Brent Schlender and Rick Tetzeli’s new book, “Becoming Steve Jobs: The Evolution of a Reckless Upstart into a Visionary Leader,” is full of interesting nuggets and facts.
Apple executives have been calling it the most accurate portrayal of Jobs yet.
The book shows a side of Jobs that’s rarely been seen by the media.
Schlender and Tetzeli’s account is personal and deep — Jobs trusted Schlender, who worked for Fortune and The Wall Street Journal covering him and Apple for 25 years.
After Steve Jobs had children, he found it much more difficult to fire people. Here's what he said, according to the book:
'When I look at people when this happens, I also think of them as being 5 years old, kind of like I look at my kids. And I think that that could be me coming home to tell my wife and kids that I just got laid off. Or that it could be one of my kids in 20 years. I never took it so personally before.'
Steve skipped sixth grade altogether, and his teachers even considered having him bypass seventh grade, too.
After that, his parents decided that it was time for him to attend a better, more challenging school. They moved to an area of Los Altos that had one of the best school districts in California.
Steve Jobs was a family man. He looked forward to coming home every day to have dinner with his wife and children.
There are two main reasons he decided to deliver the commencement speech at Stanford University in 2005 -- it wasn't very far from his home, so he didn't have to travel and be away from his family. And he respected Stanford for its rich history of producing tech influencers, according to Schlender and Tetzeli's book.
Jobs was a great visionary, but he also had a temper at times. He wasn't the easiest person to work for. But if the engineers he respected on the Mac team told him to back off, he would.
For example, of Jobs chewed out an engineer for not doing the work he expected, the team would say, 'Hey, come on, there aren't that many people we can hire that are near as good as that guy, go back and apologise,' Bill Gates told Schlender and Tetzeli in reference to Jobs. And Jobs would go apologise.
Current Apple CEO Tim Cook was so close to Jobs that he offered him a portion of his liver when Jobs was sick. Jobs didn't even entertain the thought, according to Schlender and Tetzeli. Here's what he told the authors:
'He cut me off at the legs, almost before the words were out of my mouth. 'No,' he said. 'I'll never let you do that. I'll never do that.'
'When my life is over, people will give me credit for all the creative stuff,' Jobs said while working at NeXT, according to Schlender and Tetzeli. 'But no one will know I actually know how to run a business.'
Steve Jobs's father taught him the importance of paying attention to detail, as Schlender and Tetzeli explain. Paul Jobs was a mechanic and a craftsman, and he often rebuilt cars on his weekends. He gave Steve his own small workbench when he was about five or six years old and said: 'Steve, this is your workbench now.'
Neil Young believed the compressed audio files compatible with the iPod greatly compromised music quality, and when he said so, Jobs became angry. More than anything, he was upset that Young made these comments publicly rather than coming to Jobs first.
For years, the media has been speculating that Apple is in the process of designing its own TV. The recent reports of an Apple-branded streaming service have only strengthened that rumour. Jobs, however, told Ive 'I just don't like television. Apple will never make a TV again,' according to the authors of the book.
Although Jobs has a reputation for sometimes being harsh or insensitive, he sometimes felt remorse about the way he treated people. The best example of this takes place in the beginning of Schlender and Tetzeli's book in the chapter titled 'Garden of Allah.' Jobs had attended the Seva Foundations' first meeting -- a nonprofit dedicated to eradicating blindness in India.
Jobs got heated during the meeting and was pushy with his ideas, according to the authors of the book. He even yelled at certain points despite the fact that his friend Larry Brilliant tried to calm him down. He was so embarrassed about what happened that Brilliant found him crying in his car in the parking lot. He went back into the meeting and apologised for his behaviour.
One of the nuggets revealed in Schlender and Tetzel's book is that Jobs considered buying Yahoo. When Disney CEO Bob Iger would visit Jobs in Cupertino, they talked about things like buying companies.
'We would stand at a whiteboard brainstorming,' Iger said, according to the book. 'We talked about buying companies. We talked about buying Yahoo together.'
'The company is one of the most amazing inventions of humans, this abstract construct that's incredibly powerful,' Jobs said, according to the book. 'Even so, for me, it's about the products. It's about working together with really fun, smart, creative people and making wonderful things. It's not about the money.'
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