“Steve and I first met during his visit to Xerox Parc in 1979 at the urging of some of his computer people to see what we’d been doing for the previous 8 years,” Alan Kay writes for Quora. “This subsequently formed the basis of the Lisa and the Mac a few years later (the Mac was done in 1984, 11 years after the more powerful and capable Parc Alto, which started working in 1973).”
“Later, I was chief scientist of Atari for a few years (81–84), and Steve and I would periodically have lunch. The last year of Atari was a collapse and I eventually accepted Steve’s invitation to come to Apple. In 1984, Time or Newsweek asked me my opinion of the Macintosh, and I said ‘“The Mac is the first personal computer good enough to be criticized’ …Steve and I remained friends (I was the go-between that brought him together with the people who were to become Pixar),” Kay writes. “I think he invited me to the 2007 iPhone unveiling partly because it was kind of a tiny ‘Dynabook’ — and he had always wanted to do one — and partly because he was going to use a quote of mine that he had always taken to heart ‘People who are really serious about software should make their own hardware.'”
“After the event[,] He brought the iPhone to me, put it in my hands, and asked: ‘Alan, is this good enough to be criticized?,'” Kay writes. “My reply was to make a shape with my hands the size of an iPad: ‘Steve, make it this size and you’ll rule the world.’ When the iPhone had been revealed a few minutes earlier I realized that they must already have done an iPad/Dynabook-like machine (easier) and that the “iPhone first” must have been a marketing/timing decision.”
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MacDailyNews Take: Alan is obviously a genius and inspired Steve Jobs more than once.
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