Steve Jobs’ Business Cards Bring in More Than $10K at Charity Auction

Business card
Under normal circumstances, nearly 9 out of 10 — 88% — of business cards are thrown out within a week.But fortunately for a California private school, one of its families had the foresight to save three of Apple co-founder Steve Jobs’ business cards when they did catering work for him decades ago. Over the weekend, those cards brought in over $10,000 at the school’s annual fundraising auction.

The winning bidder, The Marin School confirmed May 11, was Tim Knowles, CEO and co-founder of Australian startup Stacks, a company working to allow people to share business cards digitally via an iPhone app (the app should be launching later this year).

The cards generated 47 bids total, both online and in person, starting at $600 and going up to Knowles’ winning bid of $10,050. That’s $3,350 per card; it’s also twice what was raised by the next-highest item, a one-week vacation in a five-bedroom property in Hawaii.

The three cards were from Jobs’ time as chairman of Apple and Pixar and president of NeXT.

The school’s total goal for the auction was $10,000, according to Sierra Antonio, the school’s director of communications and special events, so school officials are elated.

Knowles said that he felt comfortable spending that much for the cards because the money is going toward a good cause — and, of course, it will increase the exposure of his own business.

So what does Knowles have planned for the cards? “The [Steve Jobs] business cards will be professionally framed and then hung in our studio where my colleagues and I will enjoy having them there as we work on our business card product,” he wrote in an e-mail distributed to the media. He’s already collected hundreds of other business cards, and gained Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak’s in the last year. “Longer term,” he said, “I will pass them on as a family heirloom.”

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