Working for Steve Jobs

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

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.”

Remembering Photonica

Doug Plummer blogged recently about trends in stock photography, mentioning the distinctive images (“dreamy photographs of flowers and water”) available for license some years back from a company in New York called Photonica. (Some images from that collection still available through Getty).

Many of the images I purchased for Apple’s iCards program were from Photonica, and those were often the most popular cards. The dreamy quality of the images captured the imagination and inspire people to customize them with their own captions and messages.

One of the most popular images was of a glass heart wrapped in barbed wire. I was so entranced by it myself that I created a little sculpture along those lines which now hangs in my office.

Happy (well, at least thought-provoking) Valentine’s Day!