The story of Steve Jobs an inspiration or a Cautionary tale
SELECT A SECTION »BUSINESS big tech The Story of Steve Jobs: An Inspiration or a Cautionary Tale? BY BEN AUSTEN 07.23.12 Photo: Gregg Segal Soon after Steve Jobs returned to Apple as CEO in 1997, he decided that a shipping company wasn’t delivering spare parts fast enough. The shipper said it couldn’t do better, and it didn’t have to: Apple had signed a contract granting it the business at the current pace. As Walter Isaacson describes in his best-selling biography, Steve Jobs, the recently recrowned chief executive had a simple response: Break the contract. When an Apple manager warned him that this decision would probably mean a lawsuit, Jobs responded, “Just tell them if they fuck with us, they’ll never get another fucking dime from this company, ever.” The shipper did sue. The manager quit Apple. (Jobs “would have fired me anyway,” he later told Isaacson.) The legal imbroglio took a year and presumably a significant amount of money to resolve. But meanwhile, Apple hired a new shipper that met the expectations of the company’s uncompromising CEO. What lesson should we draw from this anecdote? After all, we turn to the lives of successful people for inspiration and instruction. But the lesson here might make us uncomfortable: Violate any norm of social or business interaction that stands between you and what you want. Jobs routinely told subordinates that they were assholes, that they never did anything right. According to Isaacson, even Jonathan Ive, Apple’s incomparable design chief, came in for rough treatment on occasion.
Once, after checking into a five-star London hotel handpicked for him by Ive, Jobscalled it “a piece of shit” and stormed out. “The normal rules of social engagement,he feels, don’t apply to him,” Ive explained to the biographer. Jobs’ flouting of thoserules extended outside the office, to a family that rarely got to spend much time withhim as well as to strangers (police officers, retail workers), who experienced theCEO’s verbal wrath whenever they displeased him.Jobs has been dead for nearly a year, but the biography about him is still a bestseller. Indeed, his life story has emerged as an odd sort of holy scripture forentrepreneurs—a gospel and an antigospel at the same time. To some, Jobs’ life hasrevealed the importance of sticking firmly to one’s vision and goals, no matter thepsychic toll on employees or business associates. To others, Jobs serves as acautionary tale, a man who changed the world but at the price of alienating almosteveryone around him. The divergence in these reactions is a testament to the twodeep and often contradictory hungers that drive so many of us today: We want tosucceed in the world of work, but we also want satisfaction in the realm of home andfamily. For those who, like Jobs, have pledged to “put a dent in the universe,” histhorny life story has forced a reckoning. Is it really worth being like Steve?In one camp are what you might call the acolytes. They’re businesspeople who havetaken the life of Steve Jobs as license to become more aggressive as visionaries, ascompetitors, and above all as bosses. They’re giving themselves over to the thrill ofbeing a general—and, at times, a dictator. Work was already the center of their lives,but Jobs’ story has made them resolve to double down on that choice. Steve Davis, CEO of TwoFour, a software company that caters to financial institutions, was eager to talk aboutThe gospel of Steve Jobs’ influence on his own life and career. But first he hadJobs has spread far to find a free half hour. When he finally did steal a fewfrom Silicon Valley, moments to speak, he explained that he had consciouslyinspiring people in set aside certain aspects of his family life, since he believesevery field of that startups fail when those involved aren’t committed tobusiness. being available 24 hours a day. Luckily, Davis told me, he was blessed with a wife who picked up the slack. Davis detailed these choices matter-of-factly, but his voicerose with fervor when he described the intensity and uncertainty ofentrepreneurship. He loved every minute of it. He didn’t operate with a corporatesafety net. His lawyer was calling him at that very moment with a contract question,and Davis needed to pick a direction and just go with it. What should he decide? Headmitted he didn’t know. The thrill came from the possibility that he might be wrong.“Guys who start companies are different from other people,” he said. “We’re willing tofail. Look at Jobs. He got knocked down, and he kept going. He’s totallyunconventional, driving on his particular path, and either you join him or get out ofthe way.”Join or get out of the way—it’s a phrase that sums up what Jobs’ life has taught hisadmirers today. Andrew Hargadon, a professor at UC Davis and author of HowBreakthroughs Happen: The Surprising Truth About How Companies Innovate, pointsout that Jobs’ brashness has helped inspire a larger reaction to several decades ofconventional wisdom about the importance of worker empowerment and consensusdecision- making. “Jobs is showing us the value in the old-school, autocratic way.We’ve gone so far toward the other extreme, toward a bovine sociology in whichhappy cows are supposed to produce more milk.” That is, it took a hippie-geek likeJobs to give other bosses permission to be aggressive and domineering again.
