It seemed natural that Mr. Patel’s story should be toldmostly

It seemed natural that Mr. Patel’s story should be toldmostly in the

first person – in his voice and through hiseyes. But

any inaccuracies or mistakes are mine.

I have a few people to thank. I am most obviouslyindebted to Mr.

Patel. My gratitude to him is as boundlessas the Pacific Ocean and I

hope that my telling of his taledoes not disappoint him. For getting


me started on thestory, I have Mr. Adirubasamy to thank. For helping

mecomplete it, I am grateful to three officials of exemplaryprofessionalism:

Mr. Kazuhiko Oda, lately of the JapaneseEmbassy in Ottawa; Mr. Hiroshi


Watanabe, of OikaShipping Company; and, especially, Mr. Tomohiro

Okamoto,of the Japanese Ministry of Transport, now retired. As forthe


spark of life, I owe it to Mr. Moacyr Scliar. Lastly, Iwould like to express

my sincere gratitude to that greatinstitution, the Canada Council for the

Arts, without whosegrant I could not have brought together this story


that hasnothing to do with Portugal in 1939. If we, citizens, do notsupport

our artists, then we sacrifice our imagination onthe altar of crude reality

and we end up believing innothing and having worthless dreams.


One of Jobs’s great strengths was knowing how to focus. “Deciding what

not to do is as important as deciding what to do,” he said. “That’s true

for companies, and it’s true for products.”


He went to work applying this principle as soon as he returned to Apple.

One day he was walking the halls and ran into a young Wharton School

graduate who had been Amelio’s assistant and who said he was wrapping


up his work. “Well, good, because I need someone to do grunt work,” Jobs

told him. His new role was to take notes as Jobs met with the dozens of

product teams at Apple, asked them to explain what they were doing,


and forced them

to justify going

ahead with their

products or projects.

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You must askhim all the questions you want.”Later, in Toronto

You must askhim all the questions you want.”Later, in Toronto, among

nine columns of Patels in thephone book, I found him, the main character.

My heartpounded as I dialed his phone number. The voice thatanswered


had an Indian lilt to its Canadian accent, lightbut unmistakable, like a trace

of incense in the air. “Thatwas a very long time ago,” he said.

Yet he agreed to meet.

We met many times. He showed me the diary he keptduring the events.

He showed me the yellowed newspaperclippings that made him briefly,

obscurely famous. He toldme his story. All the while I took notes. Nearly a


yearlater, after considerable difficulties, I received a tape and areport from

the Japanese Ministry of Transport. It was as Ilistened to that tape that

I agreed with Mr. Adirubasamythat this was, indeed, a story to make you believe in God.


Jobs disagreed. He telephoned Ed Woolard to say he was getting Apple out

of the licensing business. The board acquiesced, and in September he reached


a deal to pay Power Computing $100 million to relinquish its license and give

Apple access to its database of customers. He soon terminated the licenses of


the other cloners as well. “It was the dumbest thing in the world to let

companies making crappier hardware use our operating system and cut


into our sales,”

he later said.


Line Review

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God?””Yes.””That’s a tall order.””Not so tall that you can’t reach.”

God?””Yes.””That’s a tall order.””Not so tall that you can’t reach.”My waiter appeared.

I hesitated for a moment. I orderedtwo coffees. We introduced ourselves.

His name was FrancisAdirubasamy. “Please tell me your story,” I said.

“You must pay proper attention,” he replied.
“I will.” I brought out pen and notepad.
“Tell me, have you been to the botanical garden?” heasked.

“I went yesterday.””Didyou notice the toy train tracks?””Yes, I did.””A train

still runs on Sundays for the amusement of thechildren. But it used to run

twice an hour every day. Didyou take note of the names of the stations?””One


is called Roseville. It’s right next to the rosegarden.””That’s right. And the

other?””I don’t remember.””The sign was taken down. The other station was

oncecalled Zootown. The toy train had two stops: Roseville andZootown.


Once upon a time there was a zoo in thePondicherry Botanical Garden.”He

went on. I took notes, the elements of the story. “Youmust talk to him,”

he said, of the main character. “I knewhim very, very well. He’s a grown man now.


So upon his return to Apple he made killing the Macintosh clones a priority.

