Steve Jobs signed magazine sells for more than 50K at auction

Steve Jobs

Newsweek magazine signed by Steve Jobs, auctioned for $50,587. Image courtesy of RR Auction

BOSTON – A Steve Jobs-signed cover of an October 24, 1988 issue of Newsweek magazine has sold for $50,587, according to Boston-based RR Auction.

The issue features Jobs and his NeXT computer on the front cover and is signed, “Steven Jobs, I love manufacturing.”

In October 1988, Steve Jobs went to Lotus Development Corporation in Cambridge, Massachusetts, to unveil the much anticipated NeXT computer. It was expected to revolutionize academia and all things educational. After the elaborate fanfare at the unveiling, a senior buyer with Lotus at the time approached Jobs for his autograph.
“I realized his visit to Lotus was a pivotal and exciting time in his career,” said Diane Williams, a former employee of Lotus in a detailed letter of provenance that accompanied the sale.
“He hesitated and said ‘I don’t do autographs.’ at which point I stepped closer, locked eyes and said, ‘Then write something from your heart.’ “He smiled from ear to ear, and jotted the words: ‘I love manufacturing’ and then signed it!”
Steve Jobs

Image provided by RR Auction

“Steve Jobs’s autograph is extremely scarce—even as far back as 1988 he was reluctant to sign,” said Bobby Livingston, Executive VP at RR Auction. “What makes this even more incredible is his signature combined with his image.”
“His legacy to humanity was his creative genius, and his ‘love for manufacturing’ helped to revolutionize the technology industry for his legions of followers,” said Bobby Livingston.
Earlier this year, a Steve Jobs-signed poster promoting the 1992 NeXTWorld Expo in San Francisco sold for $19,600, and in 2013 the auction house sold a signed contract from 1978 for more than $40,000.
After being ousted from Apple in the fall of 1985, Jobs founded the innovative NeXT project, a computer and software company aimed at the markets of business and higher education.
The first NeXT Computer was introduced in 1988 with great fanfare, thanks in part to Jobs’s marketing strategy—he promised “exclusive” interviews to multiple magazines and ended up on the covers of several publications, including this Newsweek.
At NeXT, Jobs helped to develop a pioneering “fingerless” automated manufacturing line right in Silicon Valley. He believed that keeping the design, development, and manufacturing in close proximity—all in a single plant, rather than outsourced overseas—would help NeXT out-innovate its competitors by allowing continuous improvement of their products. Although their computers encountered subpar sales, the NeXTSTEP operating system and development environment proved highly influential. Apple purchased NeXT in 1997 for $429 million and 1.5 million shares of Apple stock, with Jobs, as part of the agreement, returning to the company he had co-founded in 1976. Steve Jobs died on October 5, 2011.
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