In addition to the television commercials, they created one

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 personal heroes. They tended to be creative people who

had taken risks, defied failure, and bet their career on doing things in a

different way. A photography buff, he became involved in making sure they


had the perfect iconic portraits. “This is not the right picture of Gandhi,” he

erupted to Clow at one point. Clow explained that the famous Margaret

Bourke-White photograph of Gandhi at the spinning wheel was owned by


Time-Life Pictures and was not available for commercial use. So Jobs called

Norman Pearlstine, the editor in chief of Time Inc., and badgered him into

making an exception. He called Eunice Shriver to convince her family to


release a picture that he loved, of her brother Bobby Kennedy touring

Appalachia, and he talked to Jim Henson’s children personally

to get the right shot of the late Muppeteer.


He likewise called Yoko Ono for a picture of her late husband, John Lennon.

She sent him one, but it was not Jobs’s favorite. “Before it ran, I was in New

York, and I went to this small Japanese restaurant that I love, and let her


know I would be there,” he recalled. When he arrived, she came over to his

table. “This is a better one,” she said, handing him an envelope. “I thought

I would see you, so I had this with me.” It was the classic photo of her and

John in bed together, holding flowers, and it was the one that


Apple ended up using. “

I can see why John

fell in love with her,”

Jobs recalled.

Here’s to the Crazy OnesLee Clow, the creative director at

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 alive,” Jobs said, “and that it still

stands for something special.”


Clow said that he didn’t pitch for accounts. “You know our work,” he said.

But Jobs begged him. It would be hard to reject all the others that were

making pitches, including BBDO and Arnold Worldwide, and bring back


“an old crony,” as Jobs put it. Clow agreed to fly up to Cupertino with

something they could show. Recounting the scene years later, Jobs started to cry.

This chokes me up, this really chokes me up. It was so clear that Lee loved


Apple so much. Here was the best guy in advertising. And he hadn’t pitched

in ten years. Yet here he was, and he was pitching his heart out, because he

loved Apple as much as we did. He and his team had come up with this


brilliant idea, “Think Different.” And it was ten times better than anything

the other agencies showed. It choked me up, and it still makes me cry to

think about it, both the fact that Lee cared so much and also how brilliant his


“Think Different” idea was. Every once in a while, I find myself in the presence

of purity—purity of spirit and love—and I always cry. It always just reaches in

and grabs me. That was one of those moments. There was a purity about that

I will never forget. I cried in my office as


he was showing

me the idea, and

I still cry when

I think about it.

By this time they had other competitors, in addition to the Altair

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. Sitting in the row behind them was Felsenstein, who looked


at the Apple I and pronounced it “thoroughly unimpressive.” Wozniak was

unnerved by the conversation in the row behind him. “We could hear them

talking in advanced business talk,” he recalled, “using businesslike

acronyms we’d never heard before.”


Wozniak spent most of his time in their hotel room, tweaking his new prototype.

He was too shy to stand at the card table that Apple had been assigned near

the back of the exhibition hall. Daniel Kottke had taken the train down from


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. Sitting in the row behind them was Felsenstein, who looked


at the Apple I and pronounced it “thoroughly unimpressive.” Wozniak was

unnerved by the conversation in the row behind him. “We could hear them

talking in advanced business talk,” he recalled, “using businesslike

acronyms we’d never heard before.”


Manhattan, where he was now attending Columbia, and he manned the table

while Jobs walked the floor to inspect the competition. What he saw did not

impress him. Wozniak, he felt reassured, was the best circuit engineer, and the


Apple I (and surely its successor) could beat the competition in terms of functionality.

However, the SOL-20 was better looking. It had a sleek metal case, a keyboard, a

power supply, and cables. It looked as if it had been produced by grown-ups.


The Apple I,

on the other hand,

appeared as scruffy

as its creators.

Woz had already begun thinking about the next version of the

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 times what it cost to build the

boards and a 33% markup over the $500 wholesale price that Terrell and


other stores paid. The result was $666.66. “I was always into repeating digits,”

Wozniak said. “The phone number for my dial-a-joke service was 255-6666.”

