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  • A Negative Take on Steve Jobs

    Posted by Jonathan on October 28th, 2011 (All posts by )

    Tom Smith:

    That Jobs stole ideas, cheated his business partners and lied habitually seems to be generally accepted and documented in the new Isaacson biography. These are bad things not only morally but also for business. In my book this doesn’t make a Jobs “complex”; it makes him a scoundrel, a person not be admired. Yes, I know, iPods are cool.

    Read the whole thing, and read the Forbes column that Smith and Glenn Reynolds link to.

    Jobs accomplished great things, but his accomplishments are separate from his personal behavior, which by all accounts was bad.

    Many of us have worked for jerks at one time or another. Jerks may be brilliant but they are still jerks. When I worked for a jerk I remember thinking: This must be like how it feels to be in an abusive marriage. True, nobody beat me, I got to go home every afternoon, I was paid for my time and eventually I moved on. But it was a miserable period in my life, and it was unnecessary, an artifact of some jerk’s peculiar brain chemistry or bad upbringing or who knows what. Were the people Jobs abused in his career eggs that had to be broken to make the magnificent Apple omelet? I doubt it. He was just a jerk. He might have treated people better and gotten the same or better results. Even if the results had been a bit less insanely great, was the return on his bad behavior worth the pain it caused other people? I don’t think so.

     

    45 Responses to “A Negative Take on Steve Jobs”

    1. Shannon Love Says:

      I read the Forbes article and although it makes good points it exaggerates a lot.

      Jobs was a jerk. An 3-diget badge number Apple employee told me a story about Job’s egalitarianism. Supposedly, the early Apple was totally egalitarian. Everybody used the same rest rooms, ate in the same cafeteria and worked out in the same gym. When Jobs wanted to ride an exercise bike, he had to wait for a free bike just like everyone else…

      … except Jobs would lean against a wall, pick out one person on a particular bike and just stare straight at them. He would keep staring until the person got so nervous about being stared at by one of the bigwigs that they cut short their exercise so Jobs could use the bike. He did a lot hypocritical things like that.

      However, I don’t think that Jobs was actually abusive to people who worked under him. The important thing to understand about Jobs is that no one had to work for him. At Apple, Next and Pixar, the people who worked directly under Jobs were the elites of the elites. They were people with a lot of other well paying options. Jobs didn’t bribe people to tolerate him. Highly capable people tolerated Jobs’ management style because he enabled the to accomplish things they didn’t think they could otherwise.

      I think he was “abusive” more like a drill sergeant or a coach who screams at people to motivate them extend their limits. Jobs would scream and berate people for months on end about whatever it was they were working on but when the project did reach the level Jobs wanted, he would tell them something along the lines of, “Fantastic, I knew you could do it.” Jobs was also very good about giving credit to those who worked under him if not to the general public then within the industry. People who could have easily retired on the money Jobs had made them kept coming back to be screamed at.

      My spouse put it best, “I think that Steve Jobs was a great man but I don’t think he was a good man.” He had serious personal flaws that had little to do with his creative talent and business skills.

    2. Michael Kennedy Says:

      Jobs was smart enough to steal the mouse and GUI from Xerox PARC. Xerox was the one who left the keys in the ignition.

    3. Bill Brandt Says:

      Just read an article on him and the people working with him at Apple referred to “Good Steve”
      and “Bad Steve” – the latter would berate and scream at subordinates not
      measuring up in his eyes.

      Shannon – if I have read enough here correctly your husband works at Apple?

      I think something else I read summarized him best – he wasn’t a tech genius but a genius at marketing

      And it is funny to hear him take credit for the GUI on the Mac – http://tinyurl.com/254juu7

      Gordon Gekko in a Turtleneck – and the quote from Gates – were great….

    4. J. Scott Shipman Says:

      “I think that Steve Jobs was a great man but I don’t think he was a good man.” A good summation. Jobs was a force; he made products people wanted, he created needs where people didn’t know they needed, he was visionary. Xerox PARC allowed Apple to cherry-pick their ideas—I give Jobs credit for recognizing the power, and using the advantage to create great products. Michael is right, it was Xerox who screwed the pooch having no vision—and Jobs who was paying attention.

