The world is close to discovering how much a person is willing to pay for a brush with the Jesus phone's maker – a job application penned by heroic Apple co-founder Steve Jobs is about to go under the hammer later this month.
"A single page signed job application from 1973 is being offered for sale," says the blurb from Charterfields, the auctioneer running the process.
"In the questionnaire Steve Jobs highlights his experience with 'computers and calculators' and special abilities in 'electronic tech or design engineer – digital'," it adds.
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In his own writing, a teenaged Steve confirmed his address was Reed College in Portland, Oregon, that his major was English Literature, that he didn't have a personal phone number, and that he did have a driver's licence but access to transportation was "possible, but not probable".
In later life, Steve would swap his car every six months to comply with Californian law that states new cars have half a year before they must carry licence plates.
Jobs – who famously rocked up at Atari without bathing for a meeting with president Joe Keenan – was himself a notorious stickler when it came to recruitment. In a 1980s-era interview, Jobs described his ideal candidates as those who "don't need to be managed" and are able to rally around a common vision. Workers should be "self-policing" while professional managers, he added, were "bozos".
"We wanted people who were insanely great, but not necessarily seasoned professionals, but who had at the tips of their fingers an understanding of where technology was, and what we could with that technology," he said.
Speaking of doing a job for Jobs, young Steve would later face accusations that Apple, among others, was part of a large-scale conspiracy by Silicon Valley firms not to poach each others' employees in an effort to slow escalating wages. The pacts were said to involve execs including Steve himself.
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In 2010, the US Department of Justice found the companies had illegally colluded, opening the door for employees to sue in 2011. Along with Google, Adobe and Intel, Apple had to pay $415m to settle the claims compensating workers for potential lost wages.
As for Steve's expensive, dusty old job application, it seems to have been completed around the time he'd dropped out of Reed College – the actual job being applied for is not clear.
The application form was listed for auction by Charterfields, a business disposal specialist, under the instruction of the liquidators of Sourcechain Technologies Limited, an IT recruitment firm currently being wound up.
It's not clear how Sourcechain obtained the document, although Charterfields noted it last sold at auction in 2018 for over $175,000.
Despite its age, the form appears to be in solid condition, with its owner only noting the existence of a few blemishes: "Overall creasing, light staining, and old clear tape to the top edge. It is accompanied by letters and certificates of authenticity," the auction page adds. Bidding on the document will close at 4pm GMT on Wednesday, 24 March.
Early Apple memorabilia has a tendency to be jaw-droppingly expensive, and working specimens of the rare Apple-1 computer have gone for hefty sums – the price of a studio apartment in Central London.
Touching the same paper that Steve once touched won't cost nearly as much. The highest bid price currently stands at £19,000 ($26,493). Still, pretty expensive for a US Letter sheet. ®