Highly desirable NeXT Computer brochure for a presentation before the Pittsburgh High Technology Council on April 17, 1990, 8 x 8, signed on the front cover in blue ballpoint, "Thanks for the great welcome! steve jobs." The brochure's cover features the famous cubic NeXT logo designed by Paul Rand. In fine condition, with a central vertical crease. Encapsulated and graded by PSA/DNA as MINT 9.
Having been ousted from Apple in the fall of 1985, Jobs founded the innovative NeXT project, a computer and software company aimed at the markets of business and higher education. The first NeXT Computer was introduced in 1988 with great fanfare thanks to Jobs's marketing strategy. At NeXT, Jobs helped to develop a pioneering 'fingerless' automated manufacturing line right in Silicon Valley. He believed that keeping the design, development, and manufacturing in close proximity—all in a single plant, rather than outsourced overseas—would help NeXT out-innovate its competitors by allowing continuous improvement of their products. In 1990, he traveled to Pittsburgh for the dedication of NeXT's new east coast headquarters.
Pittsburgh Magazine reports: 'NeXT first located its offices in the North Shore Center and later moved into more spacious accommodations in the Union Trust Building, downtown…Jobs’ only restriction was that the office not be in PPG Place because he didn’t like that building or its architect, Philip Johnson. When Jobs came in April 1990 to dedicate the NeXT offices, he also agreed to speak at a luncheon meeting of the Pittsburgh High Technology Council. Jobs wasn’t happy with the lighting at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center, among other issues. Backstage, he wanted to cancel. Organizers convinced him to go on; he had the whole audience move their chairs so the set-up was more to his liking, and he went on to wow the assembled crowd.' Though he might have been displeased with the venue, this autograph—"Thanks for the great welcome!"—demonstrates the famously difficult signer's appreciation for his audience.
Although NeXT computers encountered subpar sales, the NeXTSTEP operating system and development environment proved highly influential. The OS offered an intuitive GUI with features like an application dock, true multitasking, drag-and-drop tools, large full-color icons, real-time scrolling, and other elements that are considered ubiquitous today. This was the innovative platform on which Tim Berners-Lee would create the first web browser, and that would form the basis for Mac OS X. Unix derivatives incorporating NeXTSTEP would eventually power all of Apple's platforms, including the iPhone. Apple purchased NeXT in 1997 for $429 million and 1.5 million shares of Apple stock, with Steve Jobs, as part of the agreement, returning to the company he had co-founded in 1976.
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