In the eighties we had our own business in headhunting for advertising agencies in Toronto, Canada.
One of our best clients was an agency called Scali, McCabe, Sloves out of New York and they had the Apple account in the early days and they were working with Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak. This was a very exciting and demanding account and everyone had to learn quickly and on the run. I remember even the then Media Director of the agency took apart a Macintosh computer and put it back together again so she totally understood the product. Naturally, there was a team on this fact moving account from account executives, account supervisors, account directors to the creative team and creative director. The creative team was made up of a writer and an art director and this art director was an original member of the agencies start up team. The writer came from an obscure agency in Montreal but was hired immediately on his enormous talent and capacity for original thought.
The writer and the art director had their differences and things deteriorated between them. When the creative director had to make a decision between his longtime partner and the new kid he said to me: “the art director works on Apple – the writer IS Apple”. It was a painful decision but turned out to be the right one and the relationship between the agency and Apple grew and flourished.
Scali, McCabe, Sloves also went through the hiring of John Scully and the subsequent firing of Steve Jobs which he spoke about in his address in 2005 to Stanford University’s graduating class. This was a disastrous time for all but all parties did finally bounce back.
Naturally, when it was time for me to get a computer in my office it was a Macintosh and is was signed by Steven Jobs. I remember how excited I was when I first was able to write and print a letter and even more excited when we got a program for our accounting.
Our new computer soon became the center of our business and we fought to use it with other members of the staff. Just think everyone now has their own ipad and I also loved the Apple ibook.
The Apple Store revolutionized the way people bought computers, and then iphone, ipods, and ipads and now the new iphone 4S. It was easy and efficient. I think that is what people like about Apple products. They are user friendly and teach you how to use these products in the blink of an eye.
My friends at Scali, McCabe, Sloves spoke of Steve Jobs in hushed tones always as they knew they were in the presence of greatness and I am very appreciative that many Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak stories were shared with me.
This morning Twitter actually froze with all the tributes to Steve Jobs. He will be missed as the greatest innovator and marketer in history. His message to you is to do something you love and you will be successful. Understand you will die and ask yourself every day: “If this was your last day on earth – is this the way you would want to spend it?” If not, then make a change.
It was also our friend, Neitzsche, who once said: “The highest form of creativity is being able to evaluate one’s life and make change”. Steve Jobs had then the highest form of creativity and the world is much better place because he walked the earth from 1955- 2011. He will be missed.