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Friday, August 11, 2006

I'm stressing out

This year's WWDC is a big deal for me, bigger than ever before, for reasons that are hard to explain. It's just that we're soooo on a roll right now, and I want everything to be perfect. It's like, I saw this whole thing in a dream, or in a movie, like ten years ago ... I saw all of this in like a vision and now it's all happening for real, which is just incredible. Anyhoo. I'm stressing out cause I want my presentation and keynote to be perfect and, well, they're not. Not yet anyway. And I know I hold myself to impossibly high standards, but how can I expect the best from others unless I'm demanding the best from myself. Right. And instead, everything is wrong. Like my mock turtlenecks. My regular supplier had its factory wiped out in this like tsunami or whatever that happened recently. So my assistants have been looking around at other brands. We just can't find the right texture. In the rag trade they call it the "hand" of the fabric. I've been doing rehearsals wearing a bunch of different shirts and some are close but they're just not exactly there, ya know? I just don't feel like me. And it takes a toll on my presentation.

The other problem is our rehearsal space. We gutted one of our buildings on the Cupertino campus and built an exact replica of the Moscone Center and hired about fifteen hundred people to sit in the audience and pretend to be Apple developers. (We give them Nembutal to give them that glazed, worshipful look, and we flash lights at them when it's time to cheer wildly.) But anyhoo. The space is close, but not exact. I'm looking out there and I say to Chad, our event producer, this space is not correct. There are too many seats. He says, Steve, here, look, we've got the original blueprints, we've built this exactly to spec. And I'm like, look, it's wrong. So they send an intern up to San Francisco and he counts the seats and sure enough, the second-to-last row has two fewer seats than our model. Turns out the kid talks to the manager at Moscone who tells him that after the place was built they removed two seats in the second-to-last row to widen an aisle. And Chad is like, Steve, seriously, you scare me, dude. Which is cool, the praise and all, but I'm like, Chad, what the frig am I paying you for? Huh? I mean, it's like the Stonehenge scene in Spinal Tap. Chad says, Come on, man, we were ninety-nine-point-nine-nine percent correct. And I'm like, You think we would have made the iMac so beautiful if we were 99.99 percent? Think, people. Honestly.

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