    5. James Bennett Says:

      I worked for several years with one of triumvirate who ran the original Apple – -Mike Scott — after he had left Apple. From what i can tell, basically, they ran Apple and resolved differences of opinion by screaming at each other. Nobody had the upper hand, they just argued until somebody won. They were all consumed by a particular vision of what computing should be and how it should be achieved. They were entirely impatient with anybody or anything that got in their way or compromised their vision. They would also be sporadically very generous to the team. It was very hard for the average person to tolerate, but also very rewarding, financially and professionally.

      As for Xerox PARC, it wasn’t a case of leaving they keys in the ignition, it was more like leaving your valuables on the ground in Times Square at midnight and walking away from them. Xerox upper management was legendary for not appreciating what they had paid to create. The joke was that PARC stood for Pre-Apple Research Center. That’s pretty much it.

    6. Bill Brandt Says:

      I have a friend who worked for Xerox in the late 70s – just as the microprocessor was starting to make its pretense.

      While Wozniak was trying to get HP to build a PC (to no success), Larry was trying the same with Xerox.

      Imagine having all the keys to becoming – Apple or Microsoft – and not having any of the vision.

      Or the other dozen “what ifs”….like Gary Killdall’s wife (Gary inventor of CP/M) – afraid to sign IBMs non disclosure agreement….

    7. Jonathan Says:

      Interesting comments. Perhaps I am projecting too much of my own experience into my fifth-hand analysis of Jobs.

      Shannon, I originally considered discussing the drill sergeant metaphor in my post, but decided that my thoughts were too speculative as they related to Jobs.

      Drill sergeants help to prepare immature young men to work together in battle. The drill sergeant method is a proven way of doing this. The trainees suffer and the ones who can’t handle the abuse drop out. The drill sergeant is therefore a screener and everyone is better off in the long run because of him. His role is different from that of a civilian boss.

      In business, the workers are a relatively mature and heterogeneous group as compared to military recruits. At a company like the early Apple they would generally be enthusiastic about the work. The boss’s goal is not to screen out the weaklings or instill discipline under fire but to get employees to be as productive as possible. Not all workers respond to the same approach. One hallmark of a certain kind of boss is a belief that harsh methods are generally appropriate even though for many workers such methods are destructive. Of course there is going to be a lot of pressure on employees in a highly leveraged startup, but it sounds as though Jobs’s behavior was much harsher than it needed to be.

    8. Dan from Madison Says:

      I was surprised and disappointed to read that Jobs supposedly denied proper western medicine for his cancer and opted for some diet or other nonsense. Of course we will never know if the proper treatments would have extended his life, but his reputation sure took a hit in my book from that piece of information.

    9. David Foster Says:

      The mistake Xerox made was that PARC was organized as a R&D function rather than as an internal venture or true business unit. Had it been run by a creative revenue-oriented executive, and empowered to develop its own sales/distribution channels or use outside ones, rather than being dependent on the mainline Xerox organization, history would have likely been quite different.

      “R&D” is not a synonym for “innovation”…it is one aspect of innovation.

    10. Tatyana Says:

      Here’s an even more interesting take on Jobs – in the wider context of the battle btwn trend to more open software/free use of intellectual property/accessibility of ideas vs “wall garden”/secrecy rent, as termed by the author.

      Re: jerks in the role of bosses: entirely agree. even more than I can express.

    11. dearieme Says:

      When Jobs was a millionaire he let his son and the son’s mother live on Welfare.

      His first interesting business deal consisted of defrauding his friend Wozniak.

      The man was a shit.

    12. Bill Brandt Says:

      Tatyana – I think we have all – at one time or another – had a real jerk for a boss. I still remember mine – from 25 years ago.

      I do believe in Karma!

    13. Lexington Green Says:

      People who accomplish great things are rarely kind or warm. They are hard, driven and ruthless. They are focused on outsized results, and they bulldoze any obstacles, including people.

