Untold stories about Steve Jobs: Hiding the Porsches, making Gates wait, and more

“There are plenty of ‘Steve’ stories that you haven’t heard around, and a year after Jobs’ death on Oct. 5 at the age of 56, a few friends and colleagues shared their memories of the technology industry’s most notable luminary,” Connie Guglielmo reports for Forbes. “Software engineer Randy Adams initially turned down Steve Jobs’ offer to work at NeXT, the computer company started by Jobs after his ouster from Apple. It was 1985. Adams wasn’t ready to go back to work after selling his pioneering desktop software publishing company. Within a few days Jobs was on Adams’ answering machine. ‘You’re blowing it, Randy. This is the opportunity of a lifetime, and you’re blowing it.’ Adams reconsidered.”

“Adams, using some of the cash he’d earned from the sale of his company, bought a Porsche 911 at the same time Jobs did,” Guglielmo reports. “To avoid car-door dings, they parked near each other–taking up three parking spaces between them. One day Jobs rushed over to Adams’ cubicle and told him they had to move the cars.”

Guglielmo reports, “‘“I said, ‘‘Why?,’ and he said, ‘Randy, we have to hide the Porsches. Ross Perot is coming by and thinking of investing in the company, and we don’t want him to think we have a lot of money.” They moved the cars around to the back of NeXT’s offices in Palo Alto, Calif. and Perot invested $20 million in the company in 1987 and took a seat on the board.”

Read more in the full article, including how Jobs purposely left Bill Gates waiting in the NeXT lobby for an hour, here.

MacDailyNews Take: We miss you, Steve!


  1. If there is anything at all that makes me smile just a little when thinking about the upcoming anniversary of Steve’s death, it’s the fact that the first ever Beatles single was released exactly 50 years ago on the very same day, Oct. 5th. It’s fitting =)

    I do love Steve stories, even the ones people in general may view as negative. (Honestly, I’m probably one of the few who read his biography and wasn’t terribly upset about anything in it…) The article was great, had me chuckling quite a bit!

    1. No, he told the board it was him or Sculley and they chose Sculley. He may have left of his own accord, but they voted knowing he would leave. That’s what happens when banksters run your company. They chose the guy who sold knockoff sugar-water (Pepsi- a.k.a. fake Coke) because he had the Ivy League degree and an M.B.A.

      1. Actually, at the time, Steve was running Apple into the ground. The Lemmings ad was the final straw. Sculley rightfully had Steve fired. Read Apple history before you speak.

        1. Maybe. But my impression is he wanted to pretty much what he actually did do as soon as he returned to Apple in 1998, but the board didn’t agree with him and let him do it:

          He wanted to concentrate on the Mac, and not milk old products that weren’t going anywhere.

          He wanted to make things easier to use.

          He wanted to reduce the price of computers (he didn’t want to sell the Mac for 4000).

          He wanted to think about networking and universal standards in an office environment and not stick to proprietary cables and protocols.

          He wanted outstanding design in all aspects of Apple products.

      2. In these stand-offs between the entrepreneur and the marketing guy, I tend to find the Schmooze Factor wins. This of course is self-destructive and puts the company on the roller coaster to demise. The end of the roller coaster was the $1 Billion in warehoused, unsold Mac Performas due to Marketing-As-Management mayhem.

        But let’s be clear: Jobs was NOT fired or let go or forced out blahblahblah. He was assigned to an obscure office with no clear purpose in the company. The end. He then decided, all by himself, to leave Apple. He wasn’t pushed, etc. All claims to the contrary are mere invention and/or ignorance. And of course, this totally WRONG RUMOR will go on forever and ever because we all enjoy DRAMA over reality. 😛

  2. If Steve left Gates sitting there for an hour, Ballmer would probably still be sitting there waiting when the janitors came to clean. It appears Ballmer is in the dark a lot anyway, he probably wouldn’t notice.

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