This isn’t aggression for its own sake but for the good of a company. TristanO’Tierney, a Mac and iPhone software developer, helped Twitter creator Jack Dorseyfound the credit-card-swiping startup Square three years ago. O’Tierney says thathe now sees the value in bluntly telling people their work is crap. “You don’t makebetter products by saying everything is great,” he explains. “You make them better byforcing people to do work they didn’t know they had in them.” Aaron Levie, aself-described Jobs “wantrepreneur,” started Box, which allows cloud-basedfile-sharing, in his USC dorm room in 2005. To new hires, he quotes Jobs—”Somepeople aren’t used to an environment where excellence is expected”—to make clearto them that Box is just such an environment. “My lesson from Jobs,” Levie says, “isthat I can push my employees further than they thought possible, and I won’t rushany product out the door without it being perfect.” He adds: “That approach comeswith collateral damage on the people side.”Pages: 1 2 3 4 View All Sir Richard Branson: On Steve Jobs RelatedYou Might Like Essay: Steve Jobs’ Legacy Is Missing Clue to Apple Tablet Steve Jobs: The Next Insanely Great Thing - Wired Steve Jobs’ Pentagon File: Blackmail Fears, Youthful Arrest and LSD Cubes Steve Jobs Would Have ‘Lost His Mind’ Over Siri, Former Employee Says NIH Decision Signals the Beginning of the End for Medical Research on Chimps iPhone 5 Exposed: iFixit Tears Down Apples Latest Romantic or Reckless? The Plan to Message Aliens with Twitter Facebooks About-Face on Sharing Gives News Sites Whiplash The Indomitable Mary MeekerTAGS: APPLE , JONATHAN IVE , STEVE JOBS , WALTER ISAACSON Tweet 1,388 Share 486 Comments for this page are closed. Popular now rosswilliams 2 months ago
"This isn’t aggression for its own sake but for the good of a company."He stormed out of a hotel for the good of the company? I dont think so. This is about aperson who was a jerk. But a lot of brilliant, creative people have been jerks. Picasso wasnot a great human being, he was a great artist. But the idea that you can become a greatartist by mimicking Picassos personality is a bit absurd. Likewise mimicking Jobspersonality is not going to make you a great entrepreneur. hide 6 replies xmichaelx 2 months ago My take: Just think what he could have accomplished if he recognized the value of treating others with respect. hide 3 replies rosswilliams 2 months ago I dont know about that. Treating others with respect almost requires that you respect other people and it may that respect for others is an impediment to individual creativity. Its hard to be totally arrogant about the value of your own vision and ideas while respecting differing opinions. Of course you can at least try to fake it ... hide 2 replies simonsmicrophone 1 month ago Being *totally* arrogant about the value of your own vision and ideas is one way to make your vision and ideas unpalatable to others. hide 1 reply InfernoShade 1 month ago What a bunch of hating buttheads are on wired these days. Their hate makes them rewrite history and cant even allow them to find one good thing in a person. Sad world full of loser.
Not you simon. This was just near the top. Patrick M McMaster 1 month ago I think that Steve was socially handicapped in some way. What he had instead was the drive and passion to get the best product he could out of his company. I think the best thing that ever happened to him was the failure during his first tenure at Apple. His greatest life achievement was his family because he fell in love in spite of his personal flaws. hide 1 reply Simon Cooper 1 month ago There was a study published late last year by New York psychologist Paul Babiak which found that, quite possibly, one in twenty-five business leaders could be functioning psychopaths so you may be close to the truth. Also, for a bit of fun, the next time you watch The Devil Wears Prada just imagine that Meryl Streep is playing Steve Jobs. Cheezus_Crust 1 month agoGuess Im old fashioned, but to me changing the world doesnt mean being moresuccessful than your competitors at selling consumer electronics. hide 30 replies MustBeSaid 1 month ago Amen. People toss the word genius around these days like rice at a wedding. The real geniuses are the actual innovators that came up with all the technologies that Apple wouldnt exists without. Without those software and hardware innovations, they wouldnt have anything to apply their pretty facade to and market as their own. From Unix under OSX to every piece of hardware in their computers and devices. Theyre a design and marketing company, not a technology company. They havent
