“They speak a funny Englishin India. They like words like

“They speak a funny Englishin India. They like words like bamboozle.” I remembered

hiswords as my plane started its descent towards Delhi, so theword bamboozle was

my one preparation for the rich, noisy,functioning madness of India. I used the


word on occasion,and truth be told, it served me well. To a clerk at a trainstation I said,

“I didn’t think the fare would be soexpensive. You’re, not trying to bamboozle me, are

you?” Hesmiled and chanted, “No sir! There is no bamboozlementhere. I have quoted


you the correct fare.”This second time to India I knew better what to expectand I knew

what I wanted: I would settle in a hill stationand write my novel. I had visions of myself

sitting at atable on a large veranda, my notes spread out in front ofme next to a


steaming cup of tea. Green hills heavy withmists would lie at my feet and the shrill

cries of monkeyswould fill my ears. The weather would be just right,requiring a light

sweater mornings and evenings, andsomething short-sleeved midday. Thus set up,


pen in hand,for the sake of greater truth, I would turn Portugal into afiction. That’s

what fiction is about, isn’t it, the selectivetransforming of reality? The twisting of it

to bring out itsessence? What need did I have to go to Portugal?

The lady who ran the place would tell me stories aboutthe struggle to boot the

British out. We would agree onwhat I was to have for lunch and supper the next day.


Despite the grueling schedule, the more that Jobs immersed himself in Apple, the more

he realized that he would not be able to walk away. When Michael Dell was asked at a

computer trade show in October 1997 what he would do if he were Steve Jobs and


taking over Apple, he replied, “I’d shut it down and give the money back to the

shareholders.” Jobs fired off an email to Dell. “CEOs are supposed to have class,”

it said. “I can see that isn’t an opinion you hold.” Jobs liked to stoke up rivalries as


a way to rally his team—he had done so with IBM and Microsoft—and he did so

with Dell. When he called together his managers to institute a build-to-order

system for manufacturing and distribution, Jobs used as a backdrop a blown-up

picture of Michael Dell with a target on his face.


“We’re coming after

you, buddy,”

he said to cheers

from his troops.


It was rough, really rough, the worst time in my life. I had a young

It was rough, really rough, the worst time in my life. I had a young family. I had Pixar.

I would go to work at 7 a.m. and I’d get back at 9 at night, and the kids would be in bed.

And I couldn’t speak, I literally couldn’t, I was so exhausted. I couldn’t speak to Laurene.

All I could do was watch a half hour of TV and vegetate. It got close to killing me. I was


driving up to Pixar and down to Apple in a black Porsche convertible, and I started to get

kidney stones. I would rush to the hospital and the hospital would give me a shot of


Demerol in the butt and eventually I would pass it.This book was born as I was hungry.

Let me explain. Inthe spring of 1996, my second book, a novel, came out inCanada.

It didn’t fare well. Reviewers were puzzled, ordamned it with faint praise. Then readers ignored it.

Despite my best efforts at playing the clown or the trapezeartist, the media circus made no

difference. The book didnot move. Books lined the shelves of bookstores like kidsstanding

in a row to play baseball or soccer, and mine wasthe gangly, unathletic kid that


no one wanted on theirteam. It vanished quickly and quietly.
The fiasco did not affect me too much. I had alreadymoved on to

another story, a novel set in Portugal in 1939.
Only I was feeling restless. And I had a little money.

So I flew to Bombay. This is not so illogical if yourealize three things: that a stint in

India will beat therestlessness out of any living creature; that a little moneycan go

a long way there; and that a novel set in Portugalin


1939 may have very little to do with Portugal in 1939.
I had been to India before, in the north, for five months.
On that first trip I had come to the subcontinent completelyunprepared.

Actually, I had a preparation of one word.
When I told a friend


who knew the

country well

of mytravel plans,

he said casually, 


That week he gathered his top managers and staff in the Apple

That week he gathered his top managers and staff in the Apple auditorium

for a rally, followed by a picnic featuring beer and vegan food, to celebrate

his new role and the company’s new ads. He was wearing shorts, walking


around the campus barefoot, and had a stubble of beard. “I’ve been back

about ten weeks, working really hard,” he said, looking tired but deeply

determined. “What we’re trying to do is not highfalutin. We’re trying to get


back to the basics of great products, great marketing, and great distribution.