      I don’t know the details about Jobs supposedly “defrauding” Wozniak. No doubt Jobs had his own version of the story.

      No one ever had to work for Steve Jobs for even one minute. Maybe he could have been less harsh. We will never know. What he did do worked. We can’t know if some other approach would also have worked.

      As to the cancer treatment, it is consistent with much of the rest of contrarian personality. Starting with the presumption that what everyone else is doing is wrong and outdated and could be done in insanely better ways served him well. Most of the time. Not, as it turns out, in cancer treatment. Sad but he was going to handle that crisis, like everything else, consistently with his personality.

      Mr. Jobs achieved great things. I assert that he made the world a better place. The two tos i use all day for work and for engaging with the world are his products. They are great products.

      Mr. Jobs does not have to be a universal role model.

      What he did was enough.

      I hope at some point to read the bio.

    14. Lexington Green Says:

      Ha. Great products — but it is hard to make typo-free comments via iPhone.

    15. tyouth Says:

      That reminds me, I’m really looking forward to the bio-pic about Vince Lombardi.

    16. Bill Brandt Says:

      Lex – you made a valid point. Thomas Edison, Henry Ford – were both considered to be taskmasters. I don’t know if I would put Jobs in their category – he really didn’t invent anything that changed the world in a fundamental way.

      He did have an exceptional ability to see technology and see the way it could be applied at the Marketplace and most importantly – kept at it until it was a product.

      How many good ideas just stay…ideas … because people don’t have the stamina/capital to implement them?

      And I was say as many stay ideas because people aren’t willing to work to make them reality – as having a lack of capital.

      Of course some bosses are just jerks ;-)

    17. Bill Brandt Says:

      BTW James – that is my idea of purgatory – having 2-more people all with an equal share of power in running a company.

      Somebody has to have 51% – for better or worse.

    18. Tatyana Says:

      Bill: I don’t believe in karma, but I think people are their own worst enemies.
      Still [re: jerks for bosses] – I have a feeling the state of the job market made the jerk bosses come out of the woodwork in higher numbers than they dared to in milder times. Or it might be just me and my anti-authoritarian anti-asskissing tendencies. At which point -see sentence #1.

      Lex’ Jobs apologia (and his mentioning of iphone) reminded me of the passage in the article I linked to above;

      What’s really troubling is that Jobs made the walled garden seem cool. He created a huge following that is not merely resigned to having their choices limited, but willing to praise the prison bars because they have pretty window treatments[...]Human condition is messy and all sorts of ethical and aesthetic reasoning run together in peoples’ heads; we cannot expect people to love tyranny in small things like smartphones without becoming less resistant to tyranny in larger matters.

      Also, this apologia – as well as Mr. Kennedy’s defense of theft – seem rather Nietzsche-ian, in that it ascribe a special ethics to a “strong super-man” that is inapplicable to the rest of us, mere commoners.

    19. Joseph Fouche Says:

      Jobs was a designer. He took the products of engineers, covered them with magical Apple dust, and sold them to non-engineers.

      Many designers of my acquaintance are Nazis. Jobs was unusual in being a designer and a chief executive officer. This let him be a design Nazi with the power to be a design Nazi.

      Many designers try to find out what people want and design a product to meet that want. Jobs assumed he knew what people needed before they knew they needed it and made designs to tell them what they needed. Through charisma, luck, and epic design Nazism, he convinced people that his wants were their needs.

      He was not a saint. He was a master. But like all saints or masters, now he too is dust.

    20. James Bennett Says:

      In the case of Apple, somehow it worked, and it may have been that given the personalities involved, it was the only way it could have worked. Each of them worked best when they had somebody able to stand up to them.

    21. Bill Brandt Says:

      I am driving on your interstate today and thinking about “Taskmasters” – and it occurred to me that the partnership of Bill Hewlett and David Packard endured for 50+ years – they both built HP into a mighty conglomerate – the kindness they bestowed on employees is talked about to this day.

      And their humility.

