I spent the last few months working on a long profile of Mike Krzyzewski, now the all-time winningest coach in college basketball history, and it was released today as a Kindle Single in the Kindle Store.
What’s the Single about?
OK, but what about Coach K?
It’s a story of how the most successful coach in college hoops history is still winning the way he does, but also about how he ended up at Duke, what happens when he leaves, and everything else in between.
How can I buy it?
It’s available in the Kindle Store and it’s sent automatically, wirelessly and something-else-ly to your Kindle, Blackberry, Kindle for Mac, iPhone, iPod, iPad and iAnythingElse.
How much does it cost?
$0.99. Which, I know, is not free. But I also just paid $2 for a cup of coffee and finished it in two minutes.
Will I enjoy it?
“You did the impossible, because you didn’t realize it was impossible.”
“The products suck!” he shouted. “There’s no sex in them anymore!”
“This is shit!” he yelled. “It’s advertising agency shit and I hate it.”
Jobs, who could identify with each of those sentiments, wrote some of the lines himself, including “They push the human race forward.”
“Deciding what not to do is as important as deciding what to do,” he said. “That’s true for companies, and it’s true for products.”
Jobs shouted, “That’s it!”
At one point the pulmonologist tried to put a mask over his face when he was deeply sedated. Jobs ripped it off and mumbled that he hated the design and refused to wear it. Though barely able to speak, he ordered them to bring five different options for the mask and he would pick a design he liked.
Jobs also decided to bring his son Reed, then a high school senior, back with him from Hawaii. “I’m going to be in meetings 24/7 for probably two days and I want you to be in every single one because you’ll learn more in those two days than you would in two years at business school,” he told him.
“I know that it’s possible I will die and leave Laurene with a half-built boat,” he said. “But I have to keep going on it. If I don’t, it’s an admission that I’m about to die.”
The ensuing party featured skinny-dipping in the pool, a bonfire on the beach, and loud music that lasted all night, which caused the hotel, La Playa in Carmel, to ask them never to come back.
Worried, she asked advance team and Secret Service what had happened. One of them pulled her aside and explained that it was a painting of a dress on a hanger, and given the issue of the blue dress in the Lewinsky matter they had decided to hide it.
They also considered Maya Angelou and Tom Hanks. At a fund-raising dinner featuring Bill Clinton that fall, Jobs pulled the president aside and asked him to telephone Hanks to talk him into it, but the president pocket-vetoed the request.
Perhaps the oddest meeting was when Dr. Dre came to visit Jobs at Apple headquarters. Jobs loved the Beatles and Dylan, but he admitted that the appeal of rap eluded him. Now Jobs needed Eminem and other rappers to agree to be sold in the iTunes Store, so he huddled with Dr. Dre, who was Eminem’s mentor. After Jobs showed him the seamless way the iTunes Store would work with the iPod, Dr. Dre proclaimed, “Man, somebody finally got it right.”
“Reed doesn’t understand,” Jobs lamented. Or perhaps he did. He was wearing a Joan Baez T-shirt, with the words “Forever Young” on it.
Andy Hertzfeld had found the CD and made a copy of it for Jobs in 1986, though Jobs sometimes told folks that it had come from Yoko Ono.
Bono left a copy of the unreleased album, How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb, for Jobs to hear. “He was the only person outside the band who had it,” Bono said.
“I’m going to pick him up myself in my Maserati,” Bono answered. “He’s going to stay at my house, I’m going to take him out, and I will get him really drunk.”
When it was resolved, Ive and Bono settled into some serious drinking. Both are comfortable in pubs. After a few pints, they decided to call Vincent back in California. He was not home, so Bono left a message on his answering machine, which Vincent made sure never to erase. “I’m sitting here in bubbling Dublin with your friend Jony,” it said. “We’re both a bit drunk, and we’re happy with this wonderful iPod and I can’t even believe it exists and I’m holding it in my hand. Thank you!”
For help with the speech, he called the brilliant scriptwriter Aaron Sorkin (A Few Good Men, The West Wing). Jobs sent him some thoughts. “That was in February, and I heard nothing, so I ping him again in April, and he says, ‘Oh, yeah,’ and I send him a few more thoughts,” Jobs recounted. “I finally get him on the phone, and he keeps saying ‘Yeah,’ but finally it’s the beginning of June, and he never sent me anything.”
(He ordered a mango smoothie and a plain vegan pasta, neither of which was on the menu.)
He ordered fresh-squeezed juice, which he sent back three times, declaring that each new offering was from a bottle, and a pasta primavera, which he shoved away as inedible after one taste. But then he ate half of my crab Louie salad and ordered a full one for himself, followed by a bowl of ice cream. The indulgent hotel was even able to produce a glass of juice that finally met his standards.
One evening he announced, “I could probably eat a little pumpkin pie,” and the even-tempered Brown created a beautiful pie from scratch in an hour. Jobs ate only one bite, but Brown was thrilled.
One More Thing…
By the end of the recitation he was crying uncontrollably. When he composed himself, he noted that he had also made a set of the pictures for each of his kids. “I thought they might like to see that I was young once.”