This is my story of working with Steve. I am not, have never been, and will never be a fanboy. I want people to see him from another perspective, a day-to-day view – a Steve who sweated like the rest of us.
One of the reasons for writing this book is to show him in a light different from the one shown on him by others. I saw Steve as no one else did. I enjoyed a relationship a few of us, some lucky, some unlucky, had with him. This is just one of many stories. I just took the trouble of documenting it.
Whenever I relate some of the anecdotes I question my sanity. While though in Facebook parlance, I was somewhere between an acquaintance and a friend, how did I, some puke immigrant from Quebec, manage to weasel my way to the seat of power, to the altar of the holiest of holies—to Steve Jobs? What did I do to deserve this?
I worked with Steve long enough that he knew my name, he knew my number, and he used it.
I was his sales rep.
There is so much about Steve Jobs and his influence on our lives, that I thought it important to get these my experiences with Steve documented for posterity, if only to give another facet of someone who knew him, or to reinforce (or contradict) current thinking about “Steve.”
Others who have written about Steve had a writer–Steve relationship with him: I had a sales rep / client relationship. When speaking with me, he didn’t have his guard up. I wasn’t going to write a book, positive or negative. I was not judgmental. I collected the royalties, helped negotiate the contracts, and took care of special requests. I catered to his every Adobe need, every need within reason.
When speaking with me about business, all he cared about was the meaning of IP and his relative position versus the intellectual property I represented. Jobs had a unique relationship with IP, he understood it for what it was, building blocks and Eli Whitney interchangeable parts. All Steve cared about was the meaning of Intellectual Property (IP) and the implications of licensing software for the NeXTStep operating system.
This is what this book is about, the rank and raw importance of IP in our business and thus our world. I hope each page celebrates that.
I first wrote this book one in October 2015, before the release of Sorkin Steve Jobs movie. I thought I could capture the movie’s buzz and success and sell some books at the same time.
I may have sold to Steve, but I sure as hell didn’t sell the book that well. The movie bombed and the book remained in a closet, available only on Amazon kindle and purposely overpriced for its 49 pages.
I was also worried about being “tainted” by any media about Steve, especially a movie. When my brain thinks about Steve, I see Steve, not an actor trying to be Steve – I don’t need a faux steve clouding what little is left of my grey matter.
So, with the help of a friend who copy edited my slim draft, we rushed it to market.
A year later, like millions of other, I have yet to see it, or an other movie, on the life of Steve Jobs. Reality was enough. Why taint a good thing.
And so, my relationship with Steve remains intact in my head.
Many of us (in my first draft I has said “all”) have a personal relationship with a chosen deity. In the same way, our times have domestic deities. Steve is among them.
Many of us now have our personal relationship with Steve, be it through iTunes, our phones, or our computers (or whatever the Apple brand pitches).
My relationship with Steve was different from any other, and that is the perspective I want to give you – as a sales rep working with Steve.
There was no time nor place for worship. I was a sales rep, not a fanboy. I knew who Steve was, but that could not and did not matter.
Knowing Steve never retired any quota.
Mine was a relationship that he had with a few handful of people scattered on this earth – the people who sold him the clay from which he sculpted his visions – the sales guys – the men and women who sold to Steve.
There are many people who will try to sell you a book, telling you how to sell like Steve, how to make your product in His Image.
This book is not for you.
There are three basics to selling to steve and they deal with typing, making copies, and channeling fear.
If that’s all you want from me, steal my book, you’ve read far enough. There is nothing more to see here but some anecdotes linked with clichés.
It’s about the basics – mainly being there in heart and soul, ready to type, copy, and fear only yourself.
Let’s be clear – I am no hero. Unless you’ve put yourself in danger to save others, you are likely no hero.
When I met Steve, he was no hero. Steve was in exile.