When Steve Jobs, one of the greatest tech innovators in the world, went to start Apple in 1976, a Silicon Valley advertising executive criticized him as a joker.
In 1976, Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak were looking for someone to print the manual for the Apple I computer and then Jobs' friend Regis McKenna suggested a small advertising agency owner named Mike Rose in Los Altos, California.
After speaking to Jobs, Rose wrote a small hand written note to his business partner, expressing concern over Jobs and his partner.
The note was later donated by Rose to the Silicon Valley Archives at Stanford in 1998 and it was reproduced by Bloomberg. In the note, Rose referred to Jobs as a joker.
The note, dated June 23, 1976, reads: This joker (attached) is going to be calling you. Somebody at Regis McKenna recommended us (you). They are 2 guys -- they build kits -- operate out of a garage -- want our catalog sheets. Wants it for nothing. Wouldhn't trust me. Told him we'd like to see what they've got -- we'd estimate -- then decide. Sounds flakey. Watch it!
The note also shows that Jobs was very concerned about secrecy. Wouldn't trust me. Told him we would like to see what they have got- we would estimate and then decide. Sounds Flaky. Watch it! Rose wrote.
The note is wonderful in part because it reveals how much Silicon Valley has changed in 35 years, Leslie Berlin, the author, wrote in the Bloomberg piece.
In 1976, two guys trying to launch a tech company from a garage in the heart of Silicon Valley were flakes. Today, someone in Rose's position might well ask for a piece of the action -- payment in the form of a small bit of stock, perhaps?