As Steve Jobs’ legacy continues through the products he had a hand in, so too does his memory stick around through a vast collection of stories worth retelling, like the one being told this week about his first appearance at an Apple Store in Palo Alto. This story comes from an Apple and NeXT-related collection being released imminently in Forbes by Connie Guglielmo who, in some cases, experienced Jobs-related events she tells about in person. The story about the Scuff Marks bears retelling as it’s little more than black marks on a floor that spur the wrath of Jobs back in 2004.
A brand new “mini” store is being opened at the Stanford Shopping Center in Palo Alto, California, and Steve Jobs is set to help unveil the space, full with a new concept for a store that includes white ceilings with backlighting, stainless-steel walls with holes that look like the PowerMac G5, and a white floor as well. The problem with the makeup of the room was that it didn’t account well for real-world use – at least not as far as fingerprints and scuffs went.
Jobs noted that the floor was made with “material used in aircraft hangars” at the time, but it didn’t all add up – Jobs refused to be a part of the curtain undraping and greet with reporters. The store had handprints galore and black scuff marks all over the floor from the people making the presentation ready for prime time.
Jobs was convinced somehow or another to eventually agree to do the unveiling, and as Guglielmo notes:
“When I saw the floor, I immediately turned to Jobs, standing next to me, and asked if he had been involved in every aspect of the design. He said yes. “It was obvious that whoever designed the store had never cleaned a floor in their life,” I told him. He narrowed his eyes at me and stepped inside.” – Guglielmo
Guglielmo also notes that she’d heard several months later from an Apple executive that Jobs later had the designers of the store repent, so to speak. After the store opened on a Saturday, the designers all had to spend the night “on their hands and knees” cleaning the floor of all scuffs. It would seem that the stone tiles that exist in most Apple stores now are in place due in no small part to this incident.