Apple has drifted away from doing the basics really well.”

For a few more weeks Jobs and the board kept looking for a permanent CEO.


Various names surfaced—George M. C. Fisher of Kodak, Sam Palmisano at

IBM, Ed Zander at Sun Microsystems—but most of the candidates were


understandably reluctant to consider becoming CEO if Jobs was going to remain

an active board member. The San Francisco Chronicle reported that Zander declined

to be considered because he “didn’t want Steve looking over his shoulder,


second-guessing him on every decision.” At one point Jobs and Ellison pulled

a prank on a clueless computer consultant who was campaigning for the job; they

sent him an email saying that he had been selected, which caused both amusement

and embarrassment when stories appeared in the papers


that they were just toying with him.

By December it had become clear that Jobs’s iCEO status had evolved from

interim to indefinite. As Jobs continued to run the company, the board quietly

deactivated its search. “I went back to Apple and tried to hire a CEO, with the help


of a recruiting agency, for almost four months,” he recalled. “But they didn’t

produce the right people. That’s why I finally stayed. Apple

was in no shape to attract anybody good.”

The problem Jobs faced was that running two companies was brutal.


Looking back on it,

he traced his

health problems

back to those days:


Very few other companies or corporate leaders—perhaps none

Very few other companies or corporate leaders—perhaps none—could have

gotten away with the brilliant audacity of associating their brand with Gandhi,

Einstein, Picasso, and the Dalai Lama. Jobs was able to encourage people to


define themselves as anticorporate, creative, innovative rebels simply by the

computer they used. “Steve created the only lifestyle brand in the tech industry,”

Larry Ellison said. “There are cars people are proud to have—Porsche, Ferrari,


Prius—because what I drive says something about me. People feel

the same way about an Apple product.”

Starting with the “Think Different” campaign, and continuing through the rest

of his years at Apple, Jobs held a freewheeling three-hour meeting every


Wednesday afternoon with his top agency, marketing, and communications

people to kick around messaging strategy. “There’s not a CEO on the planet

who deals with marketing the way Steve does,” said Clow. “Every Wednesday he


approves each new commercial, print ad, and billboard.” At the end of the

meeting, he would often take Clow and his two agency colleagues, Duncan

Milner and James Vincent, to Apple’s closely guarded design studio to see


what products were in the works. “He gets very passionate and emotional

when he shows us what’s in development,” said Vincent. By sharing with his

marketing gurus his passion for the products as they were being created,


he was able to ensure that almost every ad they produced was infused with his emotion.


As he was finishing work on the “Think Different” ad, Jobs did some different

thinking of his own. He decided that he would officially take over running the


company, at least on a temporary basis. He had been the de facto leader since

Amelio’s ouster ten weeks earlier, but only as an advisor. Fred Anderson had the

titular role of interim CEO. On September 16, 1997, Jobs announced that he would


take over that title, which inevitably got abbreviated as iCEO. His commitment was

tentative: He took no salary and signed no contract. But he was not tentative


in his actions.

He was in charge,

and he did not

rule by consensus.


The narration by Richard Dreyfuss worked well, but Lee Clow had

The narration by Richard Dreyfuss worked well, but Lee Clow had another idea.

What if Jobs did the voice-over himself? “You really believe this,” Clow told him.

“You should do it.” So Jobs sat in a studio, did a few takes, and soon produced a


voice track that everyone liked. The idea was that, if they used it, they would not

tell people who was speaking the words, just as they didn’t caption the iconic pictures.

Eventually people would figure out it was Jobs. “This will be really powerful to


have it in your voice,” Clow argued. “It will be a way to reclaim the brand.”

