Steve Jobs

How Steve Jobs ensured Apple’s culture wouldn’t change after he left

From Steve Jobs, by Walter Isaacson

In order to institutionalize the lessons that he and his team were learning, Jobs started an in-house center called Apple University. He hired Joel Podolny, who was dean of the Yale School of Management, to compile a series of case studies analyzing important decisions the company had made, including the switch to the Intel microprocessor and the decision to open the Apple Stores. Top executives spent time teaching the cases to new employees, so that the Apple style of decision making would be embedded in the culture.


My Memories of Apple

I’ve been a fanboy for almost 20 years now. I fought for Apple when no one believed in the company, and I was lucky to have spent time on the inside.

Apple isn’t just a company I love, it’s a part of who I am.

Apple is not gone, but it won’t be the same without Steve. It’s his DNA that made me fall in love. These past few weeks, I couldn’t help but remember all the great times I had with the company.

I’m sure Apple has a long history ahead of it, and I hope many more great memories to come.

1992 – My first Mac

I remember waking up one morning to find a strange man setting up a Mac LC II in my room. I don’t know who he was or why we chose to buy an Apple computer, but on that day, history was made.

CompUSA volunteer

When OS 8.5 was released, Apple called for volunteers to work at CompUSA and help sell Macs. Free labor, talk about fanboys! I did get this free shirt.


On staff

Ok, this isn’t a specific memory. But through junior high, high school, and college, I help various staff positions because of my Apple expertise/nerdiness. In high school I was on yearbook staff as the computer guy, helping with desktop publishing.

And in college I took care of the cluster computers in the dorms, which allowed me to skip the housing draw every year and live in awesome houses.

Steve Keynote, Macworld 1999

This is the first keynote I remember watching. I think being at Stanford was the first time I had an internet connection that allowed this.

Seybold, 2000

The first time I saw Steve live, on stage.


2001, Woz

Woz was giving a guest lecture at a class I wasn’t taking. Eric and I dropped in and got to meet the legend.


First person in the Palo Alto Apple store

I stood/slept in line for 21 hours to be the first customer in the Apple Store on University Avenue. One of the greatest experiences of my life. I got to meet the entire Apple executive team, including Steve himself.


Apple Store, Stanford

To pay off my college loans and car loan, I bought Macs from the bookstore and sold them on eBay. This consumed my life for about 3 weeks.


Interview at Apple

I parked next to Steve when I went for my first interview.


Internship offer

I got my internship offer on the phone while I was driving around campus loop. I remember negotiating it against a better offer from Handspring. Apple didn’t budge, but I took their offer anyway.

Full time offer

I clearly remember pacing back and forth in my room at Bob House when I got this offer. I was negotiating against a better offer from Amazon, and Apple did match it this time.

Original iPod announcement

I was in Town Hall watching Steve Jobs unveil the very first iPod. The room was for press only but they had a few empty seats and I was at the right place at the right time. It was a great presentation, but no one knew what the iPod would do to Apple. You can see me in the intro video at 5:30.

WWDC 2004 with Jimmy Eat World on campus

The only year I was able to attend most of WWDC. I loved the party we had on campus each year, and I love Jimmy Eat World.


iPhone announcement

I watched the iPhone announcement live via webcast from Apple’s offices on the 50th floor of the Citigroup building. I don’t think there was ever a presentation with more gasps and amazement. Unlike the iPod unveiling, this time you knew this device was going to change the world.


I’m lucky to be surrounded by Apple fanboys just like me. During Apple keynotes, the entire company gets around a conference table and watches the magic together.


Would you pay for a Super Bowl commercial out of your own pocket? Steve Jobs did

Steve’s deep passion for Macintosh is what made “1984” possible.

As CEO, you need to be so passionate and believe so deeply in what you’re building, that you are willing to push forward no matter who or what gets in your way.

