Steve Jobs' Appointment With Destiny

Steve Jobs' Appointment With Destiny by Rosemary McKittrick

Photo courtesy of Julien's Auctions. 

As a teenager Steve Jobs the founder and CEO of Apple had two heroes; Bob Dylan, the singer-songwriter whose songs spoke to social issues like war and civil rights. Pablo Picasso, the world-famous artist was the other.

“He was the courageous fool who knew from a very early age that he had something to do in the world.”
— Chrisann Brennan, co-parent

Both men he said always shot the dice and were willing to risk failure in their work. Just like him. 

Jobs was a man driven to discover who he really was and at the same time change the world.   

“He was the courageous fool who knew from a very early age that he had something to do in the world,” said first love and co-parent Chrisann Brennan. “Steve went on to change everything he ever touched and the world has never been the same.” 

While still in his 20s’ in 1976 Jobs sold his VW van for $1,500 and partner Steve Wozniak sold his programmable calculator for $500 to start Apple. Wozniak saw himself as the engineer and Jobs as the businessman behind the engine.      

“I never wanted to deal with people and step on toes, but Steve could call up people he didn’t know and make them do things,” Wozniak recalled. He said Jobs could be rough on people he didn’t think were smart.  But he never treated Wozniak rudely.       

The Apple 1 circuit board was assembled on Jobs’s parents’ kitchen table, in his sister’s bedroom and in the family garage. 

When it came to designing Apple 11 Jobs decided it needed to have an attractive case and a built-in keyboard as well as be integrated end to end. It was the first fully packaged computer, eye-catching and easy to use. The Apple 11 went on the market in 1977 and was the fastest-selling personal computer in history at that time. 

The Apple 11 transformed Apple into a multi-million dollar business. 

In 1980, shares in Apple Computer Inc., went public with the biggest launch since Ford Motor Company and earned Jobs $250 million overnight.

A shock to say the least for the entrepreneur.

“You run out of things to buy real quick,” he said.

Jobs had a reputation for sticking his nose into every aspect of a project. In 1985 Apple’s board of directors decided the company would be better off without Jobs and forced him out.  After being on the outs for 10 years with Jobs Apple was in trouble and he was invited back. 

Keep computers clean and simple was Jobs’s operating principle. In 1998 he launched the IMac.  Another home run for him, it went on to become one of the most popular computers of all time.  Then came the iPod in 2001.  In 2003 the online iTunes store began to sell digital music downloads.  It changed the way people bought music. By 2011 about 300 million iPods had sold.    

Jobs’s bad temper and perfectionism was well documented. When things went wrong his co-workers often got slammed.  But his work ethic also inspired fierce loyalty. 

Jobs died of a rare form of cancer in August of 2011. 

“With Steve Jobs there was a guy at the beginning and end of every project who had the authority to say, “This sucks. Start over,” said blogger Philip Elmer-Dewitt. And they started over. 

On Sept. 24 a selection of Steve Jobs personal items went on the block at Julien’s Auctions.

Steve Jobs

Versace Shirt; striped; $1,600.

Turtleneck; NeXT; black; company logo printed on front; Size XL; $2,880.

Bow Tie; maroon and white polka dot; Size 13 ¾; $4,062.

Baume & Mercier Gold Watch; 18K; $18,750.

Leather Jacket; worn; Wilkes Bashford; brown; $22,400.


Rosemary McKittrick is a storyteller.  For 26 years she has brought the world of collecting to life in her column.  Her website is a mother lode of information about art, antiques and collectibles.  Rosemary received her education in the trenches working as a professional appraiser.

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