When Jobs decided to build a state-of-the-art factory in Fremont to manufacture the Macintosh,
his aesthetic passions and controlling nature kicked into high gear. He wanted the machinery to
be painted in bright hues, like the Apple logo, but he spent so much time going over paint chips
that Apple’s manufacturing director, Matt Carter, finally just installed them in their usual beige and
gray. When Jobs took a tour, he ordered that the machines be repainted in the bright colors he
wanted. Carter objected; this was precision equipment, and repainting the machines could cause
problems. He turned out to be right. One of the most expensive machines, which got painted bright
blue, ended up not working properly and was dubbed “Steve’s folly.” Finally Carter quit. “It took so
much energy to fight him, and it was usually over something so pointless that finally I had enough,” he recalled.
be its salvation!” Levy pushed back. Rolling Stone was actually good, he said, and he asked Jobs
if he had read it recently. Jobs said that he had, an article about MTV that was “a piece of shit.”
Levy replied that he had written that article. Jobs, to his credit, didn’t back away from the assessment.
Instead he turned philosophical as he talked about the Macintosh. We are constantly benefiting from
advances that went before us and taking things that people before us developed, he said. “It’s a
wonderful, ecstatic feeling to create something that puts it back in the pool
of human experience and knowledge.”
Levy’s story didn’t make it to the cover. But in the future, every major product launch that Jobs was involved
in—at NeXT, at Pixar, and years later when he returned to Apple—would end
up on the cover of either Time, Newsweek, or Business Week.
January 24, 1984
Most of all, Jobs fretted about his presentation. Sculley fancied himself a good writer,
so he suggested changes in Jobs’s script. Jobs recalled being slightly annoyed, but their
relationship was still in the phase when he was lathering on flattery and stroking Sculley’s ego.
“I think of you just like Woz and Markkula,” he told Sculley. “You’re like one of the founders
of the company.
They founded the company,
but you and I are
founding the future.”
Sculley lapped it up.