Kottke decided to press his case with Jobs by hovering
outside his office and catching him to make a plea. But at
each encounter, Jobs brushed him off. “What was really so
difficult for me is that Steve never told me I wasn’t eligible,”
recalled Kottke. “He owed me that as a friend. When I would
ask him about stock, he would tell me I had to talk to my manager.”
Finally, almost six months after the IPO, Kottke worked up the
courage to march into Jobs’s office and try to hash out the issue.
But when he got in to see him, Jobs was so cold that Kottke froze.
“I just got choked up and began to cry and just couldn’t talk to him,”
Kottke recalled. “Our friendship was all gone. It was so sad.”
By the end of December 1980, Apple would be valued at $1.79
billion. Yes, billion. In the process it would
make three hundred people millionaires.
Much of the work was done in the garage of a friend just around the corner,
Bill Fernandez, who was still at Homestead High. To lubricate their efforts, they drank large amounts of Cragmont cream
soda, riding their bikes to the Sunnyvale Safeway to return the bottles, collect the deposits, and buy more. “That’s how we started referring to it as the Cream Soda Computer,” Wozniak recalled.
It was basically a calculator capable of multiplying numbers entered by a set of switches and displaying the results in binary code with little lights.
When it was finished, Fernandez told Wozniak there was someone at Homestead High he should meet. “His name is Steve. He likes to do pranks like you do, and he’s also into building electronics like you are.” It may have been the most significant meeting in a Silicon Valley garage since Hewlett went into
Packard’s thirty-two years earlier. “Steve and I just sat on the sidewalk in front of Bill’s house for the longest time, just sharing stories—mostly about pranks we’d pulled, and also what kind of electronic designs we’d done,” Wozniak recalled. “We had so much in common. Typically, it was really hard for me to
explain to people what kind of design stuff I worked on, but Steve got it right away. And I liked him. He was kind of skinny and wiry and full of energy.” Jobs was also impressed. “Woz was the first
person I’d met who knew more electronics than I did,” he once said, stretching his own expertise. “I liked him right away. I was a little more mature than my years, and he was a little less
mature than his, so it
evened out. Woz was
very bright, but
emotionally he was my age.”