Feast on the vintage silliness of Apple’s 1992 sales meeting
Apple is more associated with splashy onstage events than any other tech company, and some of its keynotes have been—by product-marketing standards—historic. But the Apple event I’m obsessed with at the moment didn’t involve anyone unveiling a landmark gizmo, and was never meant to be seen by the general public. It’s Apple’s 1992 national sales meeting, which was held at the Grand Old Opry in Nashville.
A company called Zink Communications (tagline: “dedicated to exceeding our customers’ expectations”) helped Apple stage the whole affair and produced a video about it to promote its event-planning services to other prospective customers. A couple of years ago, some generous person uploaded it to YouTube, where it’s racked up a total of 43 views.
It deserves to be way more popular than that, and here it is.
If you can spare six minutes to watch the video, you will experience:
I lived through 1992–and was even a tech-journalism greenhorn at the time—but had forgotten how goofy the era’s vibe was until I watched this video. I won’t make fun of anything anybody is wearing in it, since I must have dressed similarly back then. Maybe worse.
Thinking back to the 1990s from here in 2019, it’s easy to fixate on the business troubles that eventually brought Apple perilously close to insolvency, which prompted cofounder Steve Jobs to return, which … well, you know the rest of the story. But in 1992, the company was celebrating record revenue and profits; its swoon was still years away. So those salesfolk in Nashville must have had every reason to be proud of themselves and optimistic about the future.
I’m glad they enjoyed themselves—and grateful that this video survived to capture the moment in time.