
I’m Steve Wozniak.
Excellent first name.
Everyone calls me ‘Woz’.
Jobs arches an eyebrow.
It’s not short for ‘Wozniak’.
It’s an acronym for ‘Wheels of Zeus’.
Jobs is impressed.
Woz has been working on a pocket TV interrupter. Size of a packet of cigarettes. You walk past someone watching TV, click the button and it jams the reception, fuzzes up the screen. They’re clicking and clicking their remote, no idea what’s wrong. Smacking the top of the set. Getting angrier and angrier.
Fernandez is laughing. Wozniak is smiling. Jobs smiles.
Got it down from five chips to two. Doesn’t work every time though.
Probably the electrics.
Wozniak smiles at Jobs’ sly joke.
Probably should have used Hewlett-Packard parts.
I’m a member of the Hewlett-Packard Explorer Club. I can probably get a discount.
Wozniak is not at all impressed.
I’ll probably be working at Hewlett-Packard over summer.
Jobs is mightily impressed.
Woz, tell Steve about the time you built an electronic metronome to look like a bomb and put it in the school locker, tick tick tick.
Was that you?
Wozniak smile spreads from ear to ear.
Tick-tick-tick. Woz rigged it so it started ticking faster when Principal Campbell took it out of the locker. He ran out onto the football field, ripping out wires, screaming.
Wozniak is chuckling.
That was you? Weren’t you sent to juvenile detention?
Wozniak straightens his back, proud.
Spent the night. Totally worth it. Showed the other kids how to disconnect the wires from the ceiling fans and connect them to the bars so the guards got a shock when they touched them.
Jobs high school pranks involving toilet seats, fire crackers and bicycle locks pale in comparison.
1971 - JOBS’ TEENAGE BEDROOM - NIGHT
Jobs, 15, is at his desk building a frequency counter as part of an electronics class project for school. A soldering iron is balanced on a copy of the Palo Alto phone book, red light glowering.
Mr. McCollum’s popular electronics class at Homestead High School is a beacon for nerds. A year younger than his classmates, Jobs has found it difficult to make friends. But he loves building electronic projects.
Jobs checks the schematic and fingers through some parts and realizes he doesn’t have a RTL buffer. Damn. He knows his father won’t have one in the garage. Double damn.
He taps his chin, thinking. Then picks up the Palo Alto phone book on his desk and inadvertently knocks the soldering iron onto the desk. He flips through the pages and fingers down a column of names until he comes to Hewlett, William 367 1402.
He picks ups a rotary phone and dials the number. It rings. And rings. And rings.
And is finally answered. A man’s voice crackles down the line.
Is this Bill Hewlett of Hewlett-Packard?
Indeed it is. What can I do you for?
I’m Steve Jobs. And I need your help, sir.
Do you now?
I’m building a frequency counter for a school project and I can’t find a RTL buffer anywhere. Your firm makes the best buffers in the world and I was hoping you might have a spare one, sir.
Hewlett chuckles down the line. Smoke rises from the tip of the soldering iron.
How old are you, Steve?
I’m fifteen, sir.
You like electronics, do you, Steve?
Jobs sniffs the air, smells smoke.
Jobs spots the tip of the soldering iron burning into his desk. Picks it up and tries to wave away the smoke.
Tell you what I’ll do, Steve. I’ll give you that spare part and whatever else I can rustle up, but on one condition.
What’s that, sir?
Job is still waving away the smoke, hoping his parents don’t burst into his room.
You come work with Hewlett-Packard on your summer break. How does that sound?
Jobs’ eyes light up.
1971 - HEWLETT-PACKARD COMPANY - DAY
It’s a hot summer’s day. Steve Jobs, 16, is at a production line screwing in nuts and bolts on frequency counters. He’s at least ten years younger than any of the other workers.
He seems to be taking way too long to complete a simple job. Meticulously scrutinizing his own handiwork. Other workers on the line are shaking their heads.
Actually Jobs looks like he’s a little stoned. Steve Wozniak, 21, wanders in. Cheeky.
Are you sure you got that round the right way?
Hey, Woz, man, how you doing?
I’m doing great.
You coming down to mix with us mere mortals?
Wozniak blushes. Wozniak recently joined Hewlett-Packard as a computer engineer, working on a mainframe computer. His life’s dream realized.
Hey, man, you want to split for lunch?
I usually just grab something from Denny’s.
That’ll kill you. Come and have some carrot and barley soup over at Country Sun Natural Foods, maybe drop into my place on the way there.
Maybe I’ve got something you want.
Steve, what could you possibly have that I want?
Jobs looks around, leans in and whispers in his ear. Wozniak’s eye widen.
The opening of the sixty-six world tour!?
Jobs leans back and nods like Buddha.
“Positively Fourth Street?” “Love Minus Zero No Limit?” “To Ramona?”
Totally, totally, totally electric. Completely intense. It’s like Dylan’s screaming every single word into the microphone. It’s insane.
Wozniak and Jobs have started tramping through San Jose and Berkeley collecting reel-to-reel bootleg tapes of Bob Dylan recordings. They stay up late into the night interpreting and reinterpreting Dylan’s lyrics.
When Wozniak falls asleep, Jobs slips on his favorite headphones and just lies back and listens for hours.
1972 - BAUM FAMILY HOME - AFTERNOON
Sunshine is pouring into a typical Palo Alto backyard.
On the white timber deck, ALLEN BAUM, 20, nerdy, skinny with glasses is hunched over a set of pulleys and levers and fishing lines and what looks like a giant rolled up cotton sheet. Steve Wozniak, 22, is helping him. They’ve been working on this project for two weeks. It’s the prank to end all pranks.
Allen had tie-dyed the sheet in the green and white Homestead High School colors. His mother, Charlotte Baum, had helped them sketch the hand so it looked more lifelike and less like a cartoon. She snickered and smiled. She knew what it meant.
For some bizarre reason they started calling it the “Brazilian Best Wishes” sign. Wozniak is bolting a roller skate onto one end. Baum is shaking his head.
Steve Jobs, 17, opens the back door and steps out. His hair is lank, shoulder length.
Steve, you’re late.
Jobs takes out a small paperback book from his back pocket.
Have you read this? “Autobiography of a Yogi?” It’s by Paramahansa Yogananda. It’ll blow your mind.
It’ll change your life.
How come we’re doing all your work for you, Steve? This was your stupid idea?
Baum has been getting frustrated because the pulley system to reveal the sign is not working as expected. Wozniak has been busy reworking it.
You’ve got to chill out, Allen.
Baum storms off. Jobs calls out after him, holding the book up in the air.
Maybe try meditating.
Sounds of back door slamming shut.
Wozniak reaches into his back pocket and pulls out a schematic. And hands it to Jobs.
You should read this.
Jobs takes it, studies it.
What is it, Woz?
I’m pretty sure I can build it. I’ve gone over it a thousand times.
A computer? You really think you can build a computer?
Wozniak bites his lips, nods his head.
1972 - SAN FRANCISCO MARINA BOULEVARD - EVENING
Steve Jobs, 17, is ambling along with his high school girlfriend, CHRISANN BRENNAN, 16. His first love. A sweet all-American girl.
Jobs would play guitar for her in his bedroom like his hero, Bob Dylan. She would tease him about the black and white Bob Dylan poster over his bed. He would tease her about all the novels she read.
The pair have just splurged on a movie and dinner. Jobs has the air of a Beat poet, shoulders hunched forward.
You know what Janov says about parents creating and perpetuating trauma, walking out on them in so many ways? It’s so true.
Steve, all my parents have ever done is love me.
We’re not all so lucky, Chrissie.
Jobs looks out at the sunset.
I couldn’t father a child. I couldn’t possibly father a child. I couldn’t even be there for it.
Chrisann rolls her eyes. She’s heard this before.
You know I’ll be dead by forty.
Don’t be ridiculous, Steve.
You can call it ridiculous, Chrissie, but I know. I’m going to do something amazing and make millions and then go back to wherever I came from.
Brennan takes his hand. She always makes the first move. She kisses him, whispers.
I love you, Steve.
You’re going to make millions?
You don’t even have ten dollars to your name.
Jobs smiles. They head towards his Fiat Abarth 850 coupe parked at Crissy Field. There’s a parking ticket under the windscreen wiper. He takes it, reads it, slips it in his back pocket.
Twenty-five dollar parking fine.
Brenann frowns. Jobs chuckles.
What’s so funny?
Jobs starts laughing, walking onto the beach, past the Coast Guard Station. The Golden Gate Bridge spans the background.
It’s only money, Chrissie.
You don’t have any money.
He reaches into the front pocket of his jeans and pulls out the last of his change. Unwraps three notes and some loose coins. Counts them out.
I’ve got one-two-three dollars and seventy-six cents.
Jobs looks at Brennan, smiles wide. Then reaches back and throws the money into the sea.
Brennan is shocked. Jobs howls with laughter.
1972 - HOMESTEAD HIGH SCHOOL C BUILDING - DAY
Cinderblock auditorium building with a small stage where PRINCIPAL CAMPBELL, 43, is coming to the end of his graduation speech, He is standing behind a center lectern. VARIOUS TEACHERS are seated in a semi-circle behind him.
The rear wall backs onto the Interstate 280, billed as the world’s most beautiful freeway. Out front is the Homestead High School graduating class of 1972. HIGH SCHOOL SENIORS are divided into the usual groups - jocks, nerds, babes, stoners, try hards.
Steve Jobs, 17, seems completely engrossed in what the principal is saying. Jobs’ eyes are shining. A piece of taut fishing line is clutched tight in his hand.
And in closing, I would encourage each of you to take more than just what you’ve learnt at Homestead with you as you venture out into the world, but to take the spirit of this distinguished institution with you for the rest of your lives.
Smile breaks over Jobs’ face as he yanks the fishing line. Sounds of roller skates clattering in the lighting grid above the stage. Principal Campbell looks up. Sounds of roller skates crunching to a stop. Various Teachers look up. Sounds of fabric fluttering as the giant tie-dyed cotton sheet unfurls in front of them.
It’s the prank Wozniak, Baum and Jobs had been working on for the past few weeks. The sketch on the giant sheet is of a huge hand flipping a middle-finger salute. The students burst out into cheers and whistles and applause.
Two words are painted either side of the finger. BEST WISHES.
The bottom is signed SWAB JOB. The S and W stands for Steve Wozniak, the A and B stands for Allen Baum, and JOB stands for Steve Jobs. Students are laughing and clapping in disbelief.
Jobs is grinning from ear to ear
On the standard High School 4.0 grading scale, Jobs gets a 2.65. Which means mostly Bs and Cs.
He hasn’t told his parents which college he’s decided to go to.
1972 - WESTGATE MALL BATHROOM - DAY
It’s the men’s bathroom. The air conditioning system for the entire San Jose shopping mall has broken down on a hot summer day.
Steve Jobs, 17, and Steve Wozniak, 22, are sitting slumped on the floor next to the hand basins, panting. They’re dressed as Alice in Wonderland characters for a mall promotion. Wozniak as the White Rabbit and Jobs as the Mad Hatter. They look like characters out of a Disney animation.
Jobs has taken off his knee-length giant head and is fanning his face.
Three dollars an hour?
I know, it’s great, isn’t it?
It’s worth it just to see the joy we’re bringing to all those kids.
Jobs looks at him as if he’s insane.
Outside the bathroom stands Jobs’ girlfriend, Chrisann Brennan, 16. Wearing an Alice costume. Black ribbon in her blonde hair, blue Victorian party dress, white apron, white stockings, black shoes.
She has her hands behind her back, waiting.
2004 - JOBS FAMILY HOME - MORNING
Jobs Palo Alto family home is tucked away on the corner of tree-lined Waverley Street and Santa Rita Avenue.
Through the front yard filled with fruit trees, past an open gate in the exterior 6-foot wall running around the back of the property and into a very large backyard filled with flowers, vegetables, fruit trees and rose bushes. The garden flows naturally with simple pathways and benches. The centerpiece is a large conical trellis.
The 1930s British country style home is modest, low-roofed. It blends easily into the quiet neighborhood.
In the back corner of the yard, two contractors are busy installing a new trampoline. KC BRADSHAW, 37, and ROB, 27, have spent the past three hours assembling the frame and rigging the mat. Rob is listening to his iPod, clicking the foam padding into place around the edge of the trampoline.
Someone is coming through the garden towards them. It’s Steve Jobs, 48. Jobs had disclosed news of his cancer only a month earlier. Media reports stated he had undergone surgery to successfully remove a tumor. There was no need for chemotherapy or radiation.
Hi, I’m Steve. Nice to meet you.
Bradshaw and Rob are a little startled. Rob yanks the white earbuds out of his ear. They shake hands. Jobs looks at the trampoline.
You’re going to make one young woman very very happy.
Jobs runs the tip of his finger along the seam on the padding. Rob snaps the aluminum step ladder into place.
You know, you can French seam the edges so it’s fully enclosed.
Makes for a neater finish.
Bradshaw nods. Jobs never stops thinking about how to better design products, how to simplify.
Sound of six-year old girl screeching in delight. This is Eve Jobs and this trampoline is her sixth birthday present.
Eve screams in through the garden, super excited. Eve is Job’s youngest daughter. Willful, independent. Jobs points to the trampoline.
Hey, honey, is this what you’re looking for?
You got it! You got it! You got it!!
She scrambles onto the trampoline and starts bouncing up and down, squealing with joy.
Steve Jobs takes out a few hundred dollar notes from his back pocket, and hands them to Bradshaw.
Bradshaw and Rob smile. It’s the biggest tip they’ve ever seen.
Jobs waves it off.
Ahh, this is going to sound weird but could you please sign our iPods.
Bradshaw and Rob whip out their iPods. Bradshaw offers a Sharpie pen.
You don’t want me to do that — it’ll rub off.
They both hold out their iPods. Rob’s is the latest 4G model. Bradshaw’s is an original first generation model. Jobs points to it, smiles.
And that one is going to be a collectors’ item soon.
It’s a classic design.
Jobs takes the pen and signs his first name and surname in lower case on the back of both iPods.
Thinking of getting a new model?
You might want to wait a little while. We’re working on something pretty amazing.
Even Bradshaw knows not to ask what it is. Apple never announce new products until they’re ready to ship.
Jobs bites his tongue and heads to the trampoline. Bradshaw and Rob head off, proudly holding their signed iPods. At the gate they turn back and see Jobs and his daughter both jumping up and down on the trampoline.
Jobs has a huge smile on his face.
1972 - REED COLLEGE BOOKSTORE - DAY
A distinctive, independent residential liberal arts college with a hundred acres of rolling lawns, brick Tudor Gothic buildings, majestic trees and wooded canyon. It’s mascot is the griffin, a mythical beast with the head of an eagle and the body of a lion.
Every first-year student must take a course called Humanities 110, a class feared for its unique syllabus as for its heavy workload. Focusing almost exclusively on the great works of ancient Greece and Rome, students are required to read thousands of pages of classical literature from Homer to Euripides.
The bookstore is patterned after the style of St. John’s College at Oxford University in England.
Steve Jobs, 17, is wearing an green Army surplus jacket, tattered gym shoes, disheveled shirt, dark jeans, light beard. Standing in line, waiting to pay for a book. A young man’s voice falls over his shoulder.
Hey, I’m getting the same book.
Jobs looks around.
DAN KOTTKE, 18, is holding up his square format paperback book and pointing to the matching book in Jobs’ hand.
I’m buying the same book as you are.
Jobs looks at his copy of “Be Here Now” by Ram Dass, an illustrated book that is introducing a generation of westerners to eastern spiritual thought. The purple cover features a Mandala incorporating the title, a chair, radial lines, and the word REMEMBER. Jobs has been smoking a lot of weed and reading a lot of books since he arrived at America’s premier liberal arts college a few weeks ago.
Jobs nods. He spots a young woman who looks like a sultry black-haired Chrisann, wearing a red t-shirt with the college seal emblazoned with the motto COMMUNISM - ATHEISM - FREE LOVE.
Kottke flips through a few pages in the book. Stops on a page with a drawing of Buddha meditating. Begins to read the hand-lettered text.
‘Total compassion means you are the universe.’
Jobs recites the rest of the page from memory.
‘You are all form. You are the breath. You are the river. You are the void. You are the desire to be enlightened.’
Kottke smiles. Jobs recites the last line.
‘You are enlightened.’
Have you met Robert Friedland?
Friedland was on parole from Federal prison after being caught with 24,000 tabs of LSD. He’d only recently been elected president of the student body at Reed.
Charismatic and mercurial, Friedland had met Ram Dass.
2005 - APPLE CONFERENCE ROOM - AFTERNOON
All steel and glass. All business.
A team meeting has just broken up. It hasn’t gone well. TWO VICE PRESIDENTS are huddled near the door, furtively whispering to each other.
Steve Jobs, 49, wearing trademark glasses, black mock turtleneck, jeans and trainers. Huddled with THREE SENIOR ENGINEERS and Scott Forstall, 36, in the corner furthest from the door. Fuming.
This is stupid shit. I can’t believe how bad it is. We want to build a phone you can love, something you want to reach out and touch and show your friends. Not this piece of shit.
The team is startled to hear Jobs talk about the new cell phone project. It’s so secret that no one at Apple is supposed to know of it’s existence. It’s been dubbed Project Purple and given an entire locked down floor in an Apple campus building primed with triple security screening and video cameras monitoring all activity.
The multitouch screen is a piece of crap!
Jobs voice is rising. The cell phone project is critical because part of its development is the new mobile operating system that will underpin all future Apple products and services. Jobs had started thinking about developing a cell phone shortly after the first iPod was released in 2002.
Jobs saw a future in which cell phones and mobile email devices would amass ever more features, eventually challenging the iPod’s dominance as a music player. To protect his new product line, Jobs knew he had to venture into the wireless world.
Of course Jobs denied it to the media. Told the press that Apple was not interested in building a phone. Didn’t want to tip off any competitors. Didn’t want to piss off any carriers.
This is not the phone of the future. This is a fucking embarrassment.
Two Vice Presidents near the door start anxiously whispering. Jobs points at Forstall.
Scott, the software’s your fucking responsibility!!
Forstall visibly shrinks. Jobs snaps around and glares at the Two Vice Presidents by the door.
Can you please shut the fuck up! I’m trying to yell at someone over here.
Two Vice Presidents immediately swing open the glass door and hurry out. Jobs turns back to Forstall, exasperated.
You’ve got to stop doing stupid shit.
1972 - REED COLLEGE HALL - DAY
Steve Jobs, 17, is wandering barefoot through the oak paneled Eliot Hall. Most students are already in various classes. Sound of classical music ebbs from somewhere far away.
Jobs is not like most students. In fact, he’s not technically a student as he dropped out after his first semester. Couldn’t see the sense in it. Couldn’t see the return on investment.
His adoptive parents had scrimped and saved their whole lives to send Jobs to college. It had been a promise they had made to his birth mother. All their savings were being spent on his college tuition.
Spending so much of his parents money just didn’t seem worthwhile. Jobs has no idea what he wants to do with his life and no idea how college was going to help him figure it out. So he decides to drop out, gets a refund on his tuition and trusts it will all work out okay.
Although he didn’t so much drop out as drop in. Jobs manages to convince the college that it would be a good idea to let him audit classes for free from time to time. The college turns a blind eye to him sleeping in abandoned dorm rooms and crashing on friends floors. After all, it is America’s leading liberal arts college.
Jobs has become a fixture on campus. He became fast friends with Robert Friedland, the charismatic president of the student body. Jobs met him after arranging to sell him his black IBM Selectric typewriter. Friedland paid for it with LSD and tales of Ram Dass’ Hindu guru, Neem Karoli Baba.
Job stops at a window and gazes out on the college’s Great Lawn. Beethoven’s “Piano Concerto No. 5 in E-flat major, Op. 73” drifts past him.
Jobs follows the music into a small classroom.
ROBERT PALLADINO, 38, is standing at an upright drawing table, demonstrating Roman letter form with a brush.
The music is coming from a turntable and speaker on top of a small side cabinet. On the large sheet of paper on the drawing table, Palladino is adding the last word to his favorite William Blake verse.
TO SEE A WORLD IN A GRAIN OF SAND / AND A HEAVEN IN A WILD FLOWER / HOLD INFINITY IN THE PALM OF YOUR HAND / AND ETERNITY IN AN HOUR
Most students are crammed on half a dozen simple pine tables. Several are standing. Jobs joins them, intrigued.
Palladino is a former Trappist monk and monastery scribe. Wearing overalls, glasses close on his faces, glass case jammed into his top pocket. Completely immersed in his work.
Beethoven’s Fifth piano concerto fades out. Palladino lifts the brush off the full stop, leans backs and takes a deep breath.
The music of words.
He turns to the class.
Calligraphy is graphic music moving with rhythmic gesture across a field of silent space which surrounds it and gives it dimension.
Palladino’s class is never just concerned with teaching students calligraphy, crafting fine italics with a chisel-edged pen.
This is the art and form and meaning of letters. They tell us stories within their spaces and movement they tell us the story of the world.
Palladino’s class is more about the history of thought as expressed in words. It draws students from every field of learning. Jobs leans against a wall, fascinated.
Before long he’s attending every class in the calligraphy course. He learns about serif and sans serif typefaces, about varying the amount of space between different letter combinations, about what makes great typography great. It’s beautiful, historical, artistically subtle in a way that science simply can’t capture or hope to express.
For now Jobs can’t see any possible or practical application in his life. But ten years later he will design everything he learns into the first Macintosh computer. It will be the first computer with multiple typefaces and proportionally spaced fonts. It will be the first computer that makes the words look beautiful.
Dropping out had been scary for Jobs. He never has enough money, collecting cans to recycle for spare change and hiking seven miles once a week for a fee meal at a Hare Krishna temple.
Dean Dudman looks the other way when Jobs starts taking classes without paying. Often when Jobs is at the end of his rope, Dudman will take a walk with him. Talk about the world sand everything in it.
Only later does Jobs discover a $20 bill Dudman had slipped into his coat when he wasn’t looking.
2005 - TABLET SOFTWARE DEVELOPMENT ROOM - DAY
It’s impossible to tell which building on the Apple’s Cupertino campus this room is in because it’s in lockdown. This means the carpenters have come in and erected walls, frosted all windows, introduced sealed doors and added layers of security.
No information goes in or out without formal clearance. Apple has long separated new project teams to ensure no secrets can be shared or split.
SIX APPLE SOFTWARE ENGINEERS are fluttering around the room, gathering loose papers, frantically copying down snippets of code off the white board before erasing them. Apple always works with small teams.
He’s coming now?
He’s probably in the elevator!
Sounds of frosted glass door unlocking and opening. And Steve Jobs, 49, entering. Wearing trademark glasses, black mock turtleneck, jeans and trainers. He’s with Scott Forstall, 36, who looks like he’s suffering from a migraine.
Forstall is the senior executive responsible for developing the mobile operating system to drive all of Apple’s future mobile products and services. Forstall is with JONY IVES, 37. Ives is Apple’s Senior Vice President of Industrial Design. He’s wearing his favorite slate gray t-shirt.
This is the first time Ives has been in this room. Engineers are more than a little startled. Apple always keeps software development and hardware development separate on any new projects. The right hand never knows what the left hand is doing.
You all know Jony Ives.
Second Engineer swallows hard. Engineers presume everyone in the room is disclosed on the project. Secrecy is paramount at Apple. Any employee revealing company secrets is fired on the spot.
Apple doesn’t want news of new products dulling demand of existing products. Doesn’t want the competition to get an inkling of what’s under development.
Apple has been working in secret on a tablet for the past two year. Ever since a senior Microsoft executive had boasted to Jobs about what the revolutionary tablet device they had slated for production. It was incredible, it was going to change the world.
On windows? What a fucking joke. Jobs had told his senior executive team that he was sick of hearing about this fabled tablet from Microsoft. If anyone was going to make an amazing tablet, it was going to be Apple.
Of course Jobs denied it to the media. Told the press that no one was interested in tablets, that everyone wanted laptop. It bought a bit more time.
Engineers unplug three USB leads plugged into on an Apple tablet prototype attached to a desk with a heavy-duty security chain. The form is basically a wooden frame with an inset plastic screen the size of a sheet of copier paper. There’s no standard navigation wheel.
Jobs, Ives, and Forstall step over to the prototype. Jobs picks it up and turns it on.
A tablet computer is still an imaginary product, an imaginary market. The biggest concern for Jobs’ is the iPod. It has become more important, and more vulnerable, than ever. It accounts for more than 20 percent of company revenue but it’s under attack. Rival music stores and delivery systems are starting to proliferate. 3G phones are gaining popularity. Wi-Fi phones are coming.
The screen on the prototype lights up with series of 16 square icons are aligned in four rows and four columns.