been that in well over a decade. Technology just happens to be what they applyaesthetic design to and market. Its like saying youre a computer hardware engineerbecause you can buy some computer parts of Newegg and toss together a desktop.And there good at that. Im not saying theyre not. Just dont confuse being good atselling stuff and putting a pretty face on it with the real innovators that spent theirlives making those technologies a reality. Steve spent his life trying to figure out howto sell more stuff to more people. Not exactly splitting the atom or inventing theintegrated transistor. hide 17 replies Aneesh Luthra 1 month ago First off, you are confusing the word innovation and invention. Your sentance should have been " The real geniuses are the actual inventors that came up with all the technologies that Apple wouldnt exist without." Second, invention and innovation are equally important. Xerox may have invented the GUI interface, but without Apple and Steve seeing it differently and applying it, in which they made hundreds of innovative tweaks, we wouldnt have a GUI interface. The chances are that it wouldve sat silently in Xerox labs. Third, although they they have great design and marketing, that doesnt make them a design and marketing company. Steve defined design as more than just how it looks, its also how it feels and works. It seems like Apple caring about everything, down to the design has backfired on them, people start assuming that its just a toy. For some reason, just because something looks good its useless. We know that just isnt true. Also, they arent a technology company? Yes, because before the iPhone there were many smartphones that had a giant screens and no buttons and the bottom. And that isnt just design. That is rethinking the way a smartphone can work. Instead of having buttons that are fixed, you have a giant screen that can change to do any task you want it to. Then everyone hoped on that bandwagon, of having a big touch screen. Thats taking the invention of the touchscreen and smartphone, and rethinking them. <-- That is innovation, FYI. Reseeing and reinventing something that already exists. Same with the iPad, tablets already existed, but they were kind of useless. They were big, clunky, tried to run full Windows OS. Apple remade it by increasing its usablitity and portability. By loading a mobile OS and having no stylus it was made more user friendly and more usable to the common man. Its more than just selling something by putting a pretty face on. Its taking a good idea that is there, that has potential but isnt being applied or applied correctly, and taking it to a new level by remaking it and reapplying it. He didnt spend his life trying to figure out how to sell stuff, he spent it doing what he
loved, taking a good idea and doing it correctly. hide 7 replies Darius Jones 1 month ago It is absolutely ridiculous to think that if Steve Jobs hadnt commercialized the GUI we would never have one. They were just first to market. Apple is not a technology company. The Retina display was invented elsewhere. It is manufactured elsewhere. Apple just puts their logo on it. Same with most of their products. Give them credit where credit is due. But if youve been in IT long enough, youll remember their attempts at an actual multitasking modern OS, their utter failure, and subsequent strategy of taking BSD Unix and giving it a shiny package. hide 6 replies TruthSha11S3tUFr33 1 month ago And it wasnt always that Apple was first to market either, rather in most cases they werent but they were better at marketing and playing the market strategies. Steve Jobs if nothing else was a marketing guru. I am not a big fan of Apple products, to each their own, but he did build an empire that even I cant deny. He was definitely a leader and a forward thinker. I also believe that you can be a perfectionist, and a go getting boss without being an A$$h*le. hide 1 reply rhombus 1 month ago I bristle when people call him an engineer. He was not an engineer, not even in the tiniest little way. And without engineers (with thick skins), he would have been a lonely failure. InfernoShade 1 month ago While Id agree that someone would have come up with the GUI too at
some point, but you should give credit where its due. You could saythat about anyone or anything. Hey, if Pasteur hadnt come up withpasteurization, someone else would have. Lame."Just first to market," that all? You mean like the Fords Model T? Notlike that had any impact on our society. ;)Manufacturing is not the same as coming up, creating, or developingan idea. Manufacturing is mostly just the hands. Sure manufacturingcan add to the process, but thats not the seed of the idea.So just because they made mistakes, you dont want to credit themwith any innovation. If youre so enlightened from having worked in IT,you should know innovation is not just about being first. Its a comboof new and the old - building on what came before. And to do thatyou have to make mistakes. That goes for all industries. RS 1 month agoWell to your argument then why didnt Nokia, Motorola, Google(Brought Android in 2005) didnt use the multi-touch screens beforeApple released iPhone. Why no one worked on a iPad like tabletbefore iPad. Unix and Linux existed before OS X but they were notable to appeal the common consumer but its SJs vision that made itpossible. Who cares whether Apple is a technology company or notthey make the products usable by many non-tech people. There aremany who never used computer are now using iPad to communicatewith their kids and grand kids that was purely made possible afteriPad. Retina display might have been developed some where else butits Apple who got it to the common man. If it was just putting a Logoon "Retina Display" or "Tablet" or "Phone" how come others are notdoing it? hide 2 replies AngryRussian 1 month ago UNIX and Linux appeal to common consumer only in some linuxoid wet dreams, period. Jobs did nothing to popularize those, on the contrary, he wanted enduser to never even think about what runs his device.
