Steve Jobs Was A “Flakey Joker” According To Early Silicon Valley Investor [Letters of Note]

Steve Jobs Was A “Flakey Joker” According To Early Silicon Valley Investor [Letters of Note]

These days, Steve Jobs’s business acumen is legendary, but it wasn’t always that way. In fact, when Steve first went on a fund-raising expedition to get money for the original Apple I in natal Silicon Valley, he was described as a secretive “joker” who couldn’t trust anyone and had a “flakey” partnership with Steve Wozniak.

The letter was written by Mike Rose, who back in 1976 ran an advertising agency in Los Altos. Bloomberg notes:

The note is wonderful in part because it reveals how much Silicon Valley has changed in 35 years. In 1976, two guys trying to launch a tech company from a garage in the heart of Silicon Valley were flakes. Today, someone in Rose’s position might well ask for a piece of the action — payment in the form of a small bit of stock, perhaps?

The note also shows us that in some ways, the 21-year-old Jobs was not too different from the man he later became. Jobs may have struck Rose as a “joker,” but the young entrepreneur is concerned about secrecy (“Wouldn’t trust me,” Rose writes) and drives a hard bargain (“wants it for nothing”).

  • Kye Alan Russell

    Awful handwriting much?

  • DickyWicked

    that doesn’t make sense…

  • Eric Seif

    very cool to see this.

  • shaunusher

    The “Letters of Note” heading — is that a regular thing on this site?

  • rsbell

    Oh I’m sorry. It’s difficult to read this post on my iPhone with that stupid and intrusive advertising bar.

    Get rid of it and I will read the posts on your blog. Keep it and I will not be back.

    That is all.

  • knacker

    Good, and dont forget close the door after you,, pathetic whiner!

  • rsbell

    Wow, you really missed the tongue-in-cheek tone of my post.

    I suggest some hot cocoa.

    Besides, aren’t you tired of seeing advertising absolutely everywhere?

  • Steven Zahl

    Proves that being a Venture Capitalist is not easy.

About the author

John BrownleeJohn Brownlee is a Contributing Editor. He has also written for Wired, Playboy, Boing Boing, Popular Mechanics, VentureBeat, and Gizmodo. He lives in Boston with his wife and two parakeets. You can follow him here on Twitter.

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