Ashley Richards

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Apple in Computer History

January 23rd, 2004 Posted in Stuff

Brendon and I checked out the panel discussion/presentation The Macintosh Marketing Story: Fact and Fiction, 20 Years Later.

Remember when the Mac came out? I do. And I was only 7.

I remember watching this rather scary commercial for me that started off in what must have been Russia or at least East Germany. A true child of Reagan’s 80s. I hasdno idea what 1984 meant to adults, so it must have had something to do with the “bad” people in the world. Then enters this Olympic champion (the Olympics were that summer in LA), who came in and showed those “bad” people what she thought of them. And of course subsequently overthrew them, saved the world, etc. At 7, I wanted to be that woman! And of course, my parents went out and got me an Apple soon after. I was going to save the world!

So needless to say, I was intrigued to find out about the people behind this commercial that made such an impression on me at such a young age. It was pretty cool to hear the stories behind the scene. And yes, there was a reason the commercial was scary. The skinhead-looking men in the commercial, were actual skinheads from London. And one of the guys from the marketing agency hid on the set from them. I don’t blame him.

Soon the evening turned into a sort of reunion for the original Mac team. The people who developed the GUI were there, the people who worked on the operating system, the people who worked the long hours to get this little Macintosh thing off the ground were there. You hear about Jobs, but these are the people who made it happen. Yeah, Jobs could have gotten other people on the team, but would the product have been the same? Probably not.

Well, I just sat back and listened to all the personal stories from the team. I sure hope they’re writing them all down. It could help the next team of innovators who inevitably will face similar challenges that these people did.

If you have a chance, Brendon has pictures of the original Macintosh team on his site.

I never did get to ask why they chose a woman to hurl the sledge hammer. I’m sure glad they did.