Steve Jobs will go down in history as one of the greatest tech innovators that ever lived, but according to a letter written by a Silicon Valley advertising executive back in 1976, he was a “joker.”
The letter — now archived at Stanford University — was written by Mike Rose, who headed up a small advertising agency in California. A friend of Jobs suggested he reach out to Rose to print the first-ever manual for the Apple 1 computer.
Rose wrote to his own business partner informing him that Jobs would be reaching out to him.
“This joker is going to be calling you,” Rose wrote. “They are 2 guys — they build kits — operate out of a garage.”
The note also alluded to Job’s notorious secrecy tactics: “Wouldn’t trust me. Told him we’d like to see what they’ve got. We’d estimate — then decide. Sounds flakey. Watch it!”
According to Bloomberg, Jobs and Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak sought production help with the manual, which would have a logo of Issac Newton reading a book on the cover under a tree — not the iconic Apple image we’re used to seeing with a missing bite. But Rose’s offer was too high, so Jobs declined.
“The note is wonderful in part because it reveals how much Silicon Valley has changed in 35 years,” Leslie Berlin, project historian for the Silicon Valley Archives at Stanford University, wrote in the Bloomberg piece. “In 1976, two guys trying to launch a tech company from a garage in the heart of Silicon Valley were flakes. Today, someone in Rose’s position might well ask for a piece of the action — payment in the form of a small bit of stock, perhaps?”
Rose donated the letter to Stanford University in 1998.
Since Jobs’ passing earlier this year after a long battle with pancreatic cancer, he’s been awarded a Grammy for his iMusic contributions, and Barbara Walters recently named him the most fascinating person of 2011.
[Source : http://mashable.com]