December 25th has arrived, and that means it’s time for a Steve Jobs Christmas story …
Steve Jobs had a knack for steamrolling over the road blocks and getting practical results. Regis McKenna is a tech veteran who helped Jobs put together the Apple I marketing campaign in 1976. McKenna briefly reclaimed the role of helping Jobs with publicity in 2010 when antenna-gate followed the iPhone 4 launch.
Yet it’s a favor from Jobs to McKenna that comes up around Christmas.
That’s because McKenna credits Jobs with saving Christmas for one of his granddaughters in 1998.
McKenna bought each of his grandchildren a colorful iMac, but one of the five computers had a drive issue after a few hours. McKenna contacted the Apple dealer (pre-dating the Apple Store) about the issue, but he was told it was Apple’s policy not to exchange broken computers without their authorization. That was a process that would take a few weeks at best. Bah, humbug.
But McKenna happened to know the newly returned Apple CEO. He simply emailed Jobs to ask if what the dealer said was accurate. Jobs phoned up McKenna, then the dealer. According to McKenna, the dealer phoned back within a few minutes to say his granddaughter’s new computer was ready to be replaced.
McKenna tells the story of his Steve Jobs Santa Clause moment around 3 minutes in:
McKenna wrote back to Jobs to thank him for the favor. According to McKenna, Steve’s response was simply “ho-ho-ho” with a smiley face. As for the Apple dealer, well, that phone call with Jobs was probably an unexpected Christmas surprise as well.