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Lot #3084
Steve Jobs Typed Letter Signed - Early 1986 Employment Offer from the NeXT CEO - "If you’re as good as you tell us you are (and we expect), your salary will increase"

"If you’re as good as you tell us you are (and we expect), your salary will increase"—fresh from Apple, Steve Jobs recruits for NeXT in January 1986

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Estimate: $15000+
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"If you’re as good as you tell us you are (and we expect), your salary will increase"—fresh from Apple, Steve Jobs recruits for NeXT in January 1986

TLS signed "steven jobs," one page, 8.5 x 11, NEXT letterhead, January 8, 1986. Letter to Caroline Rose, who was then working as a Macintosh documentation supervisor at Apple. In full: “We are pleased to extend the following offer of employment to you: - Salary of $50,000 /yr, paid monthly, in advance, on the first working day of each month. - A great benefits plan including major medical, dental, vision and prenatal. - An opportunity for you to purchase 1250 shares of Next, Inc. common stock at 50¢/share ($625). - If you’re as good as you tell us you are (and we expect), your salary will increase to at least $60,000 by February 1987 and $65,000 by August 1987. Caroline, we are all very excited about your joining the team. We think your contributions will be invaluable and look forward to working with you.” Above the line for the recruit's signature is typed: “I accept this insanely great offer !!!”—“insanely great” being a famous Jobs-ism used to introduce the Macintosh in 1984. The offer, which was accepted by Rose, was very unusual in that there was no job title, department, or specific areas of responsibility. In fine condition. Jobs had founded NeXT just four months earlier in September of 1985, and was still very much immersed in the company’s recruitment process at the time this particular letter was signed; interestingly, Rose was hired before Jobs commissioned graphic designer Paul Rand to design the company’s iconic logo.

Caroline Rose worked for both Apple and NeXT during a 15-year period that began at Apple Computer in 1982 as a lead writer, editor, and project supervisor of Inside Macintosh Volumes I through III. As this letter illustrates, she was whisked away to NeXT in 1986, working there as a manager, writer, and editor of end-user and developer documentation. She established the Publications department under Jobs, and coauthored and edited many manuals for NeXT software, as well as the first user manual for WriteNow For Macintosh (later ported to the NeXT platform). Rose left NeXT in 1991 and returned to Apple, where she served as editor-in-chief of develop, The Apple Technical Journal.

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. Although their computers encountered subpar sales, the NeXTSTEP operating system and development environment proved highly influential, forming the basis for Mac OS X. Apple purchased NeXT in 1997 for $429 million and 1.5 million shares of Apple stock, with Jobs, as part of the agreement, returning to the company he had co-founded in 1976.

Auction Info

  • Auction Title: Steve Jobs and the Apple Computer Revolution
  • Dates: #690 - Ended March 21, 2024

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