Jobs taps the browser icon. It opens on the Apple website homepage. He taps through a few pages until he gets to the iPod category page. Pinches and zooms his way through various models. Taps to the home screen and taps the music icon. Taps and skates through a song. Taps to the home screen and taps the calculator icon. Taps some numbers in and then multiplies them. Smiles at the result.
Jobs looks up at Ives.
Jobs turns to Forstall.
You’ve got to port this into a new cell phone project.
Engineers quickly exchange looks. Jobs turns to the Engineers.
As of now you’re all working on a new cell phone project. Scott’s your DRI.
Jobs leaves with Ives. He stops at the door and turns back to the engineers.
You know the drill. Anything disclosed from this or any subsequent project meeting whether intentional or unintentional will result in immediate termination and the prosecution to the fullest extent of the law.
One of the engineers actually shudders. Forstall bites his bottom lip.
1973 - PORTLAND BOULEVARD - EVENING
Steve Jobs, 18, is walking along the road. Wispy beard, tattered jacket, bare feet.
Since he dropped out of being an official student at Reed College, he’s been unofficially dropping in and out of classes that catch his interest. Living hand to mouth and sleeping in whichever dorm room he can crash.
It’s Sunday. A car passes. Most everyone is at home. Jobs is trying to push away any noise and hold his thoughts. The quieter he becomes, the more he can hear.
What little money he has he gets from returning Coca-Cola bottles for the deposit. Sometimes Dean Dudman slips $20 in his jacket when he isn’t looking.
Jobs quickly learns the cheapest food to eat is Roman Meal. It’s cereal. It was discovered by a Harvard professor who studied with a history professor who wondered what the Roman legion took with them to eat as they conquered the world.
Jobs lives for many months on Roman Meal. After reading Frances Moore Lappé’s bestselling book “Diet for a Small Planet,” he stops eaten meat altogether and becomes a vegetarian. He begins experimenting with radical diets, purges and fasts. Once he eats only carrots for two weeks.
But it’s Sunday. And Sunday means free food at the Portland Hare Krishna Temple.
That’s where he’s heading tonight. He’s been so many times he knows how to time his arrival so he walks in right after the lecture and chanting. Just as the devotees are blessing the prasadam feast they’re about to serve.
The food is simple - rice, pooris, a subzi of potatoes, a dal and a sweet porridge with juice. Sattvic in preparation and true to nature.
It’s also delicious, nutritious and abundant. Many enjoy a second serving. One time, Jobs ate so much he literally couldn’t move. He ended up sleeping on the floor.
At four o’clock on the morning he was awakened by devotees heading out to gather flowers for their temple to honor Krishna. They ventured out into the neighborhood where they would to steal flowers from the neighbors. As the neighbors wised up and started guarding their flower beds, they would have to go out in an ever-wider circumference.
Jobs discovered they would sell incense to the local department stores only steal it back, so the department stores would buy more. They had a thriving business. And their ethics told them this is fine, anything in the service of Krishna is fine.
Anything in the service of a higher power is fine.
2006 - DISNEY CONFERENCE ROOM - DAY
PRESIDENTS and CEOS from various Disney divisions are gathering for a Walt Disney Company board meeting in Orlando, Florida. They’re all men. All wearing suits and ties.
All deep in conversation, glancing over each other’s shoulders in case someone more important steps into view.
Disney has just bought Pixar, Steve Jobs’ animation studio that rewrote the movie business with a string of computer animated hits. The deal valued Pixar at $7.4 billion, and made Jobs Disney’s largest shareholder.
ESPN president GEORGE BODENHEIMER, 47, spots Steve Jobs, 50, in the hallway. Perfect time to go up and introduce himself.
The president of the world’s largest sports network thrusts out his hand, cocks a smile.
Hi, I am George Bodenheimer. I run ESPN.
Jobs looks at him.
Your phone is the dumbest fucking idea I have ever heard.
Jobs turns and walks away.
1973 - ALL ONE FARM KITCHEN - NIGHT
Robert Friedland’s farm is at the end of a narrow mile-long gravel driveway. A large open area of several acres surrounded by dense forests of hardwoods and conifers.
A small apple orchard on the left, a bigger apple orchard a little further along. There’s a main house, large barn, garden shed, some tents.
People back in Portland call it a free-love commune. It was supposed to be an ashram dedicated to simple living and high thinking. Although Jobs is beginning to think of it more as a work farm.
Everyone is required to work eight hours a day, six days a week, in exchange for unheated shelter in the barn or a tent, fresh vegetarian meals, and cold outdoor showers. Mandatory group meditation twice a day, and bhakti-bhajan singing for several hours every evening.
Jobs, 18, is sitting at the kitchen table with Robert Friedland, 23. He’s handing Robert back a black-and-white photo of Neem Karoli Baba.
Jobs is in a threadbare jacket and bare feet. It’s a cold night. Robert is rugged up in a poncho, thick hair parted down the middle and down to his shoulder. He takes the photo of his guru, smiles.
You know there’s no biography of him. There’s a few facts, a lot of stories. He’s been known by different names across many parts of India, appearing and disappearing through the years.
You’re really going to see him in India?
I have to. In the west we call him Neem Karoli Baba, but he prefers being called Maharaj-ji. A nickname so commonplace in India it’s what you hear a tea vendor called. It’s a name for a nobody. That’s how he sees himself. As a nobody.
Friedland is following in Ram Dass’ footsteps. The pilgrimage to India is becoming a rite of passage for many young Americans seeking enlightenment.
Short, simple stories are his teaching. Usually he sits or lies on a wooden bench wrapped in his plaid blanket while a few devotees sit around him. Visitors come and go, they’re given food, a few words, a nod, a slap on the head, and then sent away.
Jobs wonders if he’ll ever go to India. Baba Neem Karoli’s ashram in Kainchi is dedicated to loving everyone, serving everyone. Baba Neem Karoli believes serving others is the surest way to God.
Sometimes he sits in silence, absorbed in another world to which you cannot follow, but bliss and peace pour out of him.
Friedland stares into Jobs’ soul.
The experience of him, the nectar of his presence, the totality of his absence.
Are you cold, Steve?
I’m freezing, Robert? There aren’t any spare blankets in the barn.
Are you happy with the orchard?
Jobs nods, pleased. He’s been tending to the apple orchard, helping produce Apple cider. He’s also been on an Apple diet for a week. Eaten nothing but apples for the past seven days.
You’ve been doing a good job, Steve. Why not spend the night here in the kitchen. It’ll be warmer.
Jobs smiles. Friedland gets up, picks up his photo.
Maybe one day you’ll get to India and meet Baba Neem Karoli.
Friedland leaves, calling out good night. Jobs thinks about traveling to India. On what? A dream and a prayer? How will he ever get enough money?
He’s been at the farm a while now. It’s losing its attraction. Everyone seems to be working harder and harder. And for what?
It’s not like they share in the profits. Friedland keeps all the money from selling apples and cider and firewood.
Ram Dass says suffering is part of your training program for becoming wise. But suffering at whose expense?
All One Farm is supposed to be a refuge from materialism, but lately Friedland has been operating it more as a business. Without paying anyone.
That night Jobs sleeps under the table in the kitchen. He’s amused to see people coming in and stealing each other’s food from the refrigerator.
It’s not long before he decides to leave the farm.
2006 - APPLE BOARDROOM - AFTERNOON
Pan across a DOZEN SENIOR APPLE MANAGERS AND ENGINEERS slumped around the boardroom table. No one looks happy.
Almost a year ago, Steve Jobs, 50, had tasked them with creating a new phone after a series of false starts. This was going to be the phone of the future. It was going to be the future of Apple.
There’d been turf wars, fist fights, screaming matches. Dramatic resignations, upended desks, doors smashed open with baseball bats.
The pressure had been intense.
Jobs had been testing the latest prototype for a week. It was no better than the previous prototype.
Jobs pulls the phone out of his pocket, weighs it in his hand.
The phone dropped calls constantly, the battery stopped charging before it was full, data and applications routinely became corrupted and unusable. The list of problems seemed endless.
Jobs puts the phone down on the table.
Worse still the plastic screen was badly scratched after just a day.
Jobs slides the phone into the center of the table with the tip of his finger. He fixes everyone in the room with a level stare.
We don’t have a product yet.
It would have been better if he’d thrown the phone against the wall and screamed at everyone. That’s what everyone was expecting. That’s what everyone was used to.
Jobs’ relative calm is unnerving. The chill is palpable. ONE PRODUCT MANGER rushes out of the boardroom to the nearest bathroom where she throws up.
All the executives and engineers want to buy more time.
Maybe we reduce the feature set.
Maybe do some market research to get a bead on what we should focus on.
Did Alexander Graham Bell do any market research before he invented the telephone?
Jobs presses his fingertips together.
Market research is not going to solve the problems.
The problems aren’t just software or hardware. The new phone is to be the centerpiece of Apple’s annual Macworld convention, set to take place in just a few months. Since his return to Apple in 1997, Jobs has used the event as a showcase to launch his biggest products.
Everyone is expecting something huge. Rumors have been swirling for almost a year.
Jobs has already admitted that Leopard — the new version of Apple’s operating system — will be delayed. If the new phone isn’t ready in time, Macworld will be a dud, Jobs’ critics will pounce, and Apple’s stock price will suffer.
And what about AT&T? After a year and a half of secret meetings, Jobs has finally negotiated terms with the wireless division of the telecom giant to be the carrier for the new phone. In return for five years of exclusivity, roughly 10 percent of sales in AT&T stores, and a thin slice of Apple’s iTunes revenue, AT&T has granted Jobs unprecedented power.
Jobs has cajoled AT&T into spending millions of dollars and thousands of man-hours to create a new feature, so-called visual voicemail, and to reinvent the time-consuming in-store sign-up process. He’s also wrangled a unique revenue-sharing arrangement, garnering roughly $10 a month from every customer’s new AT&T bill.
On top of all that, Apple retains complete control over the design, manufacturing, and marketing of the new phone. Jobs has done the unthinkable - squeezed a good deal out of one of the largest players in the entrenched wireless industry.
Will he be able to deliver the phone he promised?
1974 - LOS ALTOS HOME - LATE AFTERNOON
Paul Jobs is working on his son’s Fiat 850 Abarth Coupe in the driveway. Rolls two wires together under the dashboard.
Paul’s son, Steve Jobs, has returned home from Portland to take a job at Atari. Told his father he wanted to save enough money to go to India. Paul had hoped his son had son had grown out of all that. Just wished he’d stayed in college, graduated liked they’d wanted. Like they’d talked about.
Paul follows a wire underneath the parcel tray. Notices a small clear plastic bag rolled tight hidden there. Takes it out, unrolls it to see shredded marijuana inside along with a pack of rolling papers.
Front door opens and slams shut. Steve Jobs, 19, ambles over to the car, eating an apple, happy.
Probably the electrics, right?
Paul is silent. Jobs looks around, smiles.
Paul holds up the bag of marijuana he’s found.
What’s this, Steve?
That’s pot, Dad.
Paul looks heart broken.
That’s what you’ve been studying up there in Portland. How to break the law? How to become a pot head? How to become a drug addict?
Jobs rolls his eyes.
Dad, don’t believe everything you read in the paper.
Don’t you patronize me, son. I’m your father. I don’t want you using pot, Steve. It’ll rot your brains. It’ll ruin your life.
Jobs looks away.
Quite the opposite, actually.
Paul looks straight at his son.
Steve, I want you to promise me you’ll never use pot again.
Jobs looks at his father.
I can’t promise you that.
2007 - CORNING CEO OFFICE - DAY
WENDELL WEEKS, 46, is Corning’s CEO. He is standing in the corner of his second floor black-glazed office in upstate New York, looking out onto the Chemung River.
Hi, I’m Steve Jobs.
Weeks turns around and sees Steve Jobs, 51, loping in. Dressed in trademark black mock turtleneck, jeans, sneakers. Weeks is dressed in a crisp suit, white shirt and striped tie.
Weeks walks towards jobs, right hand outstretched. They meet and shake.
Weeks, Wendell Weeks. I see you found us alright.
Wendell and Jobs have spoken several times on the phone about a new glass screen for the new phone Apple is working on. Jobs doesn’t want a plastic screen, he wants glass. But no one makes glass thin enough or tough enough.
The most radical thing about the new Apple phone form factor is the screen takes up the entire surface. All the high-impact plastic screens Apple tested scratch horribly.
Even worse, Jobs doesn’t like the feel. Plastic doesn’t feel smooth and sleek.
A few days ago he sent Wendell an email.
From: Steve Jobs
Date: Sat, 27 Jan 2007 16:51:12 -0700
To: Wendell Weeks
Cc: Steve Jobs
Subject: I’m coming to Corning
We need to talk and if that’s not possible over the phone or via email, then I need to come to your office and go for a walk on the river with you and resolve this. The time is now to begin creating a new phone experience, and Apple is the company to do it. I need your help.
How do I find you once I get to the airport?
Now he’s in the office with Wendell, telling him how to make strong glass. After 23 years with Corning, Weeks knows everything there is to know about glass. He puts his hand up and interrupts Jobs.
Steve, shut up a minute. I know how to make glass. Listen to me.
You don’t want to thermally strengthen glass. It makes it too dense. What you want to do is chemically strengthen the glass. Ideally by creating a compressive layer through ion exchange. Have you ever heard of Chemcor glass?
Jobs shakes his head.
It’s an aluminosilicate we developed that contains silicon dioxide, aluminum oxide, magnesium, sodium. It’s the aluminum oxide that gives the glass remarkable strength and durability, and much higher surface tension.
Lighter and stronger, right?
Four times stronger.
Down to the millimeter.
It’s really quite remarkable, quite beautiful.
Jobs leans in. Weeks runs the tips of his fingers across the palm of his hand.
Cool to the touch, smooth but with a surface to it.
In six months I need enough of that glass to make a million phones.
That’s not going to happen, Steve.
Why the fuck not?!
Steve, we’ve only made it in the lab. We’ve never actually put it into production.
Jobs looks down.
We don’t have a factory to make it, we don’t have a manufacturing plant.
Jobs looks up.
Don’t be afraid, Wendell, you can do it.
Steve, it’s impossible. Where am I going to get the resources?
Jobs keeps looking at him. Right at him.
Don’t be afraid, you can do it.
Weeks looks at Jobs.
You can do it.
1974 - ATARI WAREHOUSE - LATE NIGHT
Steve Jobs, 19, is wandering through the warehouse by himself. Wearing jeans and a check shirt, mustache. Bare feet.
Jobs wanders past half-built computer game cabinets. The warehouse is barely lit and no one else is around.
Jobs had recently started working at Atari in a bid to put his technical skills to use and earn enough money to finance a trip to India. He’s still reading and meditating, seeking enlightenment everywhere.
Reed College and All One Farm in Portland is behind him. Since moving back home with his parents, Jobs has connected with old friends like Steve Wozniak and Allen Baum.
Jobs is one of the first 40 employees at Atari, a legendary Silicon Valley game company founded by Nolan Kay Bushnell. Atari’s Pong, a simple electronic version of ping-pong, has caught on like wildfire in arcades across the country.
Bushnell was anxious to come up with a successor. He envisioned a one-player variation on Pong called Breakout with bricks that would bounce the ball back to the paddle. Jobs boasted that he was just the man for the job. Bushnell gave him four days to do it.
Bushnell also moved him to night shift. Jobs kept calling his supervisor Stephen Bristow a dumb shit and took to signing off game reports with the Buddhist mantra, gate gate paragate parasangate bodhi svahdl. Going, going, going on beyond, always going on beyond, always becoming Buddha.
Jobs was constantly clashing with colleagues. They all thought he stunk. He thought they we’re all stupid.
The joke was that Jobs was the only employee on night shift. Bushnell wanted harmony with his employees. But he also wanted to hang onto Jobs.
Bushnell wanted a game with as few chips as possible and told Jobs there would a bonus if he could do it in less than fifty chips
Jobs freaked and immediately called Wozniak for help, promising him half of the bonus. Wozniak was working full time at Hewlett-Packard and had already built his own version of Pong just for fun. Jobs somehow convinced him that doing something that would take most engineers a few months in just a few days was actually feasible.
Jobs kept telling Wozniak not to be afraid.
After four sleepless nights they actually had a working prototype. It was rough and unfinished. Wozniak had drawn up the circuit board. Jobs breadboarded it on the fly. Components, chips and wire-wrapping everything because there was no time to solder.
Bushnell was mightily impressed. Jobs was a hero. Woz was happy doing what he loved best.
Jobs wanders past Bushnell’s office. Bushnell had paid Jobs a $5,000 bonus for the new video game. Jobs had told Wozniak it was only $700, and paid him half. Jobs has other plans for the rest of the money.
Jobs wants to go to India.
2006 - JIN SHO RESTAURANT - EVENING
Steve Jobs, 50, is sitting outside his favorite Japanese restaurant on California Avenue in Palo Alto with MARC ANDREESSEN, 34. They’re with their wives, LAURA ANDREESSEN and LAURENE POWELL JOBS. Waiting for a table inside to open up.
Andreessen pioneered the Netscape internet browser that opened the web for everyone. He became the poster-boy for the internet generation and thousands of tech startups. Lately he’d become a venture capitalist. The money is always in the money.
The women are laughing with each other. Jobs seems a little tense.
He looks around then leans into Andreessen.
Marc, let me show you something.
Jobs reaches his hand into the front pocket of his jeans and retrieves the latest working prototype of Apple’s new phone. It’s the first time someone outside Apple has seen it.
The plastic screen has been replaced by a toughened glass screen from Corning. It looks like a sliver of the future.
Jobs clicks the recessed center home button on the bottom of the screen and the phone comes to life. Jobs smiles.
On the screen are four columns of icon buttons. Text, Calendar, Photos, Camera, YouTube, Stocks, Maps, Weather, Clock, Calculator, Settings. Above the home button is a row of another four icon buttons. Phone, Mail, Safari, iPod.
Jobs takes Andreessen through a tour of the features and capabilities of the new device. Even sends him an email. Andreessen is bewitched.
Boy, you just typed it right on the screen.
Jobs smiles. Andreessen BlackBerry phone buzzes with the incoming email. Andreessen looks at it, brushes his thumb across the tiny keyboard.
Steve, don’t you think it’s going to be a problem not having a physical keyboard?
Jobs slips the new Apple phone back in his pocket.
Are people really going to be okay typing directly on the screen?
Jobs looks straight through Andreessen.
They’ll get used to it.
1974 - MAHARAJJI KAINCHI ASHRAM - DAY
This is the secluded mountain ashram of Neem Karoli Baba in the foothills of the Himalayas. In India, the holy man is known simply as Maharajji. Many westerners have sought him as their guru in their quest for enlightenment.
Set high on the Kumoan Hills in Uttaranchal, the low lying ashram seems to float amongst the trees. A narrow wooden footbridge leads to the front gates.
Steve Jobs, 19, is crossing the bridge with Dan Kottke, 20, and another YOUNG AMERICAN. All with shaved heads, wearing sandals and thin flowing cotton robes. The air is cold, winter is coming. The Young American is coughing. He looks unwell.
Jobs is bounding ahead, folding and stuffing a map back into his thin cotton shoulder bag. He and Kottke have already spend several months in India. Arriving at this ashram meant a series of congested train trips and harrowing bus rides along narrow twisted roads.
Jobs has been looking forward to this for years. It was here that Ram Dass spent time with Maharajji. Robert Friedland told him it was like meeting God.
The front gates are open. All three step through.
The grounds are empty, deserted. No one is around.
Unbeknown to Jobs, Maharajji had passed this worldly realm a few weeks earlier.
Young American coughs. Kottke looks disappointed. Jobs looks around.
A dirty black umbrella lies open and forgotten. A soft breeze passes.
Jobs looks up at the Himalayas.
I’m going to go higher.
Jobs points to a temple higher up the mountain.
Kottke looks up towards the village.
I can’t. I can’t go any further.
But you’ve come all this way, man.
I want to go home.
I can’t. I can’t go.
Kottke looks at Jobs.
Young American looks at the ground, embarrassed.
I lost my plane ticket home.
Jobs starts searching through his bag. Pulls out guide books, papers, notebook, pen. Keeps searching and finally pulls out his plane ticket.
Take mine, man.
Yes, you can. Take it and mail me back a ticket when you get home.
But you don’t really know me.
Jobs hands him the ticket.
Yes I do.
2007 - SAN FRANCISCO MACWORLD CONVENTION - DAY
Steve Jobs, 51, is giving his keynote address. Prowling the stage in black mock turtleneck, jeans and sneakers. Behind is a giant video screen.
Jobs opened his keynote by promising ATTENDEES they’re going to be make some history together.
In the past thirty minutes he’s beguiled everyone with updates on the music business, surging iPod sales, booming popularity of iTunes, lift in television and movies on offer, new ads for Apple TV, high definition video demos. One hit after the other.
Sounds of clapping from Attendees dies down. Slide of black back-lit Apple logo on the screen, like a planet blocking out the sun.
Jobs walks to the center of the stage. Head bowed, thinking.
This is a day I’ve been looking forward to for two-and-a-half years.
Sounds of clapping from Attendees.
Every once in a while, a revolutionary product comes along that changes everything. And Apple has been — well, first of all, one’s very fortunate if you get to work on just one of these in your career. Apple’s been very fortunate. It’s been able to introduce a few of these into the world.
Dissolve slide of original Apple Macintosh onto the screen.
In 1984, we introduced the Macintosh. It didn’t just change Apple. It changed the whole computer industry.
Sounds of clapping from Attendees. Dissolve slide of original Apple iPod onto the screen.
In 2001, we introduced the first iPod, and it didn’t just change the way we all listen to music, it changed the entire music industry.
Sounds of clapping from Attendees. Dissolve slide of black back-lit Apple logo onto the screen.
Well, today, we’re introducing three revolutionary products of this class.
Open slide of yellow iPod icon with text underneath that reads Widescreen iPod with touch controls.
The first one is a widescreen iPod with touch controls.
Attendees clap and cheer.
Open slide of green phone icon with text underneath that reads Revolutionary mobile phone.
The second is a revolutionary mobile phone.
Attendees roar their approval.
Open slide of blue compass icon with text underneath that reads Breakthrough Internet communicator
And the third is a breakthrough Internet communications device.
More whooping and clapping from Attendees.
Dissolve the three icons with text underneath that reads iPod Phone Internet. Jobs drives the point home.
So, three things. A widescreen iPod with touch controls, a revolutionary mobile phone, and a breakthrough Internet communications device.
The icons spin on the giant screen behind Jobs.
An iPod, a phone, and an Internet communicator.
Attendees start chuckling and laughing. Jobs rolls on.
An iPod, a phone -- are you getting it?
Attendees start clapping and cheering, getting more and more excited by the second.
These are not three separate devices, this is one device --
Attendees roar out approval.
-- and we are calling it iPhone.
On the screen behind him dissolves just one word - iPhone
Today, Apple is going to reinvent the phone, and here it is.
Dissolve slide of original white iPod retouched with an old plastic rotary phone dial in place of the click wheel.
Attendees burst out laughing. Clapping, cackling, guffawing. Jobs has them in the palm of his hand.
Jobs pulls a new iPhone out of his front pocket and holds it aloft.
No, actually here it is.
Jobs slips the new iPhone back into his pocket.
But we’re going to leave it there for now.
Attendees start clapping.
1975 - STANFORD LINEAR ACCELERATOR CENTER AUDITORIUM - EVENING
MEMBERS of the Homebrew Computer Club are gathering near the podium. These young electronic hobbyists and enthusiasts are bent on bringing the power of computing down from the big corporations into the hands of individuals.
Steve Jobs, 20, is watching more young men wander into the auditorium. GORDON FRENCH, HARRY GARLAND, ROGER MELEN, GEORGE MORROW, ADAM OSBORNE, BOB MARSH.
LEE FELSENSTEIN wears a t-shirt with the Homebrew Computer Club illustrated logo over his half untucked shirt.
Jobs would rather be studying Zen Buddhism with Kobin Chino Roshi. He has started meditation again and gave up performing zazen at the Haiku Zen Center to come with Wozniak tonight.
More young men are arriving. Seats are filling fast. Some are swapping chips and components. Jobs notices ONE YOUNG MAN slip ANOTHER YOUNG MAN two five dollar notes.
Steve Wozniak, 24, sits next to Jobs. He’s pointing out a review article in a copy of Popular Electronic magazine.
Look, look at the headline.
Jobs glances at it, then looks back over the crowd.
I’ll read you the headline. ‘Altair 8800. The most powerful minicomputer project ever presented - can be built for under four hundred dollars.’
Woz, I can read.
They’re bringing a model in to demo in a couple of week. They’ll probably sell a few too.
Jobs thinks. Wozniak keeps reading the review, then looks up, excited.
Eight-bit parallel processor, static RAM. I could build my own for a lot less than four hundred bucks.
Penny drops. Jobs turns to Wozniak.
It’s got a new LSI chip. Its basic memory is two-hundred-and-fifty-six, expandable to sixty-five thousand words. Steve, sixty-five thousand words.
