What’s in your wallet? Besides an ID, cash, and credit cards, you probably have a business card or two. Most tech leaders and CEOs aren’t any different. They usually carry these little pieces of paper around with them just like the rest of us.
So how do the business cards of tech leaders compare when shown together in a collection? From a materials perspective, Steve Wozniak and Kevin Mitnik have everyone beat. But the attitude displayed on Mark Zuckerberg‘s card is unforgettable. How about the rest? You’ll just have to scroll down to find out. From Mike Dell to Steve Jobs, here are some famous business cards from influential tech leaders.
Steve Jobs Business Card
This is one of Steve Jobs’s old business cards back from his early days at Apple, probably 1978 or 1979. Interestingly there’s no Apple rainbow logo on the card. Just the futuristic font that Apple used for the Apple II logo typeface.
Why is this business card famous? His name is listed as Steven and his title isn’t CEO, but Vice President, New Product Development. Perhaps he thought he was too young to be CEO and that “Steven,” instead of “Steve,” would get people to take him more seriously.
If you have a phone handy, dial the phone number on Steve Jobs’ business card. It’s still the number of Apple’s main switchboard. The address on the card, 10260 Bandley Drive, Cupertino CA, is on a street near Apple’s old corporate campus at 1 Infinite Loop.
NERD NOTE: After Steve Jobs left Apple, he founded a company called NeXT that created the base for Apple’s next-generation operating system called Macintosh OS X. Apple acquired NeXT and Jobs came back to the company as Interim CEO in the late 1990s.
Bill Gates Business Card
The first Bill Gates business card is very interesting. We hope he wasn’t using these Microsoft business cards for very long. Everything from the colors to the fonts screams 1970s. We wonder if he used to hand these out at Discos when trying to pick up girls. Why is this business card famous? It’s ugly.
Larry Page Business Card
It’s hard to believe, but Google isn’t really that old of a company. In 1998, co-founder Larry Page was handing out business cards at parties and trying to convince people to come work for this new search engine startup. We wonder how the people who turned him down feel now. It has to be one of those “worst decision of my life” things. All of the early Google employees walked away with huge stock options.
So why is this card on a list of famous business cards? Look carefully at the text. It’s a homemade inkjet-printed business card. When Larry Page started Google, he was just like the rest of us trying to start something with a budget of $0. He actually made his own business cards.
Steve Wozniak Business Card
Steve Wozniak co-founded Apple Computer with Steve Jobs back in the 1970s. He left Apple in 1985 and shifted his focus to writing and attending events and conferences.
The Woz is famous for his metal business cards. It’s always a thrill for people to get one. They are collector’s items for computer enthusiasts everywhere. Photo sharing sites are full of people posting their pictures with their very own Steve Wozniak business card.
Ev Williams Business Card
Jack Dorsey, Biz Stone, and Ev Williams were the three main guys who launched Twitter in 2006. You can bet they were the first people to include their Twitter handles on their business cards as well.
Jerry Yang Business Card
Jerry Yang co-founded Yahoo in 1994 and the company quickly became one of the biggest digital pioneers of the early days of the World Wide Web.
This Jerry Yang business card is probably his first Yahoo business card and shows an early version of the Yahoo brand. Also, notice how Jerry lists his job title as “Chief Yahoo.” What is that font that he used? The dreaded Comic Sans. Yuck.
Kevin Mitnick Business Card
Steve Wozniak isn’t the only tech leader with a metal business card. Kevin Mitnick is one of the most prolific hackers of all time and was the most-wanted computer criminal in the United States until his FBI arrest in 1995. Kevin now runs his own computer security company called Mitnick Security Consulting LLC.
Mitnick’s metal business card is also a lock pick. You can get one of his lock pick business cards for free by attending his speaking engagements or by snail-mailing him $10 cash with a S.A.S.E. And it’s not just a novelty. There are several videos of people using Mitnick’s business card to actually pick locks.
Lady Gaga Business Card
Wait, what? Why is a pop star like Lady Gaga on this list of famous business cards from tech leaders? Because, in addition to being a groundbreaking entertainment icon, she was also the creative director of Polaroid from 2010-2014. She helped inspire several of their innovative products including Polaroid’s camera glasses. After accepting the position, Lady Gaga proudly displayed her business card from the photography and digital imaging company to her social media followers.
Mike Dell Business Card
Dell Computer was started by Mike Dell in 1984 while he was still a student at the University of Texas at Austin. At the time, the company was called PC’s Limited and Dell sold computers built using stock components. After getting a $1,000 loan from family members, Dell started advertising in computer magazines. The business quickly grew and Dell dropped out of school. In his first year of operation, Dell’s company made a gross profit of over $73 million dollars and he personally became one of the most powerful tech leaders in the industry.
Why is this on a list of famous business cards? PC’s Limited went from a dorm-room headquartered company to a major computer manufacturer in only one year. Mike Dell’s first business card didn’t even have his name printed on it. He made a generic template for people to handwrite their own names on the cards.
Mark Zuckerberg Business Card
Facebook‘s CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, certainly has an interesting and very famous business card. His title is slightly amusing and definitely shows his age (or lack thereof). The “I’m CEO bitch” was actually added by one of the Facebook’s designers. You can read more about the creation of the card here.
But his zero-to-hero story, as portrayed in the movie The Social Network is very powerful. And baby-face Zuckerberg still looks like the geeky guy from around the corner. You have to admire such a young CEO leading his company to an unparalleled level of global domination.
Do We Really Still Need Business Cards?
In today’s digital age, do we really still need printed paper business cards with our contact info? In my opinion, yes. Business cards are impactful and help make a statement when you meet someone. They are also a physical reminder of an encounter that you had with an individual and leave an impression.
Famous Business Cards From Tech Leaders
What did you think of our list of famous business cards from tech leaders? My personal favorites are Kevin Mitnick’s lockpick business card and Mark Zuckerberg’s “I’m CEO, Bitch.” Which CEO celebrity business cards from these tech leaders were your favorites? Let us know in the comments.
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