Earlier this year we interviewed Apple’s first CEO Michael Scott about the early days of Apple.
Here are some of the highlights from that interview of what a young Steve Jobs was like:
Was Jobs as assertive then as he is now? “No, he was maybe more particular. The Apple II case came, it had a beige and a green, so for all the standard colours of beige available in the world, of which there are thousands, none was exactly proper for him. So we actually had to create “Apple beige” and get that registered.”
It wasn’t just colours, it was shapes too: “[For] the original Apple II case, Jobs wanted a rounded edge on it so it didn’t have a hard feel. They spent weeks and weeks arguing exactly how rounded it would be.”
Scott was in charge of assigning numbers to each employee, but he didn’t give Jobs the number 1: “Each Steve wanted number 1. I know I didn’t give it to Jobs because I thought that would be too much. I don’t remember if it was Woz or Markkula that got number 1, but it didn’t go to Jobs because I had enough problems anyway.”
At meetings, Jobs kicked up “his dirty feet and sandals” and put them on the table. (That didn’t go over very well.)
Jobs always wanted the best — whether it was design, or component prices. “If we were negotiating price for parts, we could negotiate a price with a vendor and at the last minute, Steve would come in and bang on the table and demand to get one more penny off. And of course they would give him one more penny off. Then he’d crow ‘well I see you didn’t do as good a job as you could’ve getting the price down.'”
Jobs is often portrayed as an intense personality, Scott said it was all for the best: “Steve just wants to be Steve. Steve’s never shy about telling you what he wants and where he stands. He’s very straightforward to deal with. Unlike other people that don’t tell you what they mean.”