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Steve Jobs by Ashton Kutcher


by A

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

Apple Computer Commercial, Narrated by Steve Jobs

INTRODUCTION: Friends & Gentle Readers: To celebrate the opening of the movie, JOBS, tomorrow, I am reposting my Cowbird Story from last year about a delightful lunch I had with Steve when he was already making history. I know that some of you have already seen this, but many of you are new to my audience, and will, I hope, enjoy it. The movie is getting generally good reviews, and from what I read, Ashton Kutcher does a formidable job, doing Jobs.

By some kindness of the Tech Gods, I had lunch some way time back with Steve Jobs.

We decided to meet at the Carlyle as it was not far from where we were both staying.

We were both early. I was there first.

“Hi!” he said, “I’m Steve!” smiling a big smile, a shock of raven black hair almost covering his eyes. He looked all of sixteen, but had already been on the cover of Time.

He shooed away the waiter, wanting to talk a bit first about a project I was working on involving cognitive science as it might be used in a computer program to teach thinking skills.
It was fascinating to watch him drill down into all the elements of brain function, artificial intelligence, how we think, what the value of such a program could be.
And then our discussion took off from there into the far reaches of digital technology, and what our cyber-future would look like.

It was clear that he had been thinking about this for a long time.
But some of what I was telling him was new information. He was like a kid with a new toy. “Wow!” he would say often. “Wow!”
I think we talked for at least an hour, and finally the waiter came back to take our order, letting us know that the dining room would be closing.

We both ordered fruit salad: watermelon, papaya, kiwis and some exotic fruits I did not recognize.

By now we were the only people left. The bespoke suits and x-ray thin Ladies Who Lunch had gone.

In the fancy dining room, with its lilies and white linen tablecloths, we looked out of place.

We were both in old jeans and sneakers. Steve wore his signature black turtleneck. I wore a safari jacket.
It was clear that he couldn’t care less what people thought.
Even back then I think he could have bought the hotel, if he had wanted to.

He was funny, attentive, intense as anyone I have ever talked to.

We laughed a lot. We got looks. He talked fast, as though he was trying to put several lifetimes into each hour.

Finally, the waiter insisted that we be on our way, treating us like college kids, with that particular arrogance that only New York waiters in 5 Star restaurants inflict on customers of whom they do not approve.

Steve paid cash, and we headed out to the street. He had a driver waiting.

“May I drop you off at your hotel?” And away we went.
As we drove, he asked me if I had seen “Cats.” I said no, I hadn’t.

He became completely animated. “Oh, you have to see “Cats.” You have to!”

I told him I had tried to get tickets, but without any luck.

“Oh, don’t worry about that. I have a guy in New Jersey who can get tickets to anything. I will have him send them over to you tomorrow.”

“Wow!” I said. We were just pulling up to the Plaza, where I was staying.

We got out, and started saying our good byes, with promises to keep in touch.

“Oh,” Steve said, just before getting back into the limo. “Just one more thing…”

I couldn’t wait to see what else he could think of. We had covered a great deal of ground.

“Just one more thing,” he repeated: “I will send my car for you so you don’t have to worry about all that. OK?”

“Wow!” I said. “Thanks so much.”

And then he was gone.
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