When a new version of the Mac operating system shipped in July 1997,

weeks after he had helped oust Amelio, Jobs did not allow the clone makers


to upgrade to it. The head of Power Computing, Stephen “King” Kahng,

organized pro-cloning protests when Jobs appeared at Boston Macworld that

August and publicly warned that the Macintosh OS would die if Jobs declined

to keep licensing it out. “If the platform goes closed, it is over,”


Kahng said. “

Total destruction.

Closed is the

kiss of death.”

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One of his motivating passions was to build a lasting company

One of his motivating passions was to build a lasting company. At age twelve,

when he got a summer job at Hewlett-Packard, he learned that a properly run

company could spawn innovation far more than any single creative individual.

“I discovered that the best innovation is sometimes the company, the way you


organize a company,” he recalled. “The whole notion of how you build a company

is fascinating. When I got the chance to come back to Apple, I realized that

I would be useless without the company, and that’s why I decided to stay and rebuild it.”

Killing the Clones


One of the great debates about Apple was whether it should have licensed its

operating system more aggressively to other computer makers, the way Microsoft

licensed Windows. Wozniak had favored that approach from the beginning.


“We had the most beautiful operating system,” he said, “but to get it you had

to buy our hardware at twice the price. That was a mistake. What we should

have done was calculate an appropriate price to license the operating system.”


Alan Kay, the star of Xerox PARC who came to Apple as a fellow in 1984, also

fought hard for licensing the Mac OS software. “Software people are always

multiplatform, because you want to run on everything,” he recalled. “And

that was a huge battle, probably the largest battle I lost at Apple.”


After my writing day was over, I would go for walks inthe rolling hills of the tea estates.
Unfortunately, the novel sputtered, coughed and died. Ithappened in Matheran,

not far from Bombay, a small hillstation with some monkeys but no tea estates.

It’s a miserypeculiar to would-be writers. Your theme is good, as areyour sentences.


Your characters are so ruddy with life theypractically need birth certificates. The plot

you’ve mappedout for them is grand, simple and gripping. You’ve doneyour research,

gathering the facts – historical, social,climatic, culinary – that will give your story its


feel ofauthenticity.

The dialogue zips

along, crackling

with tension.

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“They speak a funny Englishin India. They like words like

“They speak a funny Englishin India. They like words like bamboozle.” I remembered

hiswords as my plane started its descent towards Delhi, so theword bamboozle was

my one preparation for the rich, noisy,functioning madness of India. I used the


word on occasion,and truth be told, it served me well. To a clerk at a trainstation I said,

“I didn’t think the fare would be soexpensive. You’re, not trying to bamboozle me, are

you?” Hesmiled and chanted, “No sir! There is no bamboozlementhere. I have quoted


you the correct fare.”This second time to India I knew better what to expectand I knew

what I wanted: I would settle in a hill stationand write my novel. I had visions of myself

sitting at atable on a large veranda, my notes spread out in front ofme next to a


steaming cup of tea. Green hills heavy withmists would lie at my feet and the shrill

cries of monkeyswould fill my ears. The weather would be just right,requiring a light

sweater mornings and evenings, andsomething short-sleeved midday. Thus set up,


pen in hand,for the sake of greater truth, I would turn Portugal into afiction. That’s

what fiction is about, isn’t it, the selectivetransforming of reality? The twisting of it

to bring out itsessence? What need did I have to go to Portugal?

The lady who ran the place would tell me stories aboutthe struggle to boot the

British out. We would agree onwhat I was to have for lunch and supper the next day.


Despite the grueling schedule, the more that Jobs immersed himself in Apple, the more

he realized that he would not be able to walk away. When Michael Dell was asked at a

computer trade show in October 1997 what he would do if he were Steve Jobs and


taking over Apple, he replied, “I’d shut it down and give the money back to the

shareholders.” Jobs fired off an email to Dell. “CEOs are supposed to have class,”

it said. “I can see that isn’t an opinion you hold.” Jobs liked to stoke up rivalries as


a way to rally his team—he had done so with IBM and Microsoft—and he did so

with Dell. When he called together his managers to institute a build-to-order

system for manufacturing and distribution, Jobs used as a backdrop a blown-up

picture of Michael Dell with a target on his face.


“We’re coming after

you, buddy,”

he said to cheers

from his troops.

