Thursday, October 06, 2011

Speaking after Steve Jobs introduces the Mac

On January 22, 1984 the Mac was introduced with the very famous Apple SuperBowl ad. It was spectacular. Steve Jobs did his famous keynote two days later to introduce the Mac. 27 years ago the web did not instantly let customers watch Steve Jobs and his presentation skills were just becoming known. Not many people saw the Mac keynote. So he hit the road to SoftCon to show the software support for the new computer.

SoftCon, was held on month later in New Orleans. I regularly gave talks about software retailing having started the first software store in 1979. We had a small chain of stores at that time. I was scheduled to speak on the good and bad of software packaging.

Enter Steve Jobs. In a very large room he introduces the Mac to the software industry. This was a big moment. He showed the $1.5 million dollar Ridley Scott ad, professional slides and had a large staff.  He was well prepared and had masterful timing. Thousands of people in the room applauded when he finished.

I was on next. I had to speak after Steve Jobs. It really didn't matter that my presentation was 35mm slides after professional photos. I had no Ridley Scott ad. I had nothing. The topic of software packaging was insignificant after seeing the Mac for the first time. The legibility of software titles was not as important. I hurried through my talk and sat down. It was exhausting.

Soon after I bought a Mac. 

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