You Are Already Naked

In the commencement speech in Stanford, this was what Steve Jobs said,

Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.

Before founding Apple, there were a few events that I found unbelievable.  After high school, he prodded his parents to send him to Reed College, a liberal art college and he stayed there for about 6 months and finally realised that his parents would not be able to support him for 4 years for him to finish his degree.  He dropped out after 6 months and he stayed in the college for a few more months and went around sitting in to classes.

As was said by him in the commencement speech, one of the classes that he sat in was calligraphy.  But as for me, as was mentioned in Walter Isaacson’s biography of him, he also attended classes in Physics.  There was no mention that he attended any classes related to Computer Science or Electrical Engineer but those Physics classes would become important.

He left Reed College and he got a job as a technician in Atari.  Without those physics classes, I don’t think he would be able to understand how to derive power from voltage and current.

The story on how he got his first real job in Atari was equally amazing.  He went to Atari to look for a job and once he was there, he did not beg for a job but told Nolan Bushnell, the founder of Atari that he wouldn’t leave until he was given a job there as a technician.  Now try that yourself if you are looking for a job.

He landed his first gig there as a technician and was even sent by Nolan Bushnell to Europe to repair faulty game machines.  In the book by Walter Isaacson, he even boasted that from his work in Atari, he knew that he could be a good engineer if he wanted to.

Nolan Bushnell actually played another critical role in the founding of Apple.  It was through him and Don Valentine that the 2 Steves met Mark Markkula. And with the $250k from Mark Markkula, they  were able to start developing Apple II.