Very few other companies or corporate leaders—perhaps none—could have gotten away with the brilliant audacity of associating their brand with Gandhi, Einstein, Picasso, and the Dalai Lama. Jobs was able to encourage people to define themselves as anticorporate, creative, innovative rebels simply by the computer they used. “Steve created the only lifestyle brand in the tech industry,” Larry Ellison said. “There are cars people are proud to have—Porsche, Ferrari, Prius—because what I drive says something about me. People feel the same way about an Apple product.” Starting with the “Think Different” campaign, and continuing through the rest of his years at Apple, Jobs
The narration by Richard Dreyfuss worked well, but Lee Clow had another idea. What if Jobs did the voice-over himself? “You really believe this,” Clow told him. “You should do it.” So Jobs sat in a studio, did a few takes, and soon produced a voice track that everyone liked. The idea was that, if they used it, they would not tell people who was speaking the words, just as they didn’t caption the iconic pictures. Eventually people would figure out it was Jobs. “This will be really powerful to have it in your voice,” Clow argued. “It will be a way to
Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently. They’re not fond of rules. And they have no respect for the status quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them. About the only thing you can’t do is ignore them. Because they change things. They push the human race forward. And while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough In order to evoke the spirit of Dead Poets Society, Clow and Jobs wanted to
Jobs and Clow agreed that Apple was one of the great brands of the world, probably in the top five based on emotional appeal, but they needed to remind folks what was distinctive about it. So they wanted a brand image campaign, not a set of advertisements featuring products. It was designed to celebrate not what the computers could do, but what creative people could do with the computers. “This wasn’t about processor speed or memory,” Jobs recalled. “It was about creativity.” It was directed not only at potential customers, but also at Apple’s own employees: “We at Apple had forgotten who we were.
In addition to the television commercials, they created one of the most memorable print campaigns in history. Each ad featured a black-and-white portrait of an iconic historical figure with just the Apple logo and the words “Think Different” in the corner. Making it particularly engaging was that the faces were not captioned. Some of them—Einstein, Gandhi, Lennon, Dylan, Picasso, Edison, Chaplin, King—were easy to identify. But others caused people to pause, puzzle, and maybe ask a friend to put a name to the face: Martha Graham, Ansel Adams, Richard Feynman, Maria Callas, Frank Lloyd Wright, James Watson, Amelia Earhart. Most were Jobs’s
Here’s to the Crazy OnesLee Clow, the creative director at Chiat/Day who had done the great “1984” ad for the launch of the Macintosh, was driving in Los Angeles in early July 1997 when his car phone rang. It was Jobs. “Hi, Lee, this is Steve,” he said. “Guess what? Amelio just resigned. Can you come up here?” Apple was going through a review to select a new agency, and Jobs was not impressed by what he had seen. So he wanted Clow and his firm, by then called TBWAChiatDay, to compete for the business. “We have to prove that Apple is still
By this time they had other competitors, in addition to the Altair, most notably the IMSAI 8080 and Processor Technology Corporation’s SOL-20. The latter was designed by Lee Felsenstein and Gordon French of the Homebrew Computer Club. They all had the chance to go on display during Labor Day weekend of 1976, at the first annual Personal Computer Festival, held in a tired hotel on the decaying boardwalk of Atlantic City, New Jersey. Jobs and Wozniak took a TWA flight to Philadelphia, cradling one cigar box with the Apple I and another with the prototype for the successor that Woz was working on.
Woz had already begun thinking about the next version of the machine, so they started calling their current model the Apple I. Jobs and Woz would drive up and down Camino Real trying to get the electronics stores to sell it. In addition to the fifty sold by the Byte Shop and almost fifty sold to friends, they were building another hundred for retail outlets. Not surprisingly, they had contradictory impulses: Wozniak wanted to sell them for about what it cost to build them, but Jobs wanted to make a serious profit. Jobs prevailed. He picked a retail price that was about three
“I didn’t get any sleep last night,” Jobs replied.“Why? What’s the problem?” “I was thinking about all the things that need to be done and about the deal we’re making, and it’s all running together for me. I’m really tired now and not thinking clearly. I just don’t want to be asked any more questions.” Amelio said that wasn’t possible. He needed to say something. Finally Jobs answered, “Look, if you have to tell them something, just say advisor to the chairman.” And that is what Amelio did. The announcement was made that evening—December 20, 1996—in front of 250 cheering employees at Apple
Years later, when I raised it with him, Gates did not recall being that upset. The purchase of NeXT, he argued, did not really give Apple a new operating system. “Amelio paid a lot for NeXT, and let’s be frank, the NeXT OS was never really used.” Instead the purchase ended up bringing in Avie Tevanian, who could help the existing Apple operating system evolve so that it eventually incorporated the kernel of the NeXT technology. Gates knew that the deal was destined to bring Jobs back to power. “But that was a twist of fate,” he said. “What they ended up buying