1976 letter calls 21-year-old Steve Jobs a hard bargaining, secretive 'joker'


When a 21-year-old Steve Jobs was starting his Apple’s empire, he was met with skepticism in Silicon Valley. The handwritten note, brought to light this week by Bloomberg, was written by  Mike Rose, who ran an advertising agency in Los Altos, Calif., in 1976, and where he expressed concern over Jobs and his partner, Steve Wozniak, who he felt were "flakey" after having met them. In the letter, Rose referred to Jobs as a "joker." When a young man, Jobs displayed some of the same characteristics that would eventually become known around the world.

Rose noted that Jobs looked like a secretive men, who "wouldn't trust" him. Rose and Jobs met because he needed someone to print the manual for the Apple I computer, the first product he and Wozniak had created.

"The note is wonderful in part because it reveals how much Silicon Valley has changed in 35 years," wrote author Leslie Berlin. "In 1976, two guys trying to launch a tech company from a garage in the heart of Silicon Valley were flakes. Today, someone in Rose's position might well ask for a piece of the action -- payment in the form of a small bit of stock, perhaps?"

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Written by Svetlana Osipova

Saturday, December 24, 2011. 22:18

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