Apple 2.0

Covering the business that Steve Jobs built

Steve Jobs through Rosen-colored glasses

October 23, 2011: 8:21 AM ET

Wall Street's first Apple evangelist -- and the former chairman of Compaq -- reminisces

Source: Ben Rosen

The 140-word Wikipedia entry on Benjamin M. Rosen hardly does him justice. For more than a decade -- starting in 1980 when he left Morgan Stanley and co-founded Sevin Rosen Management -- Ben Rosen was personal computing's most influential power broker, a visionary financier who backed dozens of high-tech start-ups, including Compaq, Citrix, Cyprus, Lotus, Silicon Graphics and Electronic Arts.

The man Mike Moritz in The Little Kingdom described as looking like a "demure orthodontist, with thinning silver hair and owl-eyed spectacles" was also Apple's (AAPL) best friend on Wall Street in the late 70s and early 80s. In his blog Through Rosen-colored glasses Rosen, now 78, reminisced Saturday about the early days, the middle years, and his last contact with Steve Jobs -- a 2007 e-mail to let him know that the former chairman of Compaq had happily switched to a Mac.

Jobs' reply:

From: Steve Jobs
Subject: Re: 30 years later -- from Ben Rosen
Date: August 1, 2007 7:58:57 PM EDT
To: Benjamin M. Rosen

Ben,

Sorry for my delayed reply - I was on a much needed family vacation for the past three weeks.

Wow - this news makes my day! I'm glad to hear it. I hope you like what we've done with the Mac. I'm biased, of course, but I think its light years ahead of Windows.

How are you doing? We haven't seen each other in years, but I remember the times we spent together very fondly.

All the best,

Steve

See also: What's in the Steve Jobs book.

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Philip Elmer-Dewitt
Philip Elmer-DeWitt
Editor, Apple 2.0, Fortune

Philip Elmer-DeWitt has been following Apple since 1982, first for Time Magazine, and now on the Web for Fortune.com.

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