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.