Jobs couldn’t decide whether to use the version with his voice or to stick with

Dreyfuss. Finally, the night came when they had to ship the ad; it was due to air,


appropriately enough, on the television premiere of Toy Story. As was often the

case, Jobs did not like to be forced to make a decision. He told Clow to ship both

versions; this would give him until the morning to decide. When morning came,


Jobs called and told them to use the Dreyfuss version. “If we use my voice, when

people find out they will say it’s about me,” he told Clow. “It’s not. It’s about Apple.”

Ever since he left the apple commune, Jobs had defined himself, and by extension


Apple, as a child of the counterculture. In ads such as “Think Different” and “1984,”

he positioned the Apple brand so that it reaffirmed his own rebel streak, even after

he became a billionaire, and it allowed other baby boomers and their kids to do the

same. “From when I first met him as a young guy, he’s had the greatest intuition


of the impact

he wants his

brand to have on

people,” said Clow.


Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The

Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers.

The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently.

They’re not fond of rules. And they have no respect for the status quo.


You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them. About the

only thing you can’t do is ignore them. Because they change things. They

push the human race forward. And while some may see them as the crazy

ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough

In order to evoke the spirit of Dead Poets Society, Clow and Jobs wanted to

get Robin Williams to read the narration. His agent said that Williams didn’t

do ads, so Jobs tried to call him directly. He got through to Williams’s wife,

who would not let him talk to the actor because she knew how persuasive

he could be. They also considered Maya Angelou and Tom Hanks. At a

fund-raising dinner featuring Bill Clinton that fall, Jobs pulled the president

aside and asked him to telephone Hanks to talk him into it, but the

president pocket-vetoed the request. They ended up with Richard

Dreyfuss, who was a dedicated Apple fan.


to think they can change the world are the ones who do.

Jobs, who could identify with each of those sentiments, wrote some of the

lines himself, including “They push the human race forward.” By the time of


the Boston Macworld in early August, they had produced a rough version.

They agreed it was not ready, but Jobs used the concepts, and the “think

different” phrase, in his keynote speech there. “There’s a germ of a brilliant


idea there,” he said at the time. “Apple is about people who think outside

the box, who want to use computers to help them change the world.”

They debated the grammatical issue: If “different” was supposed to modify


the verb “think,” it should be an adverb, as in “think differently.” But Jobs

insisted that he wanted “different” to be used as a noun, as in “think victory”


or “think beauty.” Also, it echoed colloquial use, as in “think big.” Jobs later

explained, “We discussed whether it was correct before we ran it. It’s grammatical,


if you think about what we’re trying to say. It’s not think the same, it’s

think different. Think a little different, think a lot different,


think different.

‘Think differently’

wouldn’t hit the

meaning for me.”


Jobs and Clow agreed that Apple was one of the great brands

Jobs and Clow agreed that Apple was one of the great brands of the world,

probably in the top five based on emotional appeal, but they needed to remind

folks what was distinctive about it. So they wanted a brand image campaign,

not a set of advertisements featuring products. It was designed to celebrate


not what the computers could do, but what creative people could do with the

computers. “This wasn’t about processor speed or memory,” Jobs recalled.

“It was about creativity.” It was directed not only at potential customers, but also at

Apple’s own employees: “We at Apple had forgotten who we were. One way


to remember who you are is to remember who your heroes are.

That was the genesis of that campaign.”

Clow and his team tried a variety of approaches that praised the “crazy ones” who


“think different.” They did one video with the Seal song “Crazy” (“We’re never gonna

survive unless we get a little crazy”), but couldn’t get the rights to it. Then they tried


versions using a recording of Robert Frost reading “The Road Not Taken” and of Robin

Williams’s speeches from Dead Poets Society. Eventually they decided they needed

to write their own text; their draft began, “Here’s to the crazy ones.”


Jobs was as demanding as ever. When Clow’s team flew up with a version of the text,

he exploded at the young copywriter. “This is shit!” he yelled. “It’s advertising agency


shit and I hate it.” It was the first time the young copywriter had met Jobs, and he

stood there mute. He never went back. But those who could stand up to Jobs,


including Clow and his teammates Ken Segall and Craig Tanimoto, were able to

work with him to create a tone


poem that he liked.

In its original


version it read:


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.


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