Your bullshit about retina(which itself is a bullshit marketing term) is outright painful. Do your fucking research and you`ll be amazed at what IBM and Dell were putting out in 2005. simonsmicrophone 1 month ago Its called version 2. If you gave the suckers all they wanted now and it didnt break, how would you sell version 2? bewlaybrother 1 month agoYour hate is blinding you to an incredible degree, and making your opinionsspectacularly disingenuous and pointless. Amanda Green 1 month agoThis nonsense that Apple was good at selling stuff is moronic. True, Apple wasno longer working at low levels in their garage, but saying they just put a prettyface on it is complete nonsense, and anyone who believes that is clueless. hide 6 replies EricLR 1 month ago If you think Apple are great innovators, let me ask you this: Have you ever seen even a single story about their research and development division? If theyre such great innovators, and not just taking others tech, where is all their R&D? Microsoft spends $9.4 billion a year on R&D. The great "innovators" at Apple only spend about $2 billion. hide 5 replies
moodIndigo Still conflating invention and innovation... 1 month ago RS 1 month agoIt doesnt matter how much you spend on R&D and how many peoplework in a R&D. Sometimes 10 people can do alot more than 1000.Look at Yahoo they have 1000+ Phds but 60% of them they come tocollect pay checks and a hefty bonus thats all. Patrick M McMaster 1 month agoApple has a policy of not talking about their R and D. They do have itand Jonny Ive is in charge of it now. One of the secrets of Applessuccess is their willingness to cut out the chain of command so thatthe innovators got to do their work in secret. This cuts down on thehugh waste of R&D that happens when politics takes priority overproduct. Microsoft has wasted hugh amounts of money oncommittee run R & D and the results are not pretty. hide 1 reply rhombus 1 month ago Why is an industrial designer in charge of R&D? Somebody needs to explain to Apple what R&D actually means. Microsoft is a terrible case example. Look at IBM. THAT is R&D. Gaute Hermansen 1 month agoIf you where to read the bio, you would see that he (jobs) understoodthat a company such as apple dont need an R&D division. The wayhe built the culture and structure nurishes creativity and ideas likefew other (M3 for instance) And read the whole posts not just selectiv
reading, some person clarified very nicely how to seperate innovation and inventing. There is a clear destinction between the two. Idont Know 1 month ago You dont know anything about Apple or their products. Eric Tucker 1 month agoRelative to a lot of other changes, the change Id argue the change pretty fundamental.Jobs and the rest of the Apple team didnt necessarily originally innovate a lot of thetechnology Apple sold, but they made it accessible in ways that moved it towardreal-world, widespread use a lot faster. I think it might be a fair statement that Appleshifted the way we use computers and related technology forward about a decadefaster than it would have moved otherwise. Look at how much computers haverevolutionized our world. In geologic scale, it might be a blip ... but Id say anybodywho has helped that much to accelerate things that much within our lifetimesdeserves some credit.It seems inevitable had Apple not done many of the things theyve done thatsomebody else would have eventually come along. Would Microsoft have been underas much pressure to create a great UI? Would smart phones have taken off like theyhave? Would the design principles of simplicity and function with a powerful yethidden engine underneath have been echoed the same way in many modern onlineservices including Google? Would people have found computers pretty? Would amainstream audience have enjoyed technology, paid money for it and contributed tothe growth of the industry as quickly? How far does the influence reach? How manyother companies have been pushed forward because of a phenomena Apple was a bigfactor in? hide 1 reply InfernoShade 1 month ago You really need to examine the definition of innovation. Apple innovated for sure. (See my other posts).
InfernoShade 1 month agoIt has nothing to do with being old-fashioned, you just missed the point. And are justhaving a good time mocking. :)He did have an impact on the world, just as others have. Look at people likeZuckerberg, do you think he changed the world? Many would say yes. Jobs, andothers could be considered a precursor to Zuckerberg (and his like).Jobs (and his contemporaries) definitely had an impact on technology, computing,consumer electronics, music, business studies, and society in general. He may nothave been a nice guy, but he did make a mark. It may not have been a huge mark, butstill a mark. "Change the world," yeah thats subjective, but you obviously get the idea,even though youre mocking it now.And when you are trying to be aspirational, as leaders should be, you want thehyperbole like "change the world." Do you think youll inspire people with "hey, just dodo something, ok" ? No, you want to work with someone who makes you feel like yourwork matters. Thing is, most of us never get to work with people who inspire us, evenif they have jerky personalities. (Read my post below for more on this.)(Edited by author 1 month ago) hide 3 replies Tony Knibb 1 month ago Theres a huge difference between "Your work is trash, do better" and "You are an asshole". One of those bosses gets a smack, the other motivates. hide 1 reply dsp4 1 month ago Both get punched in my case... RS 1 month ago
Its simple Inferno people who cant do shit mock other people period. bewlaybrother 1 month agoHaha, by what definition did he not change the world? hide 5 replies EricLR 1 month ago The kind where in a hundred years, not a single person will remember any of his accomplishments. hide 4 replies Xbrotha 1 month ago Not many, but the accomplished of Bill Gates and his wife will be remembered for a long, long time. bewlaybrother 1 month ago Ah, so an idiotic, fanciful and utterly unprovable definition. How pointless. hide 2 replies Alex Bedwell 1 month ago If you look out the window, the world hasnt changed one bit. Its technology to keep us amused, its in no way "world-changing". I love my MacBook and I use it daily, but when I die I have the sneaking suspicion that the only true change that will have come from it is that I looked out the window at the real, unchanging world less often.