Neither of them knew that in the Book of Revelation 666 symbolized the


“number of the beast,” but they soon were faced with complaints, especially

after 666 was featured in that year’s hit movie, The Omen. (In 2010 one of

the original Apple I computers was sold at auction by Christie’s for $213,000.)


The first feature story on the new machine appeared in the July 1976 issue of

Interface, a now-defunct hobbyist magazine. Jobs and friends were still making

them by hand in his house, but the article referred to him as the director of


marketing and “a former private consultant to Atari.” It made Apple sound like

a real company. “Steve communicates with many of the computer clubs to

keep his finger on the heartbeat of this young industry,” the article reported,


and it quoted him explaining, “If we can rap

about their needs, feelings and motivations,


we can respond


by giving them

what they want.”

“I didn’t get any sleep last night,” Jobs replied.“Why? What’s the

“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 headquarters. Amelio did as Jobs had requested and

described his new role as merely that of a part-time advisor. Instead of appearing


from the wings of the stage, Jobs walked in from the rear of the auditorium and

ambled down the aisle. Amelio had told the gathering that Jobs would be too tired

to say anything, but by then he had been energized by the applause. “I’m very excited,”

Jobs said. “I’m looking forward to get to reknow some old colleagues.” Louise Kehoe


of the Financial Times came up to the stage afterward and asked Jobs, sounding almost

accusatory, whether he was going to end up taking over Apple. “Oh no, Louise,” he said.

“There are a lot of other things going on in my life now. I have a family. I am involved

at Pixar. My time is limited, but I hope I can share some ideas.”


The next day Jobs drove to Pixar. He had fallen increasingly in love with the place, and

he wanted to let the crew there know he was still going to be president and deeply

involved. But the Pixar people were happy to see him go back to Apple part-time; a


little less of Jobs’s focus would be a good thing. He was useful when there were big

negotiations, but he could be dangerous when he had too much time on his hands.

When he arrived at Pixar that day, he went to Lasseter’s office and explained that


even just being an advisor at Apple would take up a lot of his time. He said he wanted

Lasseter’s blessing. “I keep thinking about all the time away from my family this will

cause, and the time away from the other family at Pixar,” Jobs said. “But the only reason


I want to do it is

that the world will

be a better place

with Apple in it.”

Years later, when I raised it with him, Gates did not recall being

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 was a guy who most people would not have

predicted would be a great CEO, because he didn’t have much experience at it,


but he was a brilliant guy with great design taste and great engineering taste.

He suppressed his craziness enough to get himself appointed interim CEO.”


Despite what both Ellison and Gates believed, Jobs had deeply conflicted feelings

about whether he wanted to return to an active role at Apple, at least while Amelio

was there. A few days before the NeXT purchase was due to be announced, Amelio


asked Jobs to rejoin Apple full-time and take charge of operating system

development. Jobs, however, kept deflecting Amelio’s request.


Finally, on the day that he was scheduled to make the big announcement, Amelio

called Jobs in. He needed an answer. “Steve, do you just want to take your money

and leave?” Amelio asked. “It’s okay if that’s what you want.” Jobs did not answer;


he just stared. “Do you want to be on the payroll? An advisor?” Again Jobs stayed

silent. Amelio went out and grabbed Jobs’s lawyer, Larry Sonsini, and asked what

he thought Jobs wanted. “Beats me,” Sonsini said. So Amelio went back

behind closed doors with Jobs and gave it one more try.


“Steve, what’s on your mind?

What are you feeling?

Please, I need

a decision now.”

One sticking point was that Jobs wanted his payout to be in cash

One sticking point was that Jobs wanted his payout to be in cash. Amelio

insisted that he needed to “have skin in the game” and take the payout in

stock that he would agree to hold for at least a year. Jobs resisted. Finally,


they compromised: Jobs would take $120 million in cash and $37 million

in stock, and he pledged to hold the stock for at least six months.

As usual Jobs wanted to have some of their conversation while taking a walk.


