Like many, I have a habit of idealizing the “good old days” with Steve Jobs.
Keep in mind that I’m an ad guy. It’s incredibly rare that people like me get to work directly with the CEO, and even more rare that the CEO is so passionate about doing great work.
So when I look back, I tend to romanticize even the difficult times, even though I know darn well that the tense moments were … well, tense. Especially with Steve.
Need an example?
Return with me now to the thrilling days of yesteryear, as the color iMacs were about to be unveiled.
On this particular day, Steve had apparently been on a call with a guy named Wayne (I have no memory of him), and Wayne was having a problem finalizing photography to be used in Steve’s upcoming Macworld presentation.
Since I was responsible for the creative work at the ad agency, Steve tried to solve this problem in real-time by adding me to the call — but got my answering machine instead. No doubt this ticked him off even more.
When I got home that day, I got a classic Steve message. What I love about it is that it started so calmly, then steadily escalated into a fury. I didn’t save the recording, but at least I had the foresight to transcribe it. Continue reading →