The Launch, October 1988
Jobs had perfected the art of turning product launches into theatrical productions,
and for the world premiere of the NeXT computer--on October 12, 1988, in San Francisco's Symphony Hall
he wanted to outdo himself. He needed to blow away the doubters.
In the weeks leading up to the event, he drove up to San Francisco almost every day to hole up in the Victorian house of Susan Kare,
NeXT's graphic designer, who had done the original fonts and icons for the Macintosh.
She helped prepare each of the slides as Jobs fretted over everything from the wording to the right hue of green to serve as the background color.
"I like that green," he said proudly as they were doing a trial run in front of some staffers.
"Great green, great green," they all murmured in assent. No detail was too small.
Jobs went over the invitation list and even the lunch menu (mineral water, croissants, cream cheese, bean sprouts).
He picked out a video projection company and paid it $60,000 for help.
And he hired the postmodernist theater producer George Coates to stage the show.
Coates and Jobs decided, not surprisingly, on an austere and radically simple stage look.