Sunday, October 23, 2011

Knowing Steve Jobs

Dick Cavett wrote: “Un-self-forgivably, I failed to keep up our friendship from those days. Why do we do anything so dumb? (Or, if you don’t, why do I?)”.
by Charlie Leck

It must have been in ’83 or very early in ’84 that I began hearing about a new computer that Apple was going to bring out. The two whiz kids, Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak, had sold an awful lot of Apple computers in a few years. We had one in our home – the Apple IIe – and it was enormous fun. I wandered through the skyways in downtown Minneapolis and built up the courage to walk into my father-in-law’s bank and I asked to see our portfolio manager. We ended up have lunch together and I talked him into selling some stock that was just idling along in order to buy some Apple shares.

Two years later, that stock had increased pretty significantly and I thought it was time for some profit-taking. “Sell!”

I should have stuck with those two kids and I would have survived the little ups and downs they had. I could have watched Apple grow from a garage to the biggest company in America (officially announced in 2011).

Oh, my! I’ve read a lot about Steve Jobs in this last week. He was too young and too cool to die. That never seems to matter, does it?

Of all the reading I’ve done, nothing’s been better than Dick Cavett’s touching blog, Tough Sell! [Read the Dick Cavett blog here!] Within the blog you can see one of the earliest commercials Cavett did for the Apple II computer.

Cavett’s as good a writer as he was a talk-show host and comedian. He writes of meeting Jobs – having lunch with him really – and doing some work for him. Jobs would call from time to time and always sent the newest computer. But, Cavett didn’t keep in touch and the possible friendship never developed as it should have.

“Un-self-forgivably, I failed to keep up our friendship from those days. Why do we do anything so dumb? (Or, if you don’t, why do I?)”

“…God, how I wish I’d kept in touch. So many subjects I’d love to have talked to him about; imminent death and how to deal with it not the least of them. Picturing Steve, I can still feel the intelligence that shone out from those eyes.

And I? One little bump in the road and I went and sold that stock! I can still remember that portfolio manager’s words: “I think you should hold on to it. It wouldn’t be that great a loss if it tanks, but the upside could be enormous!”

Why do we do such dumb things? (Or, if you don’t, why do I?)


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