      Just one story in HP lore – an employee was new to a certain factory – he asked an old man working in a supply closet for directions – he was given directions only to later learn the old guy was Hewlett.

      Maybe they were the exception but they certainly proved you don’t have to be a pompous jerk to get what you want out of people.

      Or to build a multi billion dollar company.

    22. sol Says:

      Entreprenuers should not be allowed to start and run companies unless they have good manners. They should respect their elders and they should understand that it is better to work within the system. They should not be allowed to think that they are right and everyone else is wrong. The old ways are old because they are the best ways. Innovations only work if they are time tested.

    23. Bill Brandt Says:

      Sol – your heavy-handed sarcasm is noted. And I would suggest that “good manners” are the cornerstone of civilization. The list is long of would be generals, admirals, billionaire entrepreneurs who never crossed the finish line because……they couldn’t get along with people.

      I just gave an example of 2 entrepreneurs who did get along with people and built an entity far bigger than Apple – with a much broader range of products –

      I’d be curious to see where both Watsons of IBM fall into this spectrum….

    24. Lexington Green Says:

      Sol is still mostly right. More often than not the people who make major contributions are not conventionally nice, do not tolerate having a second of their time wasted, eliminate instantly and without any hand-wringing any underling who fails to perform, and treat all people and things as either tools or obstacles to be used or shoved aside. In America no one is compelled to work for Steve Jobs, or Henry Ford, or have a naval command under Ernest J. King, or play football for Vince Lombardi. It is up to the small number who ever have such an opportunity whether they want to be associated with greatness, and take risks and pay the personal price to do so, or settle for mediocrity. If you have the incomparable good fortune to find colleagues who are both great and humane you are very blessed indeed.

    25. Bill Brandt Says:

      Lex – just wondering – did Adm King yell and scream at the various promotion review boards – telling them how idiotic they would be – unless they promoted him? ;-)

    26. Tatyana Says:

      “Towards the Ubermnensch”, Nietzsche.

      Superman, according to Nietzsche has reached a state of being where he is no longer affected by “pity, suffering, tolerance of the weak, the power of the soul over the body[...](Nietzsche’s Overman: Blueprint for the Antichrist Superstar).” Superman is constantly changing and in a state of rebirth and growth. He determines what is good and what is evil, not allowing religion or society to determine these things for him.[...]He determines his own values. This creation of his own values gives him joy, and in order for the Superman to cope with a changing world, the Superman must constantly change. [...]The Superman does not pity or tolerate the weak. He feels that human compassion is the greatest weakness of all because it allows the weak to restrict the growth of the strong. In Thus Spake Zarathustra, Nietzsche, through Zarathustra, says “I teach you the overman. Man is something that shall be overcome [surpassed]. What have you done to overcome [surpass] him? All beings so far have created something beyond themselves; and do you want to be the ebb of this great flood and even go back to the beasts rather than overcome man? What is the ape to man? A laughingstock or a painful embarrassment. And man shall be just that for the overman: a laughingstock or a painful embarrassment…

      Jobs (or Lex, for this matter) Lex is not so original, you know, Bill?

    27. Jim Miller Says:

      On Admiral King, from the Oxford Guide to WW II:

      “He had the greatest contempt for civilians and said that they should be told nothing until the war is over, and then only who had won. His weaknesses, according to a US Naval Academy professor, were ‘other men’s wives, alcohol, and intolerance’, and one of his daughters said of him: ‘He is the most even-tempered man in the Navy. He is always in a rage.’”

      They go on to say that he mellowed during the war, probably because we were winning.

      Somewhere in “Liar’s Poker”, Michael Lewis made this observation about the character and trading success: There was no correlation. There were great traders who were fine people, and great traders who were incredibly obnoxious. And vice versa.

      I am inclined to think that’s true of most occupations, including the rare one of designer/bosses, like Steve Jobs.

      (In some of the caring professions, nursing, for instance, that may not be true.)

