This is an odd story to emerge regarding the late Steve Jobs, the enigmatic co-founder of Apple. It turns out, according to the new book, Insanely Simple: The Obsession That Drives Apple’s Success, Jobs had big plans for when the millionth iMac was sold, an event that would symbolize Apple’s return from the brink. Instead of rehashing what was written, here’s the excerpt:
Steve’s idea was to do a Willy Wonka with it. Just as Wonka did in the movie, Steve wanted to put a golden certificate representing the millionth iMac inside the box of one iMac, and publicize that fact. Whoever opened the lucky iMac box would be refunded the purchase price and be flown to Cupertino, where he or she (and, presumably, the accompanying family) would be taken on a tour of the Apple campus.
Steve had already instructed his internal creative group to design a prototype golden certificate, which he shared with us. But the killer was that Steve wanted to go all out on this. He wanted to meet the lucky winner in full Willy Wonka garb. Yes, complete with top hat and tails.
Of course, none of this came to fruition, mainly due to the fact that California state law requires that any contest held must have a method of entry without making a purchase. With this law in place, there stood a very good chance that the winner of this contest would not have been a customer that purchased the millionth iMac. Still, it was a clever, if not kooky, idea.