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When it was finished, Fernandez told Wozniak there was someone at Homestead High he should meet. “His name is Steve. He likes to do pranks like you do, and he’s also into building electronics like you are.” It may have been the most significant meeting in a Silicon Valley garage since Hewlett went into Packard’s thirty-two years earlier. “Steve and I just sat on the sidewalk in front of Bill’s house for the longest time, just sharing stories—mostly about pranks we’d pulled, and also what kind of electronic designs we’d done,” Wozniak recalled. “We had so much in common. Typically, it was really hard for me to explain to people what kind of design stuff I worked on, but Steve got it right away. And I liked him. He was kind of skinny and wiry and full of energy.” Jobs was also impressed. “Woz was the first person I’d met who knew more electronics than I did,” he once said, stretching his own expertise. “I liked him right away. I was a little more mature than my years, and he was a little less mature than his, so it evened out. Woz was very bright, but emotionally he was my age.”


That evening, he stressed to me that his hope was to remain as active as his health allowed. “I’m going to work on new products and marketing and the things that I like,” he said. But when I asked how it really felt to be relinquishing control of the company he had built, his tone turned wistful, and he shifted into the past tense. “I’ve had a very lucky career, a very lucky life,” he replied. “I’ve done all that I can do.”


On paper he looked like a great choice. He was running a manufacturing line for National Semiconductor, and he had the advantage of being a manager who fully understood engineering. In person, however, he had some quirks. He was overweight, afflicted with tics and health problems, and so tightly wound that he wandered the halls with clenched fists. He also could be argumentative. In dealing with Jobs, that could be good or bad.


The first was “Don’t compromise.” It was an injunction that would, over time, be both helpful and harmful. Most technology teams made trade-offs. The Mac, on the other hand, would end up being as “insanely great” as Jobs and his acolytes could possibly make it—but it would not ship for another sixteen months, way behind schedule. After mentioning a scheduled completion date, he told them, “It would be better to miss than to turn out the wrong thing.” A different type of project manager, willing to make some trade-offs, might try to lock in dates after which no changes could be made. Not Jobs. He displayed another maxim: “It’s not done until it ships.”


Yes, you are right, said she; thank you for noticing my dress; itis a beautiful dress--ha! ha! A dress I take a pride in wearing,and always shall, I hope. I mean to be buried in it. Come, Rose.

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Jobs never got over his anger. “They just ripped us off completely, because Gates has no shame,” Jobs told me almost thirty years later. Upon hearing this, Gates responded, “If he believes that, he really has entered into one of his own reality distortion fields.” In a legal sense, Gates was right, as courts over the years have subsequently ruled. And on a practical level, he had a strong case as well. Even though Apple made a deal for the right to use what it saw at Xerox PARC, it was inevitable that other companies would develop similar graphical interfaces. As Apple found out, the “look and feel” of a computer interface design is a hard thing to protect.



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