Interview with Jim Sachs

About Jim Sachs

Jim Sachs was one of the designers of the mouse used on the Lisa and Macintosh.The design that he, Dean Hovey, David Kelly, Rickson Sun, and James Yurchenco produced has become a classic in product design. In contrast to earlier, laboratory-produced mice, Sachs and his collaborators at the design firm of Hovey-Kelly (later IDEO) produced a mouse that had a rugged design, was extremely reliable, and easy to produce. As Sachs put it, "We moved the mouse from the lab to the living room." Virtually every mouse uses elements described in a patent Sachs and his colleagues received in 1988.

From there Sachs went on to the toy company Worlds of Wonder, where he managed the engineering of the computerized teddy bear Teddy Ruxpin. In 1995, he designed a prototype electronic book, and with Tom Pomeroy founded SoftBook Press to develop the product. Sachs is currently Chairman and CEO of SoftBook Press, which was recently acquired by Gemstar-TV Guide.

About the Interview

The interview was conducted on March 29, 2000, in Sachs' office at Softbook, in Redwood Shores. There is occasional construction noise in the background (the office park housing Softbook's offices was still under construction), and Sachs' phone. This transcript was made on 28 July 2000, and reviewed by Sachs on 1 August 2000; a final version was generated on 2 August 2000.

A copy of the unedited AIF file has been deposited in Stanford's Special Collections department.


Document created on 2 August 2000;