Espinosa unveiled his inspired solution: “The Steve Jobs Roll

Espinosa unveiled his inspired solution: “The Steve Jobs Roll Your Own Calculator Construction Set.” It allowed the user to tweak and personalize the look of the calculator by changing the thickness of the lines, the size of the buttons, the shading, the background, and other attributes. Instead of just

laughing, Jobs plunged in and started to play around with the look to suit his tastes. After about ten minutes he got it the way he liked. His design, not surprisingly, was the one that shipped on the Mac and remained the standard for fifteen years.

Although his focus was on the Macintosh, Jobs wanted to create a consistent design language for all Apple products. So he set up a contest to choose a world-class designer who would be for Apple what Dieter Rams was for Braun. The project was code-named Snow White, not because of his preference for

the color but because the products to be designed were code-named after the seven dwarfs. The winner was Hartmut Esslinger, a German designer who was responsible for the look of Sony’s Trinitron televisions. Jobs flew to the Black

Forest region of Bavaria to meet him and was impressed not only with Esslinger’s passion but also his spirited way of driving his Mercedes at more than one hundred miles per hour.shlf419

Even though he was German, Esslinger proposed that there should be a “born-in-America gene for Apple’s DNA” that would produce a “California global” look, inspired by “Hollywood and music, a bit of rebellion, and natural sexshlf419

appeal.” His guiding principle was “Form follows emotion,” a play on the familiar maxim that form follows function. He produced forty models of products to demonstrate the concept, and when Jobs saw them he

proclaimed, “Yes, this is it!” The Snow White look, which was adopted immediately for the Apple IIc, featured white cases, tight rounded curves, and lines of thin grooves for both ventilation and decoration. Jobs offeredaishahai

Esslinger a contract on the condition that he move to California. They shook hands and, in Esslinger’s not-so-modest words, “that handshake launched one of the most decisive collaborations in the history of industrial design.”

Esslinger’s firm, frogdesign,2 opened in Palo Alto in mid-1983 with a $1.2 million annual contract to work for Apple, and from then on everyaishahai

Apple product

has included the

proud declaration

“Designed in California.”

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Chris Espinosa found one way to satisfy Jobs’s design

Chris Espinosa found one way to satisfy Jobs’s design demands and control-freak tendencies. One of Wozniak’s youthful acolytes from the days in the garage, Espinosa had been convinced to drop out of Berkeley by Jobs, whoaishahai

argued that he would always have a chance to study, but only one chance to work on the Mac. On his own, he decided to design a calculator for the computer. “We all gathered around as Chris showed the calculator to Steve and then held his breath, waiting for Steve’s reaction,” Hertzfeld recalled.shlf419

Jobs even tried to reengage Wozniak. “I resented the fact that he had not been doing much, but then I thought, hell, I wouldn’t be here without his brilliance,” Jobs later told me. But as soon as Jobs was starting to get himqinpad
shlf419

interested in the Mac, Wozniak crashed his new single-engine Beechcraft while attempting a takeoff near Santa Cruz. He barely survived and ended up with partial amnesia. Jobs spent time at the hospital, but when Wozniak recoveredqinpad
shlf419

he decided it was time to take a break from Apple. Ten years after dropping out of Berkeley, he decided to return there to finally get his degree, enrolling under the name of Rocky Raccoon Clark.

In order to make the project his own, Jobs decided it should no longer be code-named after Raskin’s favorite apple. In various interviews, Jobs had been referring to computers as a bicycle for the mind; the ability of humans toqinpad
shlf419

create a bicycle allowed them to move more efficiently than even a condor, and likewise the ability to create computers would multiply the efficiency

oftheir minds. So one day Jobs decreed that henceforth the Macintosh should be known instead as the Bicycle. This did not go over well. “Burrell and I thought this was the silliest thing we ever heard, and we simply refused to

use the new name,”

recalled Hertzfeld.

Within a month

the idea was dropped.

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Jobs left, and Hertzfeld went back to his work. Later that afternoon

Jobs left, and Hertzfeld went back to his work. Later that afternoon he looked up to see Jobs peering over the wall of his cubicle. “I’ve got good news for you,” he said. “You’re working on the Mac team now. Come with me.”

Hertzfeld replied that he needed a couple more days to finish the Apple II product he was in the middle of. “What’s more important than working on the Macintosh?” Jobs demanded. Hertzfeld explained that he needed to get his Apple II DOS program in good enough shape to hand it over to someone.

