Andy Hertzfeld, September 5, 2011
When we were writing the stories for this book, it wasn’t clear where we should stop, since the Macintosh never stopped evolving. At first I thought it should end with the catharsis of the intro at Apple’s annual shareholder’s meeting in January 1984, which was the emotional high point of the story. But eventually I realized that there was a lot to be learned from the denouement that unfolded in the following year and a half, as the team went their separate ways. It became clear that the natural place to break was when Steve Jobs got involuntarily separated from the team in June 1985—I called that sad story “The End of An Era.”
Here, in September 2011, I’m feeling wistful because the end of another era is upon us, since Steve Jobs stepped down as CEO of Apple on August 24th. After spending more than a decade estranged from Apple, Steve returned as reluctant CEO in July 1997, and quickly resuscitated Apple’s original values, which had slowly atrophied during his absence over the previous decade. Apple once again began to produce imaginative, innovative products, starting with the first iMac and its courageous, stunning industrial design.
The iPod, released in October 2001, re-imagined music players. With its elegant user interface and prodigious capacity, the iPod quickly became a beloved, colossal hit, fueled by the ground-breaking convenience of the iTunes store. But the most impressive part was how Apple developed ...