Jobs looks out over the members trading circuit boards, central processing units, chips.
Jobs can see something no one else can.
2007 - SAN FRANCISCO MACWORLD CONVENTION - DAY
Steve Jobs, 51, is on stage in black mock turtleneck, jeans and sneakers.
In the past forty minutes he’s beguiled everyone with updates on the music business, surging iPod sales, booming popularity of iTunes, lift in television and movies on offer, new ads for Apple TV, high definition video demos. One hit after the other.
His announcement of the new iPhone was met with wondrous applause and cheer from the Attendees. Now it’s time for him to set the agenda.
On the screen behind him is just one word - Smartphone. Sounds of clapping dying down.
The most advanced phones are called smart phones, so they say. And they typically combine a phone plus some email capability, plus they say it’s the internet. It’s sort of the baby internet, into one device, and they all have these little plastic keyboards on them. And the problem is that they’re not so smart and they’re not so easy to use.
Roll slide of an x-y axis onto the screen. Competing brand names plop onto the graph.
So if you kind of make a Business School 101 graph of the smart axis and the easy-to-use axis, phones, regular cell phones are right there, they’re not so smart, and they’re not so easy to use.
Smattering of laughter from Attendees.
But smart phones are definitely a little smarter, but they actually are harder to use. They’re really complicated. Just for the basic stuff people have a hard time figuring out how to use them.
Jobs motions the competing cell phones on the chart.
Well, we don’t want to do either one of these things. What we want to do is make a leapfrog product that is way smarter than any mobile device has ever been, and super-easy to use.
iPhone brand name appears in top quadrant of smart and easy to use. Jobs points to it.
This is what iPhone is. Okay? We’re going to reinvent the phone.
Jobs takes a slug of water from a water bottle. Dissolve slide with just two words - Revolutionary UI
Now, we’re going to start with a revolutionary user interface. It is the result of years of research and development, and of course, it’s an interplay of hardware and software. Now, why do we need a revolutionary user interface?
Dissolve slide of four competing smartphones.
Here’s four smartphones, right? Motorola Q, the BlackBerry, Palm Treo, Nokia E62 — the usual suspects. And, what’s wrong with their user interfaces?
Jobs points to the bottom forty percent of the phones taken up by keyboards.
Well, the problem with them is really sort of in the bottom forty there.
Slice slide to cut off top forty percent of the smartphones.
It’s this stuff right there. They all have these keyboards that are there whether or not you need them to be there. And they all have these control buttons that are fixed in plastic and are the same for every application. Well, every application wants a slightly different user interface, a slightly optimized set of buttons, just for it.
Jobs prowls the stage.
And what happens if you think of a great idea six months from now? You can’t run around and add a button to these things. They’re already shipped. So what do you do? It doesn’t work because the buttons and the controls can’t change. They can’t change for each application, and they can’t change down the road if you think of another great idea you want to add to this product.
Jobs raises his hand.
Well, how do you solve this?
Jobs pinches his chin.
Hmm. It turns out, we have solved it!
Dissolve slide of Apple OSX screen and Apple wireless mouse.
We solved it in computers twenty years ago. We solved it with a bit-mapped screen that could display anything we want. Put any user interface up. And a pointing device. We solved it with the mouse. We solved this problem.
Dissolve slide of Palm Treo smartphone.
So how are we going to take this to a mobile device? What we’re going to do is get rid of all these buttons and just make a giant screen.
Dissolve slide of new Apple iPhone.
A giant screen.
Now, how are we going to communicate on this?
Dissolve new iPhone on angle.
We don’t want to carry around a mouse, right? So what are we going to do?
Dissolve stylus on new iPhone screen.
Oh, a stylus, right? We’re going to use a stylus? No. Who wants a stylus?
You have to get them and put them away, and you lose them. Yuck! Nobody wants a stylus. So let’s not use a stylus.
Dissolve away stylus on new iPhone screen.
We’re going to use the best pointing device in the world. We’re going to use a pointing device that we’re all born with — born with ten of them. We’re going to use our fingers.
Dissolve hand pointing finger onto new iPhone screen.
We’re going to touch this with our fingers. And we have invented a new technology called Multi-Touch, which is phenomenal.
Dissolve away hand. Dissolve key points next to the new iPhone screen.
It works like magic. You don’t need a stylus. It’s far more accurate than any touch display that’s ever been shipped. It ignores unintended touches, it’s super-smart. You can do multi-finger gestures on it. And boy, have we patented it.
Attendees start clapping. Each of Apple’s revolutionary user interfaces dissolve on screen.
So we have been very lucky to have brought a few revolutionary user interfaces to the market in our time. First was the Mouse. The second was the Click Wheel. And now, we’re going to bring Multi-Touch to the market. And each of these revolutionary interfaces has made possible a revolutionary product — the Mac, the iPod and now the iPhone.
Dissolve slide with key phrases like Revolutionary UI, Software, Breakthrough
So, a revolutionary interface. We’re going to build on top of that with software. Now, software on mobile phones is like baby software. It’s not so powerful, and today we’re going to show you a software breakthrough. Software that’s at least five years ahead of what’s on any other phone. Now how do we do this? Well, we start with a strong foundation.
Dissolve OSX logo on screen
iPhone runs OSX.
Much clapping from Attendees.
Now, why would we want to run such a sophisticated operating system on a mobile device? Well, because it’s got everything we need.
Dissolve key phrases around the OSX logo like Syncing, Networking, Multi-tasking, Low Power, Security, Video, Cocoa, Core animation, Graphics, Audio.
It’s got multi-tasking. It’s got the best networking. It already knows how to power manage. We’ve been doing this on mobile computers for years. It’s got awesome security. And the right apps. It’s got everything from Cocoa and the graphics and it’s got core animation built in and it’s got the audio and video that OSX is famous for. It’s got all the stuff we want. And it’s built right in to iPhone.
Dissolve two words - Desktop class
And that has let us create desktop class applications and networking. Not the crippled stuff that you find on most phones. This is real, desktop-class applications.
Jobs ponders as he paces across the stage.
Now, you know, one of the pioneers of our industry, Alan Kaye, has had a lot of great quotes throughout the years, and I ran across one of them recently that explains how we look at this, explains why we go about doing things the way we do, because we love software. And here’s the quote.
Dissolve quote on screen - “People who are really serious about software should make their own hardware.” Allan Kay
‘People who are really serious about software should make their own hardware.’ You know, Alan said this 30 thirty ago, and this is how we feel about it. And so we’re bringing breakthrough software to a mobile device for the first time. It’s five years ahead of anything on any other phone.
Sounds of clapping cascades through the immense auditorium.
1976 - STANFORD LINEAR ACCELERATOR CENTER - EVENING
Parking lot on Sand Hill Road in Menlo Park, west of Stanford University’s main campus.
Jobs’ Volkswagen van speeds in and skids to a stop across two car spaces. Front driver’s doors flings open and Steve Jobs, 21, leaps out.
Woz, come on, hurry up.
Passenger door creaks open and Steve Wozniak, 25, gingerly steps out holding what looks like a small wooden apple box as if it’s a box of dynamite.
Jobs is rushing towards the main building. Running late for a meeting of the Homebrew Computer Club. Jobs and Wozniak are to demo a prototype computer kit they’ve just assembled by hand.
It’s basically a circuit board screwed into a wooden box. Amazingly, Wozniak had managed to make it work with a $20 MOS Technology 6502 processor.
Wozniak wanted to program a little game for it. Jobs thought computer games were stupid. He thought computers could be used for so much more.
Jobs even wanted to sell kits. Hell, Wozniak just wanted to give them away. Fred Moore was always telling Wozniak to bring more than you take. Moore believes in a personal computer revolution.
Wozniak is walking along, baby steps. Jobs is holding the door open to the main building.
Woz, will you please hurry the fuck up!
After the demo, young men line up to get their hands on the computer kit.
As they ask questions all Jobs can think of is how much to charge.
2007 - SAN FRANCISCO MACWORLD CONVENTION - DAY
Steve Jobs, 51, is on stage in black mock turtleneck, jeans and sneakers. Glasses perched on the top of his head.
In the past fifty minutes he’s charmed and delighted everyone with updates on the music business, surging iPod sales, booming popularity of iTunes, lift in television and movies on offer, new ads for Apple TV, high definition video demos. One hit after the other.
His announcement of the new iPhone was met with wondrous applause and cheer from the Attendees. His introduction of the new user interface mesmerized everyone. Now it’s time to get real.
Jobs is demoing the new iPhone in his hand. A live video link feeds the iPhone’s home screen onto the giant screen behind him. Four columns of icon buttons. Text, Calendar, Photos, Camera, Calculator, Stocks, Maps, Weather, Notes, Clock, Settings. Above the home button is a row of another four icon buttons. Phone, Mail, Safari, iPod.
I want to show you something truly remarkable, which is Google Maps on iPhone.
Jobs taps the Maps application and the screen opens on a map of North America.
I hit our maps application here and it’s coming up. And it shows us North America, and I’m going to go to Moscone West.
Jobs taps it and the map zooms into Moscone West. Red pin drops on the exact location of the convention center.
That’s where we are right now. And here we are. Boom. That’s where we are. Now, what I’m going to do is I’m going to go look for something. I’m going to certainly want a cup of coffee afterwards, so I’m just going to look for Starbucks, right?
Jobs taps the word Starbucks into the search field above the map.
Starbucks, so I’m going to search for Starbucks, and sure enough there’s all the Starbucks.
Map zooms in and red pins drop on seven nearby Starbuck cafes. Sounds of Attendees chuckling in wonderment, clapping.
Now, I can get a list of Starbucks here, and I can pick that one if I want, and I can even go look at that Starbucks, and there it is, and let’s give them a call.
Starbuck listing on screen with phone number and address. Jobs clicks the phone number. Red button pops up that reads Calling (415) 644-0072.
Sounds of phone call ringing and being picked up. YING HANG ZHANG answers down the line.
Good morning, Starbucks, how can I help you?
Jobs is grinning.
Yes, I’d like to order four thousand lattes to go, please -- no, just kidding. Wrong number, thank you. Bye bye.
As Jobs hangs up, the Attendees erupt in laughter.
1985 - ROWLAND INSTITUTE FOR SCIENCE - EVENING
Steve Jobs had always admired Edwin Land, the corporate trouble maker and genius inventor who created the Polaroid Corporation and changed photography forever. The who man dropped out of Harvard to build a business that blended art and science.
The man was a science-obsessed, self-educated perfectionist with a golden gift for marketing. He created products that startled millions and ultimately sold themselves.
He dedicated his life to the company and the board fired him. Jobs never understood that. Why would the board force out the heart and soul, the spirit of the company. It was the dumbest thing he’d ever heard of.
Rather than retire gently, Land committed the rest of his life to pure science. He founded the Rowland Institute for Science as part of Harvard University.
Steve Jobs, 30, is bounding down the hall with TOM HUGHES, 32, who had left Polaroid to work for Apple as design director on a new computer called the Macintosh. Following them is Apple CEO JOHN SCULLEY, 45, trying to catch up.
They turn a corner and hurry towards a lab. Hughes waves to someone surrounded by a BBC FILM CREW. It’s EDWIN LAND, 75, holding court. His smile broadens when he spots his former employee.
Land waves off the film crew and welcomes Hughes. They’re both pleased to see each other. Hughes turns and introduces Jobs to Land.
Doctor Land, you’re national treasure.
Lands leads them into a large conference room, motions them to sit around a large conference table
Oh, hell, enough of that doctor nonsense. Edwin is fine.
I’m Steve, Steve Jobs.
I know who you are.
And I know you want to change the world.
There’s nothing wrong with that. It’s not about business. That’s only a means to an end.
Land looks at the centre of the table. There’s nothing there.
You know, I could see what the Polaroid camera should be. It was just as real to me as if it was sitting in front of me before I had ever built one.
Jobs looks at the centre of the table, excited.
Yeah, that’s exactly the way I saw the Macintosh. No one else could see it. No one.
If I asked someone who had only used a personal calculator what a Macintosh should be like they couldn’t have told me. There was no way to do consumer research on it so I had to go and create it and then show it to people and say ‘okay, now what do you think?’
And what did they think?
Jobs blushes again.
You know we didn’t invent them. We discovered them.
Jobs eyes light up.
They’ve always existed, right there in front of us. Invisible, just waiting to be discovered.
Land leans in.
Steve, the Macintosh had always existed. Invisible to the rest of us, just waiting for you to come along and reveal it.
Jobs is mesmerized.
The world is like a fertile field that’s waiting to be harvested. The seeds have been planted.
Lands smiles generously.
Go out and help plant more seeds and harvest them.
Jobs is in another world.
Harvest them all.
1983 - APPLE BOARDROOM - DAY
A commercial flickers to life on a large monitor. Sounds of rumbling industrial wasteland as a line of blue grey people march in unison through a long tunnel monitored by a string of telescreens.
Today, we celebrate the first glorious anniversary of the Information Purification Directives.
A nameless runner, a woman wearing a white tank top with a cubist picture of Apple’s Macintosh computer dashes through a corridor, carrying a large brass-headed hammer.
We have created, for the first time in all history, a garden of pure ideology—where each worker may bloom, secure from the pests purveying contradictory truths.
The runner is chased by four police officers wearing black uniforms, protected by riot gear, helmets with visors covering their faces, and armed with large night sticks.
She races towards a large screen with the image of a Big Brother-like SPEAKER figure giving a speech to the huddled masses.
Our Unification of Thoughts is more powerful a weapon than any fleet or army on earth. We are one people, with one will, one resolve, one cause. Our enemies shall talk themselves to death, and we will bury them with their own confusion. We shall prevail.
She hurls the hammer into the screen which explodes in a flurry of light and smoke and pungent haze. The masses are shocked, open mouthed as haze blurs them and a voiceover reads the rolling credits.
On January 24th, Apple Computer will introduce Macintosh. And you’ll see why 1984 won’t be like 1984.
Screen fades to black as voiceover ends, and the rainbow Apple logo appears.
Lights fade up on the boardroom. Steve Jobs, 27, stands next to the monitor with MIKE MURRAY, 31. Murray is the head of Macintosh marketing.
Jobs’ smile drops.
APPLE BOARD MEMBERS look despondent. Two actually have their heads in their hands. These are all highly regarded senior executives, financiers and venture capitalist. These are all serious businessmen. MIKE MARKKULA is the chairman
I hate it.
It’s the worst commercial I’ve ever seen.
I don’t even understand what was going on. What was going on?
Where was the Macintosh computer? Did anybody see the product? Why isn’t there a product shot?
Apple CEO John Sculley, 43, drops head.
I absolutely hate it!
Are you fucking kidding me?
No, Steve, I am not kidding. I am the chairman of this company and I hate this commercial and there is no way we are running it and I want you to fire the ad agency. Who is it? Chiat/Day?
I want a commercial that’s going to stop the world in its tracks.
Steve, I don’t care what you want.
Jobs bites his tongue.
What I want is for you to call the agency and kill this commercial. And then I want you to fire them.
Jobs looks over the board. He can see everyone is against him.
He turns and storms out.
What the board members want is a great commercial for the new Lisa. That is the computer that is aimed at business, that is the computer that is going to make the money.
None of them really understand what the Macintosh stands for. They can’t fathom why anyone would want to own a computer except for managing databases or running spreadsheets.
They can’t see history shifting under their feet.
1984 - DAKOTA APARTMENT BUILDING - NIGHT
A party is underway to celebrate Sean Lennon’s ninth birthday in John and Yoko Lennon’s apartment atop the corner of the Dakota Building on 1 West 72nd Street New York, New York.
The apartment overlooks Central Park West. Autumn has fallen, the trees are bare. Wind rushes past.
SIXTY PEOPLE are gathered near the building’s carriageway, many holding lit candles in vigil to John Lennon who had been slain here four years earlier. Some have tears in their eyes.
Sean Lennon shares his birthday with his father.
At the party in the White Room - everything inside is white, including the piano on which Lennon wrote “Imagine” - guests are gathering. WALTER CRONKITE, ROBERTA FLACK, HARRY NILSSON, JOHN CAGE, LOUISE NEVELSON, KENNY SCHARF, KEITH HARING. All have their shoes off.
Steve Jobs, 28, wearing jeans a white dress shirt with sleeves roles up arrives with reporter DAVID SHEFF, 34. Both have removed their shoes as instructed. Jobs has placed a large box on the floor, behind a collection of walking sticks.
ANDY WARHOL arrives, refusing to take his shoes off. SEAN LENNON runs out of his bedroom to greet him. Warhol gives him his presents. A spectacular painting of a heart-shaped candy box and a bracelet he’d made out of pennies.
The last time they’d seen each other, Warhol had ripped a dollar-bill in two and given half to Sean. After thanking him, Sean jokingly asked for the other half. Warhol reaches in his pocket and hands Sean a wad of torn-in-half dollars. Sean giggles.
After dinner and a birthday cake in the shape of a grand piano, Jobs asks Sean if he’d like his present. Sean claps.
Jobs lugs the box he’d brought down the hallway to Sean’s bedroom which is also white. The white bookshelves are lined with toy robots. Jobs sits on the floor and opens the carton and lifts out Sean’s present.
It’s a new Macintosh computer. Sean’s eyes widen.
Jobs plugs it in and starts it up. Sean shuffles closer, staring at the six-inch, black-and-white built-in monitor. Jobs moves the mouse on the floor and an arrow slides across the screen. Clicks a tiny picture of a paintbrush and launches a program called MacPaint.
Jobs pushes the mouse towards Sean.
Sean rolls the mouse along the floor.
Now hold the button down while you move it and see what happens.
Sean does and a thin, jagged, black line appears on the screen. He’s entranced. Jobs smiles.
Sean clicks the mouse button, pushes it around and on the screen appears shapes and lines. He erases them and then draws a sort of lion-camel. Then another figure of a boy wearing a long coat.
That’s Boy George.
Warhol and Haring enter the bedroom. Haring looks at the robots. Warhol looks down on Sean and Jobs. Sean is drawing away on the screen.
Look at this, Keith. This is incredible.
Haring nods, mesmerized. Both artists stare at the moving line.
What is it?
It’s a Macintosh computer.
Really? Some man was calling me a lot, wanting to give me one of those. He left so many messages but I never called him back.
Yeah, that was me. I’m Steve Jobs.
Can I try?
Warhol takes Sean’s spot in front of the computer and Jobs shows him how to maneuver and click the mouse. Warhol doesn’t get it. He lifts and waves the mouse as if it were a conductor’s baton.
The mouse works when it’s pushed along a surface.
It’s called a mouse?
Warhol keeps lifting it until Jobs places his hand on Warhol’s and guides it along the floor. Warhol begins drawing on the screen.
Haring is bent over watching. Warhol, his eyes wide, looks up at Haring.
Look! Keith! I drew a circle!
Scharf enters the bedroom.
Look! Kenny! Look!
Scharf squats down and peers at the screen. Sean takes the mouse and turns to Jobs.
What else can I do with it?
1985 - WOODSIDE JACKLING HOUSE - DAWN
Sun rises over the sloping grounds behind Jackling House, a 17,250 square foot Spanish colonial style mansion at 460 Mountain Home Road built for a copper baron in 1926. Steve Jobs had purchased it last year.
Sounds of high-pitched frantic shrieking tears through the air. It sounds like a woman screaming.
Through the mist of the adjoining property steps a glorious iridescent peacock, fully fanned, screaming into the morning.
A light goes on in the adjoining property. Front door slams and the neighbor trudges into Jobs’ rear lawn as the peacock scurries off. The neighbor is LARRY ELLISON, 40, wearing a kimono. Trim with a light beard.
Ellison bangs on the back door leading to the kitchen. Sounds of screaming peacock.
Light switches on in one of the fourteen upstairs bedrooms. Sounds of someone coming down many stairs.
Ellison is the founder of Oracle. Born to an unmarried teenager, adopted a year later by her aunt and uncle, and without a university degree, he’s grown Oracle into a database powerhouse. He’s working feverishly on the release of Oracle Version 5.
Back door opens to reveal a bleary eyed Steve Jobs, 29, wearing shorts and a t-shirt. Jobs coughs.
Hi, I just wanted to introduce myself. I’m Larry Ellison, I’m your neighbor and, man, that peacock of yours, I hate that bird. I’m a programmer, I’ve got to sleep, I can’t be woken up by a bird.
You hate that bird too?
What’s wrong with it? Why is it so damn noisy?
Tina, my girlfriend, gave it to me for my birthday. Look, Larry -- it’s Larry, right?
Larry, I’m going to tell her you complained so much about the bird that we’ve just got to get rid of it, but you’ve got to back me up.
I’ll back you up.
Jobs extends his hand.
Great, I’m Steve.
They shake hands, warmly.
So what are you working on?
Got to step up the software. Everyone’s going to be buying relational databases.
You want some kombucha tea?
1984 - APPLE PICASSO CONFERENCE ROOM - DAY
Steve Jobs, 28, is wearing a flannel shirt and jeans. Feet up on his desk. Calm, relaxed, open.
He’s being interviewed by David Sheff, 34, for a Playboy magazine profile. Sheff is dressed in a white button-down Oxford shirt and clumsy tie. A double cassette tape recorder on the desk is recording the interview.
Sheff is jotting notes in his reporter’s notebook.
In thinking about your success, did you ever get to the point where you slapped your head and asked yourself what was happening?
After all, it was virtually overnight.
I used to think selling a million computers a year would be neat, but it was just a thought. When it actually happens, it’s a totally different thing. So it was, ‘Holy shit, it’s actually coming true!’
What’s hard to explain is that this does not feel like overnight. Next year will be my tenth year. I had never done anything longer than a year in my life. Six months, for me, was a long time when we started Apple. So this has been my life since I’ve been sort of a free-willed adult. Each year has been so robust with problems and successes and learning experiences and human experiences that a year is a lifetime at Apple. So this has been ten lifetimes.
Do you know what you want to do with the rest of this lifetime?
There’s an old Hindu saying that comes into my mind occasionally: ‘For the first 30 years of your life, you make your habits. For the last 30 years of your life, your habits make you.’ As I’m going to be 30 in February, the thought has crossed my mind.
And I’m not sure. I’ll always stay connected with Apple. I hope that throughout my life I’ll sort of have the thread of my life and the thread of Apple weave in and out of each other, like a tapestry. There may be a few years when I’m not there, but I’ll always come back. And that’s what I may try to do.
Jobs swings his feet off the desk. Leans in.
The key thing to remember about me is that I’m still a student. I’m still in boot camp. If anyone is reading any of my thoughts, I’d keep that in mind. Don’t take it all too seriously. If you want to live your life in a creative way, as an artist, you have to not look back too much. You have to be willing to take whatever you’ve done and whoever you were and throw them away.
Jobs looks at the cassette tape recorder.
What are we, anyway? Most of what we think we are is just a collection of likes and dislikes, habits, patterns. At the core of what we are is our values, and what decisions and actions we make reflect those values.
Jobs glances out the window.
That’s why it’s hard doing interviews and being visible. As you are growing and changing, the more the outside world tries to reinforce an image of you that it thinks you are, the harder it is to continue to be an artist, which is why a lot of times, artists have to go, ‘Bye. I have to go. I’m going crazy and I’m getting out of here.’ And they go and hibernate somewhere.
Jobs looks back at Sheff.
Maybe later they re-emerge a little differently.
1986 - NEXT PALO ALTO OFFICES - DAY
Paul Rand is arguably America’s most influential graphic designer. He has designed the iconic logos for IBM, ABC, UPS, Westinghouse. Even Yale University Press.
For one-hundred-thousand dollars he designed the logo and brand identity for Steve Jobs’ new computer company Next. A simple black cube with colored type over two lines. He changed the company name to NeXT and angled the cube on a very precise twenty-eight degrees.
When he presented the logo, Jobs asked him what other options he had. Rand said there wasn’t any. What he presented was the right solution. Jobs didn’t have to use it. If Jobs wanted options, there were plenty of designers that would give him options.
It was a lesson Jobs never forgot.
Rand designed the lower case e to be a mnemonic factor in the logo. A focal point and visual contrast among the capital letters which consist only of straight lines.
Jobs loves the logo but he’s got an issue with his business card.
Jobs is sitting at his desk, holding the artwork while speaking with PAUL RAND via speaker phone. The business card artwork is a classic, understated grid design with Steve P. Jobs and title set to the left, logo and contact details on the right.
I don’t know, Paul, I just don’t like the period after the P.
Rand’s voice crackles own the line.
That’s ridiculous. You need the period there or else people will think there’s a mistake, or that your middle name is actually P.
I know I need a period.
Because it’s short for Paul.
But can’t I move the period so it’s under the curve of the P.
Because with a bitmapped display you can move the period so it sits under the curve. It looks weird sitting out there after the P.
