Sculley was initially skeptical when he saw the storyboards, but Jobs insisted that they needed something revolutionary. He was able to get an unprecedented budget of $750,000 just to film the ad, which they planned to premiere during the Super Bowl.     Ridley Scott made it in London using dozens of real skinheads among the enthralled masses listening to Big Brother on the screen. A female discus thrower was chosen to play the heroine. Using a cold industrial setting dominated by metallic gray hues, Scott   evoked the dystopian aura of Blade Runner. Just at the moment when Big Brother announces “We shall prevail!”Read More →

The “1984” AdIn the spring of 1983, when Jobs had begun to plan for the Macintosh launch, he asked for a commercial that was as revolutionary and astonishing as the product they had created. “I want something that will stop     people in their tracks,” he said. “I want a thunderclap.” The task fell to the Chiat/Day advertising agency, which had acquired the Apple account when it bought the advertising side of Regis McKenna’s business. The person put in charge was a lanky beach bum with a bushy beard, wild hair, goofy grin, and twinkling eyes named Lee Clow, who was the creative directorRead More →

But what truly devastated Jobs was that he was not, after all, chosen as the Man of the Year. As he later told me: Time decided they were going to make me Man of the Year, and I was twenty-seven, so I actually cared about stuff like that. I thought it was   pretty cool. They sent out Mike Moritz to write a story. We’re the same age, and I had been very successful, and I could tell he was jealous and there was an edge to him. He wrote this terrible hatchet job. So the editors in New   York get this story andRead More →

The candidate looked baffled. “What did you say?” “Are you a virgin?” Jobs asked. The candidate sat there flustered, so Jobs changed the subject. “How many times have you taken LSD?” Hertzfeld recalled, “The poor guy was turning varying shades of red, so I tried to change the subject and asked a straightforward technical   question.” But when the candidate droned on in his response, Jobs broke in. “Gobble, gobble, gobble, gobble,” he said, cracking up Smith and Hertzfeld. “It reflects his personality, which is to want control,” said Berry Cash, who was hired by Jobs in 1982 to be a market strategist at TexacoRead More →

Jobs’s desire to control the user experience had been at the heart of his debate with Wozniak over whether the Apple II would have slots that allow a user to plug expansion cards into a computer’s motherboard and thus add some new functionality. Wozniak won     that argument: The Apple II had eight slots. But this time around it would be Jobs’s machine, not Wozniak’s, and the Macintosh would have limited slots. You wouldn’t even be able to open the case and get to the motherboard. For a hobbyist or hacker, that was uncool. But for Jobs, the Macintosh was for the masses. HeRead More →

Instead he insisted on applying only to Reed College, a private liberal arts school in Portland, Oregon, that was one of the most expensive in the nation. He was visiting Woz at Berkeley when his father called to say an acceptance letter had arrived from Reed, and he tried to talk Steve out of going there. So did his mother. It was far more than they could afford, they said. But their son responded with an ultimatum: If he couldn’t go to Reed, he wouldn’t go anywhere. They relented, as usual. Reed had only one thousand students, half the number at Homestead High. It wasRead More →

Toward the end of his senior year at Homestead, in the spring of 1972, Jobs started going out with a girl named Chrisann Brennan, who was about his age but still a junior. With her light brown hair, green eyes, high cheekbones, and fragile aura, she was very attractive. She was also enduring the breakup of her parents’ marriage,   which made her vulnerable. “We worked together on an animated movie, then started going out, and she became my first real girlfriend,” Jobs recalled. As Brennan later said, “Steve was kind of crazy. That’s why I was attracted to him.” Jobs’s craziness was of theRead More →

Brennan spent a lot of her time that summer painting; she was talented, and she did a picture of a clown for Jobs that he kept on the wall. Jobs wrote poetry and played guitar. He could be brutally cold and rude to her at times, but he was also entrancing   and able to impose his will. “He was an enlightened being who was cruel,” she recalled. “That’s a strange combination.” Midway through the summer, Jobs was almost killed when his red Fiat caught fire. He was driving on Skyline Boulevard in the Santa Cruz Mountains with a high school friend, Tim Brown, whoRead More →

In late 1972, there was a fundamental shift happening in American campus life. The nation’s involvement in the Vietnam War, and the draft that accompanied it, was winding down. Political activism at colleges receded and in many late-night dorm conversations was replaced by an interest in pathways to personal fulfillment. Jobs found himself deeply influenced by a variety of books on spirituality and enlightenment, most notably Be Here Now, a guide to meditation and the wonders of psychedelic drugs by Baba Ram Dass, born Richard Alpert. “It was profound,” Jobs said. “It transformed me and many of my friends.” The closest of those friends wasRead More →

Jobs’s engagement with Eastern spirituality, and especially Zen Buddhism, was not just some passing fancy or youthful dabbling. He embraced it with his typical intensity, and it became deeply ingrained in his personality. “Steve is very much Zen,” said Kottke. “It was a deep influence. You see it in his whole approach of stark, minimalist aesthetics, intense focus.” Jobs also became deeply influenced by the emphasis that Buddhism places on intuition. “I began to realize that an intuitive understanding and consciousness was more significant than abstract thinking and intellectual logical analysis,” he later said. His intensity, however, made it difficult for him to achieve innerRead More →