Sometimes that even includes the board of directors. Apple’s board said they didn’t want to run “1984”. Steve Jobs didn’t let that stop him.

In this amazing clip, TBWA charman Lee Clow tells why “1984” was a breakthrough commercial, and how it almost never aired.

Source: Art and Copy

Steve Jobs on startups

The problem with the Internet startup craze isn’t that too many people are starting companies; it’s that too many people aren’t sticking with it. That’s somewhat understandable, because there are many moments that are filled with despair and agony, when you have to fire people and cancel things and deal with very difficult situations. That’s when you find out who you are and what your values are.

So when these people sell out, even though they get fabulously rich, they’re gypping themselves out of one of the potentially most rewarding experiences of their unfolding lives. Without it, they may never know their values or how to keep their newfound wealth in perspective.

Being in a startup is an incredibly rewarding experience. But it is a roller coaster. Sometimes quitting is the easiest option. But that’s what separates the men from the boys. The successful entrepreneurs stick with it to the end.

This has nothing to do with technology. When my parents started their restaurants, they had bad weeks and months. I’m sure there were times when business was slow and they thought they should give up. But they didn’t.

Entrepreneurship isn’t just starting something: it’s sticking with it, good times and bad, to make it successful.

Apple built Keynote because Steve Jobs hates PowerPoint

PowerPoint is by far the worst app in the Microsoft Office suite, and it was probably the only application that Steve Jobs had to use before Keynote came out. There was no alternative for giving presentations at Macworld.

So what did Steve Jobs do? He built something better.

In this 2001 Macworld keynote address, Steve Jobs is clearly using Keynote, even though the application wasn’t released until January, 2003. Steve does not beta test every application Apple releases. But Keynote was his baby, something he badly needed. It was built for him.


It’s always best to start a company or build a product around personal frustration, to solve a problem that you have yourself. Keynote is the best app in iWork suite. It’s clear how much Steve was involved with the development: it’s a joy to use, the level of polish is incredible.

Watch the 2001 PowerBook keynote here: 

p.s. Love this line from the presentation: “The new PowerBook G4 is absolutely where it’s at for power and sex.”

Hat tip @dcurtis for posting the video.

Steve Jobs is the master at telling people they don’t need something. That is, until Apple builds it :)

No Plans to Make a Tablet
Not Interested in the Cellphone Business
People Don’t Read Any More
No Movies on a Tiny Little Screen
We Don’t Need to Add New Stuff

This isn’t sneaky, it’s just being consistent with your currently shipping products. And to throw competitors off track.

Posterous doesn’t need a web editor, email is just fine šŸ˜‰

Yahoo! to close most offices over holidays. Apple shuts down over the holidays too. Except at Apple YOU GET PAID

SUNNYVALE, Calif. (TheStreet) — Yahoo!(YHOO Quote), in a cost-cutting move, will shut down its offices from Christmas through New Year’s Day.

It’s the first time Yahoo! has required most of its 13,200 employees to use vacation time or unpaid leave during the holidays, according to the Associated Press.

Yahoo! isn’t the only Silicon Valley company that will be closing most of its offices from Dec. 25 to Jan. 1. As they have in the past, Adobe(ADBE Quote) and Apple(AAPL Quote) will be closing offices during the holidays.

Yahoo!’s cost-cutting moves have included the elimination of about 2,000 jobs since September 2008. Revenue for the year at the Internet search company will decline for the first time since 2001.

Yahoo: you aren’t going to have happy, hard working employees if you force them to take time off. In fact, given your current struggles against Google/Microsoft, maybe the right idea here would be to work harder, more hours, and build something great.

Apple shuts down WITH PAY over the holidays. Steve Jobs often emails the company, “spend time with your friends and family.” But Apple can afford to do that because the rest of the year, everyone is working their ass off and releasing amazing stuff.

Apple is the best place ever to work. Well, other than Posterous. P.S. we’re hiring šŸ™‚