The 55 miles from Campbell to San Francisco make for one of the nicest commutes anywhere. The journey mostly zips along the Junipero Serra Freeway, a grand and remarkably empty highway that abuts the east side of the Santa Cruz Mountains. It is one of the best places in Silicon Valley to spot a start-up tycoon speed-testing his Ferrari and one of the worst places for cellphone reception. For Andy Grignon, it was therefore the perfect place for him to be alone with his thoughts early on Jan. 8, 2007.
This wasn’t Grignon’s typical route to work. He was a senior engineer at Apple in Cupertino, the town just west of Campbell. His morning drive typically covered seven miles and took exactly 15 minutes. But today was different. He was going to watch his boss, Steve Jobs, make history at the Macworld trade show in San Francisco. Apple fans had for years begged Jobs to put a cellphone inside their iPods so they could stop carrying two devices in their pockets. Jobs was about to fulfill that wish. Grignon and some colleagues would spend the night at a nearby hotel, and around 10 a.m. the following day they — along with the rest of the world — would watch Jobs unveil the first iPhone.