    28. Lexington Green Says:

      FDR made the unheard of decision to pluck King off of the retired list to make him CNO. We were facing a mortal crisis, and he was the best guy for the job — and to be blunt, a legendary asshole. One thing you sometimes see is a brutal boss who will have a trusted deputy who is the nice guy, the good cop, the den mother, who will smooth over ruffled feathers and keep talented people from quitting. The reverse is true, the nice boss whose subordinates have to do the inevitably necessary dirty work. Reagan was in that category.

      Peter Drucket talks somewhere about the fact that very talented people usually come with major, offsetting defects. Most horrible bosses are not effective, but some great executives are otherwise rotten people. Life is full of such unpleasant realities. Getting great results from the crooked timber of humanity is rare in any field, and not always pretty when you look at how it gets done.

    29. Tatyana Says:

      Lex, you conflate two incompatibles here: a “nice guy, the good cop, the den mother, who will smooth over ruffled feathers” is not simply the opposite to a a person who “treat all people and things as either tools or obstacles to be used or shoved aside”.
      This is qualitative jump.
      In your previous comments you implied double ethical standard. A leader, no matter his contribution to a cause, is not exempt from common decency and common ethics. He is not a ubermensch.

    30. Tatyana Says:

      I meant – should not be exempt.
      However big and important his vision, ideas and organizational abilities – he is nothing without his “underlings”. If he deserves respect so are they.

    31. Bill Brandt Says:

      Interesting discussion!

      Tatyana – I never would have thought of bringing Friedrich Nietsche into the discussion – his views, a favorite of the Nazis, were rather depressing. I would like to think that within each human being is a spark that can fundamentally transform the world for the better – most the sparks like dormant…

      As far as the sides of the argument I get it – the people that have very strong ideas about how something should be done can be unbearable to work for.

      The mischievous side of me would ask that if your boss is a jerk, is he really a genius begging to be set free or just a jerk?

      Sometimes a jerk is just a jerk.

      I did learn something about King today – while I don’t believe history shows him to be on the pedestal that FDR placed him, I did learn that he could be insufferable to work for.

      I would contrast him with Douglas MacCarthur – who was a certified egotist but had the tactical knowledge (and results) to back up his egotism. As far as I know he didn’t have yelling tirades cursing underlings – much of his staff simply didn’t like him personally because of his ego.

      As far as Steve Jobs – which started this discussion – personally I believe that he wasn’t a tech genius but one who saw the technology out there and had the ability to see it in new products. Not even giving credit to the originators of the GUI and Mouse – Xerox – but allowing his hordes of followers to believe in the myth that it was he – speaks to his ego and ethics.

      The truly great, I believe, have a certain humility to them.

    32. Lexington Green Says:

      King was a great and underrated commander. He was responsible for getting the biggest navy in history built, and then annihilating the navies of America’s enemies. He did that so completely successfully that no one noticed, they took it as inevitable. It was not. King was the commander. He was responsible. He did not care about public acclaim or attention. He just got on with it. The sea floor is littered with Japanese, Italian and German skeletons and rusting hulks which can testify to his success. This bio is very good.

    33. David Foster Says:

      It would be interesting to compare the leadership style of Steve Jobs with the of IBM founder Thomas Watson Sr. While they were very different in many ways…I don’t think anyone ever accused Watson of having a strong aesthetic sense, for one thing…the tendency toward micromanagement was significant in both of them. In his autobiography, Tom Jr relates a case where a demo of IBM punched card equipment, involving several large and heavy machines, had been set up for an important public event (IIRC, it was World’s Fair.) IBM’s Product Demonstration Department had worked for weeks on the exhibit; when Watson Sr saw it shortly before it was to open, he insisted on changes because he didn’t think it properly represented the way information actually flowed in an IBM installation.

      Very much the sort of thing Jobs would have done and indeed was known for doing.

      My review of Watson Jr’s autobiography, which is really an exceptional book, is here.

