Steve Jobs is now remembered as the visionary and fastidious cofounder of Apple, and creator of world-changing innovations like the Mac and iPhone. But when he was 18, he seems to have been a typically indifferent — maybe even lazy — teenager.
That, at least, is a possible takeaway from looking at a new document going to auction soon, and highlighted Sunday by Inc. It’s a job application, completed by Jobs in 1973, three years before he and Steve Wozniak founded Apple.
Jobs had recently dropped out of Reed College, but was still hanging around auditing classes. The one-page application, which Inc. says might have been used for campus positions, provides comically little that would have been useful to anyone looking to fill a job. For his address, Jobs simply wrote “reed college” (yes, in lowercase), and he left “Past Employment” entirely blank.
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Asked whether he had access to transportation, Jobs — who came from quite humble roots — answered “possible, but not probale” (again, the misspelling is Jobs’ own). Most ironically, the creator of the smartphone, in a space intended for his phone number, wrote simply “none.”
In short, the application doesn’t scream “future industrial giant.” And even someone who might have wanted to hire the young Jobs would have had a heck of a time finding him.
Jobs was a bit more thorough in describing his skills and ambitions, though, specifying an interest in “design, tech” under a computing skills item. Under “Special Abilities,” he elaborated that his included “electronics tech or design engineer. digital. – from Bay near Hewitt-Packard.” Ah yes, the well-known Hewitt-Packard.
The document, then, shows Jobs as a relatably sloppy and maybe somewhat defiant kid — and, at the same time, as the no-BS technology obsessive he would become. As terse (and stained) as it is, the application is expected to sell for upwards of $50,000 when it goes on auction in March. According to Inc., that’s because it includes Jobs’ signature, which an expert described as “incredibly scarce.”