While they ambled around Palo Alto, he made a pitch to be put on Apple’s board.

Amelio tried to deflect it, saying there was too much history to do something like

that too quickly. “Gil, that really hurts,” Jobs said. “This was my company. I’ve been


left out since that horrible day with Sculley.” Amelio said he understood, but he was

not sure what the board would want. When he was about to begin his negotiations

with Jobs, he had made a mental note to “move ahead with logic as my drill sergeant”


and “sidestep the charisma.” But during the walk he, like so many others, was caught

in Jobs’s force field. “I was hooked in by Steve’s energy and enthusiasm,” he recalled.

After circling the long blocks a couple of times, they returned to the house just as Laurene


and the kids were arriving home. They all celebrated the easy negotiations, then Amelio

rode off in his Mercedes. “He made me feel like a lifelong friend,” Amelio recalled. Jobs

indeed had a way of doing that. Later, after Jobs had engineered his ouster, Amelio would


look back on Jobs’s friendliness that day and note wistfully, “As I would painfully discover,

it was merely one facet of an extremely complex personality.”

After informing Gassée that Apple was buying NeXT, Amelio had what turned out to be an


even more uncomfortable task: telling Bill Gates. “He went into orbit,” Amelio recalled. Gates

found it ridiculous, but perhaps not surprising, that Jobs had pulled off this coup. “Do you

really think Steve Jobs has anything there?” Gates asked Amelio. “I know his technology,


it’s nothing but a warmed-over UNIX, and you’ll never be able to make it work on your

machines.” Gates, like Jobs, had a way of working himself up, and he did so now: “Don’t


you understand that Steve doesn’t know anything about technology? He’s just a super

salesman. I can’t believe you’re making such a stupid decision. . . . He doesn’t know

anything about engineering, and 99% of what he says and


thinks is wrong.

What the hell

are you buying

that garbage for?”

Gassée came in afterward, but he acted as if he had the deal

Gassée came in afterward, but he acted as if he had the deal in his hand.

He provided no new presentation. He simply said that the Apple team knew

the capabilities of the Be OS and asked if they had any further questions.


It was a short session. While Gassée was presenting, Jobs and Tevanian

walked the streets of Palo Alto. After a while they bumped into one of the

Apple executives who had been at the meetings.

“You’re going to win this,” he told them.


Tevanian later said that this was no surprise: “We had better technology, we

had a solution that was complete, and we had Steve.” Amelio knew that

bringing Jobs back into the fold would be a double-edged sword, but the

same was true of bringing Gassée back. Larry Tesler, one of the Macintosh


veterans from the old days, recommended to Amelio that he choose NeXT,

but added, “Whatever company you choose, you’ll get someone

who will take your job away, Steve or Jean-Louis.”


Amelio opted for Jobs. He called Jobs to say that he planned to propose to the

Apple board that he be authorized to negotiate a purchase of NeXT. Would he

like to be at the meeting? Jobs said he would. When he walked in, there was


an emotional moment when he saw Mike Markkula. They had not spoken since

Markkula, once his mentor and father figure, had sided with Sculley there

back in 1985. Jobs walked over and shook his hand.


Jobs invited Amelio to come to his house in Palo Alto so they could negotiate

in a friendly setting. When Amelio arrived in his classic 1973 Mercedes, Jobs

was impressed; he liked the car. In the kitchen, which had finally been renovated,

Jobs put a kettle on for tea, and then they sat at the wooden table in front of


the open-hearth pizza oven. The financial part of the negotiations went smoothly;

Jobs was eager not to make Gassée’s mistake of overreaching. He suggested that

Apple pay $12 a share for NeXT. That would amount to about $500 million.


Amelio said that was too high. He countered with $10 a share, or just over $400

million. Unlike Be, NeXT had an actual product, real revenues, and a great team, but


Jobs was nevertheless

pleasantly surprised at

that counteroffer. He

accepted immediately.

A few weeks later Jobs and his family went to Hawaii for Christmas

A few weeks later Jobs and his family went to Hawaii for Christmas vacation.

