Originally published February 1, 2012
In 1977, when he was 33 and Apple had just fi ve employees, Steve Jobs hired Jerry Manock as a consultant to design the Apple II, one of the fi rst personal computers in history to be successfully mass produced and marketed. Manock gets credit for almost everything but the circuit board and the logic (which was engineered by Jobs’ partner and Apple cofounder Steve Wozniak): the machine’s “thermal management, the structure, the outside aesthetics, the color — beige, Pantone 453, the color of the deepspace universe,” Manock says, rattling o his contributions to the once-cutting-edge Apple II, which now looks like a yellowing typewriter on a shelf in his Burlington o ce.
Beside it sits the smaller, self-contained, revolutionary Macintosh. Manock was part of the original team of a halfdozen workers who designed it.
Apple went on to develop the iPod, iBook, iPhone and iPad. From his unique vantage point, Manock had a clear view of a visionary entrepreneur who employed what colleagues describe as a “reality distortion fi eld” to charm, inspire and drive his employees to do the impossible.