hide 1 reply bewlaybrother 1 month ago "World" has more than one meaning. Sorry that confuses you so. barkomatic 1 month agoI can think of no greater hell than having a 25 year old boss that thinks he is Steve Jobs andgoes around telling workers "this is shit". hide 3 replies Tariq Kamal 1 month ago And thanks to the Jobs, we’ll have 15 years of that shit, thanks to wave and wave of assholes who take Jobs’ life as an excuse to be jerks without the brilliance to push it through. THANKS STEVE! hide 2 replies Mike Roberts 1 month ago Yes, because Jobs invented the Boss as Asshole...Face it, there were untalented jerks in the big Boys Chair long before Jobs came along. hide 1 reply RobertSF 1 month ago He didnt invent it but he took the stigma out of it.
Fleurdamour 2 months agoBut if he constantly took credit for other peoples work, how many of his supposedaccomplishments are really his? hide 4 replies Tony Knibb 1 month ago None. InfernoShade 1 month ago Have you ever worked in corporate america (or any corporation)?! People do this every day to each other. Its terrible and dont be silly enough to think its just Jobs. People have been doing it way before he came along and theyll be doing it until the end of time. As for taking credit of other accomplishments, youre over simplifying. One of the responsibilities of a leader is to pushing his people to be their best, helping them achieve - sort be more than they can be (yes a bit cheesy). When a leader does that, the line between who owns that accomplishment gets blurry. Most workplaces are pedestrian, so its rare for people to experience this type of push. Sometimes people dont realize they are being pushed to reach levels of success they would not have reached themselves. Then factor in some ego, and you have people taking credit - or seemingly taking credit - for other peoples work. And hey, credit stealing even happens in the lamest of companies without real leaders. If you havent worked for a number of years, in various work environments, its unlikely youd understand this. (Edited by author 1 month ago) hide 2 replies justanotherengineer 1 month ago It is my accomplishment, because I BEAT IT OUT of my team, insult after insult, threat after threat, until they performed. .
And then I fired half of them based on my judgement of who did not neglect their family enough to serve me and my vision. . wulfcry 1 month ago A system like that we dont want in Europe and sadly some politicians at least in the Netherlands want to forward something like that as if were not pushed enough already. Phil Simon 2 months agoI also have mixed feelings about this. I frequently write about Jobs, Zuckerberg, Larry &Sergey, and Bezos, among others. From everything Ive read and heard, they arentnecessarily nice guys. They are visionaries and for that I have to give them credit.Visionaries are often difficult to work with.Ultimately, to me, the question is whether one has to be a prick to be an effective leader. Idlike to think that that answer is no. hide 7 replies Joe_HTH 1 month ago Bill Gates is a visionary, and he isnt an asshole. (Edited by author 1 month ago) hide 2 replies symbolset 1 month ago Bill Gates is a visionary, and he is an asshole. He might redeem himself soon, but heretofore he was always a jerk. A visionary jerk.
