1984 Was Almost Killed by Apple’s Board

Rich blogs about the story that the famous 1984 Apple commercial was almost killed by Apples board:

Chiat/Day defied Sculley and only sold the thirty second spot.

Steve Wozniak, who was still friends with Jobs at the time, heard about the board’s refusal to support the adfrom Jobs, who also showed it to him. Wozniak loved the ad and offered to pay for the spot personally if Jobs was unable to get Apple to air the ad.

then goes on to note:

Amazing. The ad agency ignores the CEO’s instructions, and Woz the founder steps in to offer to pay for the ad out of his own pocket if they don’t run it. That’s so cool…

Popular history remembers successful efforts being destined for greatness from the start. But there’s usually a messier story behind the scenes.

This reminds me of a story my grandfather told me when I was a boy.

He was a classic Engineer. His last project was the Pioneer UAV that ended up flying in Dessert Storm.

One day I asked him about the hardest project he had ever worked on.

In no time flat he said “the buss shuttle outside AAI“.

“What? Why?”, I said. “A buss shuttle seems easy!”

His answer was illuminating for a 10 year old.

“Because it was designed by committee. When I engineer anything complex there are only a few people qualified to give any insightful feedback. When you have to design a bus shuttle everyone has their $0.02.”



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