For anyone whose history with Apple dates to their first iPod, it can be really hard to fathom just how different a company it was before Steve Jobs came back in December 1996 and fundamentally turned it around.
I haven’t found a better example recently than these renderings of a project that Apple actually announced in November 1996: a series of cybercafes worldwide offering video conferencing, web surfing, and delicious Appley food and beverage. All from the comfort of an environment that looks like something you might envision if you start snorting ’57 Chevys.
I repeat. Apple actually announced that they were doing this and held a press conference to unveil it, as this CNET article proves:
“The time is right,” said Satjiv Chahil, senior vice president of marketing for Apple, in a telephone interview. “Cybercafes are in. The technology finally is reaching out to ‘the rest of us.’ This will be a place to showcase our products in the real world.”
Can you imagine if this were Apple’s retail vision today? Of course not. They would be out of business if Steve hadn’t come back.