Marketing Maverick: App Founder Buys 3 Steve Jobs Business Cards for $10,050

As any startup founder will tell you, marketing in the digital space not easy. With thousands of apps and products flooding the market every day, it’s becoming increasingly harder to stand out amongst the clutter. Traditional forms of marketing, such as Google and Facebook ads, are fast losing sheen. In such a scenario, Tim Knowles did something that was slightly unconventional – he bought Steve Jobs’ business cards.

Tim Knowles is the  CEO and co-founder of Stacks, an Australia-based startup that lets people share their business cards digitally through an iPhone app. The app is expected to launch later this year. When he learnt that a school in California was selling Steve Jobs’ old business cards from the time when he was with NeXt to the time when he was Chairman of Pixar, he smelled an opportunity. 


Steve Jobs, even 4 years after his death, remains a cult figure in tech circles. Any mention of him is guaranteed to get eyeballs. When he heard of the auction on the TV, Tim was immediately interested. “It’s something I knew we had to get.”, he says. He went ahead and bid an astonishing $10,050 for the 3 faded business cards.

While the business cards are a product of a different era and don’t add anything tangible to his current business, Tim realizes their value. This sale created a buzz on the internet that saw his acquisition being covered by everything from CNBC to CNET. His app managed to get a lot of attention even before its launch. While it remains to be seen if this bold move pays off for him in the long run, for now Tim is happy with his bit of tech history that he plans to get framed in his office.