So we went to Atari and said, ‘Hey, we’ve got this amazing thing, even built with some of your parts, and what do you think about funding us? Or we’ll give it to you. We just want to do it. Pay our salary, we’ll come work for you. ‘And they said, ‘No’. So then we went to Hewlett-Packard, and they said, ‘Hey, we don’t need you. You haven’t got through college yet’.
My heroes, Dave Packard, for example, left all his money to his foundation; Bob Noyce (the late co-founder of Intel0 was another. I’m old enough to have been able to know these guys. I met Andy Grove when I was 21. I called him and told him I’d heard he was really good at operations and asked if I could take him out to lunch. I did that with others too. These guys were all company builders, and the gestalt of Silicon Valley at that time made a big impression on me. There are people around here who start companies just to make money, but the great companies, well, that’s not what they’re about.
Steve Jobs, 1998