The 2007 Apple keynote is best remembered as the event in which Apple announced that it was going to start selling shitty, overpriced phones to the public. However, we think it should be best remembered as the year Steve Jobs terrified his engineers so much that they showed up to the company’s biggest event of the year drunk off their asses.
Before that though we should address the fact that the iPhone prototype Steve Jobs held up during that keynote didn’t fucking work, like at all. While the iPhone could perform all of the rudimentary functions expected of a phone like making calls or sending obscene texts to an ex, about half of the apps on it didn’t work and the other half caused it to crash. According to engineers who worked on the device, the prototype Jobs demonstrated couldn’t even play a full song without crashing, a feature that wouldn’t be desirable in an iPhone until U2 tried cramming their album onto them a few years later.
The device was so temperamental that engineers had to resort to calculating a so-called “golden path” for Jobs to follow while on stage, which was basically a calculated list of functions he could show off that minimised the risk of the prototype crashing on stage. Even still, the risk was still there and a number of engineers were so terrified of that happening that by the time Jobs walked on stage, a bunch of them were doing shots to calm their nerves.
If you’re wondering why these engineers were so terrified that they smuggled alcohol into the keynote, that may have had something to do with the fact Steve Jobs acted like a legendary dickhead during the iPhone’s development. According to sources from inside Apple, whenever an app crashed during a rehearsal, Jobs would scream in the face of the person responsible for that app and accuse them of “fucking up his company“. The arguments got so heated that engineers would regularly leave work mid-shift, only to slink back to work a few days later when it dawned on them that there was nobody they could vent to since they’d been forced to sign two non-disclosure agreements. One promising they wouldn’t speak about working on the new iPhone and another promising that they wouldn’t mention that they’d been forced to sign a non-disclosure agreement.
So when Jobs walked on stage and started dicking around with the iPhone prototype, the people responsible for each app jobs demonstrated would do a shot when it didn’t fuck up to celebrate. After Jobs got through the entire presentation without anything going wrong, the engineers in the attendance had drained their smuggled flasks and bottles and were so pumped that they immediately went to the nearest bar and started drinking.
Which to be honest, we’d have done too if we’d managed to avoid pissing off Steve Jobs.