2 min read

The Real Story of How Apple Got Its Name

The Real Story of How Apple Got Its Name

His brow tenses and releases as he twiddles blades of grass between his thumbs.

As usual, he's deep in thought.

His hair is long — even a little matted; a brown beard cloaks his jawline.

Steve Jobs is tall, skinny, slightly manic and clueless to his future impact.

Decades before adopting his signature black turtle neck — he opted for flip flops, a white t-shirt and jeans.

When not taking typography classes, eating fruit or designing video games – he's devouring books about Eastern religion.

One of his favorites on the subject is Be Here Now by Ram Dass.

Who is Ram Dass?

Ram Dass was a spiritual guide who helped bring Eastern religion to the Western world. He was a Harvard professor at one point, an early LSD distributor at another, and ultimately one of the most followed men in America.

Jobs gravitated towards Ram Dass and his teachings; so much so that in 1974 he decided to visit India with his friend Dan Kottke.

Why India?

Ram Dass's guru was a man referred to as Maharaj-ji or Baba Neem Karoli.

As a follower of Ram Dass, Jobs knew he had to meet the man who influenced him the most.

But to his surprise, Maharaj-ji had left his body just months before they arrived.

Before returning to the US however, Steve and Dan stayed and listened to the teachings of Baba while exploring the places he frequented the most. Jobs felt such a connection with the guru that he began to have a profound spiritual awakening.

And he's not the only one who felt this way; a few others who've visited India in search of Baba Neem Karoli include:

  • Mark Zuckerberg
  • Julia Roberts
  • Daniel Goleman

But where did the name come from?

As they continued their trip, Dan began to notice Steve's obsessive nature take hold of an idea during their deep meditation sessions.

Upon their arrival in the US, Steve wasted no time taking action on that idea by founding Apple less than a year later and hiring Dan as the first employee.

As an avid fruitarian himself, Steve knew he had to inquire about Baba's favorited fruit before leaving India. And let's just say it wasn't an orange.

It's reported that when Jobs was dying, the only thing hanging on the walls was a picture of Maharaj-ji, his beloved Guru.