No, it doesn’t. It looks normal. That’s where the period should be, after the P. Not under the P. Not before the P. After the P.
Jobs peers at the business card artwork.
Are you sure, Paul?
Jobs puts the artwork down.
In the end, he decides to run it the way Rand designed it.
1987 - NEXT PALO ALTO OFFICES - DAY
Jobs and has team have been working hard to create a new computing paradigm at NeXT. Aimed at the education market, the new computers seek to bring an industrial strength Unix-based operating system to the desktop.
All great in theory but after eighteen months they are burning through money without a product in sight. A year earlier Jobs had bought the motion picture computer graphics group Pixar from George Lucas. Picked it up for a song with $5 million going into operational costs so Lucas could finance his divorce.
Staff at NeXT are concerned Jobs is losing focus. He’s talking about setting up new luxury offices at Redwood City, the Valley’s most expensive real estate. Lately he seems to be throwing money at problems.
Software engineer RANDY ADAMS, 34, had recently joined former Apple employees Bud Tribble, George Crow, Rich Page, Susan Barnes, Susan Kare, and Dan’l Lewin at NeXT. He bought a Porsche 911 the same time Jobs did. To avoid car-door dings, the pair park near each other taking up three parking spaces between them.
Adams is at a computer terminal in his cubicle, compiling code. Steve Jobs, 34, rushes in.
Randy, come on, we’ve got to move our cars.
Jobs is already heading out the front. Adams is trying to catch up to him.
We have to hide the Porsches. Ross Perot is coming by and thinking of investing in the company, and we don’t want him to think we have a lot of money.
Jobs is out the front door. So too is Adams. They move their Porsches around the back of the offices.
Perot invests $20 million in exchange for 16 percent of NeXT and subsequently joins the board of directors in 1988, bringing respectability and expertise to the fledgling company.
1988 - AMERICAN AIRLINES 727 - DAY
Steve Jobs, 32, is slouched in first class high above America. Dressed in blue jeans and red flannel shirt, flipping through a copy of PC Magazine. He’s got a lot on his mind.
Next month he’ll be launching his NeXT Computer at Davies Hall in San Francisco. It’s the machine that will save him. It’s the future of computing.
256MB read/write magneto optical drive, Motorola M56001 digital signal processor, graphical UNIX operating system named Mach, and object-oriented application development software. Text, graphics, audio and video. All housed in a sleek 12-inch black magnesium cube.
Jobs launched NeXT the day he left Apple. It’s taken him three years to get the final product ready for release. And he’s still not happy.
He wants the NeXT computer to revolutionize the higher-education market and lead the industry into the 1990s.
When Jobs went out on his own, Apple sued NeXT for taking advantage of insider information. He found it hard to think that a $2 billion company with 4,300 people couldn’t compete with six people in jeans. The suit was eventually dismissed before trial.
Jobs has much more at stake than the $12 million he has invested in NeXT. He’s rebuilding his reputation, his future.
Learning from his defeat and re-emerging with a mature management style and machine will show the world that Steve Jobs is a serious computer maker who can run a company. The boy wonder has finally grown up.
Jobs has even learnt how to listen to people. And learnt to keep at least 51 percent of the company so you can’t get kicked out. Jobs has kept 63 percent of NeXT. What happened to him at Apple is never going to happen again.
He’s poured his heart and soul into his new computer. He wants to save the computer industry from itself. He wants to lead a new era of computing, a new age of thinking.
Some analysts think that no matter how impressive his new computer, Jobs may have misjudged the higher-education market. He has two big failures on his record - the Apple III and the Lisa computer.
Repeated delays have meant the new computer won’t be available until next spring, missing the fall college-buying season. Jobs also has stiff competition from other producers of powerful workstations.
Jobs if often dismissed as a nothing more than a slick showman. But the gaps in technical knowledge are part of his strength. Since Jobs isn’t a professional engineer, he doesn’t know what can’t be done.
Jobs believes in the impossible. That’s why he’s on this flight.
Jobs is heading to Chicago to persuade the die caster to retool again. He hates a tiny line left in the chassis by the molds for the cube.
It’s inside the magnesium shell and no one can see it. It’s part of the process. It’s unavoidable.
That’s why Jobs wants it gone.
Wants it clean.
1989 - LOGAN LANDFILL - DAY
Bulldozers carve a giant pit in the cold Utah soil. Fresh chain link fencing topped with razor wire surrounds the area. ARMED GUARDS patrol the perimeter.
TWO EXECUTIVES in suits look on.
Tip trucks rumble in, back up to the edge of the pit. Engines rev as the trays tilt up and thousands of Apple Lisa computers tumble into the pit.
The Lisa was the first personal computer to offer a graphical user interface in a machine aimed at individual business users. It was named after Steve Jobs first daughter, Lisa Nicole Brennan.
In 1982, Steve Jobs was forced out of the Lisa project and joined the Macintosh project instead.
The Lisa was a more advanced system than the first Macintosh. Protected memory, cooperative multitasking, sophisticated hard disk based operating system, data corruption protection schemes, built-in screensaver, advanced calculator, expansion slots and larger higher-resolution display. It will be many years before many of these features are implemented on the Macintosh platform.
Despite the pioneering technology, it became one of the biggest commercial failures in personal computer history.
Intended business customers were reluctant to purchase the machine because of its high price, making it largely unable to compete with the less expensive IBM PCs which were beginning to dominate business desktop computing.
Enthused by developments with the Macintosh, Jobs’ also announced Apple would be releasing a superior system in the future which would not be compatible with the Lisa.
Last of the Lisa computers topple into the pit. Bulldozers scrape soil over the machines.
1990 - LOUISE M. DAVIES SYMPHONY HALL - MORNING
Steve Jobs, 34, is pacing backstage. Counting imaginary slides off his fingers, rehearsing his presentation.
In less than an hour, four thousand attendees will assemble in the San Francisco concert hall to witness Jobs make history.
The latest iteration of the NeXT computer, the NeXTstation, is the key product. A gorgeous black slab with black monitor display and black keyboard delivering best of breed performance.
But it’s the connectivity software that Jobs is most impassioned about. He’s rehearsed this a hundred times. He’s going to rehearse it again.
What we are hearing from everyone is that the competitive advantage of the nineties is going to be squeezed not out of more individual productivity but in improving the productivity of teams and groups of people working together.
Jobs pinches his fingers together.
That’s where it’s going to come from. And so we think that the most exciting thing of the early nineties is going to be to link these islands of personal computers together into interpersonal computing which has as its mission to improve group productivity and collaboration.
Jobs looks up at an imaginary screen.
Interpersonal computing has three fundamental parts.
1991 - PARIS SEPERATEAUX HOTEL - DAY
A developers conference for the NeXT computer.
The revolutionary machine put industrial strength computing power in the hands of individuals. Objective C, DSP for sound and video, Mach kernel, Optical storage, Display Postscript, InterfaceBuilder and more all housed in a sleek black cube.
Casually dressed DEVELOPERS are demoing their new word processors, graphic programs and utilities. Steve Jobs, 35, wearing jeans and a casual shirt slowly walks along the line, judging each offering. A YOUNG AIDE anxiously whispers something. Jobs keeps moving forward, nodding with approval or frowning with distaste.
At the end of the line is a thin and nervous British computer scientist, TIM BERNERS-LEE, 35, standing next to his battered NeXT cube, keyboard and monitor. He licks his thumb and tries to wipe away a smudge on the machine.
When he first unwrapped it a year ago, the NeXT computer automatically set up a unix mail account. In his default mailbox was an initial welcome multimedia email from Job, including a Lip Service voice clip about his vision, including ‘It’s not about the personal computer, it’s about interpersonal computing.’
Berners-Lee used the machine to code the protocols, procedures and languages that added up to the World Wide Web. Hypertext transfer protocol, hypertext mark up language, hyperlinks. His application made the internet accessible and intuitive for everyone.
Programming the code was remarkably easy. The NeXT computer already had a software module called Text Object, which was an editable multifont editor. Berners-Lee just had to subclass it to make a hypertext object, and add the internet code. Designing the menus was easy — just drag and drop with InterfaceBuilder. The code framework of the app was generated automatically.
That’s what he wanted to demo to Jobs. His WorldWideWeb.app that showed a better way to navigate the internet.
As Jobs gets closer the Young Aide tells him if they don’t leave now they’ll miss their flight back to America.
Jobs nods and leaves, not even making eye contact with Berners-Lee.
Not even seeing the future of the internet.
1996 - HAWAII KONA VILLAGE RESORT - AFTERNOON
Steve Jobs, 40 is walking along the beach with Larry Ellison, 51.
Jobs comes to this exclusive resort every year with his family for Christmas vacations. Very low tech, seventies feel with spacious hales right on the beach. No phone, no television, no internet. Although Jobs has convinced management to slip in a secret wi-fi router when his visits.
Ellison is staying in the biggest hale at the end of the beach. It’s has whirl pool on a private deck but he wants it to be bigger so he booked out two adjacent deluxe hales as well. He isn’t very relaxed.
I’ll just buy it. It’ll be easier if I buy it. You know what it’s trading at, right?
Larry, I have no idea.
Twenty-three dollars and twelve cents. What’s wrong with you? What sort of person wouldn’t know that? Why wouldn’t you know that?
It’s at an all time low. It’s trading in the toilet. I could launch a takeover bid for Apple and not lose a cent.
Larry, I think there’s another way.
Sure there’s always another way. But this is the best way to make money. The market loves takeovers. It’s like a shakedown. It’s great.
Jobs looks out at the sea.
I think I’ve found a way for me to get back into Apple and get control without you having to buy it.
The operating system has hit the end of the line. Their negotiations with Jean-Louis Gassée to buy Be Inc have stalled. I’ve even called Amelio and warned him not to buy it.
Jobs had called the Apple CEO Gil Amelio because he knew the Be Inc software was not good enough to build the next generation operating system for Macintosh. Jean-Louis Gassée had been Apple’s former head of Macintosh product development between 1981-1990. He knew software but he wasn’t a genius.
I think I can get Apple to buy NeXT, get on the board and be one step away from being CEO.
Ellison looks out to the sea.
But Steve, if I don’t buy Apple, how the hell can I make any money?
Jobs places his hand on Ellison’s shoulder, pulls him close.
Larry, this is why it’s really important I’m your friend.
Ellison looks at him.
You don’t need any more money.
2003 - APPLE JOBS’ OFFICE - LATE AFTERNOON
Jobs, 48, is at the window of his office in Building 1 on the Cupertino Apple Campus, looking down at his silver Mercedes coupe parked in a handicap zone as the sun sets low. Trying to make sense of it all.
He’d been ousted from his beloved company in 1985. He’d returned in 1997 and brought it back from the brink of bankruptcy, first with the launch of the iconic iMac and then a few years later with the wildly successful iPod.
Earlier in the morning he had undergone an abdominal CT scan. He’d been suffering stomach pain again. Thought it was kidney stones again. Wanted some Demerol to ease the pain. Nothing complicated. His doctor wanted a scan to take a closer look. Standard procedure.
What the scan showed was a dark shadow at the head of his pancreas, a tumor. The rebel’s own cells had rebelled against him.
Jobs didn’t even know what a pancreas was. His doctor broke down when he told Jobs that pancreatic cancer is incurable, told him he’d live no longer than three to six months. Told him to go home and get his affairs in order.
Jobs drove straight to Apple. What is he going to tell the executive team? What is he going to tell the board?
One of his first calls was to Larry Brilliant, a friend he met at an ashram when traveling through India as a young man. Asked Larry whether he still believed in God?
God? Sometimes Jobs believes in God, sometimes he doesn’t. Maybe he wants to believe in an afterlife, wants to believe that when you die it doesn’t just all disappear. That somehow the wisdom you’ve accumulated lives on.
But maybe life is just an on-off switch. Click. And you’re gone.
If the news of the cancer leaks, it’s going to devastate Apple’s share price. Competitors will start circling like jackals. Loyalty will slip away. Suppliers will renegotiate. Staff will leave.
How can he do this to the company he started, the company he loves? How can he do this to the people he loves?
How can he tell his children everything he wants to tell them in the next ten years in just a few short months?
Everything falls away. All external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure, everything falls away in the face of death. Only what is truly important remains.
You have nothing to lose. You are already naked. You must follow your heart.
That evening Jobs will undergo a biopsy to confirm the extent of the cancer. His wife, Laurene, will be with him. An endoscope will be thrust down his throat, through his stomach and into his intestines. A needle plunged into his pancreas will extract cells from the tumor.
The biopsy will reveal that Jobs miraculously has a very rare - and treatable - form of the disease. A slow growing neuroendocrine islet tumor. If the tumor is surgically removed immediately, Jobs’ prognosis is promising. The vast majority of those who undergo the operation at the early stages of the disease survive at least ten years.
Jobs doesn’t want to yield to surgery. Doesn’t want to be opened up. The body is there to serve the spirits.
Jobs think he can cure the cancer his own way. He’ll switch to a special diet, seek alternative treatments, radical options.
Eventually he will decide to undergo surgery to remove the tumor. But by then it may be too late.
1997 - TOSHI’S JAPANESE RESTAURANT - NIGHT
Traditional Japanese sushi restaurant at 211 El Camino Real in Menlo Park.
Steve Jobs, 41, and Larry Ellison, 52, are having dinner. Shaking their heads about the state of Apple since Jobs return to the board.
Amelio just doesn’t get it. This guy is the worst CEO I’ve ever seen.
If he needed a license to be a CEO, he wouldn’t get one. Not even if it was on the back of packet of breakfast cereal. He’s a fool.
He’s a fucking bozo. He’s running Apple into the ground.
You want to know how much of a fucking bozo?
No, I can’t tell you.
I can’t. You’ll end up laughing so much, sushi will come out of your nose.
Jobs arches an eyebrow. Ellison puts down his piece of sushi.
Okay, this is a true story.
Jobs rolls his eyes.
No, no, seriously. I’m at a cocktail party that Michael’s arranged. Everyone’s there. Amelio’s there, looking out of place and completely uncomfortable. Not talking to anyone. So I go over and introduce him to Gina.
Yeah, yeah, the tech reporter from Byte magazine. She’s all smiles, asks him how Apple is doing?
Ellison puffs out his chest to imitate Amelio. Jobs grins.
Amelio says,’You know, Gina, Apple is like a ship. That ship is loaded with treasure, but there’s a hole in the ship.
Jobs starts chortling.
‘And my job is to get everyone to row in the same direction.’
Jobs burst out laughing, gasping in disbelief.
She looks straight at him and asks, ‘Yeah, but what about the hole?’
Jobs howls and laughs so hard he literally falls off his chair. Ellison breaks up too.
Two months later Amelio is ousted from Apple and Jobs take over as interim CEO.
2008 - PALO ALTO KINGDOM HALL - MORNING
JEHOVAH’S WITNESSES are gathered in the hall, praying at a Sunday service.
VIC GUNDOTRA, 39, is there with his wife, CLAUDIA, and their SON and DAUGHTER. Both his wife and daughter wear dresses that covers their knees, shoulders, and collarbone.
Gundotra’s cell phone vibrates in his pocket. Once, twice, three times. He slyly checks the phone. His wife frowns.
‘Caller ID unknown’ flashes on the screen. Gundotra ignores the call, slips the phone back in his pocket and smiles at his wife.
After the service, Gundotra walks his family to his Mercedes-Benz S-Class. He checks his cell phone messages. There’s only one message. It’s from the unknown caller. He plays it as he walks. It’s a familiar voice.
Vic, It’s Steve Jobs, can you call me at home? I have something urgent to discuss.
Gundotra stops in his tracks. Gundotra is responsible for mobile applications at Google. He returns the call immediately.
Hey Steve, this is Vic. I’m sorry I didn’t answer your call earlier. I was in religious services, and the caller ID said unknown, so I didn’t --
Gundotra can hear Jobs laughing.
Vic, unless the Caller ID said ‘God’, you should never ever pick up during services.
Gundotra laughs softly.
Listen, Vic, we have an urgent issue. It’s got to be addressed right away. I’ve already assigned someone from my team to help you, so you can fix it tomorrow.
I’ve been looking at the Google logo on the iPhone and I’m not happy with the icon.
Gundotra looks at his family gathered around the car.
The second ‘o’ in Google doesn’t have the right yellow gradient. It’s just wrong and I’m going to have Greg fix it tomorrow. Is that okay with you?
Of course, Steve. Of course.
Jobs hangs up. Gundotra looks a little startled as he hangs up too.
Phone vibrates in his hand as an email arrives. Gundotra looks at the screen. The email is from Steve Jobs with the subject ‘Icon Ambulance’ and details for him to work directly with Greg Christie to fix the icon.
2009 - MEMPHIS MANSION - DAY
Soft yellow two story mansion at the end of a quiet cul-de-sac. Surrounded by old growth trees.
Built in 1914, five bedrooms, 7,300 square feet. Recently renovated. Video security cameras have been installed in the trees. SECURITY GUARD sits in a white jeep in the driveway.
In a bedroom upstairs, Steve Jobs, 53, is recuperating from his recent liver transplant at the nearby Methodist University Hospital.
The bedroom looks like a hospital room. Jobs is in bed in a hospital gown, gaunt, tired. A well-thumbed copy of “Autobiography of a Yogi” sits on the metal bedside cabinet.
In the summer of 2008, Jobs had appeared on stage at Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference in San Francisco’s Moscone Centre to introduce the latest version of the iPhone. Everyone was shocked at his emaciated appearance. Jobs looked like he was dying.
A few months later he announced he would not deliver Apple’s keynote at the upcoming 2009 Macworld Convention. Apple tried to suggest his health had nothing to do with it. A few weeks later the company revealed he would be taking a leave of absence in order to deal with a hormone imbalance.
What was really happening was Jobs’s liver was failing. He needed to replace it or he would die.
Jobs was listed for a liver transplant at several hospitals. In March, the Methodist University Hospital in Memphis called him. They had a liver from a young man who had been killed in a car crash. Jobs was the ideal candidate.
The operation took almost six hours. The transplant surgeon was Dr. James Eason. Jobs was close to death after the operation. His children were called to his bedside to say their final goodbyes.
Despite fears he would succumb to pneumonia, Jobs survived.
DR. EASON, 48, walks out of Job’s bedroom. He’s going to a convenience store to buy Jobs his favorite energy drink. Dr. Eason is overseeing every detail of Jobs’ care. Coordinating his transplant recovery, cancer tests, pain treatments, nutrition, rehabilitation. Even selecting the nursing staff.
When Jobs’ strength returns he plans on taking him for walks in Overton Park, near the hospital.
Jobs watches him leave.
Jobs remembers walking with David Sheff in New York City twenty-five years earlier. It was 1984 and the Apple Macintosh had just been released. Computing would never be the same again.
They walked along Columbus Avenue, talking about the long-term promise of technology. Jobs had told him that was up to the next generation. Told him they could see thing he couldn’t. Their perceptions could go much further.
Jobs’ felt his challenge was to grow obsolete gracefully, to degrade beautifully over time.
It’s a very interesting challenge, isn’t it? How to grow obsolete with grace.
1997 - APPLE TOWN HALL - DAY
It’s Thursday. Steve Jobs, 41, is on the small stage in the auditorium in Building 4 at Infinite Loop in Cupertino. APPLE STAFF fill the seats. They look on, worried.
He looks down at the floor. It’s difficult to remember how far Apple has fallen. Just a few months away from bankruptcy, the company has a dwindling four percent share of the PC market and annual losses exceeding $1 billion. Three CEOs have come and gone in a decade. Board members have tried to sell the company but found no takers.
Michael Dell told the press if he ran Apple, he’d shut it down and give the money back to shareholders.
Within weeks of returning to Apple, Jobs had brought in a new board and dismissed CEO Gil Amelio, taking the role himself as Interim CEO. Or better yet, iCEO.
There’d been a lot of dismissals, a lot of firings. Whole divisions were closed down. Departments gutted. Even the product line was slashed to the essentials.
Apple Staff shift uncomfortably in their seats. Everyone is tense, brimming with anxiety, rumors everywhere. Jobs looks up.
Fuck Michael Dell.
We’ve got a great, great company here. We’ve got a brand that’s right up there, with the best of the best. We’ve got to grow up.
Some Staff lean in.
Our rivalry with Microsoft? It’s childish, it’s stupid, it’s a fucking waste of time.
Jobs leans in.
We’ve got some strategies in place, we’re going to turn around. We’re going to become great.
Apple is trading below book value on the market. The enterprise value is actually less than the cash on hand. The stock price is terrible. Everyone says the company is going to be acquired by Sun.
Jobs is not going to let them happen. He’s going to stop the leaks. He’s going to reissue everyone’s options on a low price, but with a new 3 year vest. He’s giving everybody more skin in the game.
If you want to make Apple great again, let’s get going. If not, fuck off.
Everyone wants to make Apple great.
That afternoon everyone at Apple receives the first all-company email from Jobs. In it, Jobs thanks everyone and talks about how Apple will release a few things in the coming week, and his desire to tighten up communications so employees will know more about what is going on — and how that requires more respect for confidentiality, and an end to leaks.
On Monday morning there’s an email waiting for everyone at Apple. It’s from CFO Fred Anderson and reminds everyone that Jobs’ email had plainly said no more leaks.
The email goes on to explain that since Thursday, the company had begun tracking everyone’s emails. Four people sent details to outsiders. They’ve all been found and terminated. They are no longer with the company.
2009 - JOBS FAMILY HOME - AFTERNOON
Jobs Palo Alto family home is tucked away on the corner of tree-lined Waverley Street and Santa Rita Avenue.
Steve Jobs, 53, is walking with WALT MOSSBERG, 61, on the sidewalk. Jobs is recuperating from a liver transplant. He looks frail, determined. Mossberg anxiously glances over his shoulder to Jobs’ home.
As a veteran technology journalist and columnist with The Wall Street Journal, he’d spent the past two hours in Jobs’ home. Catching up on industry gossip.
Jobs had insisted they go for a walk. Mossberg was nervous about Jobs’ condition.
As they walk all he can think about is how shallow Jobs’ breathing is.
I walk every day.
Jobs does not look well.
And every day I set a further goal for myself.
Jobs forces a smile.
Today the goal is Peer Park. It’s not far, old man. You can make it.
Jobs stops, grimaces.
Steve, are you okay?
In 1997 when Jobs returned to Apple, he took to calling Mossberg at home on Sunday nights. Marathon, ninety-minute, wide-ranging, off-the-record discussions. One minute Jobs would be talking about sweeping ideas for the digital revolution. The next about why Apple’s current products were awful, and how a color, or angle, or curve was just plain embarrassing.
Steve, you’re really not looking well. We should go back. Can’t we go back? Please?
In 2001, Mossberg had derided Apple’s new retail stores. What did Apple know about retailing? Jobs thought he was crazy. Apple had spent a year tweaking the layout of the stores, using a full-scale mockup at a secret location. Mossberg teased him by asking if he personally approved tiny details like the translucency of the glass and the color of the wood. Of course he had.
Steve, I’m begging you, can we please go back to your house?
Jobs coughs, smiles.
I’m serious, Steve. I don’t know CPR. I can visualize the headline now. ‘Helpless Reporter Lets Steve Jobs Die on the Sidewalk.’
Jobs laughs, shakes his head. Mossberg looks back but can’t see the house anymore. Jobs looks forward.
Jobs heads towards the park. Mossberg follows.
Children are playing in the park. Jobs and Mossberg sit on a bench, talk about life, families. Mossberg suffered a heart attack a few years earlier. Jobs is worried about his well-being and lectures him on staying healthy.
1998 - APPLE BOARDROOM - DAY
KEN SEGALL, 48, is a creative director from Apple’s advertising agency TBWA\Chiat\Day. He’s presenting names for the new Macintosh computer only weeks away from unveiling.
Segall is a thoughtful, considerate man. He likes smart work. He was the key creative behind Apple’s resurgent “Think Different” campaign.
FIVE AGENCY STAFFERS are with him, nodding as he presents each name on a separate board.
Steve Jobs, 42, is leaning back on a chair, not even remotely impressed. TWO APPLE PRODUCT MANAGERS are glancing out the window. PHIL SCHILLER, 37, Apple’s worldwide marketing manager, looks bored.
On the table sits the new Macintosh computer. Like something out of “The Jetsons”. A colorful one-piece computer that shows off its inner circuitry through a semitransparent shell. It shatters every idea of what computers are supposed to look like.
Jobs is betting the company on the machine and it needs a great name. Segall had presented a bunch of names last week. Jobs hated them all. Jobs wanted to call the new computer MacMan. Unless Segall and his team can come up with something better.
Segall threw up a little when he first heard the name.
MacMan is Phil’s idea. I still like it a lot.
Segall looks at the boards with various names on them.
I think it’s sort of reminiscent of Sony.
Segall looks at Jobs, confused.
You know, the Sony Walkman. I don’t mind a little rub-off from Sony. They’re a famous consumer company, and if MacMan seems like a Sony kind of consumer product, that might be not be a bad thing.
