My second story is about love and loss.
I was lucky—I found what I loved to do early in life.Woz and I started Apple in my parents' garage when Iwas 20. We worked hard, and in 10 years Apple hadgrown from just the two of us in a garage into a twobillion dollar company with over 4000 employees. We'djust released our finest creation—the Macintosh—ayear earlier, and I had just turned 30. And then I got fired. How can you get fired from a companyyou started? Well, as Apple grew we hired someone who I thought was very talented to run thecompany with me, and for the first year or so things went well. But then our visions of the futurebegan to diverge and eventually we had a falling out. When we did, our Board of Directors sidedwith him. And so at 30, I was out. And very publicly out. What had been the focus of my entire adultlife was gone, and it was devastating.
I really didn't know what to do for a few months. I felt that I had let the previous generation ofentrepreneurs down—that I had dropped the baton as it was being passed to me. I met with DavidPackard and Bob Noyce and tried to apologize for screwing up so badly. I was a very public failure,and I even thought about running away from the valley. But something slowly began to dawn onme: I still loved what I did. The turn of events at Apple had not changed that one bit. I had beenrejected, but I was still in love. And so I decided to start over.