Steve Jobs sent a touching email answer to an Apple employee in 2010. It was two letters long.
Apple employees didn’t share a lot of Steve Jobs stories on blogs or social media while he was alive. Apple is famous for its secrecy. When employees leave Apple, some start sharing publicly.
David Gelphman worked in the Graphics and Imaging Group at Apple from 2000 until earlier this year. He just published his story about his one personal interaction with late Apple founder Steve Jobs.
Gelphman emailed Steve Jobs to ask for a kind of permission only Jobs could grant. Gelphman was on his way to visit a friend in the hospital who had less than a week to live after a liver transplant had failed.
The friend was dying of cancer, and Gelphman hoped to provide a little joy by letting his friend touch his iPad two weeks before it was released to the public.
According to iDevice.TV, “He wasn’t going to risk showing her his iPad without permission, and he knew if he asked anyone other than Steve, he’d just get shot down.”
Gelphman took a chance and emailed Jobs to ask for permission:
From: David Gelphman <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: unusual request
Date: March 23, 2010 9:04:55 AM PDT
To: Steve Jobs <email@example.com>
Today (Tuesday) I’m visiting a terminally ill friend in the hospital in San Francisco. I’ve been told that she will likely not survive until this Friday. She had a liver transplant in late February and we all had high hopes but unfortunately she has not recovered.
Apple has given me carry permission for the [REDACTED] software for the iPad and I take Apple’s security very seriously. I was hoping to get permission from you to show her photos on the iPad even though it is not due to be released until April 3rd. Under normal circumstances I would not make such a request, nor would I expect that such a request might possibly be granted.
Thank you for considering this request.
He got an answer 3-minutes later:
From: Steve Jobs <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: Re: unusual request
Date: March 23, 2010 9:07:04 AM PDT
To: David Gelphman <email@example.com>
Sent from my iPhone
The friend was unconscious and didn’t get to see Gelphman’s iPad. She passed away the day he visited.