Actually, MacMan is terrible name. Aside from the gender bias, echoing another company’s naming style seems wholly unoriginal for a company like Apple.
Steve, I’m not sure I see how the name MacMan says the internet?
The naming guidelines from Jobs had insisted the new Macintosh name have the word Mac in it and infer immediate internet accessibility. And avoid sounding too frivolous or portable. The MacMan name manages to violate all these instructions.
Segall pulls out the iMac name board.
You know, I still love iMac. The i means internet. But it also means individual, imaginative, intuitive.
I don’t hate it so much this week.
Schiller crosses his arms.
It doesn’t sound like a toy, it doesn’t sound like a portable. You can use the i prefix for whatever other internet products you’re working on.
Jobs looks at Schiller. A decision has to be made quickly to accommodate manufacturing and packaging design.
Jobs picks up the board with the iMac name.
I don’t hate it, but I still don’t love it.
Not yet. Jobs will screenprint the name onto a prototype to see what it looks like and to garner feedback from his close friends and key executives. They will all love it.
In time the lower case i will prefix every Apple product.
2011 - WOODSIDE DOERR ESTATE - NIGHT
An electronic gate swings open and the presidential motorcade sweeps up a long secluded driveway lined by live oaks, winds past brooks and fields towards the white, solar-paneled compound where John Doerr lives with his wife, Ann, and their two daughters.
Vaguely Southwestern in style, adorned with modern sculptures and fringed by numerous guest buildings. SECRET SERVICE PERSONNEL guard the perimeter.
Two weeks earlier a retinue of at least two dozen advance people from the White House had combed through the house and compound to secure the property.
Doerr is still the world’s wealthiest and most well-connected venture capitalist. He’s arranged for President Obama to meet with the luminaries of Silicon Valley for dinner at his home tonight.
In the library there are shelves after shelves of glossy architecture books, biographies and business sagas, and numerous volumes on veterinary medicine. There is no fiction.
Dinner guests mill about, waiting for the arrival of President Obama. Westly group founder STEVE WESTLY,Google CEO ERIC SCHMIDT, Genentech chairman ART LEVINSON, Cisco Systems CEO JOHN CHAMBERS, Oracle CEO LARRY ELLISON, Netflix CEO REED HASTINGS, Stanford University president JOHN HENNESSY, Yahoo president CAROL BARTZ, Twitter CEO DICK COSTOLO, Facebook founder, president and CEO MARK ZUCKERBERG.
Steve Jobs, 55, is standing to one side. Dressed in black turtleneck, blue jeans and sneakers. Thin, sipping a glass of water. There were rumors he was too ill to attend.
Jobs looks around. Doerr’s assistant ANGELA VALLES hovers nearby, wearing a neat pin-striped navy suit. TWO SECRET SERVICE MEN stand near an open door.
Jobs had first met President Obama last year at a token meeting at the Westin San Francisco Airport hotel. He felt Obama was heading for a one-term presidency unless he became more business friendly. Cut down the burdensome regulation, curb the crippling unions. Jobs offered to put together a group of six or seven CEOs who could really explain the innovation challenges facing America.
When the White House expanded the list to twenty, Jobs balked. It’s bloated, nothing will get done.
Jobs even objected to the menu. Shrimp, cod and lentil salad was far too fancy. Cream pie tricked out with chocolate truffles was outrageous. But he was overruled by the White House, citing Obama’s fondness for cream pie.
Now the captains of Silicon Valley gather in wait for the president. At dinner each will hop on to their favorite hobby horse and Obama will wrap them in his charm.
At dinner Jobs won’t let the president off the hook. He’ll complain about the United States’ lack of software engineers. He’ll suggest that any foreign student who gets an engineering degree at a U.S. university should automatically be offered a green card.
Obama will bring politics into it, criticize Republicans for blocking immigration reform. Explain that it’s out of his hands, explain why it can’t be done.
Jobs will shake his head in despair.
The politics of paralysis.
1998 - APPLE JOBS’ OFFICE - EVENING
Steve Jobs, 42, sits in his office, finishing a call on the phone. He hangs up. He’s just learnt that one of his senior executives has cancer. The prognosis isn’t good.
In the year since his return to head Apple, Jobs has achieved the impossible. He’s brought Apple back from near bankruptcy to profitability. Back from the precipice to safe ground.
But money is the last thing on Jobs’ mind. He wants to build a legacy. He wants to build a company that will still stand for something a generation or two from now. That’s what Walt Disney did, and Hewlett and Packard, and the people who built Intel. They created a company to last, not just to make money. That’s what Jobs wants Apple to be.
A month earlier Jobs had launched Apple’s revolutionary iMac at the Flint Center auditorium in Cupertino, fourteen years after he had introduced the original Macintosh at that same venue. The reviews for the new iMac had been astonishing. Sales are rocketing.
In the same month his youngest daughter, Eve Jobs, was born.
Cancer is a good reminder that we are all going to die. Life is brief, and then you die. You don’t get a chance to do that many things, so choose wisely. You choose what to do with your life. So it better be damn good. It better be worth it.
We carry death within us. We have very complex bodies and there are mutations happening all the time. We all have cancer.
Your immune system does an amazing job dealing with the mutations, constantly repairing the damage. By the time your cancer shows up as a tumor it means your immune system has let you down. Your own body is killing itself at a cellular level.
Cancer arises in the operation of the cell’s molecules and atoms. There’s no trauma or outside force, no external damage. No genetic predisposition. It starts as a molecular process that went awry.
It starts when the body turns on itself.
1981 - APPLE MACINTOSH OFFICES - MORNING
It’s Sunday. No one is in the office. Except Steve Jobs, 25, who is looking over a handful of cubicle islands created by the small taskforce of Macintosh software developers and computer engineers.
The young people here have been working on a new computer project to rival Apple’s Lisa computer. The Lisa is Steve Jobs’ baby. Literally. It’s named after his first daughter.
The Lisa was first envisioned in 1979 as a brand new business computer to succeed the popular Apple II. It was to be designed by Steve Wozniak, but turned over to Ken Rothmuller, a former HP director, when Wozniak drifted away from Apple.
Rothmuller realized it would be impossible to meet the 1981 launch deadline. He expressed his doubts to Jobs and was soon replaced by another HP manager, John Couch.
Jobs began taking a more and more active role in the Lisa project, and eventually appealed to Apple CEO, Mike Scott, to appoint him head of the group. Scott had next to no confidence in Jobs’ management abilities and did not want to put him on such an important project, so he kept Couch in control.
Jobs fumed and left the Lisa project to take control of the much smaller Macintosh project. At least Jef Raskin knew what he was talking about. He was the one who was pushing the Lisa team to go with bitmapped displays and a faster processor. He had seen the future.
Jobs had seen the future too. He wanted to make a computer that was going to change the world, not just spit out some numbers in a column. Where was the fun in that?
Jobs looks around the office. Computer prototypes, testing equipment, shells, casings, keyboards, cords, leads. Tangled ambitions everywhere. No management offices anywhere.
They had been left to do their own thing. Jobs could turn them into a winning team. He could inspire them and lead them to do something great.
Something insanely great.
1988 - GYM - BERKELEY HIGH SCHOOL - NIGHT
Steve Jobs, 33, is busy rehearsing the rollout that will launch his first NeXT computer to the world. NEXT EXECUTIVES mill about.
The debut has been delayed by several months. When he’s asked about the development and production delays, Jobs just laughs. Late? This computer is five years ahead of its time.
And it is. Everyone calls it the cube because of its distinctive case, a one foot by one foot by one foot black magnesium cube. The machine with its remarkable NeXTSTEP operating system is targeted at higher education. It’s a hell of machine.
Jobs has devoted his life to NeXT after fleeing Apple. A boardroom coup had left him powerless in the company he founded. Leaving was the only way to retain any dignity.
Designing and building a superior computer and operating system would put him back on top. Bill Gates had once told him people don’t care about better design, better engineering, better user experiences.
On the small stage, Jobs paces back and forth, reading lines into a wireless microphone. He is dressed in blue jeans and red flannel shirt. The first slide appears on screen. Jobs smiles, enthused.
I really like that green.
Great green. Really great green.
The computer goes through its paces, plays music with the sound of a live orchestra, pulls up images as clear as photographs, retrieves quotes from a memory bank big enough to hold a bookshelf full of classics.
Then a software glitch makes the screen image freeze. NeXT Executives tense up, expecting an infamous Jobs outburst. Jobs just stares up at the screen, shrugs.
No problem. We’ll fix it.
Jobs demos more functions and features. A video shows the automated assembly plant that Jobs has built in Fremont to manufacture the NeXT machines. It’s white, pristine.
Jobs wanders back to sit among a handful of the executives. He watches as robot hands install the state-of-the-art chips that will power the computer. For a second he looks almost teary. His voice is soft.
1988 - FOUR-STORY TOWNHOUSE - SAN FRANCISCO - NIGHT
It’s a busy cocktail party. DRINK WAITERS are gliding through the crowd of DIPLOMATS, GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS, SENIOR MILITARY OFFICERS and their WIVES.
ROSS PEROT, 57, is there by himself. He sips his water. Perot is the diminutive Texas billionaire who founded Electronic Data Systems. He is also the principal investor in Steve Jobs’ new venture, NeXT Computers.
Over in one corner is Steve Jobs, 32, wearing a suit and a smirk. He is gesturing madly in front of KING JUAN CARLOS OF SPAIN.
Perot smiles. He had decided to invest in NeXT after seeing a television documentary on Jobs and the new firm. In a way, he fell in love with Jobs and his vision. Jobs was the son he never had.
Jobs is raving and the King is transfixed.
Perot sees the King take out his calling card, scribble something on the back and hand the card to Jobs. The King nods, Jobs pats him on the shoulder and shakes his hand.
Jobs crosses the room to Perot, beaming.
I sold him a computer.
1991 - JOBS’ FAMILY HOME - PALO ALTO - DAY
Jobs is in the kitchen, making himself a cup of tea while reading a book.
It’s a well read copy of “What Do You Care What Other People Think?” by physicist and Nobel laureate Richard Feynmann.
During his lifetime, Feynman became one of the best-known scientists in the world. He was ranked one of the ten greatest physicists of all time.
He had assisted in the development of the atomic bomb and was a member of the Rogers Commission, the panel that investigated the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster. In addition to his work in theoretical physics, Feynmann pioneered the field of quantum computing.
In 1987, Feynmann had a relapse of cancer. He went under the knife again. But this time, the surgery created complications.
In the book he describes one of his last operations before he died. The doctor told him he was not sure he was going to make it.
Feynmann made the doctor promise that if it became clear he wasn’t going to survive, to take away the anesthetic. He wanted to feel what it’s like to turn off.
1991 - AHWAHNEE HOTEL - YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK - DAY
Snow is falling. Inside the Solarium Room of this historic, grand hotel, Steve Jobs and Laurene Powell are marrying each other.
Jobs, 35, wears a tuxedo, crisp white shirt and trim black bow tie. Powell, 27, wears a classic white wedding dress. She looks effortlessly beautiful. Her strawberry blonde hair flows past her shoulders. She holds a spray of white roses.
Incense smoke wisps past. A gong sounds.
Job’s zen mentor, Roshi Kobun Chino Otogawa, is officiating the wedding according to Soto Zen ritual. Otogawa is Jobs’ spiritual father. Jobs had become a disciple of zen Buddhism a decade earlier. It was Otogawa who told Jobs he will find his zen in dedicating his life to what gives him the most happiness. It was Otogawa who told Jobs to pursue business with passion.
CLOSE FRIENDS and FAMILY are gathered for the ceremony. Otogawa strikes the gong again.
Jobs and Powell are deeply in love. They had met two years earlier at Stanford University when Jobs delivered a lecture to the business faculty. Powell was studying for her MBA. Jobs was entranced the moment he met her. He couldn’t take his eyes off her.
He had a business meeting scheduled after the lecture. As he walked to his car in the parking lot, he couldn’t stop thinking about her. He got in his car, slipped in the key and felt his heart skip.
If this was his last night on earth, would he rather spend it in a meeting or with this woman? He leapt out of his car and dashed across the parking lot, asked her if she’d have dinner with him. She smiled and said yes. They walked into town and have been together ever since.
Otagawa begins reciting Buddhist texts in Japanese. He strikes the gong again. Jobs beams.
Powell is already pregnant with their first child.
1994 - PIXAR HEADQUARTERS - RICHMOND - MORNING
Steve Jobs, 38, is looking at a wall plastered with hand-sketched storyboards for the movie “Toy Story.” It’s Pixar’s first feature film.
It’s also the world’s first fully computer animated feature film. Disney has confirmed it will release it next year. Critics love the latest cut.
Jobs figures he’ll hang onto the computer animation firm for another year. He’d been contemplating selling it to other companies, including Microsoft.
Jobs had bought into Pixar almost a decade earlier. George Lucas was in the middle of a costly divorce. “Star Wars” licensing revenues were drying up and he needed cash.
Jobs paid Lucas $5 million up front and put an extra $5 million into working capital for a slab of equity. He thought he was getting a bargain.
The company started out selling the high-end Pixar Image Computer. It was a flop.
Employee John Lasseter started showing off some of the animation work he’d done with the machine. It didn’t help sell computers, but everyone loved his work.
Lasseter had a dream to produce the world’s first fully animated feature film. Jobs bought into the dream.
But it quickly turned into a nightmare with one crisis after the other and Pixar running out of money several times. To avoid the perception and reality of failure after having been ousted from Apple, Jobs put more capital into the company in exchange for more of the equity owned by the employees.
By 1991 he owned 100 percent of Pixar at a total investment of $50 million. He also became the CEO.
Making “Toy Story” had been a wild ride. What started as a side project between animation and special effects work for television commercials, took on a life of its own.
It was never easy. Disaster always seemed one frame away. At one point they faced a major story crisis. They could have fooled themselves to keep going. Tell themselves that everything was alright. That’s what everyone else does.
But even Jobs knew in his heart that something was wrong
Production was halted for five moths while the writers and creatives solved the crucial story problems holding the film back.
This is not the engineering and science. This is the art.
“Toy Story” became a worldwide hit upon release. It went on to change the movie business for ever.
No one at Pixar ever expected to have another story crisis.
But you know what? There’s been one on every film.
2001 - HYATT REGENCY BALLROOM - SAN FRANCISCO AIRPORT - DAY
The ballroom is locked with SECURITY GUARDS posted by the door.
Inside some of Silicon Valley’s smartest men have gathered around a square table to discuss the Segway personal transporter, a two-wheeled, self-balancing, battery-powered electric vehicle meant to revolutionize the world.
Segway inventor DEAN KAMEN sits on one corner, anxious. Flanking him him are Segway Marketing VP MIKE FERRY and Segway Governmental Affairs Chief BRIAN TOOHEY. Segway Segway CEO TIM ADAMS sits next to them. Each of them will be making presentations to Credit Suisse First Boston Chair MICHAEL SCHMERTZLER, Harvard Business School Professor BILL SAHLMAN, Investor VERN LOUCKS, Kleiner Perkins VC John Doerr, Amazon CEO JEFF BEZOS and Apple CEO Steve Jobs.
Segway CEO TIM ADAMS stands and clicks the Segway logo onto the screen behind him.
Now before we start, we’d like to ask you to hold your questions until after each presentation so --
Bezos laughs. Jobs shifts in his seat
How long is each presentation?
About ten minutes.
Jobs shakes his head.
I can’t do that. I’m not built that way. So if you want me to leave, I will, but I can’t just sit here.
Bezos looks at Jobs, smiles. Adams looks at Jobs, clicks the next slide on the screen that shows a spec sheet for the Metro and Pro models.
As you can see --
Why two machines?
We think --
Because I see a real big problem here.
Jobs looks at the palm of his hand where he’s scribbled some notes.
We launched the iMac with one model in one color to give my designers, salespeople, and the public an absolute focus. We waited seven months before we launched the other models. We didn’t want any distractions, or confusion.
Bezos and Doerr nod. Adams switches subjects.
What does everyone think about the design?
Jobs looks at Adams.
What do you think?
I think it’s coming along, though we expect --
I think it fucking sucks!
Why on earth --
It just does.
In what sense, exactly? Give me a clue.
Jobs leans back.
Its shape is not innovative, it’s not elegant, it doesn’t feel anthropomorphic.
Jobs leans forward.
You have this incredibly innovative machine but it looks very traditional.
Jobs may as well have stabbed Adams in the heart.
There are design firms out there that could come up with things you’ve never thought of.
Things that would make you shit your pants.
2002 - JOBS FAMILY HOME - PALO ALTO - MORNING
Jobs is in the master bathroom. It’s very early in the morning. The sun has barely risen. He is the only one awake in the entire house.
He hasn’t slept all night. Yesterday he learnt that his zen mentor Roshi Kobun Chino Otogawa had drowned in a shallow, icy pool at his student’s home in Switzerland. Otogawa was trying to save the life of his 5-year-old daughter Maya, who perished anyway.
Jobs looks in the mirror. A sharp pain slices down the side of his abdomen.
Jobs hasn’t had the heart to tell his wife, Laurene, about Otogawa’s death. He hopes it was a good death, liberating, freeing. How short is life. How quickly can it be taken away.
Otogawa had officiated when Jobs and Laurene were married a decade earlier. He was the spiritual adviser at NeXT before it was sold to Apple, before Jobs rejoined the company he founded. The company he loved.
A tear slips and rolls down his cheek. The pain cuts at his side. He’s sure it’s another kidney stone. He figures he’ll stop at his doctor on his way to work, get a shot of Demerol and let it pass.
Sometimes the pain spreads to his back. The pain becomes worse after he eats or lies down.
What he doesn’t know is that it’s not a kidney stone. It’s not an ulcer.
It’s cancerous tumor in his pancreas. Malignant cancer cells are growing, dividing, and spreading in the tissues of the pancreas.
Soon he’ll begin to suffer reflux, diarrhea and weight loss. He’ll become jaundice, weak, fatigued.
Hope will ripple and shift, like water on a lake.
2009 - KAYGETSU JAPANESE RESTAURANT - MENLO PARK - EVENING
Steve Jobs, 53, is tearing down Sharon Park Drive in his silver Mercedes coupe.
He’s on his way to Kaygetsu to pick up some takeaway sushi. He’d tried to make a reservation but the traditional Japanese restaurant was fully booked. It refuses to give celebrities special treatment. And he likes that.
He ordered his favorite fatty tuna, salmon, yellowtail, ocean trout, sea bream, mackerel and saltwater eel. The sushi at Kaygetsu is renowned as the best in town.
Even though Jobs lives on a vegan diet, he often makes exceptions for Japanese fare like sushi and soba noodles. The chef of Café Mac, Apple’s cafeteria, was sent to the Tsukiji Soba Academy to learn the art of soba making. Jobs even created his own dish called sashimi soba from raw fish with buckwheat noodles.
Jobs is a regular at Jin Sho and Kaygetsu. The restaurants ultimately will become the spots where he will bring close friends and family to say goodbye before he passes away.
Within days of his death, Kaygetsu will shut its doors.
2010 - APPLE CONFERENCE ROOM - CUPERTINO - DAY
APPLE EXECUTIVES, EMI EXECUTIVES and SEVERAL LAWYERS are leaving the conference room after a very successful meeting. Everyone is smiling, pleased. Agreement has finally been reached to release the Beatles’ catalog on iTunes.
Steve Jobs, 54, remains in the conference room with a young APPLE WEB DESIGNER. He glances at a mockup of the Apple homepage on a computer monitor. A black and white photo by Bruce McGroom of George Harrison, Paul McCartney, John Lennon and Ringo Starr with a stark headline. The Beatles. Now on iTunes.
When Apple launched iTunes ten years earlier, it upended the music business forever. Listeners were able to buy music track-by-track instead of having to buy an entire album to listen to their favorite song. This revolutionized the economics of recorded music.
Signing the band to iTunes is a personal victory for Jobs. A long time coming. Especially given the tumultuous history between Apple, EMI and The Beatles’ own Apple Records. Former Beatles Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr, and the estates of John Lennon and George Harrison, also had to come to agreement.
Jobs loves The Beatles. They were his model for business. Four guys who kept each other’s negative tendencies in check, four guys who balanced each other. The total was greater than the sum of the parts.
Great things in business are never done by one person, they’re done by a team of people.
Jobs watches the executives leave, then turns to the designer and points at the photo of The Beatles on the homepage.
Their skin tone is a little too white, a bit too hot. You want to dial it down a bit.
Designer nods and leaves. Jobs looks at the photo of The Beatles.
In the first week of release on iTunes, the Beatles will sell more than 2 million songs.
2010 - EMERSON STREET - PALO ALTO - AFTERNOON
Steve Jobs, 54, is walking down the street. Dressed in black mock turtleneck, worn blue jeans and sneakers. He’s smiling, happy.
He’s always loved Palo Alto. Always believed it was the epicenter of the computer industry, the place where the future comes true. Stanford University is here. Along with the headquarters of Hewlett-Packard, Tesla Motors, Ning, IDEO.
Google, Facebook, Logitech, Intuit, Sun, Pinterest, PayPal. They all had their start here. Even Apple.
Apple began in the garage of the Jobs family home in nearby Los Altos. But Jobs set up a PO Box in Palo Alto and hired a voice answering service so potential buyers imagined a big company right in the heart of Silicon Valley.
As soon as he started making money, Jobs moved to Palo Alto. He’s been here ever since.
Jobs made himself here, created his life here. His family live in a sprawling British country style home tucked away on the corner of tree-lined Waverley Street and Santa Rita Avenue. He loves walking the streets.
Even when he was terribly ill he would walk. Even after the liver transplant. It gave him strength.
He knows he’s going to die. We’re all going to die. Life is so short, so brief. Remembering you will be dead helps you make the big choices in life. Because everything — all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure – these things just fall away in the face of death. Only what’s truly important remains.
Summer light shines, life is so beautiful it gleams. Jobs tries to catch his breath.
You are what you think. All that you are arises with your thoughts. With your thoughts, you make the world.
Sometimes life hits you in the head with a brick. Don’t lose faith. The only thing that will keep you going is to love what you do. You’ve got to find what you love. It’s as true for your work as it is for your lovers. You work will fill your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work.
Jobs feels he’s getting better, getting stronger. He’s talked with Tim Cook about stepping down as Apple CEO, about remaining as Chairman so he can continue to guide his beloved company. It’s going to be a long and fruitful relationship. There’s still so much to be done. Jobs just hopes that when Cook becomes CEO he will listen to his input.
Jobs enters the Fraiche Yogurt Cafe, smiles at someone across the counter and orders a small serve with his favorite toppings.
2007 - JOBS’ APPLE OFFICE - CUPERTINO - TWIGHLIGHT
Move over Steve Jobs’ desk, over reports, over notes. Settle on an unfolded handwritten letter. It’s from Burg im Leimental, Switzerland. Dated 11th February, 07.
The handwriting is strong, confident.
Dear Mr. Steve Jobs,
Hello from Albert Hofmann. I understand from media accounts that you feel LSD helped you creatively in your development of Apple computers and your personal spiritual quest. I’m interested in learning more about how LSD was useful to you.
I’m writing now, shortly after my 101st birthday, to request that you support Swiss psychiatrist Dr. Peter Gasser’s proposed study of LSD-assisted psychotherapy in subjects with anxiety associated with life-threatening illness. This will become the first LSD-assisted psychotherapy study in over 35 years.
I hope you will help in the transformation of my problem child into a wonder child.
Albert Hofmann was a scientist working for Sandoz chemicals in Basel in 1938 when he first synthesized lysergic acid diethylamide, which became better known as LSD. That same year, he also became the first person to ingest acid and experience its astonishing psychedelic effects.
Jobs has never been shy about his use of psychedelics, famously calling his LSD experience one of the two or three most important things he had done in his life.
2006 - APPLE HEADQUARTERS - CUPERTINO - MORNING
Steve Jobs, 50, is in a design studio. Dressed in mock black turtle neck, faded blue jeans, worn sneakers. Stroking his chin, thinking. Leaning against a desk, looking at a wall plastered with sheets of paper of various Apple iPhone prototypes. Sketches, 3D computer renderings, line drawings, technical drawings, schematics, all scribbled with hand written notes and modifications.
It’s Apple’s first mobile phone. Jobs had been busy negotiating carriers and essentially rewriting the rules of the network model. He finally loves the user interface. But he’s still not happy with the form factor.
Move back to reveal dozens of sheets of paper on the wall.
Developing the new phone became inevitable. Every computer company is moving into the mobile phone space. Jobs has a dream to recreate the industry.
But it’s turning into a nightmare. Development and engineering issues plagued early prototypes. Everything came to a head with the current design.
Move back to reveal hundreds of sheets of paper on the wall.
