How to pitch a development project like Steve Jobs

Steve Jobs is known for many things. Perhaps most notably, Jobs was an impressive presenter and really understood how to get people excited about what he was doing.

Working with a number of developers over the years, I’ve noticed that deals get done in a variety of ways. Some exercise strong political influence, others use money (sometimes quite unethically), and yet others use a variety of legal strategies to accomplish their goals.

When Steve Jobs was seeking approval from the Cupertino City Council for Apple’s proposed campus development project (some of which was in a former apple grove, some on the site of HP’s former glory…), he simply used words and his (in)famous power of persuasion. Wired has more:

One of his last wins for Apple wasn’t launching a blockbuster product, but helping to cement the company’s future in Cupertino, California, the city where Apple was born and whose name became synonymous with the company. It was a project he nursed for at least five years (see videos below).

In 2006–the year Apple turned 30–he attended a town meeting to tell the city council about Apple’s expansion plan. In typical Steve fashion, he laid on the charm. He told them he wanted to stay in Cupertino, even if it was much more costly than moving. The pitch certainly wooed the council, but for a while, it didn’t look like his mission would succeed. Then Apple found a way: It bought up nine properties totaling 50 acres just down the street from One Infinite Loop.

Source: Wired

Below are the videos. Both are somewhat lower resolution. The second one was too difficult for me personally to watch as it shows Jobs in a seriously deteriorated state at the very end of his life.