Steve Jobs is remembered as a brilliant leader and visionary, but he also has a reputation for being stern, harsh, and sometimes just downright mean.
In their new book, “Becoming Steve Jobs: The Evolution of a Reckless Upstart into a Visionary Leader,” Brent Shlender and Rick Tetzeli seek to paint a different picture of Jobs — one that shows how he matured over the years.
It shows a more personable side of Jobs that not only portrays his quick and somewhat unreasonable temper, but his kindness and appreciation for those close to him.
Lasseter was one of Jobs' closest friends. Schlender and Tetzeli's book describes an instance in which Jobs gave Lasseter a bonus so that he could replace his 1984 Honda Civic.
'You have to use this to buy a new car,' he told Lasseter, according to the book. 'You have to buy or lease a new car, and it has to be safe, and I have to approve it.'
In the company's early days, after the Apple II was released, Jobs would take his Mac engineers on retreats so that he could get to know them better, according to the book. He gave inspirational speeches to his engineers, saying that the work they were doing was 'going to send a giant ripple through the universe.'
A designer named Tim Smith would pass by Jobs' house when visiting his girlfriend in Palo Alto. One day, when his car broke down, Jobs' wife Laurene came out and brought him a beer while Jobs tried to fix the car. Smith detailed the interaction on Quora, which Schlender and Tetzeli reference in their book.
'He was so protective of us,' one Mac engineer said, 'that whenever we complained about somebody outside the division, it was like unleashing a Doberman.'
Engineers loved working for Jobs because he made them feel like artists.
Lasseter was extremely nervous before Pixar's IPO, according to the book. He told Jobs that he wished Pixar could wait until its second movie. Jobs assured Lasseter that he had no reason to be worried:
'You know, when we make a computer at Apple, what's its life span? The lifespan is about three years. At five years, it's a doorstop. If you do your job right, what you create can last forever.'
He invited Brent Schlender's kids over to watch 'Toy Story' before it was released even though no one was supposed to see it.
Schlender writes about an instance in which Jobs invited him and his daughters over to his house. 'I've got something cool to show them,' Jobs said. Only half of it was finished, and Jobs said even Pixar's board of directors hadn't seen it. He asked Schlender's daughters if they thought 'Toy Story' was better than 'Pocahontas,' and they nodded.
Jobs didn't like giving speeches at universities -- he had been invited to a lot of them, but only accepted Stanford's invitation, according to the book. That's because he admired the way Stanford was deeply tied to Silicon Valley, and it didn't require him to travel mich. Jobs put a great deal of work into the speech, and revised it multiple times. It now has more than 21 million views on YouTube.
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