It’s like the story crisis that comes with every Pixar film, every Apple product. That moment when it’s just not working. It’s easy to fool yourself, to convince yourself that it’s all okay. But in your heart you know it isn’t.
Jobs stares at the latest iPhone design.
The launch is only months away. It’s too late to change anything. It doesn’t make sense to change the design now.
But Jobs doesn’t love the design, can’t convince himself to fall in love with it either. It’s the most important product he’ll ever launch.
Jobs takes a deep breath and decides to push the reset button on the project.
He’s going to have to go to the team on Monday morning and tell them they’re going to have to throw everything away and start over.
Tell them they’re going to have to work twice as hard because now there’s not enough time.
2009 - APPLE HEADQUARTERS - CUPERTINO - DAY
JAMES YU, 23, stands outside the elevator bank on the ground floor. He’s an Apple designer. He’s absent-mindedly reading something on his iPhone.
Elevator door pings open and he steps in. Door begins to close then shudders open as someone else steps in. Yu looks up.
It’s Steve Job, 53. Yu looks down and immediately starts tapping his iPhone, anything to avoid eye contact.
Jobs reaches for Yu’s iPhone.
What app is that?
Jobs take the iPhone.
Birdfeed. It’s a Twi --
Jobs raises his hand to silence him as he taps, flicks and scrolls his way through the app.
Elevator pings as it arrives on Jobs’ floor. Door slides open. Jobs returns the iPhone and walks out.
The background needs more texture.
Elevator door slides shut.
1982 - JOBS’ HOUSE - LOS GATOS - NIGHT
Steve Jobs, 28, is sitting cross legged on the floor of an enormous sitting room in the large house he’s just bought. There’s no sofas or furniture to sit down on.
There’s a perfect original Tiffany lamp behind him, spilling light onto the polished timber floor. There’s also a very expensive hi-fi and turntable with enormous speakers. Some vinyl albums are stacked against a wall. He’s sipping a small cup of Japanese tea.
John Sculley, 45, stands in front of Jobs. He’s wearing an expensive dark suit and tie. He’s president of Pepsi-Cola. Jobs is wearing jeans and a white shirt, a beard and a smirk. He looks up at Sculley, squints.
Are you going to keep selling sugar water to children when you could be changing the world?
Jobs looks a little stoned. Sculley looks at his finger tips.
Steve, I don’t know the first thing about computers.
That’s the beautiful thing. You don’t have to. We need someone at Apple that doesn’t know the first thing about computers. We need a beginners mind. We need someone like you.
Sculley isn’t so sure.
We need a CEO like you. You’re a goddamn marketing genius. You made Pepsi the number one brand in the cola wars. The whole experience marketing thing? That’s incredible, John.
Why would you waste your talent poisoning children?
Sculley folds his arms.
Why wouldn’t you want to change the world?
Jobs sips his tea.
You really believe personal computers are going to change the world?
Only with your help, John.
Sculley will join Apple as CEO within four months. They will become close friends and together launch the Macintosh computer that will indeed change the world.
After a few years fractures will appear in their relationship as the they begin to disagree over strategy and management. In 1985 a failed boardroom coup will see Jobs ousted from the company he founded, the company he loved.
2010 - TRANSIT LOUNGE - SAN FRANCISCO - DAY
WALTER ISSACSON, 57, steps out of a gate at San Francisco International Airport. He’s wearing a button-down lavender shirt, casual blazer and simple khakis. Carrying a worn brown leather satchel.
Isaacson has written biographies of Henry Kissinger, Benjamin Franklin, and Albert Einstein. Currently he’s writing Steve Jobs’ official biography. He first met the Apple CEO in 1984 when Jobs came to his offices at Time magazine to show him the original Macintosh computer. Jobs told everyone these icons were going to change the universe.
Issacson has always thought Jobs was his own best product.
Issacson has been interviewing Jobs for more than a year. Jobs has been remarkably open and honest. The more they talk, the more he opens up, the more emotions starts to flow. Jobs has encouraged Issacson to talk to everyone, even his adversaries.
Jobs has totally convinced Issacson that he’s going to stay one step ahead of the cancer. He told him three months ago that he had a new treatment, that he would outrun the cancer one more time.
Issacson glances out the large window to the planes taxiing outside. Pulls his iPhone out of his jacket and absent-mindedly switches it on. It vibrates to announce a voicemail. He checks. It’s from Jobs.
Another seven voicemail messages immediately buzz through. They’re all from Jobs.
Issacson gulps and thumbs the green Call Back button. Jobs answers on the second ring.
Hey Steve, I just --
Jobs voice rushes down the line.
Saw the book cover on Simon and Schuster’s trade catalogue. It’s shit. It’s the ugliest shit I’ve ever seen. It’s in such poor taste.
This is an early version of the book cover that went out to trade buyers. It had a color photo of Jobs holding a computer chip inside a garish red apple.
You shouldn’t even come to the product launch. You have no taste whatsoever. Seriously, I never want to deal with you again.
Steve, you told me you wanted no control over the book. You insisted that --
I’m not talking about the book. I’m talking about the cover. I’m only going to keep dealing with you if you let me have some input into the cover.
Because nobody is going to read your book, I’m not going to read your book. But I’ll look at the cover — and I don’t want it to be fucking ugly.
Issacson nods to himself.
Good. We’ll want to use something clean like helvetica for the title font. Albert Watson’s black and white portrait for the cover.
Shouldn’t we do it in color?
No, things are either black, or they’re white. It’s a black and white cover.
I’m a black and white sort of guy.
2011 - 5TH AVENUE APPLE STORE - NEW YORK CITY - DAY
It’s summer. Reflections of thousands of people shuttling past the iconic crystalline glass cube that houses the Apple store located below the sidewalk. A minimalist white Apple logo appears to glow and hover within the glass.
Jobs knew the Apple faithful would drive to any destination to buy the next product. But people who own Windows, people who Jobs wanted to convert to the Apple way would never risk a 20-minute drive.
They wanted to avoid disappointment at all cost. So Jobs took the Apple way to them. He put Apple stores in the malls and streets they walk by every day. He reduced the risk from a 20-minute drive to 20 footsteps. He reduced the risk to next to nothing.
Apple now has 405 stores worldwide with global sales of US$16 billion.
The Apple stores lead the retail market in terms of sales per unit area with sales of $3,000 per square feet, almost doubling Tiffany & Co., the second retailer on the list.
2003 - GINZA APPLE STORE - TOKYO - DAY
It’s autumn. Reflections of thousands of people bustling past the five-level Apple store on the corner. The monumental building is clad in bead-blasted stainless steel panels. A minimalist white Apple logo sits flush to the surface.
This is the first store to be built outside the United States. The custom-designed all-glass elevators at the back of the store have no buttons and glide to a gentle stop at each floor.
Throughout the shop floors, cool gray limestone and stainless steel are used on the floors and walls. The furniture throughout the store is comprised of simply detailed maple tables and benches that balance the cool, technical character of the space with familiar warmth
Much of the staff have been trained at Apple’s headquarters in Cupertino. As a team they represent one of the most highly trained in the company, with many speaking multiple languages.
2010 - OPÉRA APPLE STORE - PARIS - DAY
It’s winter. Reflections of thousands of people crowding past the classic Parisian Apple store. It retains much of the architectural features of the historic bank building including all the original fittings. Two minimalist white Apple logos sit between the main doors.
Instead of the typical chrome-and-glass stairs, Apple has kept the stunning carved wooden spiral staircases, wrought-iron railings, marble columns and mosaic tile floor. Overhead lighting fixtures hang from the ceiling of the second floor that looks down on the wide open main floor area.
A massive shining skylight fills the space with sunlight.
2008 - GEORGE STREET APPLE STORE - SYDNEY - DAY
It’s spring. Reflections of thousands of people teeming past the three-level Apple store. The front is a wall of seamless shining glass.
A minimalist three-metre-high white Apple logo appears to float over the main entrance. The floor is paved with stone imported from Italy. Cool glass stairs connect the various levels.
The store is the second-biggest Apple Store in the world.
2007 - REGENT STREET APPLE STORE - LONDON - DAY
It’s summer. Reflections of thousands of people thronging past the historic Apple store. Large arches, ornate stonework and colorful mosaics adorn the exterior of the 1898 Edwardian building.
Four minimalist white Apple logos float above the windows and main doors. Inside the two-level space uses the Apple palette of stainless steel, stone and glass. A dramatic glass staircase, glass bridge and illuminated glass ceiling dominate the interior.
The store is Apple’s largest and busiest in the world.
2010 - LUJIAZUI APPLE STORE - SHANGHAI- DAY
It’s autumn. Reflections of thousands of people swirling past the cylindrical glass cube that houses the Apple store located below the surface. A minimalist white Apple logo appears to glow and hover within the glass.
The curved glass panes are the largest in the world. A glass and steel spiral staircase descends into the retail space below.
2011 - JOBS’ BEDROOM - PALO ALTO - DAY
It’s autumn. Steve Jobs, 56, lies back in bed. He is gaunt, tired, weak. He has been battling a rare form of pancreatic cancer since it was diagnosed by his doctors in 2003.
A thick hard cover book with a white cover rests in his hand.
When he first learned of his cancer, Jobs embarked on a series of alternative therapies including spiritual healing. Despite pleas from his family to have surgery, he initially refused,
In 2004, he finally underwent surgery to remove the cancer from his pancreas. In 2009, he had a liver transplant after his cancer had spread. In January, he took a third leave of absence from Apple before resigning as CEO in August.
Jobs told his biographer Walter Issacson that he regretted delaying his surgery. But today he’s not so sure.
Jobs slips into sleep. The book slips from his hand, slides down the side of the bed and tumbles onto the floor.
It’s a mockup of his biography. Helvetica title with Albert Watson’s 2006 intense black and white portrait of him on the cover.
Jobs in black turtleneck thumbs his chin and stares down the lens, thinking about the next project on the table.
Thinking about the end.
2001 - RITZ-CARLTON HOTEL LOBBY - MACLEAN - DAY
It’s spring. JOURNALISTS and TECHNOLOGY REPORTERS are gathering in the only luxury hotel in Northern Virginia. They’re guests of Apple. They’ve been invited to the opening of the first Apple store. They’re buzzing.
Steve Jobs, 46, lopes in, all smiles. Wearing a black windbreaker, black turtleneck, blue jeans and grey sneakers. His windbreaker is zipped half way up, collar up. He looks excited.
Jobs motions everyone outside.
Come on, it’s this way.
Jobs walks out the front doors towards the shopping mall across the street. Journalists and Reporters look a little confused. They presumed the new Apple store would open in the upmarket Tysons Corner Galleria adjacent to the hotel.
Tysons Corner Center is less upmarket but with much higher foot traffic. It averages 57,000 shoppers a day.
Jobs crosses the street. Walt Mossberg, 54, hurries to catch up. Journalists and Reporters follow. The established business and technology press are skeptical of Apple’s new retail venture. America is in the grip of recession, Gateway is in the process of shuttering all its stores, and Apple has reported consecutive quarterly losses.
Business analysts are giving Apple two years before the company has to shut the doors and turn out the lights on a very painful and expensive mistake.
It’s not how Jobs sees it. He had asked everyone he knew to name the best retail executive they knew. Mickey Drexler from Gap kept topping their lists. So Jobs invited him to the board. Then he started looking for the right person to run Apple retail and Ron Johnson from Target was chosen.
The best advice Drexler gave Jobs was to build a full-size mockup of the proposed store in a warehouse before building and opening them for real. For Jobs this was like designing a product, seeing faults and shortcomings for real and modifying and improving on the fly.
Jobs and Mossberg are striding side by side into the mall.
Walt, the store is divided into four parts. The first quarter of our store has our home section with great home and education products, and our pro section with all our great pro products.
The principal technology columnist for The Wall Street Journal is slipping in Jobs’ reality distortion field.
Every product we make is in the first twenty-five percent of the store. You can see the whole product line.
In the home section we’ve got the latest iBook on display. Most of the products are running self-running demos, but you can just walk up to them and start using them for anything you like. We’ve got our new PowerBook G4 Titaniums running here, and all running mac OSX 10. All on Airport so you can just pick these up and see what’s it’s really like to have wireless connection to the internet.
Jobs slices the air in front of him in half with the edge of his palm.
Literally half the store is devoted to solutions because people don’t just want to buy personal computers anymore, they want to know what the can do with them.
The solutions we’ve decided to feature now are music, movies, photos, and kids. You can bring out kids into our store, and they can just sit a spell, play their favorite games. And we have the best selection of Mac education software that I’ve ever seen. So you can buy the best education titles for your kids.
Jobs knows what Mossberg wants to ask.
We decided carrying our own products wasn’t enough. So we’re carrying six digital camcorders, six digital cameras, six mp3 players, and six hand-held organizers. So you can come in here and not only can you buy these digital devices, but you can actually hook them right up to the Macs and take them for a spin.
Wouldn’t it be great if when you went to buy a computer, or after you bought a computer, and you had any questions you could ask a genius?
That’s what we’ve got. It’s called a Genius Bar. There’ll be somebody here who can do service right in the store, and can answer any questions you’ve got. About you’re Mac, or about any of the peripherals or software that work with them.
Again Jobs is one step ahead of Mossberg.
And if that person doesn’t know the answer, they got a hotline to call us in Cupertino at Apple Headquarters where we have somebody who does.
Jobs grins as he steps up to the black drapes drawn closed across the front of the first Apple store in the world.
He reaches to pull the drapes open on a revolution in retailing.
1980 - BYTE MAGAZINE - DAY
It’s a full page advertisement from Computer Components, 5848 Sepulveda Boulevard, Van Nuys, California 91411.
A third of the way down the advertisement are two pictures. On the left a cathode ray computer terminal screen. On the right a computer workstation with printer.
Above that a boxy 1970s cartridge disk drive. The headline proclaims ’10 Megabyte Hard Disk $3,495*. The copy underneath lists the features.
1998 - APPLE HEADQUARTERS - CUPERTINO - DAY
STEVEN LEVY, 47, follows Steve Jobs, 43, on the fourth-floor executive offices at One Infinite Loop, a quadrant of buildings off Interstate 280.
After years of freelancing and writing books about the computer revolution, Levy joined Newsweek in 1995, where he works as senior editor, chief technology correspondent, and writer of a column called The Technologist. He believes in technology.
Jobs has been back running Apple for less than a year. He never moved into the executive suite his predecessor Gil Amelio arranged, preferring a smaller office on the fourth floor, overlooking the campus’s inner courtyard.
The area is rich in Apple’s history, as well a Jobs’ own life. He had grown up in this town and had led the original Macintosh team in offices just across the street from these tall modern structures, in a three-floor office-park-style building called Bandley Three.
Jobs nods to a huge corner office that used to belong to Amelio.
I never go in there. Do you know he wanted to install a private men’s room here that would cost half a million dollars?
Both men walk into Job’s tiny, sliver of an office. To ones side there is a small round table stacked with books, videos, and advertising awards. Facing a wall is his desk, on top sit both Mac and Wintel laptops.
Both men walk into the boardroom. Jobs closes the door and heads to the whiteboard at the end of the long table. On the table a piece of black cloth is draped over what looks like a giant egg.
Jobs picks up a marker pen and starts writing on the whiteboard.
When I got here, these were all the computers we were selling or working on.
He writes down a long list, ten of them PowerBook or Macintosh models delineated only by numbers, and a tangle of more product names.
Levy jots the names down in his notebook.
Focus doesn’t mean saying yes, it means saying no.
Jobs wipes them off with an eraser.
We’re no longer selling any of those.
Jobs writes down the following grid on the whiteboard.
consumer - pro
desktop iMac - G3
portable 1999 1st half - PB G3
This is the plan. Four great products, two high-end and two consumer.
Jobs reaches for the black cloth.
And this is the first new product off the grid.
Jobs pulls back the cloth to reveal the new iMac. Weird, egg-shaped but disarmingly attractive. Its plastic case is in a feel-good shade of fruity blue. Like all great Jobs’ products, it has a human aspect to it. You want to touch it.
Levy smiles. Jobs turns it on and runs through a quick demo, grinning.
Isn’t that just great?
It’s really neat.
‘Neat?’ It’s not just ‘neat.’
It’s fucking fantastic.
1998 - FLINT CENTER - CUPERTINO - NIGHT
It’s May. Steve Jobs, 43, is on stage rehearsing, obsessing. Tomorrow the auditorium will overflow with thousands of Apple loyalists. But right now he’s fine-tuning the moment he introduces the stunning new iMac.
He’s talking to producer STEPH ADAMS. He’s been rehearsing this moment for the past hour.
So up on the screen is the slide of current Pentium Windows all-in-one-piece-of-shit machine. I laugh it off, blank the screen, and say ‘I would like to take the privilege of showing you what they’re going to look like from today on.’
Jobs heads to black plinth on the center of the stage. Something shrouded in black cloth sits on top.
I walk over here and pull off the cloth --
Jobs pulls off the cloth to reveal an unlit iMac in Bondi blue.
-- and say ‘This is iMac.’
Lights fades up on the machine. Jobs watches the machine appear on the giant video screen behind him. He screws up his face.
It’s still too flat. The light still has to come on sooner, and brighter.
Adams repeats the order into his headset. The lights on the iMac brighten.
Jobs jumps off the stage and jogs halfway up the aisle, slouches into a seat and looks at the screen. Shakes his head.
It’s no good.
Jobs bounds back to the stage.
Let’s keep doing it till we get it right, okay?
They go again. The iMac is still underlit.
No, no. This isn’t working at all.
They go again. Now the lights are bright enough, but they’re still coming on too late. Jobs is frustrated.
Can’t we get it right?
They go again. And finally they get it right. The impeccably lit iMac gleams on stage and on screen. It looks insanely beautiful.
Oh! Right there! That’s great!
His voice whoops across the empty auditorium.
Jobs thinks this new iMac is going to be a really big deal. He’s right.
This new iMac is the first legacy-free personal computer. As well as a stack of impressive technical features, it’s the first computer to have a USB port but no floppy disk drive. Every major computer company will now be scrambling to keep up.
This new iMac will sell in the hundreds of thousands and put Apple not just back on the map, but in a leading position to launch a series of smash hit products that will revolutionize the industry.
Revolutionize the world.
2004 - STANFORD SHOPPING CENTER - PALO ALTO - DAY
It’s October. The upscale open air shopping mall is located on Route 82 at Sand Hill Road. It includes four major department stores - Bloomingdale’s, Macy’s, Neiman Marcus, and Nordstrom. Also luxury retailers such as Louis Vuitton, Tiffany & Co., Burberry, Polo Ralph Lauren, Michael Kors, Ermenegildo Zegna.
And the new Apple mini store still under wraps. A handful of REPORTERS and JOURNALISTS are waiting outside the gigantic black curtain.
Behind the curtain and inside the store, Steve Jobs, 49, is fuming. Dressed in black mock turtleneck, faded blue jeans and worn gray sneakers, pacing. This will be his first public appearance after revealing he had surgery to remove a tumor from his pancreas.
Half the size of the typical Apple store of the time, the striking mini store design features an all-white ceiling, lit from behind, and Japanese-made stainless-steel walls, with holes around the top for ventilation that mimick the design of the PowerMac G5. The shiny, seamless white floor is made from the same material used in aircraft hangars.
Jobs is staring at the floor. APPLE STORE STAFF, APPLE DESIGNS and APPLE EXECUTIVES are looking everywhere but.
The walls show off every handprint and the floors are marred by black scuff marks from the people readying the store. Unlike the larger Apple stores, no life-size mockups were built of the mini store.
Jobs shakes his head and steps outside. He quickly introduces the new mini store design, and draws the curtains open to let the Reporters and Journalists inside. Silicon Valley technology journalist CONNIE GUGLIELMO hangs back to take in there store. She glances down at the floor and then turns to Jobs.
Steve, were you involved in every aspect of the design?
Yes, Connie, I was.
Because whoever designed this store has never cleaned a floor in their life.
Jobs narrows his eyes and steps inside.
2008 - APPLE BOARD ROOM - CUPERTINO - DAY
It’s January. APPLE BOARD MEMBERS gather around the long table and begin to take their seats. A copy of the Wall Street Journal is on the table. Move in to the main headline that reads Feds Moves to Curb Risk of Recession. Subhead in italics reads Central Bank Lowers Target Rate by HalfPoint, Open to Further Cuts.
Steve Jobs’ voice flows over the newspaper as he assures one of the board members.
Look, we’ve had one of these before when the dot-com bubble burst. What I told our company then was that we were going to invest our way through the downturn. We weren’t going to lay off people we’d taken a tremendous amount of effort to get in the first place - the last thing we were going to do is lay them off.
Jobs’ hand picks up the newspaper and casually folds it in half.
We were going to keep funding. In fact, I told them we were going to up our R&D budget so that we would be ahead of our competitors when the downturn was over. And that’s exactly what we did. And it worked.
Jobs takes the newspaper away.
And that’s exactly what we’ll do this time.
2008 - KONA VILLAGE RESORT - HAWAII - AFTERNOON
Steve Jobs, 53, is walking along the beach with Betsy Morris. She is a senior editor at Fortune magazine. He is vacationing here with his family. She is interviewing him for a cover story.
Jobs is more open, relaxed than ever before. After a string of hit products in the past five years, sales at Apple have tripled to $24 billion and profits surged to $3.5 billion, up from $42 million. Apple ranks No. 1 among Fortune 500 companies for total return to shareholders.
What about Apple’s extraordinary connection with the consumer?
It starts with us. We did iTunes because we all love music. We made what we thought was the best jukebox in iTunes. Then we all wanted to carry our whole music libraries around with us.
Waves ripple along the shoreline.
The team worked really hard. And the reason they worked so hard is because we all wanted one, you know? I mean, the first few hundred customers were us. We were the customers.
Jobs smiles at the memory.
It’s not about pop culture, and it’s not about fooling people, and it’s not about convincing people that they should want something they don’t. We figure out what we want. And I think we’re pretty good at having the right discipline to think through whether a lot of other people are going to want it, too.
Jobs looks at Morris.
It’s not the consumers’ job to know what to want. That’s what we get paid to do.
Jobs shrugs his shoulders.
Anyway you can’t go out and ask people, you know, what the next big thing will be. There’s a great quote by Henry Ford, right? He said, ‘If I’d asked my customers what they wanted, they would have told me a faster horse.’
2002 - APPLE BOARDROOM - DAY
It’s April. The music file sharing service Napster has decimated the record industry. After peaking with 80 million users, the industry sued for copyright infringement and shut Naptser down. But more sophisticated, harder-to-kill copycats have began to take its place.
The entire business is being digitized and no one has any idea how to make money from it. Steve Jobs had met with executives from Warner Music and Sony Music two months earlier when they had hoped to convince Apple to join a consortium to develop a standard for interoperable music devices. Nice in theory but a few minutes into the pitch, Jobs interrupted and told them they had their heads up their asses.
Now he’s reached out to Warner Music Vice President Paul Vidich convinced there is a better way.
Jobs, 47, is with VIDICH and Warner Music CEO ROGER AMES, seated around the long table in the Apple boardroom. Jobs is excited. He opens a laptop and opens a beta version of iTunes.
It’s going to be the storefront, the first thing consumers see.
Jobs clicks on small picture of R.E.M’s single “It’s The End Of The World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine).” Then plays a 30 second preview. Then clicks the buy button.
This is so simple. It just works. It’s great.
It’s easier than Napster.
It has to be.
Ames looks like a kid in a candy store.
It gives people a way to connect with pretty much any piece of music. It’s a vast catalog right there on your screen. All the music you could ever want.
Jobs sips his coffee. Ames can see the entire Warner Music catalog for sale on iTunes. The record music business has always been a technology business. Each new wave of technology from bakelite to vinyl to cassette to CD has brought with it a wave of sales as fans purchased all the songs they love in a new format.
This is what kept the money rolling in. This is what Ames can see.
Steve, you have to promise me something.
Promise me you’ll work with us alone until you’re completely ready. Don’t make the mistake of trying to work with all us majors at the same time.
It was Warner Music who first suggested the flat 99 cent price for singles. It shifted the business from expensive, high-revenue albums to cheap, low-revenue singles. But there was no choice
In its first week, iTunes will sell one million downloads and soon become not only the top online music retailer but also the top music retailer, outselling Walmart and Best Buy. It will hasten the revolution that record executives feared the most.
But this was how consumers will buy music in the future, whether the record industry likes it or not.
In the decade years since iTunes makes its debut, the global record industry will shrink drastically from $38 billion in revenue to $16 billion.
Meanwhile, Apple will grow into one of the world’s biggest companies.
2008 - KONA VILLAGE RESORT - HAWAII - AFTERNOON
Steve Jobs, 53, is walking along the beach with Betsy Morris. She is a senior editor at Fortune magazine. He is vacationing here with his family. She is interviewing him for a cover story.
Jobs is more open, less tense than ever before.
Are you doing more market research now that Apple is growing?
