Following the launch of the Lisa, the Mac team held an off-site retreat in Carmel in January 1983. Steve Jobs began the retreat with three sayings:
1. Real artists ship.
2. It's better to be a pirate than join the navy.
3. Mac in a book by 1986.
The pirates remark may have addressed feelings that the Mac team was getting too big and bureaucratic. In August of 1983 the team moved to a larger building now over 80 employees strong. To make the team feel at home, Steve Capps, a programmer thought to fly a pirate flag.
A few days before we moved into the new building, Capps bought some black cloth and sewed it into a flag. He asked Susan Kare to paint a big skull and crossbones in white at the center. The final touch was the requisite eye-patch, rendered by a large, rainbow-colored Apple logo decal. We wanted to have the flag flying over the building early Monday morning, the first day of occupancy, so the plan was to install it late Sunday evening.
Sunday night at around 10PM, Capps climbed onto the roof and found a few rusty nails, he used them to secure the flag pole to a groove in the roof.
We weren't sure how everyone would react to the flag, especially Steve Jobs, but Steve and almost everyone else loved it, so it became a permanent fixture of the building. It usually made me smile when I caught a glimpse of it as I came to work in the morning.
You can read more about the flag's story at the link below...