    34. Lexington Green Says:

      David, that would be good. I am trying to think of an equivalent figure to Steve Jobs and I am not coming up with anything. His products were tech products, but design driven. It was the feel and the coolness of the products that distinguished them. The nearest equivalent I can think of sixties muscle cars — a product no one strictly needed, but that a lot of people really wanted to have. But that is not a close analogy at all, and there is no single individual associated with them. Maye Josiah Wedgewood is an equivalent, a guy who created an aesthetic for products that all middle class people felt they had to have. But that is pretty remote, too. The nearest I can think of to a single individual dominating a new and major consumer products industry is Henry Ford. But, again, he was almost the antithesis of design driven.

      If someone can think of a better comparison, I’d like to hear it.

    35. Joseph Fouche Says:

      “The sea floor is littered with Japanese, Italian and German skeletons and rusting hulks which can testify to his success.”

      There’s also some wire hangers or beams supporting a 1950s-era NHS hospital that testify to King’s success. He sent the Royal Navy, doomed by his victories to historical irrelevance, to the scrapyard. It wouldn’t surprise me if King thought this was his greatest personal achievement.

    36. Tatyana Says:

      No, I don’t think the message got through…

      It makes absolutely no difference, how big, grandiose, talented, Earth-shuddering, whatever are professional achievements of an individual: he is still one of humans in society and must (yes, must) adhere to the same laws of ethical interaction with others as the rest of us.
      I remember seeing the same flawed argument “but he is a genius, so he’s allowed to deviate from common moral code” in discussion re: Roman Polanski, not long ago.

      Amazing, how many jerks are out there – or those aspiring to be one.

    37. David Foster Says:

      LG…some analogy with GM in the early days, which took advantage of Ford’s lack of aesthetic interest to create a line of cars focused on style. However, Sloan was far more of a decentralizer than was Jobs.

    38. Lexington Green Says:

      JF, yes, King, like all USN officers of his vintage, saw the Brits as an enemy and wanted to surpass and replace the RN. Mission accomplished.

    39. Bill Brandt Says:

      Lex – while I will not dispute your assertion that King was a great commander I would suggest that there were a few others – under him – who “turned the tide” – Chester Nimitz among them.

      He “rolled the dice” and believing the code breakers at Pearl decided to position the last of his carrier assets west of Midway to trap the Japanese.

      Even with that advanced knowledge it was still a matter of “who could find whom” first that decided the battle – and the outcome put the Japanese on the defensive for the rest of the war.

      Don’t think King had anything to do with that.

      As an aside if you really want a view of some alternative history read the book Day of Deceit by Robert Stinnet – http://www.amazon.com/Day-Deceit-Truth-About-Harbor/dp/0743201299/ref=sr_1_sc_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1320085389&sr=8-1-spell

      (I have to learn how you make the url into a nice reference – do you have to key in tons of HTML garbage or do you have some shortcuts?)

      Anyway I find it hard to buy his whole premise (that FDR knew the exact time of the attack) but Stinnet makes some compelling arguments printing some old Navy transcripts from the FOIA.

      On industrial designers how about Raymond Loewy? That jobs was a great industrial designer – knowing how to package the technology – should be undisputed.

    40. Lexington Green Says:

      Stinnet is wrong about FDR. The conspiracy theories don’t hold up.

      The King bio is cited is very good.

      Yes, of course King’s subordinates like Nimitz were good. He picked them.

      Even if we lost all our carriers at Midway, the naval construction program that King was supervising was going to lead to a Japanese defeat, just a longer and bloodier process.

    41. tehag Says:

      I’m not sure how one would prove (or even offer evidence) that Jobs ‘lied habitually.’ I doubt anyone’s biography wouldn’t show that the subject lied*. And I’m not sure how to determine ‘habitually.’** Jobs had a habit of ‘lying’ about what products Apple would produce and what features they would have prior to their release (e.g., the iPod will never have video). That isn’t lying as people commonly understand it. No one would tell the truth about a product in development. I’ll wager most of the ‘lying’ is known better as ‘being manipulative.’

