Steve Jobs’ genius "First 100 Days presentation from 1984"

Just came across this not very often scene video of 29 year old Steve Jobs talking about the “First 100 Days” of the Macintosh. Just to set the stage, this was 1984 and the only other existing personal computers had primitive command line interfaces. With the Macintosh, Steve introduced to the world, the concept of the mouse as an input device and a graphical user interface – both very wildy popular across the personal computer industry even today, 27 years later.

But, more importantly, you can see the genius of Steve jobs in being able to define, build, market and sell a compelling vision to the world. The same genius that brought to our world decades later the iPod, iPhone and iPad.

Here are a few  notes I took (along with the time marker in paranthesis) while seeing this video. These are points that are relevant and inspiring even today for anyone building & selling a product:

  • Market your product at every opportunity (1:00):  Steve makes it a point to call out that he has used his revolutionary Macintosh product and a Diskette to make the presentation
  • It’s all about the sales (2:40): He is very clear about what he wanted to achieve in the first 100 days (sell 50K Macintoshs). Highlights how difficult the target was in the context of other similar products: Apple II took 2 1/2 yrs (launched 1977), IBM PC – 7.5 months (1982). And goes on to highlight that the Macintosh did it in only 74 days and that by 100 days they would have beaten the target by 150%
  • You need your channels (4:45): Makes it a point to call out the distributors as partners and thanks them and calls them part of the team
  • Make it easy for customers to say yes (5:30): He shares the story of the VP of McDonald’s and how he became a customer. Goes on to share the customers validation that Apple has shown the industry how to market computers to real people
  • Articulate new features of your product (6:58) – He is clear about what are all the benefits of the Macintosh. These are some revolutionary features given that it was 1984 e.g. external disk drive, letter quality printer Software (Mac Paint & Mac Write), free upgrade to customers as they return to stores, etc. 
  • Embrace your ecosystem (8:41) – Steve realizes how important it is to have a good array of developers. He calls out that Apple has trained 2000 developers (through seminars) and that there will be 150 applications by year end. This is something Apple has continued to focus over the years – particularly with the iPhone and iPad. 
  • Thanking Stakeholders (10:40) – He concludes by saying that the Macintosh was the most important thing in his life. He talks about “how we (including everyone in the ecosystem including employees) together risked on innovation and how we have changed the world of personal computing forever”. 
  • Superbowl ad (11:54) – Shows portions of the much acclaimed “1984” Super Bowl add introducing Macintosh narrated by Steve Jobs. 

Hope you enjoy seeing this as much as I did!

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