When a then young Steve Jobs launched his now very famous Next Box in the early 1990s at the iconic – geddit?!? – London Palladium we hacks were treated to a video and a rant that seemed to last an eternity. The rant continues in my brain, I can still hear it, harking and barking on.
The video Jobs showed, showed us that the Next Box was a better box than any other box, including Apple boxes and Jobs was at some pains to hector us from the hectoring lectern.
A few of us – actually the majority of British journalists there, took the view that Mr Jobs was rather self obsessed – full of good ideas but perhaps erring on the side of non-self effacement.
Worse was to come. When the Next Box died a death and we dared to report that the young Mr Jobs latest venture was a goner, Mr Jobs went more incandescent than an Edison lamp. It wasn’t cool. It was no bright shining LED.
We can report – because sources that are and were PRs close to Apple – told us that Jobs under no circumstances would ever ever have “unfriendly” journalists report on its products or attend his famous “press conferences” ever again. Nevermore. Still, he got on wellh with the now dead Douglas Adams – we overheard in the early 1990s an Apple PR promising Adams more RAM than there was at the end of the universe.
This all came to a pitch when an unnamed journalist working for British channel title Microscope was banned, yeah banned from ever attending a Macworld ever, ever ever again.
When I wrote for the INQster, I mistakenly got invited to an Apple launch and asked a question. The PR came up to me quietly afterwards and said: “You’re not supposed to be here.” I said, why? He said that Steve Jobs had ruled that anyone working for the Rogister or the INQster would never, ever, ever be invited to an Apple conference.
Not that Jobs is a control freak, of course.