      It isn’t enough to utter a boatload of nasty opinion then spit out ” Yes, I know, iPods are cool.” Way too many people far more brilliant than Tom Smith stuck with Jobs for decades at Pixar, Next, and Apple (Jony Ivy comes to mind), so what ever shortcomings Smith’s retarded judgment finds didn’t trouble them too much.

      A source of Job’s alleged ‘stealing,’ Xerox PARC ‘stole’ (in the same sense as ‘Jobs stole’) its ideas from previous researchers, one being Englebart.

      tehag

      * and I mean really lied, not was wrong, misinformed, used poor judgement,etc. E.g., lying beyond the ‘Bush Lied’ level of ‘lying.’

      ** that is, Jobs lied in a manner similar to a junkie needed heroin: at every opportunity to lie, he did so.

    42. Bill Brandt Says:

      Interesting snippit on Jobs: http://lewrockwell.com/peters-e/peters-e112.html

      The multitude of mysteries revealed following the death of Apple co-founder Steve Jobs’ death now includes one that puzzled car enthusiasts for years: How did Jobs get away with driving without a license plate? It was common knowledge that Jobs would park his Mercedes SL55 AMG in a handicapped spot at Apple’s Cupertino, Calif., headquarters, with nothing to identify his vehicle other than the tiny bar code that usually rests behind the rear license plate. According to Walter Isaacson’s new biography, Jobs wanted to avoid having a plate for privacy reasons..

      For years, rumors swirled that Jobs had either won a special dispensation from California authorities or was just daring police to stop him. While the why remains somewhat cloudy, an interview by ITWire with a former Apple security executive reveals the real reason: a little-known loophole in California vehicle laws that gives owners up to six months to get plates for their vehicles.

      According to Jon Callas, now chief technical officer of Entrust, Jobs would arrange with his vehicle leasing company to switch out his silver Mercedes every six months with a new, identical model – just another of the complicated and expensive ways Jobs thought differently.

    43. Tatyana Says:

      I guess thought differently is a forced euphemism for “completely nuts”.

    44. Anonymous Says:

      Tatyana – good point ;-) Something else I picked up – somewhere – on Apple – from the Apple II it was really 17 years before they had a real successful product – The Mac- when introduced – wasn’t all that big a seller. I’ll have to find the article.

      Bill (incognito and back to work now)

    45. Lauren Says:

      As an Apple user for many years and a graphic designer, I owe a lot to Steve Jobs the visionary. Having heard the stories about his terrible personal behavior, it grieves me for obvious reasons but I guess I am willing to make the assertion as good writers do in making their heroes and villains seem realistic: no one is all good or all evil. Humans are a complex mix of varying degrees of goodness or badness as the case may be. I have worked for jerk bosses before and it was always my belief that this person was very unhappy for whatever reason. It doesn’t excuse the behavior or justify it but allows one to make concessions in getting along with that person. I guess when it comes down to it, we can vote with our feet.

      Regarding his mix of western and “alternative” cancer treatment, I can totally understand his decision to try to cure it naturally. I actually believe that cancer is the body’s cry for help as stress, poor nutrition, exposure to toxins, etc. overwhelm the immune system and allow cancer to grow. Western medicine (slash, burn and poison) has not really improved the cancer survival rates at all while I have heard of many people who have reversed their advanced cancer by addressing the body’s needs. The human body if nurtured and given all the nutrients and stress reduction it needs, will heal itself and this fact has vastly been ignored by western medicine in interests of what I can only assume is money making. The cancer industry is enormous here in the US and insurance companies as well as the FDA are all complicit in keeping this industry booming. No one makes any money telling you to change your diet, get some counseling, take up yoga and reduce your stress level naturally. Doctors however well meaning really don’t know much about nutrition but would rather prescribe one pill after another. There is a very informative video entitled “Money Driven Medicine” available and it is eye-opening.

      Sorry to sort of digress a bit here but I wanted people to understand that although Steve died with his cancer he did survive quite a long time after his initial diagnosis. I’d like to also point out that he had to take immune-suppressing drugs after his liver transplant which I’m sure (as well as the extreme stress he was under) hampered his immune system’s ability to heal. This did him in finally…