Fall of 1983: Steve Jobs Introduces Macintosh to Us

Anya Major, the “woman with hammer” in Apple’s famous 1984 commercial launching the Macintosh

My 83 year old Dad often tells stories about a mason from Europe, George Dohmeyer, who worked on the house my late grandparents built in 1950. My Dad tells one story about him walking up to the front of the being-built house and asking Mr. Dohmeyer, “Why are you placing that foundation for the steps down so deep?“”  He replied, “We’re in Minnesota, Bill, and the freeze-thaw cycles will move and crack these steps some day if I don’t do that, and you could come back here 50 years from now and these steps will not have moved an inch.

You guessed it probably. Stopping by recently, it was amazing to see that those steps had NOT MOVED AN INCH IN OVER 50 YEARS. I’m telling those stories to my son now so HE understands that “doing it right” and with quality — even if people don’t see the care you’re putting into it — matters.

Bill Gates (Microsoft); Mitch Kapor (Lotus 1-2-3); Fred Gibbons (Software Publishing)

Since I saw Steve Jobs introduce the Mac to company sales personnel in Hawaii in 1983, the essence he’s brought to Apple is the subtlety and nuance of an approach to design and of quality to Apple, PIXAR and undoubtedly to his family and friends, and is a legacy that will endure forever.

The Mac, OS X, the tools, and everything else he has wrought have empowered people like me to create businesses (our core company publication is 21 years old thanks to my Mac SE/Laserwriter and Pagemaker) and continue to be able to deliver high value content and communications.

In honor of Steve Job’s letter today (explaining why he won’t be at Macworld) and in honor of tomorrow’s Macworld keynote by Phil Schiller, I bring you two videos from Steve’s intro of the Macintosh to the company in October November of 1983….and I was there!

This man’s vision has brought us so much and, I suspect, will bring us much more, starting tomorrow morning.

This was the faux “Dating Game” with Fred Gibbons, Mitch Kapor and Bill Gates. Many don’t remember Fred, CEO of Software Publishing, but the other two were an important duo supporting this new computer.

About Steve Borsch

I'm CEO of Marketing Directions, Inc., a trend forecasting, consulting and publishing firm in Minnesota. Prior to that I was Vice President, Strategic Alliances at Lawson Software in St. Paul where I was responsible for all partnerships at this major vendor of enterprise resource planning software products and services. Read more about me here unless you're already weary of me telling you how incredible and awesome I am.

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