Bill Raduchel’s life winds through the tech leaders of our time
On meeting Steve Jobs:
Tell the story about your visit with Steve Jobs when he was trying to sell NeXT, the computer company he founded after Apple.
I was working at Sun Microsystems, and one day, I went to present Sun’s offer to acquire NeXT Computer.
This was the early ’90s. NeXT was in a nondescript office building in Silicon Valley. I went over by myself, walked in and the receptionist said, “Mr. Jobs is waiting for you in the boardroom.”
I walked into the boardroom, and there was Steve sitting at the end of a table with a spotlight on him, but otherwise the room was dark.
So I sat down in the dark in the chair next to him, and I started making a comment on the latest Pixar movie, which I think was “Toy Story.”
He cut me off and said, “What’s the number?” I told him. He said: “Congratulations. You found the right number. That’s what I would pay if I were Sun. But I want my number, and someone will pay it. Goodbye.”
And that was it.
Steve was Steve.
What do you mean?
He was incredibly smart, incredibly brilliant and incredibly eccentric.
There’s a lot alike between Sean Parker and Steve Jobs. They could see things other people couldn’t.
Human beings’ horizons are limited by their experiences. Theirs weren’t. Most people hit a brick wall when they try to look farther ahead.
Steve and Sean don’t hit the brick wall. It makes them unique minds. Steve said himself several times that his greatest strength was understanding when something wasn’t ready. He killed multiple tablet ideas at Apple because he said it wasn’t good enough.
[AOL co-founder] Steve Case had the same abilities to understand what would work with consumers and what wouldn’t. What would succeed and what would fail. How much consumers could absorb. It’s an uncanny skill.