Ken Segall's newly released biography, "Insanely Simple: The Obsession That Drives Apple's Success," reveals one of Jobs' more playful ideas: He wanted to celebrate the one millionth purchase of the original iMac, Willy Wonka-style.
"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 publicize that fact," writes Segall, according to The Huffington Post's copy of the book. "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."
Apparently, Jobs had been completely serious about the idea. He had his internal creative group design an actual prototype of a golden ticket and had even been planning to meet the winner dressed to the nines as Willy Wonka.
Unfortunately, it seems California law got in Jobs' way. MacRumors reports that the state required sweepstakes contests to allow participation without the purchase of a product, meaning that Jobs couldn't limit potential winners to just iMac buyers, or any Apple customers, for that matter.
"He was cool in that he would come into a meeting and say he had this idea, but his ideas didn't always go anywhere," Segall told Business Insider. "The Willy Wonka idea -- and the fact that he wanted to dress up -- was really out of character for him. A lot of people will probably read that story and think it sounds like a pretty good idea."
Read more about Jobs in Ken Segall's "Insanely Simple: The Obsession That Drives Apple's Success," which just hit shelves on April 26.
What do you think of Jobs' wonky idea? Do you think it would have been successful? Let us know in the comments! But, before you do, make sure to check out a few other fascinating reads about Apple's co-founder by flipping through the slideshow below.
[Hat Tip: Gizmodo]
Perhaps the most popular and widely-acclaimed book about Steve Jobs, Walter Isaacson's Steve Jobs is an exhaustive biography written with the help of "more than a hundred family members, friends, adversaries, competitors, and colleagues," according to Amazon. Steve Jobs himself authorized Isaacson to be his biographer back in 2009 and was interviewed more than 40 times for this book. Isaacson's life story of Steve Jobs is a comprehensive, riveting look at the man behind Apple.
Sometimes the best way to learn about a person is to listen to what they have to say. Steve Jobs himself is the main voice in I, Steve: Steve Jobs in His Own Words, edited by George Beahm. According to Amazon, the book is a compilation of more than 200 Jobs quotations gathered from more than 30 years of media coverage.
Forbes' contributor Caleb Melby's The Zen of Steve Jobs is yet another "graphic narrative." However, Melby's work, while based on reported fact, is actually a "reimagining" of Steve Jobs, specifically during one of the most spiritual periods of his life. Watch the video (above) to learn more about this blend of fact and fiction.
If you're not much of a reader but would love to learn more about Steve Jobs, check out Chris Schmidt and C.W. Cooke's comic book biography, Steve Jobs: Co-Founder of Apple. With brilliantly illustrated pictures, you can get a quick overview of both his life and his successful career at Apple.
A handful of books about Steve Jobs published before his death are now releasing new editions, and one of them is Wired.com news editor Leander Kahney's Inside Steve's Brain. When it first came out a few years ago, it earned its place among USA Today's Best Business Books of 2008. Re-released on February 15, this exploration into Jobs' brain now has an added chapter devoted to his health issues and to the future of Apple.
While Steve Jobs had been tied to Apple since its beginnings in the '70s, many teens today know him simply as the man who helped bring us the iPod, iPad, and iPhone. Karen Blumenthal's Steve Jobs: The Man Who Thought Different is the story of Steve Jobs' life, geared more for younger readers.
The publication of John Edson's Design Like Apple: 10 Principles for World-Changing Products, Services, and Experiences is still a long ways off. Though it's slated to come out this coming July, this inside look at the creation of Apple's popular devices could be a great guide for start-up companies to get their own products off the ground.
With so many people wondering what really goes on behind closed doors at Apple headquarters, it's no wonder that Fortune editor Adam Lashinsky's Inside Apple: How America's Most Admired -- And Secretive -- Company Really Works is getting lots of attention. Lashinsky's book reveals how Apple uses secrecy to its advantage and how this method might be useful for other companies.