Jobs Wanted Mac to Look "Like a Porsche"

Illustration for article titled Jobs Wanted Mac to Look "Like a Porsche"

"It's got to be different, different from everything else." Steve Jobs wanted the first Macintosh to revolutionize personal computing, an idea that had to be backed up by its looks. But could he have used his Porsche 928 for inspiration? According to an account on, a site devoted to telling the story of the original Mac's development, Jobs sparred with his designer, who wanted their product to resemble a Ferrari.


The Macintosh 128k has become a design icon, introducing the public to graphical user interfaces, the mouse, 3.5" floppy disks and of course, the double click — all the while inventing desktop publishing in the process.

As told by Andy Hertzfeld, a software developer whose office was next door to the one where this conversation took place in 1981, Jobs was speaking with James Ferris, Apple's Director of Creative Services. Describing the meeting,

Jobs said, "James is helping me figure out what the Mac should look like."

"We need it to have a classic look, that won't go out of style, like the Volkswagen Beetle", Jobs suggested.

"No, that's not right," Ferris responded. "The lines should be voluptuous, like a Ferrari."

"Not a Ferrari, that's not right either, it should be more like a Porsche!" At the time, Jobs owned a Porsche 928. The Macintosh was launched to the public in 1984.

A Porsche-like Mac would have looked awesome, it's just such a shame it ended up coming out looking more like a Cuisinart.

More Like a Porsche []



It'd look a *little* less boxy in profile, so you could see the slanted top and the cutout in front (that's hidden by the keyboard).

I think the Porsche idea must have died along the way. And, anyway, Jobs always had a thing for cubelike designs. The Mac Cube, the NeXT Cube, the Pixar Image Computer (though that might have been designed when they worked for George Lucas.)