Larry Ellison was also there, as he had been the year before. “You know, Larry,

I think I’ve found a way for me to get back into Apple and get control of it


without you having to buy it,” Jobs said as they walked along the shore. Ellison

recalled, “He explained his strategy, which was getting Apple to buy NeXT, then

he would go on the board and be one step away from being CEO.” Ellison thought


that Jobs was missing a key point. “But Steve, there’s one thing I don’t understand,”

he said. “If we don’t buy the company, how can we make any money?” It was a

reminder of how different their desires were. Jobs put his hand on Ellison’s left


shoulder, pulled him so close that their noses almost touched, and said,

“Larry, this is why it’s really important that I’m your friend.

You don’t need any more money.”


Ellison recalled that his own answer was almost a whine: “Well, I may not need

the money, but why should some fund manager at Fidelity get the money?

Why should someone else get it? Why shouldn’t it be us?”


“I think if I went back to Apple, and I didn’t own any of Apple, and you didn’t

own any of Apple, I’d have the moral high ground,” Jobs replied.

“Steve, that’s really expensive real estate, this moral high ground,” said Ellison.


“Look, Steve, you’re my best friend, and Apple is your company. I’ll do whatever

you want.” Although Jobs later said that he was not plotting to take over Apple

at the time, Ellison thought it was inevitable. “Anyone who spent more than a

half hour with Amelio would realize that he couldn’t do


anything but self-destruct,” he later said.

The big bakeoff between NeXT and Be was held at the Garden Court Hotel in Palo

Alto on December 10, in front of Amelio, Hancock, and six other Apple executives.

NeXT went first, with Avie Tevanian demonstrating the software while Jobs displayed


his hypnotizing salesmanship. They showed how the software could play four video

clips on the screen at once, create multimedia, and link to the Internet. “Steve’s sales

pitch on the NeXT operating system was dazzling,” according to

Amelio. “He praised the virtues and


strengths as though

he were describing

a performance of

Olivier as Macbeth.”

By Thanksgiving of 1996 the two companies had begun

By Thanksgiving of 1996 the two companies had begun midlevel talks,

and Jobs picked up the phone to call Amelio directly. “I’m on my way to

Japan, but I’ll be back in a week and I’d like to see you as soon as I return,”


he said. “Don’t make any decision until we can get together.” Amelio,

despite his earlier experience with Jobs, was thrilled to hear from him and

entranced by the possibility of working with him. “For me, the phone call


with Steve was like inhaling the flavors of a great bottle of vintage wine,”

he recalled. He gave his assurance he would make no deal with

Be or anyone else before they got together.


For Jobs, the contest against Be was both professional and personal.

NeXT was failing, and the prospect of being bought by Apple was a

tantalizing lifeline. In addition, Jobs held grudges, sometimes passionately,


and Gassée was near the top of his list, despite the fact that they had seemed

to reconcile when Jobs was at NeXT. “Gassée is one of the few people in my life

I would say is truly horrible,” Jobs later insisted, unfairly. “He knifed me in the


back in 1985.” Sculley, to his credit, had at least been

gentlemanly enough to knife Jobs in the front.

On December 2, 1996, Steve Jobs set foot on Apple’s Cupertino campus for


the first time since his ouster eleven years earlier. In the executive conference

room, he met Amelio and Hancock to make the pitch for NeXT. Once again

he was scribbling on the whiteboard there, this time giving his lecture about


the four waves of computer systems that had culminated, at least in his telling,

with the launch of NeXT. He was at his most seductive, despite the fact that he

was speaking to two people he didn’t respect. He was particularly adroit at


feigning modesty. “It’s probably a totally crazy idea,” he said, but if they found

it appealing, “I’ll structure any kind of deal you want—license the software, sell


you the company, whatever.” He was, in fact, eager to sell everything, and he

pushed that approach. “When you take a close look, you’ll decide you want

more than my software,” he told


them. “You’ll want

to buy the whole

company and

take all the people.”