The technology writer Steven Levy, who was then working for

The technology writer Steven Levy, who was then working for Rolling Stone, came to

interview Jobs, who urged him to convince the magazine’s publisher to put the Macintosh

team on the cover of the magazine. “The chances of Jann Wenner agreeing to displace Sting in

 

favor of a bunch of computer nerds were approximately one in a googolplex,” Levy thought,

correctly. Jobs took Levy to a pizza joint and pressed the case: Rolling Stone was “on the ropes,

running crummy articles, looking desperately for new topics and new audiences. The Mac could

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.

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