“You’re just wasting your time with that!” Jobs replied. “Who cares about the Apple II? The Apple II will be dead in a few years. The Macintosh is the future of

Apple, and you’re going to start on it now!” With that, Jobs yanked out the power cord to Hertzfeld’s Apple II, causing the code he was working on to

vanish. “Come with me,” Jobs said. “I’m going to take you to your new desk.” Jobs drove Hertzfeld, computer and all, in his silver Mercedes to the Macintosh offices.

“Here’s your new desk,” he said, plopping him in a space next to Burrell Smith. “Welcome to the Mac team!” The desk had been

Raskin’s. In fact Raskin had left so hastily that some of the drawers were still filled with his flotsam and jetsam, including model airplanes.

Jobs’s primary test for recruiting people in the spring of 1981 to be part of his merry band of pirates was making sure they had a passion for the product. He would sometimes bring candidates into a room where a prototype of the Mac

was covered by a cloth, dramatically unveil it, and watch. “If their eyes lit up, if they went right for the mouse and started pointing and clicking,

Steve would smile

and hire them,” recalled

Andrea Cunningham.

“He wanted themto say ‘Wow!’”

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Markkula and some others could never quite appreciate

Markkula and some others could never quite appreciate Jobs’s obsession with typography. “His knowledge of fonts was remarkable, and he kept insisting on having great ones,” Markkula recalled. “I kept saying, ‘Fonts?!? Don’t we have more important things to do?’” In fact the delightful assortment of Macintosh

fonts, when combined with laser-writer printing and great graphics capabilities, would help launch the desktop publishing industry and be a boon for Apple’s bottom line. It also introduced all sorts of regular folks, ranging

from high school journalists to moms who edited PTA newsletters, to the quirky joy of knowing about fonts, which was once reserved for printers, grizzled editors, and other ink-stained wretches.

The company’s first office, after it moved out of his family garage, was in a small building it shared with a Sony sales office. Sony was famous for its signature style and memorable product designs, so Jobs would drop by to

study the marketing material. “He would come in looking scruffy and fondle the product brochures and point out design features,” said Dan’l Lewin, who

worked there. “Every now and then, he would ask, ‘Can I take this brochure?’” By 1980, he had hired Lewin.

His fondness for the dark, industrial look of Sony receded around June 1981, when he began attending the annual International Design Conference in Aspen. The meeting that year focused on Italian style, and it featured the

architect-designer Mario Bellini, the filmmaker Bernardo Bertolucci, the car maker Sergio Pininfarina, and the Fiat heiress and politician Susanna Agnelli. “I had come to revere the Italian designers, just like

the kid in Breaking

Away reveres the Italian bikers,”

recalled Jobs,

“so it was an amazing inspiration.”

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Jobs from insisting that one of his suggestions had been ignored.

Jobs from insisting that one of his suggestions had been ignored. “By the fourth model, I could barely distinguish it from the third one,” said Hertzfeld,

“but Steve was always critical and decisive, saying he loved or hated a detail that I could barely perceive.”

One weekend Jobs went to Macy’s in Palo Alto and again spent time studying appliances, especially the Cuisinart. He came bounding into the Mac office that Monday, asked the design team to go buy one, and made a raft of new suggestions based on its lines, curves, and bevels.

simple. Really simple.” Apple’s design mantra would remain the one featured on its first brochure: “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.”

Jobs felt that design simplicity should be linked to making products easy to use. Those goals do not always go together. Sometimes a design can be so sleek and simple that a user finds it intimidating or unfriendly to navigate.

“The main thing in our design is that we have to make things intuitively obvious,” Jobs told the crowd of design mavens. For example, he extolled the desktop metaphor he was creating for the Macintosh. “People know how to

deal with a desktop intuitively. If you walk into an office, there are papers on the desk. The one on the top is the most important. People know how to

switch priority. Part of the reason we model our computers on metaphors like the desktop is that we can leverage this experience people already have.”

Speaking at the same time as Jobs that Wednesday afternoon, but in a smaller seminar room, was Maya Lin, twenty-three, who had been catapulted into fame the previous November when her Vietnam Veterans Memorial was

dedicated in Washington, D.C. They struck up a close friendship, and Jobs invited her to visit Apple. “I came to work with Steve for a week,” Lin

recalled. “I asked him, ‘Why do computers look like clunky TV sets? Why don’t you make something thin? Why not a flat laptop?’”

Jobs replied that this

was indeed his goal,

as soon as the

technology was ready.

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Jobs kept insisting that the machine should look friendly.

