Coming from Apple computer we get recognized for the creativity in computers. But it goes back to a time before there was any press. There were I and Steve Jobs for five years leading up to Apple computer. We try to go back now and say "Here's how Steve Jobs was and here's how Steve Wozniak was and here were the goals for the company…" And they don't look at the fact that when we started Apple computer, we were in our young 20s. We had no money, no savings accounts, no bank accounts, no rich relatives. We had no business experience. We were young kids. We had some brains and the actual thinking originally behind… the first couple of computers I built them myself, I owned them myself even before Steve Jobs knew they existed.
And my motivation wasn't really to start a company. It was to bring a tool to society that would help us communicate better, educate better and be more productive and creative if we learn how to use this tool. And the Apple II computer which we started real corporation with… We had two starts to Apple. The second start was the big one ‒ that's the Apple computer you know today. Steve Jobs and myself and we had third equal partner who owned as much of the company ‒ our investor and head of marketing, Mike Markkula. Mike Markkula was an adult. He looked at Steve and I and he taught us who you hire, how do you create a technology company, what are the roles of various job positions. And he taught us the importance of marketing. He would run marketing. He felt marketing was more important than engineer. And he ran marketing and he talked about marketing principles.
Steve Jobs wanted to be successful in life, he wanted to be important. He didn't have the academic background or the job background that would lead him to be in one of those few important people in life. But he wanted to be there. And he didn't have a technical background, he did not know the insides of a computer ‒ hardware or software or how it worked. He barely had touched just the outsides of any computer ‒ running a program on a teletype, on a computer far away. So, Steve wasn't technical, so he started paying attention to the business, the face of Apple.
I did not want to be seen by people, I didn't want to talk to the press. I was shy. I just wanted to go into a laboratory and be an inventor like my heroes in life. And I wanted to have ideas and to create new things and build them ‒ keep me away from the business side of the company. But Steve wanted to learn the business. Even without a title he would interact with everybody in the company and learn how to run every facet of the business. That was actually defined as his role and job. He paid attention to marketing, principles of art. Somebody can look at a photograph, it's subjective and I like this for this reason. I studied great pianists, I studied great musicians of the past and everyone can have their opinion. And Steve decided that some of this esoteric talk, the way you put beauty in a product is going to be his role of speaking.
Whether it made a difference in our product… We started the company with the product that would be all of our revenues for the first 10 years of Apple computer. 10 years based on a product that was already done before we started the company. It's hard to say. The product had been built by me and a lot of the beauty that I put in it is not a sort of beauty that Steve Jobs would be recognized for eventually, of how things look and what they signify in a human brain, how they bring you into the technology and make you feel a part of it. Steve Jobs went in that direction because he wasn't technical.
To me the greatest thing in the world would be not for people to say "You started a great company", not for people to say "You invented the personal computer formula". It would be for other engineers to look at my drawings, my schematics, my designs, my creations, my software, my code ‒ line by line ‒ and say "Wow, this is just amazing stuff! This is not normal. This is not our of engineers' textbooks. This impresses me". I wanted other engineers to see how great I was at my form of art.
Only in later years did I come to appreciate things like user interface. Things on a screen have to make sense to a human being. The Macintosh under Steve Jobs, although it was a failure, it was a great step in the direction of the human being more important than technology. You, as a human being, see the world in three dimensions. If you want to point at something, you can point at it and say what it is. When we went to the mouse-based computers with our Lisa computer for the Macintosh, we had a mouse-based computer ‒ you could point at something in a two-dimensional space that the eye sees and you can even drag it and drop it into something else just like a person drops a fork into a drawer. This was the human being represented.
The method was put a lot of work in your technology. Programming software to make it so that a human being doesn't have to learn very much, everything seemed and felt natural. That makes the human being more important than a technology. Don't call a screen "a screen" ‒ that's kind of a technical word. Call it "a desktop". Every human being has always been familiar with the word "desktop". Make things natural. If you have an icon that looks like a paintbrush, it will paint. Very simple human terms. Whereas before that people had to learn complex expressions. I am an expert, I have modified my brain, I have learnt everything about the technology. Then I can use it. But that makes the technology more important. I have to adapt who I am as a human to do things the way that technology tells me to do them. Even to this day I have been so influenced. I was very organized structural person designing things with hundreds of little bits and pieces, whether it was tiny… on signal or voltage or how fast it can go or the code or how many… so many pieces of code all tied together trying to minimize them. I spent a lifetime so intensely thinking about it. It's not something easy to do. Very structured.
Now I want to avoid distraction. We have machines… Long time ago Apple had a tablet called Newton MessagePad. You didn't see this things. If you go to the Apple museum and I think it's... or some place like that and you can see that there's actually an Apple museum with the details, this history of development. But we had our Newton. It was a tablet that you could handle with your own muscles. You could handwrite and it understood the words that you wrote. And the first day I had my Newton Message Pad I was in San Francisco airport with my children and I got a phone call. And I handwrote a little reminder message on the outer level. I just opened this prototype and wrote a message "Sarah ‒ my daughter ‒ dentist, Tuesday, 2 p.m." just to remind me to put it on a calendar later. And as I was looking around, I saw the button called "Assist". I said "Oh, it's like the menu! Let's see what this menu is". I clicked the "Assist" button and my new MessagePad opened up a calendar ‒ Tuesday at 2 p.m. It put the word dentist and grabbed Sarah out of my contacts list. That changed my life forever. I wanted to do things in a human way. I wanted to communicate to humans and have the machine understand me ever since. I would even take my Newton MessagePad when I wanted to make a phone call to a friend. I would handwrite with my own muscles "Call Jim" and I click "Assist" and it would go beep-beep-beep and I didn't have to go over to a phone and in a structured way hit 353-4747. I didn't have to do that anymore. I just got to live in a human world.
Obviously we now have speech assistance like Siri, Cortana, Google Assistant, Bixby and we can just speak natural ideas, speak it out and not have to follow a lot of set procedures to get it done. And I much prefer that life because it makes me feel that I get to be a human and the technology is more invisible and out of my way.