For Jobs, the contest against Be was both professional and personal.
NeXT was failing, and the prospect of being bought by Apple was a tantalizing lifeline.
In addition, Jobs held grudges, sometimes passionately, and Gassée was near the top of his list,
despite the fact that they had seemed to reconcile when Jobs was at NeXT.
"Gassée is one of the few people in my life I would say is truly horrible," Jobs later insisted, unfairly. "He knifed me in the back in 1985."
Sculley, to his credit, had at least been gentlemanly enough to knife Jobs in the front.
On December 2, 1996, Steve Jobs set foot on Apple's Cupertino campus for the first time since his ouster eleven years earlier.
In the executive conference room, he met Amelio and Hancock to make the pitch for NeXT.
Once again he was scribbling on the whiteboard there,
this time giving his lecture about the four waves of computer systems that had culminated, at least in his telling, with the launch of NeXT.
He was at his most seductive, despite the fact that he was speaking to two people he didn't respect.
He was particularly adroit at feigning modesty.
"It's probably a totally crazy idea," he said, but if they found it appealing,
"I'll structure any kind of deal you want--license the software, sell you the company, whatever."