Jobs kept insisting that the machine should look friendly. As a result, it evolved to resemble a human face. With the disk drive built in below the screen,

the unit was taller and narrower than most computers, suggesting a head. The recess near the base evoked a gentle chin, and Jobs narrowed the

strip of plastic at the top so that it avoided the Neanderthal forehead that made the Lisa subtly unattractive. The patent for the design of the Apple case was issued in the name of Steve Jobs as well as Manock and Oyama. “Even

though Steve didn’t draw any of the lines, his ideas and inspiration made the design what it is,” Oyama later said. “To be honest, we didn’t know what it meant for a computer to be ‘friendly’ until Steve told us.”

spirit. It emphasized rationality and functionality by employing clean lines and forms. Among the maxims preached by Mies and Gropius were “God is in the details” and “Less is more.” As with Eichler homes, the artistic sensibility was combined with the capability for mass production.

Jobs publicly discussed his embrace of the Bauhaus style in a talk he gave at the 1983 design conference, the theme of which was “The Future Isn’t What It Used to Be.” He predicted the passing of the Sony style in favor of Bauhaus

Every month or so, Manock and Oyama would present a new iteration based on Jobs’s previous criticisms. The latest plaster model would be dramatically

unveiled, and all the previous attempts would be lined up next to it. That not only helped them gauge the design’s evolution, but it prevented

simplicity. “The current wave of industrial design is Sony’s high-tech look, which is gunmetal gray, maybe paint it black, do weird stuff to it,” he said. “It’s easy to do that. But it’s not great.” He proposed an alternative, born of

the Bauhaus, that was more true to the function and nature of the products. “What we’re going to do is make the products high-tech, and we’re going to package them cleanly so that you know they’re high-tech. We will fit them in a small package, and then we can

make them beautiful

and white, just like

Braun does

with its electronics.”

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“No, that’s not right,” Ferris replied. “The lines should be voluptuous,

“No, that’s not right,” Ferris replied. “The lines should be voluptuous, like a Ferrari.”

“Not a Ferrari, that’s not right either,” Jobs countered. “It should be more like a Porsche!” Jobs owned a Porsche 928 at the time. When Bill Atkinson was over one weekend, Jobs brought him outside to admire the car. “Great art

 

stretches the taste, it doesn’t follow tastes,” he told Atkinson. He also admired the design of the Mercedes. “Over the years, they’ve made the lines softer but the details starker,” he said one day as he walked around the parking lot. “That’s what we have to do with the Macintosh.”

by Canon to build the machine he wanted. “It was the Canon Cat, and it was a total flop,” Atkinson said. “Nobody wanted it. When Steve turned the Mac into a compact version of the Lisa, it made it into a computing platform instead of a consumer electronic device.”1

He is a dreadful manager. . . . I have always liked Steve, but I have found it impossible to work for him. . . . Jobs

regularly misses appointments. This is so well-known as to be almost a running joke. . . . He acts without thinking and

with bad judgment. . . . He does not give credit where due. . . . Very often, when told of a new idea, he will immediately attack it and say that it is worthless or

even stupid, and tell you that it was a waste of time to work on it. This alone is bad management, but if the idea is a good one he will soon be telling people about it as though it was his own.

That afternoon Scott called in Jobs and Raskin for a showdown in front of Markkula. Jobs started crying. He and Raskin agreed on only one thing: Neither

could work for the other one. On the Lisa project, Scott had sided with Couch. This time he decided it was best to let Jobs win. After all, the Mac was a minor

development project housed in a distant building that could keep Jobs occupied away from the main campus. Raskin was told to take a leave of absence. “They

wanted to humor me and give me something to do, which was fine,” Jobs recalled. “It was like going

garage for me.

back to the

team and

I was in control.”

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At that time there was not much exciting happening

At that time there was not much exciting happening in the realm of industrial design, Jobs felt. He had a Richard Sapper lamp, which he admired, and he also liked the furniture of Charles and Ray Eames and the Braun products of

Dieter Rams. But there were no towering figures energizing the world of industrial design the way that Raymond Loewy and Herbert Bayer had done. “There really wasn’t much going on in industrial design, particularly in Silicon Valley, and Steve was very eager to change that,” said Lin. “His design

sensibility is sleek but not slick, and it’s playful. He embraced minimalism, which came from his Zen devotion to simplicity, but he avoided allowing that to make his products cold. They stayed fun. He’s passionate and super-serious about design, but at the same time there’s a sense of play.”

 

things harder. He would keep the picture fuzzy until someone touched the antenna. Eventually he would make people

think they had to hold the antenna while standing on one foot or touching the top of the set. Years later, at a keynote

presentation where he was having his own trouble getting a video to work, Jobs broke from his script and recounted

the fun they had with the device. “Woz would have it in his pocket and we’d go into a dorm . . .

where a bunch of folks would be, like, watching Star Trek, and he’d screw up the TV,

and someone would go up to fix it, and just as they had the foot off the ground he would turn it back on,

and as they put their foot back on the ground he’d screw it up again.” Contorting himself into a pretzel onstage, Jobs

concluded to great laughter, “And within five minutes he would have someone like this.”