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It was rough, really rough, the worst time in my life. I had a young

It was rough, really rough, the worst time in my life. I had a young family. I had Pixar.

I would go to work at 7 a.m. and I’d get back at 9 at night, and the kids would be in bed.

And I couldn’t speak, I literally couldn’t, I was so exhausted. I couldn’t speak to Laurene.

All I could do was watch a half hour of TV and vegetate. It got close to killing me. I was


driving up to Pixar and down to Apple in a black Porsche convertible, and I started to get

kidney stones. I would rush to the hospital and the hospital would give me a shot of


Demerol in the butt and eventually I would pass it.This book was born as I was hungry.

Let me explain. Inthe spring of 1996, my second book, a novel, came out inCanada.

It didn’t fare well. Reviewers were puzzled, ordamned it with faint praise. Then readers ignored it.

Despite my best efforts at playing the clown or the trapezeartist, the media circus made no

difference. The book didnot move. Books lined the shelves of bookstores like kidsstanding

in a row to play baseball or soccer, and mine wasthe gangly, unathletic kid that


no one wanted on theirteam. It vanished quickly and quietly.
The fiasco did not affect me too much. I had alreadymoved on to

another story, a novel set in Portugal in 1939.
Only I was feeling restless. And I had a little money.

So I flew to Bombay. This is not so illogical if yourealize three things: that a stint in

India will beat therestlessness out of any living creature; that a little moneycan go

a long way there; and that a novel set in Portugalin


1939 may have very little to do with Portugal in 1939.
I had been to India before, in the north, for five months.
On that first trip I had come to the subcontinent completelyunprepared.

Actually, I had a preparation of one word.
When I told a friend


who knew the

country well

of mytravel plans,

he said casually,

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That week he gathered his top managers and staff in the Apple

That week he gathered his top managers and staff in the Apple auditorium

for a rally, followed by a picnic featuring beer and vegan food, to celebrate

his new role and the company’s new ads. He was wearing shorts, walking


around the campus barefoot, and had a stubble of beard. “I’ve been back

about ten weeks, working really hard,” he said, looking tired but deeply

determined. “What we’re trying to do is not highfalutin. We’re trying to get


back to the basics of great products, great marketing, and great distribution.

Apple has drifted away from doing the basics really well.”

For a few more weeks Jobs and the board kept looking for a permanent CEO.


Various names surfaced—George M. C. Fisher of Kodak, Sam Palmisano at

IBM, Ed Zander at Sun Microsystems—but most of the candidates were


understandably reluctant to consider becoming CEO if Jobs was going to remain

an active board member. The San Francisco Chronicle reported that Zander declined

to be considered because he “didn’t want Steve looking over his shoulder,


second-guessing him on every decision.” At one point Jobs and Ellison pulled

a prank on a clueless computer consultant who was campaigning for the job; they

sent him an email saying that he had been selected, which caused both amusement

and embarrassment when stories appeared in the papers


that they were just toying with him.

By December it had become clear that Jobs’s iCEO status had evolved from

interim to indefinite. As Jobs continued to run the company, the board quietly

deactivated its search. “I went back to Apple and tried to hire a CEO, with the help


of a recruiting agency, for almost four months,” he recalled. “But they didn’t

produce the right people. That’s why I finally stayed. Apple

was in no shape to attract anybody good.”

The problem Jobs faced was that running two companies was brutal.


Looking back on it,

he traced his

health problems

back to those days:

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Very few other companies or corporate leaders—perhaps none

Very few other companies or corporate leaders—perhaps none—could have

gotten away with the brilliant audacity of associating their brand with Gandhi,

Einstein, Picasso, and the Dalai Lama. Jobs was able to encourage people to


define themselves as anticorporate, creative, innovative rebels simply by the

computer they used. “Steve created the only lifestyle brand in the tech industry,”

Larry Ellison said. “There are cars people are proud to have—Porsche, Ferrari,


Prius—because what I drive says something about me. People feel

the same way about an Apple product.”

