Working for Steve Jobs

I joined Apple as a writer early 2000, just after the launch of iTools (later .Mac, now MobileMe, and soon to become iCloud). I left in 2006, after working on .Mac and the iTunes Music Store.

My favorite picture of Steve Jobs from May 2003, the launch of the iTunes Music Store.

I loved every day of that job, and left for reasons that had nothing to do with Apple but a lot to do with my family and my life in Seattle. (I’d been commuting from Seattle to Cupertino for one or two days every week, which wasn’t ideal.)

This story is about my last day working at Apple — or rather, the night before, which I spent at a hotel near the Apple campus. I went to bed that night feeling sad about leaving, and wondering if it were a mistake. In the early morning hours, I had this dream:

I dreamed I was at a games party, playing cards at a large table with friends from all parts of my life. The party must have been at Apple, because Steve was there, walking from group to group. He came by my table, stood behind me, and looked at my hand — leaning over me and turning the cards so he could see them.

This made me a little nervous. It wasn’t until Steve walked away that I realized that he’d somehow slipped an additional card into my hand.

I woke up from the dream and realized immediately what it meant: Apple wasn’t meant to be my whole career, but what I’d experienced there was going to help me with the rest of my work — and the rest of my life.

And so it has. Profoundly.

Tonight I join the worldwide chorus to say, again, “Thank you, Steve.”

4 responses to “Working for Steve Jobs

  1. Karen,
    I just saw your post on DE and you drew me to your blog right away.
    Thanks for sharing! I wish I’d had mentors such as you or Steve. It’s a constant challenge to overcome the stinking thinking brought on by 3 decades of the opposite kind of work culture.
    It will not destroy what’s left of me, but it’s a daily fight.
    Fortunately, I found a couple managers early in my career who not only backed me but pushed me to continually take on more responsibility. These managers were great, but they were powerless against their superiors.
    I’ll be following you. Thanks for the boost.

    Like

  2. Nancy,
    The good news is that I’m seeing people in their 20s and 30s who grew up with Steve Jobs and Sergei Brin as their role models. They’re truth tellers, big-picture thinkers, and able to recover from failures. Sometimes they’re my clients! Now that’s fun.
    Karen

    Like

  3. Profound and touching. Thank you. We all have cards to slip into one another’s hands. Recognizing what to give… and what has been given… Ah, that’s the trick, isn’t it?

    Like

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