hide 1 reply Xbrotha 1 month ago maybe a jerk in personality, but not in actions. Jobs was a jerk in personality and his actions. Peter Simpson 1 month agoEven if you are a "visionary" (or maybe just a business success), why does that meanthe rest of the world should give you a pass on having good manners?I also have a problem seeing Apple, Facebook and Amazon as "visionary" -- they aresuccessful vendors of consumer products, personal web pages and consumerproducts, and thats about it. Successful, innovative, but not visionary. Google isdifferent. Larry and Sergey really stepped apart from the status quo and builtsomething completely new. I give them credit for that. But that still doesnt mean Iwould think its OK if they didnt tip their waitress.Being "special" doesnt absolve you of the responsibility of acting like a mature adult. hide 3 replies Phil Simon 1 month ago Id argue that Amazon, Apple, and Facebook have all embraced platform thinking years ahead of other companies. Hence the visionary label. They were all ahead of the game in different ways, led in large part by their iconic leaders. InfernoShade 1 month ago OMG, he didnt tip a waitress, hang him! ;) Newsflash: the CEO(s) of any company you name has done a lot worse than that. If you think that Larry and Sergey havent done some jerky things in their lives, youre living in a dream land. (Edited by author 1 month ago)
hide 1 reply haloguy628 1 month ago We all have done "something stupid". The difference is that decent people do not do "something stupid" 24/7/365. xmichaelx 2 months agoAn early manager on the Mac team told Isaacson about the abuses Jobsheaped on employees. But she said, “I consider myself the absoluteluckiest person in the world to have worked with him.”Somebodys daddy didnt pay enough attention to her. People who happily take abuse fromothers should seek counseling. hide 7 replies plazman 1 month ago Like Jobs there were some people who felt honored to have worked with Walt Disney and he wasnt someone who treated people well. It is a mixed bag to work with others and I dont see the word happily in her quote. Hopefully you have done your counseling and are perfect. hide 3 replies Tudor Rosca 1 month ago You cant really compare the two. One was a cold bastard that understood very well what the paying customer wants, the other was a great artist. hide 2 replies plazman 1 month ago
Dig deeper. You will find out that Walt Disney isnt the person who has been portrayed in popular culture. When the studio artists struck against him in the late 1940s Disney labeled them all Communists and testified before the HUAC. Yes, he was a control freak, micro-manager and hardly ever gave credit to others. He was also a great businessman. RS 1 month ago A book is only an abstract of what a person is but it doesnt carve out every aspect of his/her life but i can say that you are nothing but a douche bag who cant take the good and bad from ones life to make things better for others. InfernoShade 1 month agoSadly, you dont get it.Even if youre not treated well, its still better to work with someone of vision -someone who you can learn something from - than to work with small-minded,pedestrian, average joe that is the common working man.Corporate america (in my experience) is full of people - a large part of them "leaders" -that treat others like crap. Most of them are just average in intelligence and skillset.(Dont get me started on how the became upper management.) These people suck thesoul out of work and will be the downfall of corporate america in general. (Obviously,Ive only worked in America.) Its horrible working for/with them.So people who are strong and thick-skinned would prefer to work with someonesmarter, sharper, passionate, an A-player and take some insults than to be treatynicely and live in mediocrity. It would be great to get both, but its beyond rare.Again, not everyone gets it. But thats ok.(Edited by author 1 month ago) hide 2 replies InfernoShade 1 month ago
Yeah, just downvote me. :) Xmichaelx, makes a silly a joke about daddy issues, He gets tons of up votes. Sure it was funny, but misses the point. I explain the psychology behind the guys statement. I get downvoted. Without even thought or comment. Just shows people refuse to be open to other points of view. hide 1 reply Tony Knibb 1 month ago Do you need someone to help get that sand out of your vagina? Pat Goudey OBrien 2 months agoThis deserves a highly measured response, but my first impression is to reject Jobs attitudetoward dealing with business and dealing with people. I rather like people, and it seems likehe rather didnt. I cant document that -- never met him or talked to others who knew him,but his REPORTED attitudes indicate that he was impatient with human nature and didntparticularly like most people at all, or people in general, though I dont doubt that he lovedmany that he knew. BUT, thats not my point. My point is, not much of what Steve Jobs didfor the world was actually required. It was nice stuff that moved our technology forward, butwe didnt have to move our technology forward to continue to live and thrive on our planet.What Jobs did was change the culture, but did he change it for the better? (He sped it up!Did we need that?) Or just change it so we noticed (fed his ego and a lot of other peoplesenvy, but didnt do anything the world couldnt have gotten along fine without)? So, myquestion is, why should anyone pay attention to Steve Jobss philosophy of business? Well,answer one: if you have a great big ego and want to make a huge splash and be famous andrich, you might fashion yourself after Jerk #1 (yes, thats a value judgement -- I think theway he acted toward employees, handicap parking, and random service people wasabhorrent). If you think the mission of business is to serve business itself (e.g., that its nota function of society and embedded in a culture as a means to create and foster aneconomy that allows humanity to co-exist on a vastly over-populated planet -- are mybiases showing yet?), then sure, follow Jobss model that makes business a means AND anend unto itself. I dont subscribe to that attitude. If the guy were creating something trulyneeded on this planet -- a way, for instance, to get clean water to people who are having toPAY some entrepreneur to bring it to them, after some OTHER powerful people put a dam ona river and diverted water to some city somewhere -- well, then, maybe Id say a little
