Photo: CBS 60 Minutes
CBS just aired its special “Steve Jobs edition” of 60 Minutes, featuring an exclusive interview with Jobs’ biographer Walter Isaacson.Here are some of our favourite parts.
Isaacson said 'He felt that if you ignore something, if you don't want something to exist, you can have magical thinking and it will go away. It had worked for him in the past.'
'He's not warm and fuzzy,' Isaacson said.
Regarding his biography on Jobs: 'it's a book that's fair. He was very petulant, very brittle, and he could be very very mean to people at times, whether it was a waitress in a restaurant or a guy who had just stayed up all night coding. He could really just go at them and say you're doing this all wrong, that this is horrible.'
Jobs would respond to questions about his tact, saying 'I really want to be around people that demand perfection, and this is all I am.'
In Steve's final meeting with Isaacson in August, he still had hopes that a new drug would come out that could save him.
In his garden one day, Steve said 'sometimes I believe in God, sometimes I don't.'
He called it a 50/50 chance.
'Ever since I've had cancer,' Steve said,' I find myself believing a bit more. Maybe it's because i want to believe in an afterlife, that when you die, it doesn't all disappear. All the wisdom you've accumulated. But sometimes it's just like an on/off switch. Click and you're gone. and that's why I don't like putting off switches on Apple devices.'
There was a moment in Steve Jobs' childhood where he started crying when someone said to him: 'adopted? does that mean your parents didn't want you?'
The key to understanding Steve Jobs, according to Walter Isaacson, was this moment. He approached his parents and told them what happened.
His parents told him they specifically picked him. He was special, and he was specifically chosen by them.
When Jobs informed the public of his 'hormone imbalance,' which was really just a symptom of his real problem, Jobs couldn't really believe the truth himself.
Isaacson said, 'Steve's hormone imbalance had a tiny kernel of truth to it. He was denying it to himself, and not just to the public.'
Isaacson said, regarding the time surrounding Jobs' health decline, 'He didn't care about travelling the world or going out, but he instead wanted to focus on the products. He knew the couple of things he wanted to do. He would've love to have conquered television, to make an easy to use television set. But he started focusing on his family as well.'
Steve Jobs despised big homes and 'lavish' lifestyles.
His house is a house on a normal street, Isaacson says. There's no security fence and no winding driveway.
The back door wasn't normally locked. It's a normal family home. Steve wanted to live in a normal place that would be normal for kids.
'Paul Jobs was a salt of the earth guy and a great mechanic. He taught his son Steve how to make great things. Once they were building a fence, and he said to Steve that you have to make the back of the fence (which nobody will see) just as good looking as the front of the fence. You will know, and that will show that you're dedicated to making something perfect.'
Steve told Walter Isaacson in an interview: 'I saw it through people at Apple how money changed them, and a lot of people thought they had to start being rich, so they bought big homes, and their wives got plastic surgery, and I saw these nice simple people turn into these bizarro people. And I made a promise to myself that I'm not going to let this money ruin my life.'
Isaacson said, regarding Steve working with employees: 'He would say we need to have this done by next month. And they'd say there's no way to write this much code by next month. And he'd say yes, you can do it. He would not take no for an answer. He would bend reality and they would accomplish it.'
The blue box that Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak created was the 'beginning of Apple,' according to Jobs. It let users hijack phone signals in order to make long distance calls for free.
With Woz's design skills and Jobs' marketing skills, he realised that he could sell anything.
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