We’ve never done market research. We don’t hire consultants. The only consultants I’ve ever used was to analyze Gateway’s retail strategy so I wouldn’t make the same mistakes when we launched the Apple stores.
So how do you choose the right strategy?
We just want to make great products. That’s the strategy. We created the iTunes Music Store because we thought it would be great to be able to buy music electronically, not because we had plans to redefine the music industry.
Really? You didn’t set out to change the record industry?
Jobs thinks back.
I mean, it just seemed obvious. Eventually all music was going to be distributed electronically, right?
Jobs can’t understand why no one else saw it coming.
Why have the cost? The music industry has huge returns. Why have all this overhead when you can just send electrons around?
2004 - SELF-REALIZATION HEADQUARTERS - LOS ANGELES - DAY
Phone is ringing in a small office. Self-Realization Fellowship minister BROTHER BHUMANANDA answers.
Hello, and welcome to the Self-Realization Fellowship.
Steve Jobs’ voice smiles down the line.
Hi, this is Steve Jobs.
I’m calling from Apple. I need to talk to someone about “Autobiography of a Yogi.”
Bhumananda realizes it’s not a prank call.
It’s my favorite book. I’ve read it a million times, and I want to put it on iTunes. I want it to be the first audio book on iTunes.
“Autobiography of a Yogi” by Paramahansa Yogananda was first published in 1946. Jobs had read the first hand account of seeking a true and practical spiritual life as a teenager at high school. That night he read it again. The next day he was giving copies away to friends.
Since then Jobs had made a practice of reading the spiritual classic once a year.
He finds the book alluringly honest, inspiring.
2008 - KONA VILLAGE RESORT - HAWAII - AFTERNOON
Steve Jobs, 53, is walking along the beach with Betsy Morris. She is a senior editor at Fortune magazine. He is vacationing here with his family. She is interviewing him for a cover story.
Jobs is more open, untroubled than ever before.
How do you maintain Apple’s focus?
Apple is a $30 billion company, yet we’ve got less than 30 major products. I don’t know if that’s ever been done before. Certainly the great consumer electronics companies of the past had thousands of products. We tend to focus much more.
People think focus means saying yes to the thing you’ve got to focus on. But that’s not what it means at all. It means saying no to the hundred other good ideas that there are. You have to pick carefully.
Jobs stops walking. Morris stops too, and turns.
You know, I’m actually as proud of many of the things we haven’t done as the things we have done.
The clearest example was when we were pressured for years to do a PDA, and I realized one day that ninety percent of the people who use a PDA only take information out of it on the road. They don’t put information into it.
Pretty soon cellphones are going to do that, so the PDA market’s going to get reduced to a fraction of its current size, and it won’t really be sustainable. So we decided not to get into it.
Jobs looks out to the horizon.
If we had gotten into it, we wouldn’t have had the resources to do the iPod.
We probably wouldn’t have seen it coming.
2004 - JOBS KITCHEN - PALO ALTO - NIGHT
Steve Jobs is drying plates, stacking them on the kitchen counter. Bono from U2 leans against the counter, one foot over the other. Wearing black, wearing sunglasses.
Bono is dying for a cigarette.
It’s great that you guys want to give me a song for a commercial. It’s amazing.
You know we want to be in it, yeah?
We want to be in the commercial.
Jobs stops drying.
Bono nods. U2 needs exposure for their new album, especially the first single “Vertigo.” The song is built around a series of aggressive guitar riffs that require multiple listening to catch on. Bono fears that song promotion through radio has had its day. U2 is trying for a new way.
Jobs continues drying.
Yeah, I don’t see why not.
Over the years, U2 had been offered up to twenty-three million dollars for one of their songs to be used in television commercials. U2 had said no every time.
This time it’s different. Bono is giving Apple the U2 song for free as part of a package of mutual benefits. Rather than be paid directly, U2 wants its own special edition black U2 iPod.
Jobs is initially reluctant. You can have an iPod in any color as long as its white. But Bono works directly with Apple lead designer Jony Ive to produce a distinctive black iPod with a dark red clickwheel. Jobs loves it the moment he sees it.
Apple commits to vigorously promoting the new U2 album and song across various locations including billboards and the iTunes homepage. The band received royalties from the sale of the special edition U2 iPod.
The new album sells eight-hundred-and-forty-thousand copies in its first week. Almost as many special edition black U2 iPods are sold.
A few years later when Bono undergoes emergency back surgery after a fall during rehearsals, Jobs sends him a care package. Books, music and honey from his own garden.
2008 - KONA VILLAGE RESORT - HAWAII - AFTERNOON
Jobs is more open, nonchalant than ever before.
Why does everyone want to work at Apple?
You can’t do what you can do at Apple anywhere else. The engineering is long gone in most PC companies. In the consumer electronics companies, they don’t understand the software parts of it. And so you really can’t make the products that you can make at Apple anywhere else right now. Apple’s the only company that has everything under one roof.
Morris can see the point.
No other company could make a MacBook Air and the reason is that not only do we control the hardware, but we control the operating system. And it’s the intimate relationship, intimate interaction between the operating system and the hardware that allows us to do that.
There is no intimate interaction between Windows and a Dell notebook.
But the amazing employee loyalty, the drive? Where does that come from?
Jobs takes a deep breath.
Because this is our life.
Jobs smiles again.
Life is brief, and then you die, you know? So this is what we’ve chosen to do with our life. We could be sitting in a monastery somewhere in Japan.
Jobs points to the sea.
We could be out sailing. The executive team could be playing golf. They could be running other companies. But we’ve all chosen to do this with our lives. So it better be damn good. It better be worth it.
Morris looks at Jobs.
And we think it is.
2006 - APPLE HEADQUARTERS - CUPERTINO - DAY
FIRST VICE PRESIDENT is standing at the urinal in the men’s restroom, relieving himself. SECOND VICE PRESIDENT steps up, unzips and does the same.
FIRST VICE PRESIDENT
Welcome aboard. I’d shake you hand, but --
Second Vice President nods.
FIRST VICE PRESIDENT
Had the Jobs speech yet?
SECOND VICE PRESIDENT
FIRST VICE PRESIDENT
You know, the janitor and the VP speech? When he imagines his garbage not being emptied in his office, and when he asks the janitor why, he gets an excuse like, ‘The locks have been changed, and I don’t have a key.’ Which is a completely acceptable excuse coming from someone who empties trash bins for a living. The janitor gets to explain why something went wrong. Senior people do not. When you’re the janitor, reasons matter. But somewhere between the janitor and the CEO, reasons stop mattering.
Second Vice President recalls Jobs’ words.
SECOND VICE PRESIDENT
That rubicon is crossed when you become a VP?
FIRST VICE PRESIDENT
SECOND VICE PRESIDENT
What does that even mean?
First Vice President zips up.
FIRST VICE PRESIDENT
I have no idea.
2008 - KONA VILLAGE RESORT - HAWAII - AFTERNOON
Jobs is more open, unreserved than ever before.
How do you go about finding talent?
Of course they have to be smart. But the real issue for me is, ‘Are they going to fall in love with Apple?’ Because if they fall in love with Apple, everything else will take care of itself.
They’ll want to do what’s best for Apple, not what’s best for them, what’s best for Steve, or anybody else.
Is recruiting easy?
Recruiting is hard. It’s just finding the needles in the haystack. We do it ourselves and we spend a lot of time at it. I’ve participated in the hiring of maybe five-thousand-plus people in my life. So I take it very seriously.
You can’t know enough in a one-hour interview. So, in the end, it’s ultimately based on your gut. How do I feel about this person? What are they like when they’re challenged? Why are they here? That’s what I ask everybody. ‘Why are you here?’ The answers themselves are not what you’re looking for. It’s the meta-data.
What about your management style?
We’ve got twenty-five-thousand people at Apple. About ten-thousand of them are in the stores. And my job is to work with sort of the top hundred people, that’s what I do.
Are they all vice presidents?
No. Some of them are just key individual contributors. So when a good idea comes, part of my job is to move it around, just see what different people think, get people talking about it, argue with people about it, get ideas moving among that group of hundred people, get different people together to explore different aspects of it quietly, and, you know - just explore things.
1999 - PIXAR ANIMATION STUDIOS RICHMOND - AFTERNOON
PIXAR PRODUCERS and DISNEY MARKETING EXECUTIVES are sitting around a conference table.
Steve Jobs, 44, is poring over a color-coded, small-print, stunningly elaborate release timeline for the upcoming “Toy Story 2,” which Pixar made and Disney will distribute. Trailers, press junkets, gift guides, sound tracks and on and on. Jobs is deeply into this, checking every line item on the endless promotional arcana of a one-hundred-million dollar aspiring blockbuster.
Disney’s senior VP of synergy MIKE MENDENHALL looks at a bowl of dried apricots on the table. Jobs keeps twisting and untwisting the cap off his Odwalla Carrot Juice.
When do the TV ads start?
Disney will start thirteen weeks months out, ramp up the schedule across networks closer to release date.
What’s this NASCAR thing about?
Live Disney on-track promotions. Disney has done it before. You’d be surprised at the demos on Nascar. It’s more family friendly than you think. Keeping it live gives us more TV coverage.
Jobs untwists the the cap off his Odwalla Carrot Juice. Pure pressed, no added sugar, gluten free.
How about theme-park events?
Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin at Disney’s Magic Kingdom, Buzz Lightyear’s Astro Blasters at Disneyland, Buzz Lightyear’s Astroblasters at Walt Disney World’s DisneyQuest --
Can we schedule a later meeting to review the billboards?
Mendenhall nods in agreement, smiles.
Is it possible, you know, if the movie opens big on Thanksgiving - like incredibly, unbelievably big - that Disney might delay the date when they change the Disney Store windows from a Toy Story theme to more generic Disney Christmas stuff?
You know, to drive holiday sales for classic characters?
Jobs take a swig of his juice. Mendenhall’s smile thins.
In the past, Disney has found classic characters like Snow White and Winnie the Pooh are so popular they can actually drive holiday sales for new characters, like Woody and Buzz.
Jobs twists the cap back on his juice, sighs.
Yeah, Pooh is huge.
2008 - KONA VILLAGE RESORT - HAWAII - AFTERNOON
Jobs is more open, forthcoming than ever before.
Are the Monday meetings really like running a marathon?
Well, it pays to pace yourself.
You give your key people are lot of freedom, don’t you?
When you hire really good people, you have to give them a piece of the business and let them run with it. That doesn’t mean I don’t get to kibitz a lot. But the reason you’re hiring them is because you’re going to give them the reins. I want them making as good or better decisions than I would.
Jobs leans in.
The best way to do that is to have them know everything, not just in their part of the business, but in every part of the business.
So what we do every Monday is we review the whole business, everything. We look at what we sold the week before. We look at every single product -- products we’re having trouble with, products where the demand is larger than we can make. All the stuff in development, we review. And we do it every single week. I put out an agenda -- 80% is the same as it was the last week -- and we just walk down it every single week.
We don’t have a lot of process at Apple, but that’s one of the few things we do just to all stay on the same page.
2000 - APPLE BOARDROOM - CUPERTINO - MORNING
MIKE EVANGELIST is pacing in front of the long boardroom table. Four whiteboards covered in algorithms and code are clustered around one end, along with an overhead projector and stacks and stacks of documentation.
Evangelist joined Apple three months ago when the company purchased the American division of Astarte, a German software company where he was an operations manager. Phil Schiller, Apple’s longtime head of marketing, put Evangelist on a team charged with coming up with ideas for a new DVD-burning application that Apple plans to release on Macs.
TEAM MEMBERS are spread around the table. Evangelist has to present ideas for the application to Steve Jobs, who is running half an hour late. This is the first time he’s presenting to Jobs so he’s more than a little anxious.
Evangelist and the team have only had around three weeks to prepare. They’ve created much of the underlying code and a series of beautiful mock-ups depicting the perfect interface for the new program. Page after page of prototype screen shots showing the new application’s various windows and menu options, along with paragraphs of documentation describing how the application would work.
Steve Jobs, 45, rushes into the boardroom, glares at Evangelist.
So what have you got?
Evangelist gulps, shuffles through some papers waiting for Jobs to sit down. Jobs remains standing, folds his arms.
Evangelist isn’t sure what to do. Jobs starts reading the whiteboard behind him.
Right, well, first we thought --
Jobs picks up a marker and strides over the whiteboards. Team Members look at each other, worried.
Jobs pushes away three of the whiteboards. Picks up an eraser and wipes away the code and notes on the remaining whiteboard.
Jobs draws a circle.
This is the DVD.
Jobs draws a vertical line to the right of the circle and an arrow pointing to it.
You slip the DVD into the slot.
Jobs draws a button with rounded corners and the words ‘Burn DVD’ inside.
Then you click the button that says ‘Burn.’
Jobs turns to Evangelist and his team. They look more than a little stunned.
That’s it. That’s the application. That’s what we’re going to make.
2008 - KONA VILLAGE RESORT - HAWAII - AFTERNOON
Steve Jobs, 53 is walking along the beach with Betsy Morris. She is a senior editor at Fortune magazine. He is vacationing here with his family. She is interviewing him for a cover story.
Jobs is more open, forthright than ever before.
There’s benefits of owning an operating system, right?
Owning an operating system allows us to innovate at a much, much faster rate than if we had to wait for Microsoft, like Dell and HP and everybody else does. I mean, Vista took what -- seven or eight years?
Jobs shakes his head.
It’s hard to get your new feature you need for your new hardware if you have to wait eight years.
We set our own priorities and look at things in a more holistic way. Any innovation we make we can make a version of it to fit in the iPhone and the iPod.
Jobs looks out towards the sun.
We certainly couldn’t do that if we didn’t own the operating system
2006 - FIFTH AVENUE APPLE STORE - MANHATTAN - MORNING
Steve Jobs, 51, stands behind the newly installed glass cube that acts as the glistening, transparent entry to the flagship Apple store. Dressed in black mock turtleneck, faded blue jeans and worn gray sneakers. Hands sunk into his front pockets. Beaming.
CAMERA CREWS, JOURNALISTS, REPORTERS, TOURISTS, FANS, GAWKERS are firing off shots. That night hundreds of die-hard APPLE FANS will begin to line up outside, determined to be the first to be let in. The first to buy.
Next to Jobs stands Apple executive creative director of graphic design HIROKI ASAI, 37. Asai is dressed exactly the same as Jobs. Black mock turtleneck, faded blue jeans and worn gray sneakers. Hands sunk into his front pockets. Smiling.
Apple’s organizational structure is pretty zen (as far as these things go). Steve Jobs is at the top with fifteen people reporting directly to him. Those fifteen people have thirty-one VPs reporting to them.
Asai is one of the fifteen direct reports. With over 200 creatives under his supervision, he is responsible for all the packaging, retail store graphics, website, on-line store, direct marketing, videos, and event graphics for Apple globally.
His team is a combination of art directors, writers, motion graphic designers, developers, and designers that are responsible for every piece of marketing communications sans advertising. No other corporation on earth has a team of this size that can design, produce, and engineer all the communications from every creative discipline in-house.
Next to them is a clean white A1 poster floating in a chrome stand. Apple’s font reads ‘Join us for the first of many all-nighters. Apple Store, Fifth Avenue, Grand Opening, Friday at 6.00pm.’
Apple turns every Apple store and Apple product launch into a self-generating and self-sustaining news story replete with lines of die-hard fans sleeping night after night outside the soon-to-be-opened Apple store for the privilege of being among the first through the doors on opening day.
They stagger out holding the latest, most coveted Apple products in their hands like holy relics.
The company has become its own news cycle.
2008 - KONA VILLAGE RESORT - HAWAII - AFTERNOON
Jobs is more open that ever before. Relaxed, calm, generous. In the past five years, sales at Apple have tripled. Profits and shareholder returns have soared. It’s rolled out one massive epoch-changing success after the other.
You really think the iPod was the tipping point?
It was difficult for a while because for various reasons the Mac had not been accepted by a lot of people, who went with Windows. And we were just working really hard, and our market share wasn’t going up. It makes you wonder sometimes whether you’re wrong. Maybe our stuff isn’t better, although we thought it was. Or maybe people don’t care, which is even more depressing.
It turns out with the iPod we kind of got out from that operating-system glass ceiling and it was great because it showed that Apple innovation, Apple engineering, Apple design did matter. The iPod captured seventy percent market share.
Jobs stops walking. So does Morris.
I cannot tell you how important that was after so many years of laboring and seeing a four percent to five percent market share on the Mac. To see something like that happen with the iPod was a great shot in the arm for everybody.
So what did Apple do next?
We made more. We worked harder. We said ‘This is great, Let’s do more.’ I mean, the Mac market share is going up every single quarter. We’re growing four times faster than the industry. People are starting to pay a little more attention. We’ve helped it along. We put Intel processors in and we can run PC apps alongside Mac apps.
Jobs starts walking again.
We helped the industry along. But I think a lot of it is people have finally started to realize that they don’t have to put up with Windows - that there is an alternative.
Jobs looks back.
I think nobody really thought about it that way before.
2011 - APPLE HEADQUARTERS - CUPERTINO - LATE NIGHT
CLEANERS are dusting and vacuuming the executive floor. OLDER CLEANER tries to open the glass door to an office because he wants to empty the trash. But the door is locked and he doesn’t have the key.
Older Cleaner peers in. Several confidential reports are on the desk. Including one open on a page that reveals Apple’s corporate organizational chart.
Steve Jobs is at the top with fifteen people reporting directly to him. Those fifteen people have thirty-one vice presidents reporting to them.
While almost all the attention in the company is focused on Jobs, it’s those 31 vice presidents on the outer circle that really keep the company moving along.
Aside from a handful with public profiles, these are the executives no one knows about. Jobs is so paranoid about other companies poaching them he doesn’t allow their surnames to be published.
On the confidential organizational chart, their names are as clear as day.
Timothy Cook is chief operating officer. He has five people reporting to him. John Couch vice president education sales. John Brandon vice president channel sales. Michael Fenger vice president iPhone sales. Douglas Beck vice president Apple Japan. Jennifer Bailey vice president online stores.
Joel Poolny is vice president human resources. He has no direct reports.
Philip Schiller is senior vice president marketing. He has five people reporting to him. Greg Joswiak vice president iPhone marketing. Michael Tchad vice president iPad marketing. David Moody vice president Mac marketing. Ron Okamoto vice president developer relations. Brian Croll vice president Mac software marketing.
Hiroki Asai Ive is vice president creative director. He has no direct reports.
Scott Forstall is senior vice president iOS software. He has three people reporting to him. Kim Vorrath vice president program management. Israel Ge Mahe vice president iOS wireless software. Henri Lamiraux vice president engineering iOS apps.
Ronald Johnson is senior vice president retail. He has one person reporting to him. Jerry McDougal vice president retail.
Jonathan Ive is senior vice president industrial design. He has no direct reports.
Jeffrey Williams is senior vice president operations. He has four people reporting to him. Name vice president what. William Frederick vice president fulfillment. Rita Lane vice president operations. Sabih Khan vice president operations. Deirdre O’Brien vice president operations.
Katie Cotton is vice president communications. She has no direct reports.
Bob Mansfield is senior vice president Mac hardware engineering. He has four people reporting to him. Dan Riccio vice president iPad. David Tupman vice president hardware engineering iPhone and iPod. Steve Zadesky vice president iPhone and iPod design. Michael Culbert vice president architecture.
Bruce Sewell is senior vice president general counsel. He has one person reporting to him. John Theriault vice president global security.
Peter Oppenheimer is senior vice president chief financial officer. He has two people reporting to him. Betsy Rafael vice president controller. Gary Wipfler vice president treasurer.
Andy Miller is vice president mobile advertising and iAd. He has no direct reports.
Craig Federighi is vice president Mac software engineering. He has five people reporting to him. Bud Tribble vice president software technology. Simon Patience vice president core OS. Max Paley vice president audio and video. Roger Rosner vice president productivity apps. Greg Gilley vice president video apps.
Eddie Cue is vice president internet services. He has one person reporting to him. Jeff Robin vice president consumer apps.
2008 - KONA VILLAGE RESORT - HAWAII - AFTERNOON
Jobs is more open, frank than ever before.
How important is catching tech’s next wave.
Things happen fairly slowly, you know. They do. These waves of technology, you can see them way before they happen, and you just have to choose wisely which ones you’re going to surf. If you choose unwisely, then you can waste a lot of energy, but if you choose wisely it actually unfolds fairly slowly. It takes years.
Jobs looks out at the waves.
One of our biggest insights was that we didn’t want to get into any business where we didn’t own or control the primary technology.
Jobs turns to Morris.
You know why?
Because you’ll get your head handed to you.
We realized with almost all - maybe all - future consumer electronics, the primary technology was going to be software. And we’re pretty good at software. We can do the operating system software. We can write applications on the Mac or even PC. We can write the software in the device, like you might put in an iPod or an iPhone or something. And we can write the back-end software that runs on the cloud, like iTunes.
Jobs watches a wave roll in.
So we can write all these different kinds of software and make it work seamlessly. And you ask yourself, ‘What other companies can do that?’
Jobs turns to Morris.
It’s a pretty short list. The reason we are very excited about the phone, beyond the fact we all hated our phones and wanted something better, the truth is we don’t see anyone else who can make our kind of contribution.
1999 - MACWORLD EXPO - NEW YORK - MORNING
Explosion of applause. Steve Jobs, 43, has just announced the new consumer iBook to a MASSIVE AUDIENCE at the Javits Center. It caps off earlier announcements of a revolutionary iMac along with new Mac Pro desktop and laptop machines.
The crowd is in ecstasy. The new iBook has the fastest graphics of any portable. Jobs reels off the impressive specs - 300MHz G3 Processor, 24 speed CD-ROM drive, 32 MB memory expandable to 64 MB memory, 3.2 GB disk, 56k modem, USB, 10/100 ethernet.
Jobs looks out at the audience, smiles.
Now what I’d like to do is show you one.
More applause as Jobs steps to a table, takes a swig from an open bottle of water, sweeps back a black cloth from the top of the table and picks up an orange clamshell-shaped iBook.
It’s really beautiful.
He holds the iBook aloft. Audience gasps. It’s like no laptop anyone has ever seen before.
The ooohs roll into ahhhs and spill into cheers as applause builds and crashes onto the stage.
Today Jobs launches more than simply the next wave of technology. Today he launches a perfect, lasting version of himself.
Smiling at the adulation, dressed in what is to become his uniform of black mock turtleneck, blue jeans and gray sneakers.
Like the iMac, the iBook is designed not to be merely an instrument of utility but an object of desire. As much a pleasure to look at as to use.
It’s at this moment that Jobs redefines the computer industry and his role in it.
Unable to compete with the PC on the terms of Moore’s Law - on the basis of increased power and decreased price - Jobs goes around it by extending the evolutionary expectations into the realm of design.
Let Windows-Intel-Microsoft grind forward in pursuit of predictable exponential advantage. From now on Jobs will make an art of exceeding himself and only himself. From now on Jobs will make an art of arousing expectations only his products can satisfy.
Jobs will prove so successful at defining technological innovation in terms of design that technology that is not beautiful will fail. He will do this with product after product.
Today he is offering the iBook in a choice of tangerine and blueberry. So it makes sense to wear the black mock turtleneck, the blue jeans, the sneakers. But he’ll never take them off. He’ll never wear anything else.
Two years later, he’ll wear them to introduce the iPod. Six years after that, he’ll wear them to introduce the iPhone.
He’ll become the ghost in the Apple machine.
2008 - KONA VILLAGE RESORT - HAWAII - AFTERNOON
Jobs is more open, candid than ever before.
How did the iPhone come about?
We all had cellphones. And we just hated them, they were so awful to use. The software was terrible. The hardware wasn’t very good. We talked to our friends, and they all hated their cellphones too.
Everybody seemed to hate their phones. And we saw that these things really could become much more powerful and interesting. It’s a huge market. I mean a billion phones get shipped every year, and that’s almost an order of magnitude greater than the number of music players. It’s four times the number of PCs that ship every year.
Jobs looks at Morris.
It was a great challenge. Let’s make a great phone that we fall in love with.
We’ve got the technology. We’ve got the miniaturization from the iPod. We’ve got the sophisticated operating system from Mac. Nobody had ever thought about putting operating systems as sophisticated as OS X inside a phone.
We had a big debate inside the company whether we could do that or not. And that was one where I had to adjudicate it and just say, ‘We’re going to do it. Let’s try.’
2007 - APPLE STORE - PALO ALTO - MORNING
It’s launch day of the original iPhone. The store is packed with Apple CUSTOMERS. MORE CUSTOMERS are crowded on the sidewalk outside. From inside Steve Jobs, 51, tries to squeeze his way out.
FEMALE CUSTOMER with a new iPhone box in each hand keeps asking questions. Jobs nods, motions with this right hand. SECURITY MEN scan the crowd. APPLE EXECUTIVE shadows Jobs as he wades into the crowd, trying to push his way through. ANXIOUS SECURITY MAN leads the way, Jobs cuts through the crowd.