hard-nosed behavior could be overlooked. And, yes, blah, blah, blah ... I know Jobssproducts are used to promote the welfare of people all over the planet, but so are thetechnology products of tons of other people who dont go around abusing the help the wayhe did, and who would have done it all anyway, if Steve Jobs never existed. So, I guess mypoint is, Jobs acted like what he was doing was the be-all and end-all of existence and heacted like it excused his obnoxious behavior, and to my mind, it was not and it did not. Wecould have done just fine on Earth if Steve were never born or he never succeeded inbringing Apple and Mac to the people (and Im typing on a Mac, so Im not disparaging theproduct, just the guy). I think the planet would be a much nicer place if we all realized wereall PEOPLE, people, and if we had some empathy and compassion for each other (not a badthing for us to develop, if were to stop these crazies from donning riot gear and shooting upmovie theaters). More justification for treating people like unimportant cogs in a wheel doesnothing for the quality of life on this planet, no matter how many iPods you invent.(Edited by author 2 months ago) hide 2 replies bikesh sapkota 1 month ago I think he felt betrayed by John Scully( the CEO he hired) and apple board of directors and he was showing lots of misplaced anger towards his employees when in fact he was very bitter about what happen in the boardroom when he was fired. He harbored that anger and it pretty much shaped his life from that point forward. And after winning his way-back to save the fallen company, he had justification to act out on his anger. But we human and human-systems are not designed to harbor negative feelings so his human-system or body started to develop cancer. It is bodys way of coping. But the fact is he is truly a visionary and made a dint in the universe. He was very successful but in the end we are only humans. davossherman 2 months ago Youre trying to make a point, not a blob. Pick your best 2 to 3 sentences, delete the rest. Mike | Homeless On Wheels 2 months ago
So is the moral of the story "One must be an asshole to be successful in business?"In my book the end doesnt justify the means. And frankly, I dont think it was a strategy -Jobs was just naturally an asshole. Sadly, the fact that it seemed to work for him justreinforced his atrocious behaviour and, sadly, probably inspired some otherwise nice peopleinto acting similarly. graham krenz 1 month agoThis isnt new, this is just the next generation of stupid Gordon Gecko knockoffs. Theyll diealone and sad and not realize it until 10 minutes before the buzzer. Good luck to them, Ihope they enjoy their misery. Theyll deny it, but I know an empty skull when I meet one.Idolize steve jobs at the cost of your soul. Do your best work because you want to, notbecause you have to. MarkSaysThings 1 month agoA visionary jerk who doesnt listen to people is one thing. Most CEOs arent so lucky. And ifyoure a just an ordinary jerk who doesnt listen to people thats worse than anything foryour company. FrankSeaweed 1 month agoI worked for a person similar to Jobs. At least in the area of treatment of employees. I thinkshe thought of herself as an assertive go-getter. The fact is she was a flaming a-hole. Oneof the amusing moments was when a new hire was asked to attend two training sessionswith her before his actual start date. Thats all it took. He never showed up after that.I used to say that he was one of the smartest people she ever hired. John LeBourgeois 2 months agoPeople do not even begin to understand the psychodynamics underlying steve jobs, so they
fixate on what attracts them.. bully, power, your shit etc..Jobs is what the asians call "half-cooked rice" in terms of his spiritual evolution. Too wet toput back in the bag.. too hard to eat. He took from his mystical journeys that which wouldwork with his ego structures.. He got pristine perfection and an archtypical connection tothe world of forms from his lsd/zen experiences. However he never developed the other halfof the Zen experience, compassion.. because it didnt fit with his personality structure. Nordid he apply the principals of self-observation of his ego process and concomitantreduction as a means of development.. so he supercharged his belief structures and had nocounterpoint to reduce his excesses.He would have been much better served to have taken a few tabs of ecstasy along with hisLSD.. he would have been a changed man.His frustration/aggression with a world that did not meet his aesthetic or artistic standardsspills over in his relations with human beings. Yet he would be moved to tears by aparticularly "pure" or essential piece of music or art. Yes he exemplified the fact that to gettrue excellence or perfection, you have to push people beyond their comfort zone.. Thejapanese culture has that value implicit in their norms.. Thats why their cars eat americanmanufacturers lunch.. He had to brute-force it into american norms.. So if you havent donezen, and you dont know where your aiming the arrow.. best not to push people in emulationof his tactics. hide 1 reply jujutsuka 1 month ago Couldnt have said it better myself. I think a lot of his personality was shaped by his time spent in India and his interest in Hinduism and Zen, but he seems to have picked and chosen what he liked, to others detriment. Shooting from the hip, he seemed very impatient with (and abusive of?) those who didnt function on his wavelength. Hal OBrien 2 months agoThe whole topic of Steve Jobs and his sociopathy towards others reeks of survivorship biaswhen it comes to other companies. That is, how many CEOs have treated their employeeslike crap to emulate Steve, and then (unlike Steve in the long run) run their companies intothe ground anyway?Nassim Taleb asks of Wall Street traders, "Are you good, or are you lucky? How do youknow?" The very rarity of Jobs results implies he had what the baseball guys call
