By 2001 Apple had revived its personal computer offerings. It was now time to think different.
A set of new possibilities topped the what-next list on his whiteboard that year.
At the time, a pall had descended on the digital realm.
The dot-com bubble had burst, and the NASDAQ had fallen more than 50% from its peak.
Only three tech companies had ads during the January 2001 Super Bowl, compared to seventeen the year before.
But the sense of deflation went deeper.
For the twenty-five years since Jobs and Wozniak had founded Apple,
the personal computer had been the centerpiece of the digital revolution.
Now experts were predicting that its central role was ending.
It had "matured into something boring," wrote the Wall Street Journal's Walt Mossberg.
Jeff Weitzen, the CEO of Gateway, proclaimed, "We're clearly migrating away from the PC as the centerpiece."