How Steve Jobs First Reacted To Video Chatting

Steve Jobs didn’t earn his reputation as Silicon Valley’s most charismatic showman by acting coy or holding his tongue. Apple lore is rife with stories involving anxiety-inducing first encounters with the company’s mercurial CEO, and as a new engineer on a high-profile Apple team, Santamaria was coached on how to act by a colleague before the demo with Jobs started: “Whatever happens, pretend like it’s going well.”

For this demo, the team was split up with Jobs in one room and the others occupying three other rooms, as expected in the podcast episode. As the story goes, Jobs makes the first call, which Santamaria answers. After some chitchat, they connect to a third caller and the screen expands from a simple one-to-one view into a bigger, more elaborate 3D group calling view. It was this feature in particular that seemed to have impressed Jobs the most.

After the classic “woom” sound, when the interface popped out into the 3D view, that’s when Jobs exclaimed, “I’m gonna make the crowd shit their pants!” Jobs did eventually announce iChat’s group video calling feature at Apple’s 2004 Worldwide Developers’ Conference to several waves of applause, with the most enthusiastic audience reaction occurring at the exact moment Jobs had predicted: when iChat expanded into the 3D view (see it for yourself at the 1:35:00 timestamp). To know whether the other part of his prediction came true, well, you’d have to have been there.

Original content

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *