Paper job application filled out by Steve Jobs in 1973 sells for $343,000

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NFT vs physical
Both physical and NFT versions were up for sale.
Photo: Steve Jobs Job Application

A job application filled out by 18-year-old Steve Jobs in 1973 has sold for $343,000 — and, based on its history, that may actually be a pretty good deal.

The rare paper document, possibly the only job application Apple’s late co-founder and CEO filled in in his life, has proven to be a pretty great investment over the years. This time, it was accompanied by an NFT sale for the same document, which pulled in around $23,000.

In the past decade, Jobs’ job application has gone under the hammer a couple of times. In March 2018, it sold at auction for $174,757 — significantly more than the $50,000 it was expected to raise.

That auction winner didn’t hold on to it for too long, though. In March 2021, the same handwritten job application sold for $221,747: an approximately $45,000 increase in three years.

That’s not a bad return on investment — but nothing compared to this latest sale, however. The $343,000 sale, in cryptocurrency Ethereum, is a profit of more than $120,000 in just a few months. Even Apple stock doesn’t give you that kind of return.

As noted, the auction also included a digital copy sold as non-fungible token for $23,000. These NFTs, which have taken certain parts of the world by storm over the past year, are a bit like buying an autographed version of a photo. While the photo itself can be reproduced (this is, after all, a digital file), the autograph remains unique to only one copy. That’s the appeal of NFTs: adding a kind of artificial scarcity to a digital document. It remains to be seen, however, whether it will prove the same kind of investment proposition as the physical version.

A rare piece of Apple memorabilia

Rare Apple memorabilia typically does pretty well in the collectors’ market. This document, as its value suggests, is particularly sought-after. RRAuctions, which auctioned it off in 2018, described the item as such:

“Incredible job application questionnaire filled out and signed by Steve Jobs, one page, 8.5 x 11, annotated 1973 in another hand. Jobs fills out the document with his name, “Steven jobs”; address, “reed college”; phone, “none”; and major, “english lit.” In the middle section, he writes “yes” in response to ‘Driver’s License?’ and “possible, but not probable,” in reply to ‘Access to transportation?’

With regard to his skills, next to ‘Computer’ and ‘Calculator,’ he writes, “yes (design, tech).” At the bottom, he describes his ‘Special Abilities’ as “electronics tech or design engineer. digital.—from Bay near Hewitt-Packard [sic].” In very good condition, with intersecting folds, overall creasing, light staining, and some old clear tape to the top edge. Accompanied by full letters of authenticity from PSA/DNA and Beckett Authentication Services.”

Source: Steve Jobs’ Job Application