According to a new Steve Jobs biography by Ken Sagall, Insanely Simple: The Obsession That Drives Apple’s Success, Steve Jobs had a playful personality, and possibly was a fan of the film Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory.
Soon after the launch of the original iMac, Steve Jobs wanted to find a novel way to celebrate the sale of the millionth iMac made.
The idea Steve Jobs came up with was to stage a Willy Wonka-style competition. Through a golden ticket placed into a boxed new iMac: One lucky Mac fan would fly to Cupertino and win a behind-the-scenes tour of the Apple factory and a free iMac. Jobs’ plan was to dress up as Willy Wonka in full garb, including the infamous top hat, velvet blazer and bow tie to greet the winner.
“Steve’s idea was to do a Willy Wonka with it. Just as Wonka did in the movie, Steve wanted to put a golden certificate representing the millionth iMac inside the box of one iMac, and publicise that fact. Whoever opened the lucky iMac box would be refunded the purchase price and be flown to Cupertino, where he or she (and, presumably, the accompanying family) would be taken on a tour of the Apple campus”, writes Sagall.
“Steve had already instructed his internal creative group to design a prototype golden competition, which he shared with us. But the killer was that Steve wanted to go all out on this. He wanted to meet the lucky winner in full Willy Wonka garb. Yes, complete with top hat and tails.”
Those in the room with Jobs were amused but not necessarily happy with the idea. Unfortunately California law did not allow the competition concept, due to entry requirements which made it compulsory for contestants to purchase an iMac in order to enter the giveaway.
Jobs’ golden ticket idea was cast aside and cancelled, and sadly no Apple fan got the tour of the Apple factory or the chance to see Steve Jobs dressed up as Willy Wonka.
For more insights on Steve Jobs and Apple check out Ken Sagall’s Insanely Simple – available to purchase from Amazon for US$16.95 + shipping.