I first met Steve Jobs in 1978 when, as a reporter for The Washington Post, I had come to the Valley to cover the technology business. Steve not only charmed me into writing a profile about him (and a year later, a cover story for Newsweek), but also charmed me into an Apple II and out of a $2,500 check to pay for it -- which at the time was more than a month's salary for me. I found the thing fairly useless, other than as an expression of how great Steve was as a salesman. A decent word processing program (not to mention VisiCalc) had yet to be written, and I wound up justifying the investment by teaching myself Basic.
By 1983 I was working on a book about the birth of the personal computer industry, and Steve had granted me carte blanche to wander around Bandley 3 and stay current on the Mac's development. One day in September, in a conference room populated with about 25 members of the Mac team, Steve was lecturing on how to hire.
"A players hire A players," he said. "B players hire C players. Do you get it?"
Apparently not. Somebody in the back of the room raised his hand and asked, "so how do you hire more B players?"