Everyone is amazed to see Jobs in person. Some are trying to shake his hand, other are touching him. Jobs keeps his head down, keeps pushing through.
Picks up the pace as he hurries to his wife, Laurene, standing in an alcove. She can’t believe the crowd. He’s grinning from ear to ear, proud. People start taking photos.
Jobs whispers in her ear.
He takes her hand, and leads her back through the crowd.
Back into the Apple store.
2008 - KONA VILLAGE RESORT - HAWAII - AFTERNOON
Jobs is more open, honest than ever before.
You can’t be happy with Apple TV?
Jobs looks away.
Here’s how I look at it. Everybody’s tried to make a great product for the living room. Microsoft’s tried, we’ve tried - everybody’s tried. And everybody’s failed. We failed, so far.
So we’ve come out with our second try. “Apple TV, Take 2” is what we call it internally. We realized the first product was about helping you view the content of whatever you had in iTunes on your Mac or PC, and wirelessly sending it to your widescreen TV.
Well, it turns out that’s not what people really wanted to do. I mean, yeah, it’s nice to see your photos up on the big screen. That’s frosting on the cake, but it’s not the cake.
What everybody really wanted, it turned out, was movies.
So we began the process of talking to Hollywood studios and were able to get all the major studios to license their movies for rental. And we only have about six hundred movies so far ingested on iTunes, but we’ll have thousands later this year.
Jobs looks out.
Will this resonate and be something that you just can’t live without and love?
2009 - METHODIST UNIVERSITY HOSPITAL - MEMPHIS - EVENING
Steve Jobs, 53, is sitting up hunched in a hospital bed, surrounded by THREE NURSES. He is gaunt, drawn. He is not happy.
FIRST NURSE is holding an oxygen mask in her hand, looking more than a little exasperated.
I don’t care. I’m not wearing it.
First Nurse bites her lips.
It’s an oxygen mask.
It’s an ugly oxygen mask.
Jobs is in hospital to undergo a liver transplant after his cancer had spread. Aside from the Nurses, the only other person in the suite is his wife, Laurene.
Jobs points to the Second Nurse. A green oxygen monitor is clamped on the tip of his finger.
I want you to bring me five different mask options so I can pick one that I like.
Second Nurse looks to his wife.
It’s not that ugly, Steve.
Eve will love it.
Jobs smiles. Their youngest daughter has been collecting medical ephemera ever since Jobs became ill. Jobs coughs.
First Nurse slips the oxygen mask over his face.
2008 - KONA VILLAGE RESORT - HAWAII - AFTERNOON
Jobs is more open, real than ever before.
Can Apple live without you?
Jobs looks out at the horizon.
We’ve got really capable people at Apple. I made Tim COO and gave him the Mac division and he’s done brilliantly.
I mean, some people say, ‘Oh, God, if Jobs got run over by a bus, Apple would be in trouble.’ And, you know, I think it wouldn’t be a party, but there are really capable people at Apple. And the board would have some good choices about who to pick as CEO.
Jobs looks at Morris.
My job is to make the whole executive team good enough to be successors, so that’s what I try to do.
You have a very demanding reputation.
My job is to pull things together from different parts of the company and clear the way and get the resources for the key projects. And to take these great people we have and to push them.
My job is to not be easy on people. My job is to make them better.
2009 - METHODIST UNIVERSITY HOSPITAL - MEMPHIS - DAWN
Steve Jobs, 53, is in the hallway, wearing a hospital gown, and gripping the back of a chair. His head lolls forward, his breath short, his body impossibly thin.
His right arms spasms. Jobs presses his lips together to stop the muscles shuddering.
NURSE at the station forces a tight smile. Jobs has undergone a liver transplant after his cancer had spread. He is learning to walk again.
His wife, Laurene, presses her hands together.
Jobs pushes the chair down the hallway, counting his steps. Every day he presses a little further.
Today he stops, exhausted. Laurene gets down on her knees and looks into his eyes.
You can do this, Steve.
Jobs eyes widen, lips press into each other.
He tries to press on.
He always tries.
PAINTING - MARK ROTHKO’S RED AND ORANGE, 1955
Close on a huge canvas. Along a horizon line where a field of orange sits above a field of red, fusing and radiating life.
An almost epic sense of vitality. A bold, forceful and imposing work.
Rothko abhorred being viewed as a formalist abstract artist who arranged color fields on a flat canvas. He insisted his art concerned the distillation of human experience, both tragic and ecstatic, to its purest form.
His goal was to abandon any visual obstacles detracting from the central idea. He masterfully blended and layered colors to create varied luminosity and surface texture. Translucent underlayers of color are visible, an inner light.
MARK ROTHKO (V.O.)
I am here to stop your heart. I am here to make you think.
It feels like you are immersed within the colors of the painting to the point where you can physically feel its shimmering energy.
MARK ROTHKO (V.O.)
I am not here to make pretty pictures.
MAGAZINE - PLAYBOY, FEBRUARY 1985
The headlines is in capital letters. PLAYBOY INTERVIEW: STEVEN JOBS
The subhead is in uppers and lowers. A candid conversation about making computers, making mistakes and making millions with the young entrepreneur who sparked a business revolution.
Three black and white photos of a suspender wearing, bow tie flashing, hand clasping Jobs, 29.
David Sheff’s interview is a little chaotic. But one question stands out about Jobs’ sense of mission about the way things are run at Apple. Move down Jobs’ answer.
I do feel there is another way we have an effect on society besides our computers. I think Apple has a chance to be the model of a Fortune 500 company in the late eighties and early nineties.
Cherie Witter is the Playboy Playmate of the month. She is an American model and actress.
Ten to 15 years ago, if you asked people to make a list of the five most exciting companies in America, Polaroid and Xerox would have been on everyone’s list. Where are they now? They would be on no one’s list today.
She is five feet, nine inches tall. She weighs one-hundred-and-seventeen pounds.
What happened? Companies, as they grow to become multibillion-dollar entities, somehow lose their vision. They insert lots of layers of middle management between the people running the company and the people doing the work. They no longer have an inherent feel or a passion about the products. The creative people, who are the ones who care passionately, have to persuade five layers of management to do what they know is the right thing to do.
On February 24, Jobs celebrates his thirtieth birthday with Ella Fitzgerald as guest singer. His relationship with new CEO John Sculley is already deteriorating.
PAINTING - MARK ROTHKO’S RED, ORANGE, 1968
A huge canvas. A red square over a vibrant, shimmering field of orange.
Rothko never saw himself as an abstract painter. For him painting was a mythic ideal.
MARK ROTHKO (V.O.)
The point at issue is not an explanation of the paintings, but whether the intrinsic ideas carried within the frames of these pictures have significance.
Rothko wanted to move beyond abstraction towards clarity.
MARK ROTHKO (V.O.)
Whether they demonstrate our aesthetic belief.
MAGAZINE - PLAYBOY, FEBRUARY 1985
Continue moving down David Sheff’s interview with Steve Jobs.
Cherie Witter is the Playboy Playmate of the month. She is an American model and actress. Her bust is thirty-four inches.
What happens in most companies is you don’t keep great people under working environments where individual accomplishment is discouraged rather than encouraged. The great people leave and you end up with mediocrity. I know, because that’s how Apple was built. Apple is an Ellis Island company. Apple is built on refugees from other companies. These are the extremely bright individual contributors who were troublemakers at other companies.
Her waist is twenty-three inches.
You know, Dr. Edwin Land was a troublemaker. He dropped out of Harvard and founded Polaroid. Not only was he one of the great inventors of our time but, more important, he saw the intersection of art and science and business and built an organization to reflect that. Polaroid did that for some years, but eventually Dr. Land, one of those brilliant troublemakers, was asked to leave his own company - which is one of the dumbest things I’ve ever heard of. So Land, at 75, went off to spend the remainder of his life doing pure science, trying to crack the code of color vision.
Her hips are thirty-four inches.
The man is a national treasure. I don’t understand why people like that can’t be held up as models: This is the most incredible thing to be - not an astronaut, not a football player - but this.
In May a coup by senior management sees the board side with CEO John Sculley and strip Jobs of all executive duties. In September Jobs will resign from Apple and start NeXT computers.
PAINTING - MARK ROTHKO’S WHITE CLOUD
A huge canvas. A dusty white rectangle casts a shadow over an endless landscape of red.
The entire surface of the canvas appears to radiate as subtle chromatic variations draw the viewer in.
Rothko wants to eliminate all obstacles between the painter and the idea and between the idea and the observer. Color is the vessel of transformation. Soft, luminous.
MARK ROTHKO (V.O.)
Art is an adventure into an unknown world, which can be explored only by those willing to take the risks.
Though Rothko’s paintings are fields of color, they’re about his spiritual exploration.
MARK ROTHKO (V.O.)
This world of imagination is fancy-free and violently opposed to common sense.
For Rothko, the workings of the critical mind is one of life’s mysteries.
MARK ROTHKO (V.O.)
It is our function as artists to make the spectator see the world our way not his way.
For Rothko, the valid subject matter is tragic and timeless.
MARK ROTHKO (V.O.)
We favor the simple expression of the complex thought. We are for the large shape because it has the impact of the unequivocal. We wish to reassert the picture plane. We are for flat forms because they destroy illusion and reveal truth.
2011 - JOBS FAMILY HOME - PALO ALTO - DAY
Close on a reproduction of Mark Rothko’s “White Cloud” painting in a large art book. Light shines off the page.
Move to reveal Steve Jobs, 56, in bed in a hospital gown, studying the luminous painting. He is gaunt, he is dying.
Jobs has spent the past year studying books of paintings by Mark Rothko, thinking of what could inspire people on the walls of the future Apple campus.
He closes his eyes. He can feel the light coming closer.
1999 - CHAMINADE RESORT & SPA - SANTA CRUZ - DAY
It’s the weekend. It’s Apple’s Top 100 meeting, a secretive annual retreat where the top employees meet to map out the company’s direction for the next twelves months.
Apple has corralled and sealed all twelve meeting rooms, sourced every available chair. Extra security is called in. Each meeting room had been double-swept for bugs beforehand. Food servers are forbidden from entering the rooms.
Jobs is at a whiteboard scrawling out one idea someone has called, erasing out another. TOP EMPLOYEES are spurring him on.
After he righted the company, Jobs began taking his top hundred people on a retreat each year. Nothing in those meetings was off-limits. Whereas Apple typically exerts control over the narrative behind its products, the Top 100 meeting provided an avenue for employees to could discuss and debate anything they want without fear of repercussion.
Jobs loves dissent. It isn’t just about new products and software. He didn’t flinch when someone asked why he wasn’t isn’t philanthropic. He told them it’ a fucking waste of time. Everyone’s jobs is too make money for the shareholders. What charity the shareholders might want to give their wealth away to is their choice, not Apple’s.
Jobs starts erasing more and more ideas with the consent of the group. Any idea he thinks is dumb he just crosses off.
What are the ten things we should be doing next?
Employes throw up more ideas, more suggesting, jostling to get Jobs to write their idea on the whiteboard. Even before he launched the first iMac in 1984, Jobs said his job is to find the best possible people. A players hire A players. B players hire C players. Do you get it?
Apple only hired A players. Jobs told everyone that his main job at Apple is to make sure that the top hundred people are A+ players. And everything else will take care of itself. If the top people are right, it cascades down throughout the whole organization.
He personally oversaw the hiring of all top executives, and even some talented engineers or designers, calling them up directly to leverage his celebrity when necessary.
Jobs looks at the whiteboard. There are now just ten suggestions. Jobs taps the whiteboard.
Right, these are our top ten things we’re going to work on for the next twelve months?
Employees nod, murmur. Jobs points to the first suggestion.
From most important to least important.
Employees more vocal, more in agreement. Jobs turns back to the whiteboard.
We don’t have time.
Jobs starts erasing the bottom seven suggestions.
We can only do three.
1999 - JOBS FAMILY HOME - PALO ALTO - MORNING
SECRET SERVICE MEN are combing through the living room. Steve Jobs, 43, is watching them while eating a bowl of muesli.
President Bill Clinton will be visiting in the afternoon and at least three different people from the White House have asked Jobs where the living room furniture is. All of them think he’s joking when he says he doesn’t have any. Doesn’t even have a sofa.
Where will the President sit? Jobs has to go and buy a sofa and he doesn’t even know where to start.
Jobs and his wife, Lauren, have been speaking about living room furniture for the past eight years. They can never agree on a design. Jobs is too much of a perfectionist.
For most people, design means veneer. It’s interior decorating. It’s the fabric of the curtains and the sofa. But to Jobs, nothing could be further from the meaning of design. Design is the fundamental soul of a man-made creation that ends up expressing itself in successive outer layers of the product or service.
Jobs knows he’ll probably be rushed to the nearest Home Depot and choose the least ugly sofa. What choice does he have?
2004 - THE HEMPEL HOTEL - LONDON - AFTERNOON
White orchids, minimalist appointments, soft sunlight, soothing. Main door opens and a YOUNG PORTER steps to one side and hands the key card to JONY IVE, 36.
Ive steps in and looks over the room with a soft smile. Porter heads to the walk-in wardrobe with Ives’ luggage.
You can leave the bags by the door, thank you.
Porter masks any confusion, lowers the bags by the door and steps out, closing the door behind him.
Thank you, Sir.
Ive steps to the bed and sits down by the bedside table. Glances at the phone.
Ive is in London with Steve Jobs to open the new Apple Store in Regent Street. It’s the first to open in Europe. The largest in the world.
The softly spoken , thoughtful British designer has been Apple’s design chief since 1996. Jobs sees him more as a spiritual partner than a friend.
When the pair travel, it’s usually Ive’s job to choose the hotel. He chose The Hempel, a tranquil five-star boutique hotel with sophisticated minimalism that he thought Jobs would love.
Ive looks down at a small piece of lint on his trousers. Casually flicks it off with the back of his hand. The phone rings. Ives takes a deep breath, smiles wider and answers it.
He’s heard this before.
Really, Steve, you hate your suite?
He looks around his suite, knowing that Jobs’ suite is even more expansive.
You think it’s a piece of shit?
Ive doesn’t even have to ask why.
The flowers are shit? The curtains are shit too?
Ive shakes his head.
No, no, I haven’t unpacked.
Ive nods like he’s done dozens of times before.
See you downstairs in five minutes.
When Ive gets downstairs he will see Jobs berating a shocked YOUNG CLERK, bluntly telling him exactly what he thinks is wrong with the hotel.
They will find another hotel together.
1989 - EAST BAYSHORE ROAD - PALO ALTO - MORNING
Jobs, 33, is hurtling down the road in his black Porsche 911 Carrera, heading east to Mountain View. Heading to Heidi Roizen’s house.
Jobs had been negotiating over the phone with Roizen only minutes earlier. As the CEO of T/Maker software company, Roizen had taken the call.
No one ever said no to Jobs. Roizen took the call even though she had learned the night before that her father had died suddenly while on a business trip in Paris. When she told Jobs what had happened, he told her stop working. Told her to go home. Told her he’d be right over.
When Jobs gets to her house, he’ll sit on the floor while Roizen sits on the sofa and weeps.
Jobs will ask her to talk about her father, about what was important about him, what she loved best about him.
Jobs’ knows what she’s going through. He lost his mother to lung cancer only a few months earlier.
2010 - SILVER MERCEDES-BENZ SL55 AMG - DAY
Move across the front of the sloped hood of Steve Jobs’ new coupe. Across the grill featuring a prominent 3-pointed star and intelligent headlights.
Jobs has always admired German engineering. His father had kept a black and white pinup of the first 1954 Mercedes-Benz SL Gullwing coupe on the garage wall. As a teenager, Jobs would tinker with electronics on the workbench, smiling up at the picture. Ultimately he and Steve Wozniak would piece together the first Apple computer in that garage.
Move around the front end of Jobs’ coupe. Behind the curved metal panel sits a 5.5L V8 capable of producing 510 horsepower and a top speed of one-hundred-and-fifty-six miles per hour. It hits zero to sixty in four-point-five seconds.
Move down the front end, past the driver’s door Jobs kept mostly unlocked. Surprising for such a private man running a company where secrecy is paramount.
Move around the rear panel to the empty license plate mount. Jobs famously never had license plates after he found a legal loophole that allow owners up to six months to register for a number plate. As long as Jobs renews his lease on a new model every six months, he figures he doesn’t need a number plate. It’s one less thing to worry about.
Move back to reveal the gleaming coupe parked in a handicap spot.
2007 - SAN FRANCISCO MACWORLD CONVENTION - DAY
Steve Jobs, 51, steps backstage after introducing the first iPhone. After introducing a truly revolutionary product that will change everything.
He admitted to the Attendees he was so excited by the new iPhone, he hadn’t gotten a lick of sleep last night. He made sure everyone understood that Apple now owns the future.
His clicker had failed only minutes before the end. While Technicians scrambled backstage, Jobs charmed the Attendees with a story about the early days with Steve Wozniak, jamming television signals in the Berkeley University dorms, making trouble.
He left the Attendees with an indelible image of him and Steve Wozniak sitting around their first Apple I computer thirty years earlier. Wozniak is bearded with long hair, engineer glasses and pen in his shirt pocket. Jobs is staring down the camera, whispy goatee and black mock turtleneck.
Jobs left the Attendees in awe.
TECHNICIANS backstage freeze as Jobs lopes past. They’re expecting a lashing for the technical glitches only minutes earlier. But for once Jobs take it in his stride. He look up and breaks into a smile.
Wozniak turns around and meets his smile.
No sleep last night?
No sleep for twenty of the last forty nights.
On the way home, Wozniak will hear his mother’s voice in his head, saying, ‘See? That’s why he’s Steve Jobs and you’re not.’ Wozniak works pretty hard. But for twenty of the last forty nights he went out to dinner, not to the office.
Steve Jobs’ relentless quest to become Steve Jobs began when they were still teenagers and fast friends. Building circuit boards together, Jobs used to talk about the great people of history in a way you knew he wanted to be like them.
Or believed he already was.
2010 - JOBS FAMILY HOME - PALO ALTO - EVENING
A car drives past the 1930s British country style home. It’s modest, low-roofed. Blends easily into the quiet neighborhood.
Sounds of dishes clattering. The kitchen window is clearly visible from the street. Through the kitchen window, Jobs, 55, is at the sink washing dishes. Wearing a black mock turtle neck. Complete focused on the task at hand.
There’s no tall wall blocking the kitchen window. No high fence. There’s a small orchard in the front yard. A tulip garden by the driveway.
2011 - APPLE WORLD WIDE DEVELOPERS CONFERENCE - SAN FRANCISCO - MORNING
It’s June. ATTENDEES are settling into their seats. Sounds of Ray Charles’ “What I’d Say” kicking around the vast auditorium.
Apple head of design Jony Ive is walking along the front of the stage to his front row seat. A voice over the sound system asks everyone to switch their electronic devices to silent mode. Sounds of James Brown’s “I Feel Good” fades up then down.
Lights fade down on the stage. Random applause scatters through the audience.
Stage lights fade up as Steve Jobs, 56, steps onto the stage to thunderous applause, excited whistling, standing ovation. Black mock turtleneck, worn jeans, sneakers. Jobs looks frail, incredibly gaunt. Like his legs can hardly carry him.
On the video screen behind him is a giant slide of the San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge at dawn.
Attendees are still clapping, many have raised their iPhones and iPads and madly snapping shots of Jobs on stage. Jobs looks a little overwhelmed, smiles.
Jobs points out someone in the audience, beams. More clapping. Jobs clasps his hands together.
Thank you, thank you very much.
Attendees begin to take their seats.
It’s always --
An Attendee calls our from the audience.
We love you --
Some Attendees laugh and cheer. Jobs looks humbled.
Thank you. It always helps. And I appreciate it very much.
Jobs will spend the next thirty-three minutes launching an operating system update, teasing a mobile OS update, and unveiling a new cloud-based service for backing up and syncing documents, photos, and music.
Jobs will thank everyone as he leaves the stage in a wave of applause and admiration.
This will be Jobs’ last public keynote address.
2011 - JOBS FAMILY HOME - PALO ALTO - AFTERNOON
It’s July. Jobs is standing in his office with LARRY PAGE, 37. Page is the cofounder of Google, a company Apple is at war with. Page is about to resume control of Google. Jobs is staring at him. Gaunt, thin, fingertips resting on the desk for balance.
You got to focus.
Page looks anxious. Any bad blood between the two is put to one side as Jobs freely offers advice.
Larry, you got to figure out what Google wants to be when it grows up.
One of Jobs’ full-time nurses, TRACY, is standing nearby.
Google is now all over the map. What are the five products you want to focus on? Get rid of the rest, because they’re dragging you down. They’re causing you to turn out products that are adequate but not great.
Tracy checks her watch. Jobs coughs, smiles.
They’re turning you into Microsoft.
Page smiles too. Jobs closes his eyes. Everything around him begins to dissolve.
2011 - JOBS FAMILY HOME - PALO ALTO - TWILIGHT
It’s July. Jobs is standing in his bedroom, lost in his thoughts.
His cancer is incredibly clever. He’s beaten it back repeatedly. And every time it comes back with new ways to attack him. He has no more ways to fight it.
Another of Jobs’ full-time nurses, ARTURO, stands nearby.
Jobs laughs to himself. He fought the cancer with everything he had. He even enjoyed the fight.
What makes the man is not the triumphs, but the tragedies. Wait long enough and every triumph brings with it its own defeat. How we deal with defeat and failure defines us, makes us.
Jobs’ traumatic early childhood experiences, his unwed parents giving him up for adoption, dropping out of college, garage start-up, counterculture experiments. Even his dismissal from his own company.
Jobs figured out what he is good at. And he nourishes his gift. Once he decides what he is trying to do, he is undeterred. He does it with courage and deliberation, absolute focus. He seeks the truth.
When he gave his Stanford commencement speech he told the graduates the truth. Told them their time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Told them to stay hungry. To stay foolish.
Jobs wonders where all these memories will go once he dies.
Maybe that’s all he’ll truly leave behind.
2011 - JOBS FAMILY HOME - PALO ALTO - NIGHT
It’s August. Jobs is sitting on the edge of the bed, wearing a robe. His head is slumped forward, his breathing shallow.
His wife, Laurene, gently rubs his back. Medical equipment surrounds a bedside table. Art books are piled on the floor. Another of Jobs’ full-time nurses, ELHAM, stands nearby.
Jobs’ youngest daughter, Eve, 12, stands in the door way, not wanting to come in. Her older sister, Erin, 16 walks past.
Jobs has always had a complicated relationship with his children. For ten years he refused paternity of his first daughter born out of wedlock in 1978. Despite naming Apple’s Lisa computer after her. He put Apple before everything. Even before his three children with Laurene. Even before Laurene.
As an adopted child Jobs had his own demons to deal with. He always regarded his adoptive parents, the late Paul and Clara Jobs, as his real parents, pure and simple. But being adopted is the greatest loss of control you can ever experience. You can spend your whole life craving control as much as love.
Jobs wanted his biography written by Walter Isaacson so that his children would know him and understand his choices.
Perhaps even understand him.
2011 - JOBS FAMILY HOME - PALO ALTO - MORNING
It’s September. Jobs is sitting in bed, wearing a hospital gown and holding his copy of Paramhansa Yogananda’s “Autobiography of a Yogi.” More medical equipment surrounds the bed.
Every breath he takes is excruciatingly painful. Two of Jobs full-time nurses, Tracy and Arturo, are by his side. One of them monitors the equipment. A glass of water on the bedside table is half full.
Jobs’ wife, Laurene, is there with their son, REED, 20, who is trying not to cry. Laurene breathes out slowly.
The more Jobs realizes his unity with spirit, the less he can be dominated by matter.
The soul is ever-free. It is deathless because birthless.
It cannot be regimented by stars.
2011 - JOBS FAMILY HOME - PALO ALTO - MORNING
It’s October 5. It’s a Wednesday, It’s 3pm. Jobs is lying back in bed surrounded by his family. Looking out at his wife, Laurene. His children Lisa, Reed, Erin, Eve. His biological sister, MONA, 54. His adoptive sister, PATTY, 54. Eve is wiping back tears.
Sunlight flows into the room. Jobs has been battling a rare form of pancreatic cancer since 2004. It has left his body withered, emaciated.
Job’s breathing become shorter as if climbing a steep path. His lungs weaken. He pushes further.
A silver amulet gleams on the bedside table. Sorrow leaves him as he realizes that to love others is all. That love is what sets you free.
He look at his sister Patty, then for a long time at his children, then at his wife, and then over their shoulders past them.
It is time to let go. Time to move into the light. His final words leave him.
Oh wow, oh wow, oh wow ...
Fade to white.
Stefano Boscutti is a freelance creative director and award-winning writer based in Melbourne, Australia.
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