non-repeatable skills, and was in fact mostly lucky. Pasteurs "Chance favors the preparedmind," aside, the odds are blindly copying Steves style wont actually produce the resultsyou want. hide 1 reply InfernoShade 1 month ago Dude, CEOs or other executives, dont treat people badly to emulate Steve Jobs. They are jerks all by themselves. There were type A jerks before Jobs and theyll be here way after Jobs. Its the personality type, not a Jobs-like leadership style. Why cant people understand that. That doesnt mean I condone it, just to be clear. Though for counter-arguments sake, one repeatable skill is embracing a vertical business model. He had other repeatable skills but Im not going to get into it. Bill Maslen 2 months agoThis is a nice, measured evaluation, I must say. I am increasingly concerned by that tinypercentage of extremely wealthy and powerful people who appear to have got there, andmost certainly remain there, because they believe they have absolute rights - they believethey are more entitled (to everything) than anybody else. This sociopathic - evenpsychopathic - trend in senior management has already been identified and questioned bya growing series of commentators, and it does beg the question: are the qualities needed tolead a major corporation also qualities that will eventually turn that corporation into afrighteningly self-obsessed power hub, one that relies on legal action, political influence butabove all, sheer arrogant self-belief both to suppress the competition and to enforcecorporate priorities on customers and consumers? In short, turn the entire corporation -with all its overt and covert power - into a mirror image of its senior manager(s)? Wereseeing similar moves from banks, publishers and energy companies - in this sense, Jobswas not unique. Aggression and arrogance must be balanced by something, but we dontappear to have worked out what. And while politicians play the revolving-door game withthe private sector, I wonder how long were going to have to wait... hide 1 reply InfernoShade 1 month ago Well said. And thank you for realizing this is more than just Steve Jobs. He represents
a personality type that is seen everywhere. Whats worse is this personality type with no skills or vision. At least the guy had vision, and appreciated creativity. pjcamp 1 month agoHe was an obsessive compulsive narcissist. Without his fortune, he would be on the streetcorner talking to air molecules.And despite the articles implicit assumption that his designs were brilliant, there are a lot ofus who find them obtuse, unnecessarily constrained, myopic and even tyrannical, and dontadmire them in the least. His greatest ability was to generate hype, not design. Jeff Redman 1 month agoI read this article with interest and being a person who uses both Apple and PC computerswith, I believe, some detachment from the platform wars. That said it seems to me that thearticle is founded on a false premise - Mr. Jobs was a genius who changed the world.To crib his own metaphor, I believe that any dent he made was very very small indeed. Itseems to me that his accomplishment, notable and financially rewarding as it was, did notnoticeably change the world. He did not, for instance, invent the personal computer. Othersdid that, as others invented every part of every computer made by his company. For themost part, Jobs created a business that merely refined the inventions of others. This is thesort of task for which Japanese industry has been renowned for more than half a century.His accomplishment does not rise to the heights of other similar industrial innovators suchas Thomas Edison, who registered 2332 patents of which about half were things heinvented, or Jack Kilby or Robert Noyce who invented the integrated circuit. Not even hisdrive for perfection was unique. Tiffany had it. Michangelo had it. Faberge had it. The stonecutters who built Chartré had it. Charles Rolls and Sir Royce had it.What he did do is create a couple of companies that make great products, made him andmany others very wealthy, and that captured the nations and perhaps the worldsimagination, but then so did Louis B. Mayer, Samuel Goldwin, and Gustave Eiffel, to namebut a few, but I dont believe that his accomplishments include even a single originaldiscovery or idea. If he had not made Apple computers the world would not be much, if anydifferent.On that basis, I cant but conclude that he was a brilliant, misanthropic, lonely, bitter, andprobably frightened man, who channeled his need for perfection as he defined it into aseries of products and against his own personal weaknesses adopted the adage "the best
defense is a good offense." Social Oracle 1 month agoSeems the guy was basically a lucky prick who stood on the shoulders on the giants thatbuilt Apple, the employees. The fact this asshole was celebrated by anyone doesnt saymuch about the people who worship him. He didnt program, he didnt design and his petprojects were mostly failures. His genius was getting people to believe his bullshit. hide 1 reply EricLR 1 month ago Well, he was a genius at stealing credit. Got to give him that. Show more comments...WIRED.COM MOBILEAUTOPIA BUSINESSCLOUDLINE DECODEDANGER ROOM DESIGNENTERPRISE GADGET LABGAME|LIFE GEEKDADGEEKMOM PLAYBOOKRAW FILE RELIC WRANGERSREVIEWS THIS DAY IN TECHTHREAT LEVEL UNDERWIREWIRED MAGAZINE WIRED SCIENCE