MON: “Keeper of the Sacred Flame”

Monday’s workout posted below.

In Ken Segall’s book Think Simple, former Apple marketing chief Steve Wilhite recalls the birth of the iMac in 1998 at a time when Apple was making its grand turnaround under the return of Steve Jobs in 1997. The iMac was brand new at this point, and Apple was working its way from under years of poor performance without Jobs and trying to re-establish their identity. The brand new iMac, making quite a splash in the marketplace, drew the attention of Pepsi who was budgeting $30 million in broadcast media and wanted to partner with Apple as part of a customer giveaway. Each can, case, and package of Pepsi around the country would be branded and labeled with the Apple logo with the catch phrase “Buy a Pepsi, Win an iMac.” The proposed deal from Pepsi included the upfront purchase of three thousand iMacs they would giveaway to customers who purchased select winning cases of Pepsi, and of course, the free $30 million of advertising Apple would receive in exchange for Pepsi using Apple’s brand equity to sell sugar water.

The sales executive who found, worked, and brought the Pepsi deal to Wilhite was ecstatic over his work. In one fell swoop, he would get the brand out in front of millions of consumers without having to spend a dime, and be singularly responsible for Apple’s comeback.

Promotion. Praise. Possibly hoisted directly onto Steve Jobs’ shoulders and carried around the office. When the sales exec presented the deal to Wilhite for his resounding approval, he was instead given a concise, abrupt response he was not expecting.


When pushed for a better reason than that, Wilhite offered, “We move three thousand iMacs, we don’t get to tell anybody who we are, what we stand for, and why we matter.” It was Pepsi’s message.

Still unsatisfied, the sales executive took the deal over Wilhite’s head, straight to Steve Jobs who promptly agreed with Wilhite’s decision and thanked him for supporting the company.

Thanked him…for supporting the company. In a time when Apple had just borrowed $150 million to turn themselves around, Steve Jobs viewed turning down a free $30 million media exposure and $300,000 in upfront iMac sales as “supporting the company.” To Wilhite, his decision to decline the deal was obvious. He knew what Jobs was about, and what the new future of Apple was about, and it was not letting Pepsi tell their story.

In Wilhite’s words, he was the keeper of Jobs’ sacred flame at Apple. He was to tell the story. He was to protect the brand values at all costs. Which he learned wasn’t for sale. Not even for $30 million.

What principles would you never abandon? What sacred flame do you keep burning? Are you responsible for your own destiny, or is it for sale?


Monday, 12.10.17

First, for Strength.
Complete 1 set every 3 minutes for 15 minutes.
8 Heavy RKB Swings
6 Pec Row and Push
5 Hollow Pull-Ups

Then, for 4 Rounds for Time.
8 Hang Power Cleans (115#/75#)
300m Run