An Audience with Steve Jobs

I once met Steve Jobs.

It was in 1997, just after he had returned to Apple Computer as interim CEO, or iCEO as he liked to call it. He had been brought back to save the company, and one of the changes he thought was needed to accomplish this objective was to change Apple's advertising agency.

He invited two agencies to meet with him. One was Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, where I was a partner and director of planning. The other was TBWA\Chiat\Day, with whom Jobs had worked before at Apple, creating—among other award-winning work—the now-legendary 1984 commercial. The present situation was strange. We were convinced that Jobs was already committed to Chiat\Day; there was also the not-insignificant problem that Goodby, Silverstein was the agency for a competitor, Hewlett-Packard.

“Don't worry about that,” Jobs had told Jeff Goodby on the telephone. “I know H-P's chairman. I can fix it.”

We weren't convinced, but as none of us had ever met the famous Steve Jobs and wanted to, we took the meeting anyhow.

Two senior members of Apple's marketing department met us in the lobby. They had been hired by the previous regime and inherited by Jobs when he returned. I won't name them here, but I hope they are both now very happy and living in countries where they will not be able to read this book.

“Steve's running late,” one of the marketing men said, ...

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