Starting with the “Think Different” campaign, and continuing through the rest

of his years at Apple, Jobs held a freewheeling three-hour meeting every


Wednesday afternoon with his top agency, marketing, and communications

people to kick around messaging strategy. “There’s not a CEO on the planet

who deals with marketing the way Steve does,” said Clow. “Every Wednesday he


approves each new commercial, print ad, and billboard.” At the end of the

meeting, he would often take Clow and his two agency colleagues, Duncan

Milner and James Vincent, to Apple’s closely guarded design studio to see


what products were in the works. “He gets very passionate and emotional

when he shows us what’s in development,” said Vincent. By sharing with his

marketing gurus his passion for the products as they were being created,


he was able to ensure that almost every ad they produced was infused with his emotion.


As he was finishing work on the “Think Different” ad, Jobs did some different

thinking of his own. He decided that he would officially take over running the


company, at least on a temporary basis. He had been the de facto leader since

Amelio’s ouster ten weeks earlier, but only as an advisor. Fred Anderson had the

titular role of interim CEO. On September 16, 1997, Jobs announced that he would


take over that title, which inevitably got abbreviated as iCEO. His commitment was

tentative: He took no salary and signed no contract. But he was not tentative


in his actions.

He was in charge,

and he did not

rule by consensus.

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The narration by Richard Dreyfuss worked well, but Lee Clow had

The narration by Richard Dreyfuss worked well, but Lee Clow had another idea.

What if Jobs did the voice-over himself? “You really believe this,” Clow told him.

“You should do it.” So Jobs sat in a studio, did a few takes, and soon produced a


voice track that everyone liked. The idea was that, if they used it, they would not

tell people who was speaking the words, just as they didn’t caption the iconic pictures.

Eventually people would figure out it was Jobs. “This will be really powerful to


have it in your voice,” Clow argued. “It will be a way to reclaim the brand.”

Jobs couldn’t decide whether to use the version with his voice or to stick with

Dreyfuss. Finally, the night came when they had to ship the ad; it was due to air,


appropriately enough, on the television premiere of Toy Story. As was often the

case, Jobs did not like to be forced to make a decision. He told Clow to ship both

versions; this would give him until the morning to decide. When morning came,


Jobs called and told them to use the Dreyfuss version. “If we use my voice, when

people find out they will say it’s about me,” he told Clow. “It’s not. It’s about Apple.”

Ever since he left the apple commune, Jobs had defined himself, and by extension


Apple, as a child of the counterculture. In ads such as “Think Different” and “1984,”

he positioned the Apple brand so that it reaffirmed his own rebel streak, even after

he became a billionaire, and it allowed other baby boomers and their kids to do the

same. “From when I first met him as a young guy, he’s had the greatest intuition


of the impact

he wants his

brand to have on

people,” said Clow.

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Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The

Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers.

The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently.

They’re not fond of rules. And they have no respect for the status quo.


You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them. About the

only thing you can’t do is ignore them. Because they change things. They

push the human race forward. And while some may see them as the crazy

ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough

In order to evoke the spirit of Dead Poets Society, Clow and Jobs wanted to

get Robin Williams to read the narration. His agent said that Williams didn’t

do ads, so Jobs tried to call him directly. He got through to Williams’s wife,

who would not let him talk to the actor because she knew how persuasive

he could be. They also considered Maya Angelou and Tom Hanks. At a

fund-raising dinner featuring Bill Clinton that fall, Jobs pulled the president

aside and asked him to telephone Hanks to talk him into it, but the

president pocket-vetoed the request. They ended up with Richard

Dreyfuss, who was a dedicated Apple fan.


to think they can change the world are the ones who do.

Jobs, who could identify with each of those sentiments, wrote some of the

lines himself, including “They push the human race forward.” By the time of


the Boston Macworld in early August, they had produced a rough version.

They agreed it was not ready, but Jobs used the concepts, and the “think

different” phrase, in his keynote speech there. “There’s a germ of a brilliant


idea there,” he said at the time. “Apple is about people who think outside

the box, who want to use computers to help them change the world.”

They debated the grammatical issue: If “different” was supposed to modify


the verb “think,” it should be an adverb, as in “think differently.” But Jobs

insisted that he wanted “different” to be used as a noun, as in “think victory”


or “think beauty.” Also, it echoed colloquial use, as in “think big.” Jobs later

explained, “We discussed whether it was correct before we ran it. It’s grammatical,


if you think about what we’re trying to say. It’s not think the same, it’s

think different. Think a little different, think a lot different,


think different.

‘Think differently’

wouldn’t hit the

meaning for me.”

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