The Blue Box

The ultimate combination of pranks and electronics—and the escapade that helped to create Apple—was

launched one Sunday afternoon when Wozniak read an article in Esquire that his mother had left for him

on the kitchen table. It was September 1971, and he was about to drive off the next day to Berkeley,

his third college. The story, Ron Rosenbaum’s “Secrets of the Little Blue Box,” described how hackers and

phone phreakers had found ways to make long-distance calls for free by replicating the tones that routed

signals on the AT&T network. “Halfway through the article, I had to call my best friend, Steve Jobs, and

read parts of this long article to him,” Wozniak recalled. He knew

that Jobs, then beginning

his senior year, was

one of the few people who

would share his excitement.

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dorm who had perfect pitch, he got it built before Thanksgiving.

No one had ever created a digital version of a Blue Box, but

Woz was made for the challenge. Using diodes and transistors

from Radio Shack, and with the help of a music student in his

dorm who had perfect pitch, he got it built before Thanksgiving.

“I have never designed a circuit I was prouder of,” he said. “I still think it was incredible.”

One night Wozniak drove down from Berkeley to Jobs’s house

to try it. They attempted to call Wozniak’s uncle in Los Angeles,

 

but they got a wrong number. It didn’t matter; their device had

worked. “Hi! We’re calling you for free! We’re calling you for free!”

Wozniak shouted. The person on the other end was confused and annoyed. Jobs chimed in,

“We’re calling from California! From California! With a Blue Box.” This probably

baffled the man even more, since he was also in California.

At first the Blue Box was used for fun and pranks. The most daring of these was

when they called the Vatican and Wozniak pretended to be Henry Kissinger

wanting to speak to the pope. “Ve are at de summit meeting in Moscow,

and ve need to talk to de pope,” Woz intoned. He was told that it was 5:30 a.m. and

the pope was sleeping. When he called back, he got a bishop who was supposed

to serve as the translator. But they never actually got the pope on the line.

“They realized that Woz wasn’t Henry Kissinger,” Jobs recalled. “We were at a public phone booth.”

It was then that they reached an important milestone, one that would

establish a pattern in their partnerships: Jobs came up with the idea that

the Blue Box could be more than merely a hobby; they could build and sell them.

“I got together the rest of the components, like the casing and power supply and

keypads, and figured out how we could price it,” Jobs said, foreshadowing roles he

would play when they founded Apple. The finished product was about the size of two

decks of playing cards.

The parts cost about $40,

and Jobs decided they

should sell it for $150.

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By early 1981 the Mac team had grown to about twenty,

By early 1981 the Mac team had grown to about twenty, and Jobs decided that they should have bigger quarters. So he moved everyone to the second floor of a brown-shingled, two-story building about three blocks from Apple’s main offices. It was next to a Texaco station and thus became known as

Texaco Towers. In order to make the office more lively, he told the team to buy a stereo system. “Burrell and I ran out and bought a silver, cassette-based boom box right away, before he could change his mind,” recalled Hertzfeld.

a long-distance call to go through without extra charges. The article revealed that other tones that

served to route calls could be found in an issue of the Bell System Technical Journal, which AT&T

immediately began asking libraries to pull from their shelves.

As soon as Jobs got the call from Wozniak that Sunday afternoon, he knew they would have to get

 

their hands on the technical journal right away. “Woz picked me up a few minutes later, and we went

to the library at SLAC [the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center] to see if we could find it,” Jobs recounted.

It was Sunday and the library was closed, but they knew how to get in through a door that was rarely locked.

“I remember that we were furiously digging through the stacks, and it was Woz who finally found the journal

with all the frequencies. It was like, holy shit, and we opened it and there it was. We kept saying to ourselves,

‘It’s real. Holy shit, it’s real.’ It was all laid out—the tones, the frequencies.”

Wozniak went to Sunnyvale Electronics before it closed that evening and bought the parts to make

an analog tone generator. Jobs had built a frequency counter when he was part of the HP Explorers

Club, and they used it to calibrate the desired tones. With a dial, they could replicate and tape-record

the sounds specified in the article. By midnight they were ready to test it. Unfortunately the oscillators

they used were not quite stable enough to replicate the right chirps to fool the phone company.

“We could see the instability using Steve’s frequency counter,” recalled Wozniak, “and we just

couldn’t make it work. I had to leave for Berkeley

the next morning, so we

decided I would work

on building a digital

version once I got there.”

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