We make our products in Berkeley, a wellspring of human spirit. It has a rich tradition of Americans who dared to stand up and speak the truth.
American Spiritual Master
Here stood John Muir: naturalist and American spiritual master. Muir wrote that we should “climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature’s peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their own freshness into you, and the storms their energy, while cares will drop off like autumn leaves.”
He was also quoted in saying “the clearest way into the universe is through a forest wilderness.” He devoted his last days to fighting to save Hetch Hetchy, a valley comparable to the magnificence of Yosemite. Despite his efforts the forces of “progress” built the dam and flooded it. It remains underwater to this day.
Martin Luther King Jr
Here stood Martin Luther King. In his last days, he came to the realization that the struggle was not only for social justice for his people, but for all of humanity. He came to Berkeley and spoke on the campus, in front of Sproul Hall where the Free Speech Movement began. We all stand taller, knowing that such a courageous man lived among us.
It was here in Berkeley that Steve Wozniak went to school. He attended the University of California where he studied electrical engineering. He had the good sense to drop out in 1975 and founded Apple Computer, Inc. with Steve Jobs. They designed the Apple I, the first personal computer in Jobs’ bedroom and built the prototype in his garage. Jobs showed the machine to a local electronics equipment retailer, who ordered twenty-five. To fund the startup, Jobs sold his Volkswagen van and Wozniak sold his Hewlett-Packard scientific calculator, which raised $1,300. With that capital base and credit from local electronics suppliers, they set up their first production line. In 1980, Apple went public and made Jobs and Wozniak millionaires.
By inventing the personal computer, Steve Wozniak changed the world. Yet he was no mere technocrat. He wanted to contribute to the betterment of humankind.
Wozniak said, “I wanted to put chips together like an artist, better than anyone else could and in a way that would be the absolute most usable by humans. That was my goal when I built the first computer, the one that later became the Apple I. It was the first computer to use a keyboard so you could type onto it, and the first to use a screen you could look at. The idea of usable technology was something that was kind of born in my head as a kid when I had this fantasy that I could someday build machines people could use. And it happened!”
Just as Mozart channeled musical scores, writing them down in a final version without revising, editing or correcting, so too, Steve channeled the circuitry for the first PC. He was the conduit for a revolutionary invention that changed every aspect of our lives.
Georgia Washington, Thomas Jefferson and Abraham Lincoln
In 1787, Thomas Jefferson wrote to George Washington, “agriculture is our wisest pursuit, because it will in the end contribute most to real wealth, good morals, and happiness.”
In his inauguration address Abraham Lincoln said, “Why should there not be a patient confidence in the ultimate justice of the people? Is there any better or equal hope in the world?” By supporting California almond growers we are but realizing Lincoln’s vision of a “new birth of freedom.”