Since the passing of Steve Jobs, I have heard many great stories from people who knew him or had interacted with him. I thought I would share the one story I have about my brief but meaningful interaction with Steve Jobs.
1987. I was in the Good Earth Restaurant in Palo Alto having lunch with my old boss and good friend John Bielenberg. We were discussing Paul Rand, design and the creative process, when a man leans over and says “Excuse me, are you talking about Paul Rand?” I said that we were, for we really appreciated his process and contribution to design. “I’m Steve Jobs and I would like to send you something.” I knew at the time that Steve Jobs was starting NeXT, Inc. and suspected that he wanted to send me something tied with that since I knew that Paul Rand was engaged to develop the NeXT logo. I received a package about a week later with a nice note from his secretary. Enclosed was the process book developed by Paul Rand to introduce the new NeXT logo to Steve…walking him through the logic of how he arrived at the final design solution. It was a great gift and still something I look at on occasion…a bit of a historical document for sure.
I always really liked the fact the Steve Jobs stopped eating his lunch to engage in conversation with me to share his passion for design. We all know Steve Jobs really valued design. That afternoon at The Good Earth he shared a bit of that passion with me, which I have always appreciated.