I worked at Apple from April of 1999 through July of 2011. I’ve never written publicly about that experience, but I wanted to share a little moment that will always be with me, even though it’s not of any great significance.
After leaving my job at Apple, I dropped in for lunch one day. I was exiting the main building, Infinite Loop One, and just ahead of me was Steve Jobs, walking with the usual spring in his step that never seemed to go away even as he started looking more frail. Bumping into Steve was a surprisingly common occurrence for such a large company as Apple.
Steve was heading towards a car parked next to the curb with its door open, waiting for him. The car was idling. A family was standing near the Apple sign outside the building, a common site for people to take photos on their pilgrimages to Apple.
The father turned to Steve as he passed close by and asked, “Excuse me, sir, would you mind taking our photo?”
Steve paused for a moment as an iPhone was extended to him, realizing that they didn’t seem to know who he was. With a hint of enthusiasm, he said “Sure!” as he took the iPhone into his hands.
Steve took a great deal of care composing the photo, backing up a few steps several times, tapping the iPhone screen to lock focus, then said “Smile!” as he snapped the photo, grinning a little bit himself to encourage the family to follow suit.
He handed back the iPhone and they said “Thank you, sir” as Steve stepped into his car, closed the door, and was driven away. The family looked at the photo that Steve had taken and all agreed that it looked great. Then the iPhone was pocketed and they were on their way.
And that was the last time I saw Steve Jobs.