Steve Jobs, co-founder of Apple, was once fired from Apple. That was when he had launched NeXT, a company building computers for colleges and researchers. NeXT would eventually go on to be bought by Apple and Jobs would be rehired. Jobs wrote an offer letter for joining NeXT to one David Nagy in 1989, a year after NeXT’s first computer was released, and a cheeky remark in the letter is going viral. Jobs signs off the letter with a prompt for Nagy: “I accept this insanely great offer!!!" Nagy, at the time, was working as a product manager over at Apple, as per a CNBC Make It report.
Despite the confidence, Jobs was unable to poach Nagy, who continued at Apple till 1993. The NeXT role Jobs offered did not have a title, and offered a salary of $80,000 per year, paid monthly in advance. It had a $5,000 hiring bonus, options to purchase 5,000 shares of NeXT common stock and a healthcare plan. The letter also went up for auction.
According to a provenance letter written by Nagy to RR Auction, Jobs wanted to hire him to “develop product strategies and plans, third party partnerships and marketing programs." It was the same job that he was doing at Apple. Nagy says he regrets turning down the job. He said that he thought that NeXT would not be successful and that he loved his job at Apple. In hindsight, he wishes he would have taken Jobs up on his offer.
Was Jobs’ job offer really that “insanely great", though? The $80,000 salary back then would amount to somewhere around $180,000 in this day, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. However, it is notable that there was no job title being offered by Jobs. Moreover, Guy Kawasaki, who had worked at Apple around that time, described working for Jobs as “sometimes unpleasant and always scary." He added that Jobs demanded excellence.