Tag Archives: Steve Jobs Biography

Steve Jobs, the Life of a Real Jerk

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Steve Jobs, the Life of a Real Jerk

My stomach allowed me to read the biography of Steve Jobs until the pp. 158, and here are some of the reasons:

“The Apple raid on Xerox PARC is sometimes described as one of the biggest heists in the chronicles of industry. Jobs occasionally endorsed this view, whit pride. As he once said, “Picasso had a saying – ‘good artists copy, great artists steal’ – and we have always been shameless about stealing great ideas.”” (pp. 98)

“”We have to do something about your buddy Daniel (Kottke), Rod Holt said, and he suggested they each give him some of their own options. “Whatever you give him, I will match it”, said Holt. Replied Jobs, “Okay. I will give him zero.”(…) Wosniak, not surprisingly, had the opposite attitude. Before the shares went public, he decided to sell, at a very low price, two thoussand of his options to forty different midlevel employees” (like Daniel Kottke). (pp. 103)

“He was not particularly philantropic. (pp. 105) His biggest personal gift (was to his parents, Paul and Clara Jobs, to whom he gave about $750,00 worth of stock. They sold the same to pay off the mortgage on their home.” (pp. 106)

“To some people, calling it a reality distortion field was just a clever way to say that Jobs tended to lie.” (pp. 118)

“For all of his obnoxious behavior, Jobs also had the ability to install in his team an esprit of corps. After tearing people down, he would find ways of lift them up and make them feel that being a part of the Macintosh project was an amazing mission.” (pp. 142)

“As they proceed to visit other Japanese companies (…) they formally handed him little gifts, as was the custom, he often left them behind, and he never reciprocated with gifts of his own.” (pp. 146)

“The person they most wanted was Don Estridge, who had built IBM’s personal computer (…) now outselling Apple’s. Like Jobs, he was driven and inspiring, but unlike Jobs, he had the ability to allow other to think that his brilliant ideas were their own. Jobs flew to Boca Raton with the offer of $1 million salary and a $1 million bonus, but Estridge turned him down. He was not the type who would jump ship to join the enemy. He also enjoyed being part of the establishment, a member of the Navy instead of a pirate. He was discomfort by Job’s tales of ripping off the phone company. When asked where he worked, he loved to be able to answer “IBM”.” (pp. 149)

Maybe he was a mild bipolar with no conscience of its possibility. Also, people with so much power are mistaken labeled as eccentric or even, and worse, excused for everything:

“Sculley began to believe that Job’s mercurial personality and erratic treatment of people were rooted deep in his psychological makeup, perhaps the reflection of a mild bipolarity. There were big mood swings; sometimes he would be ecstatic, or other times he was depressed.” (pp. 157)

Knowing that he never got to be a better person or even close to be decent, I see no reason to keep reading this biography for the same reason I don’t feel like reading Picasso’s biography as well as one of Picasso’s biographer decided to not finish it…

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