Documentary filmmaker and photographer Doug Menuez had the opportunity to hang out with Steve Jobs after the latter was forced out of Apple Computer in 1985. That gave him the chance to document the rise of Jobs’ next startup, NeXT, an effort to create ultra-powerful workstations for the education market.
“While building the NeXT computer, Steve wanted to meet the challenge that Nobel laureate Paul Berg had set to build an affordable workstation for education that had more than one megabyte of memory, a megapixel display, and a megaflop of computing speed to allow a million floating-point operations per second,” Menuez wrote in a posting on Storehouse. “Today we measure in [gigabytes] and gigaflops, but at the time, combining these attributes presented considerable technical hurdles.”
The Storehouse posting features a selection of photographs of Jobs at work, white-boarding out the NeXT business plan and giving employees grief over the workstation’s hardware. Still more images appear in Menuez’s book Fearless Genius. If you ever wanted to see how startups came together thirty years ago… well, the process isn’t all that different from today.
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Image: Doug Menuez