Frank Quattrone

How Steve Jobs influenced Frank Quattrone

July 27, 2011: 8:56 AM ET

The tech banker Frank Quattrone has been through multiple technology cycles in Silicon Valley, having been around long enough to know many of its central characters when they were just getting started. A Philadelphian when he arrived for business school in his young 20s, Quattrone went one to an illustrious career banking some of the industry's biggest IPOs, including Cisco (CSCO), Netscape and Amazon (AMZN). In an interview at Fortune's Brainstorm Tech conference on July 20 he re-counted the role a very young Apple Computer and its young founder had on his career.

Frank Quattrone

Frank Quattrone

I was fortunate that I came out to the Valley in 1979 to go to Stanford Business School, and my very first assignment as a teaching assistant for an investments professor was to go down to this computer company in Cupertino called Apple. (AAPL)

It was the year before they went public.  He said, "Go get an Apple IIe and bring it back here, and import an investment program from the HP (HPQ) mini-computer onto this Apple IIe."  I said "Okay, I can do that."  So when I opened it up, there really wasn't much inside other than, you know, the single board computer with a keyboard, and this green screen that didn't have any word processing or database or applications of any kind.  It just had the Basic programming language.

So I thought yes, small mini-computer. What's the big deal?  Then a year later, that same investments professor had a class that I attended in the fall of 1980, as Apple was going public.  He brought the then 25 year-old Steve Jobs into our classroom to tell us all about how PCs were going to change the world, and how they were going to be used to communicate, as well as to do commerce and all this other stuff, and how he had traded in his Volkswagen van for a few hundred bucks to get the company started.

I was also 25 at the time.  I thought I was kind of a hotshot, because I had had two years of work experience at Morgan Stanley (MS), and I was about to get my Stanford MBA.  Here's a guy my age, who had just created a company that Wall Street was about to value at a billion dollars. So that's what got me really focused on, you know, people who like to change the world in Silicon Valley.

  • Brainstorm Tech video: Frank Quattrone on Bubble 2.0 -- or is it?

    Fortune's Adam Lashinsky interviewed longtime Silicon Valley banker Frank Quattrone about bubbles, what he learned when Apple went public, and why this time really isn't any different.

    MR. LASHINSKY:  Thank you, Jeff, and please welcome with me Frank Quattrone.

    (Applause.)

    MR. LASHINSKY:  Frank, thank you so much for being here.

    MR. QUATTRONE:  It's a pleasure, Adam.  Thanks for inviting me.

    MR. LASHINSKY:  You bet.  I just wanted to kick things off by showing an illustration MORE

    Jul 21, 2011 1:35 AM ET
  • Quattrone: 'LinkedIn is the Netscape of its era'

    Silicon Valley's banker doesn't think it's a bubble. Yet.

    By Dan Primack, senior editor

    FORTUNE -- When Frank Quattrone was a student at Stanford Business School, a classroom speech by fellow 25 year-old Steve Jobs sparked an interest in Silicon Valley entrepreneurs who want to change the world. Quattrone would go on to virtually underwrite the initial Internet boom, helping bring public companies like Amazon (AMZN) and Netscape. Today he advises tech companies MORE

    - Jul 20, 2011 7:23 PM ET
    Posted in:
  • Why Frank Quattrone became an investment banker (again)

    Some career advice from  a pro: When considering a second act, don't forget about your first.

    Here is what has amazed me about Frank Quattrone's second coming, nicely chronicled recently by Fortune's Mina Kimes. Quattrone decided, after a career of accomplishments and some devastating professional setbacks, to be exactly what he's best at: an investment banker.

    It all seems obvious now. Quattrone goes way back with everyone in the industry. The securities MORE

    - Nov 23, 2010 11:46 PM ET
  • The return of Frank Quattrone

    After spending four years in court, the tech banker is back with a new firm and a string of big deals.

    By Mina Kimes, writer

    Forget Gordon Gekko: The biggest comeback kid of 2010 is Frank Quattrone. The star technology banker, who spent years battling charges that he improperly handed out IPO shares in exchange for business, suddenly seems to have his hand in every big deal in Silicon Valley. His new MORE

    Oct 25, 2010 3:00 AM ET
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