7 Things You Didn't Know About Steve Jobs From the Guy Who Designed the Original Mac

You may not know him, but that guy on the right is one of the most influential industrial designers in history, Apple's first Jonny Ive. He designed the original Apple Macintosh, a model that influenced generations to come and defined the all-in-one personal computer. It's a classic that sits today at the Museum of Modern Art in New York.

His name is Jerry Manock and he has some things to say about Steve Jobs.

He tells the fascinating anecdotes in a candid interview by Paula Routly for Seven Days. Manock, who was the external designer of the Apple II, the Apple III and the Apple disk II, started to work at Apple on the Macintosh after a consulting contract to create the first prototype, which was going to be manufactured in the same color as the Apple II, "Pantone 453, the color of the deep-space universe."

Steve Jobs fell in love with his first Mac design the same way he fell in love with Jon Ive's first iMac design. The rest is history:

Steve's out-of-the-blue thoughts on his career

Steve would say things like: "I was just thinking, in my career I could be the CEO of two or three billion-dollar companies." Apple had just started out, and there was no inkling of NeXT or Pixar.

Steve on market share

When somebody asked him what kind of market share he wanted, Steve was famous for saying, "I want it all. I want 100 percent."

7 Things You Didn't Know About Steve Jobs From the Guy Who Designed the Original Mac

"You're very good, but not that good."

Walking back from lunch one day, I said, Steve, you paid me $1800 for the Apple II, and it's getting to be more and more popular, and I really think I ought to have a royalty on that. I ought to get, like, a dollar a unit, because $1800 wasn't all that much. He never hesitated. He looked at me and said, "You're very good. But if you knew how many we thought we were going to sell in the next two or three years … You're not that good."

He didn't know how to interact

My belief is that he wanted interaction, but he was too young to really know how to ask for it. So I'd take a day or two to prepare, then go back to his office and say, "Steve, when you came by the other day, I wasn't able to tell you these things, but this is why I did what I did." He'd look at all of it and say, "OK, that's fine. That's great. Keep going."

He actually could be quite understanding

Steve invited 10,000 of his closest friends to the Apple III kickoff party - at Disneyland - and the computer started having intermittent problems. It would black out and come back on. Everybody was blaming it on my thermal management. Finally we realized it was the circuit board. It was the last one that Apple laid out by hand before the computer made sure the lines were straight. Steve called me into his office one day, and I was expecting to get fired because of all these Apple III problems. Instead of that, he said, "This was a big problem, and I'm really unhappy about it, but I'm not going to fire you. I want you to join Jef Raskin on his Macintosh team." That was the closest I ever came to getting fired.

Classic Jobs' email reply

When the iPhone came out, I sent Steve an email saying, "Why don't you just buy your own communications satellite to have a worldwide cell network. AT&T has the iPhone in Vermont, and we use Verizon. His response was: "Thank you, Jerry."

Looking back to the good old days

Mary Ellen and I went to California - it must have been 10 years ago. We went to the annual meeting, unannounced, and sat in the fourth row. The executive staff came onstage and they sat on their little stools, going through their business. Steve looked over at us and he did a double take. I thought, Well, that's really nice. He recognized us. At the end of the meeting, when they asked if there was any more business, Steve said, "I have some business." He said, "I just want to acknowledge Jerry Manock." And he told of our contribution, being on the Macintosh team. Everybody stood up. It was a standing ovation. He didn't have to do that.


Manock left Apple after founder Steve Jobs lost the power battle to Apple's CEO John Sculley. Make sure to read the whole—and long—interview at [Seven Days]

Jerry Manock photography by Andy Duback