Chapter 1: Childhood: Abandoned and Chosen Steve Jobs was the natural-born son of John Jandali and Joanne Schieble. Jandali was a teaching assistant from Syria and Joanne was a Catholic girl from Wisconsin whose parents disapproved of her relationship with a Muslim. Unable to wed, they gave their baby up for adoption and baby Steve was adopted by Paul and Clara Jobs of San Francisco, California. Paul Jobs was an engine technician turned car mechanic, and he introduced Steve to the world of engineering and design, instilling in him many of the principles of good design that are so characteristic of Apple products.
Still, Jobs struggled at times with the circumstances surrounding his birth, and he expressed mixed emotions about both sets of his parents. “Abandoned. Chosen. Special. Those concepts became part of who Jobs was and how he regarded himself. ” The Jobs family soon moved south of San Francisco to Palo Alto, right as the Silicon Valley technology boom was getting under way. There, Steve went to school where he was often bored and bemused by authority. He frequently found himself in trouble for pulling pranks but his parents never punished him for his shenanigans and they challenged his school to keep him engaged.
According to Steve, the only time that Paul Jobs ever got mad was later in high school, when he discovered that Steve was experimenting with marijuana and LSD. It was in high school that Steve began realizing that while he had a head for electronics and technical design, he also possessed a keen aesthetic sense and a deep appreciation for music and art. Chapter 2: Odd Couple: The Two Steves Steve Wozniak preceded Jobs at Homestead High School by five years, and was a talented and accomplished computer technician by the time he met Jobs in the garage of a mutual friend.
There, they began their storied friendship based on their mutual love of computers, pranks and Bob Dylan bootlegs. Their first project together involved building a device called a blue box that allowed users to make long-distance phone calls for free. Wozniak supplied the design and Jobs turned the innovation into a business, taking $40 worth of parts and selling the blue boxes for $150. They sold almost a hundred blue boxes, but stopped selling them when one would-be customer robbed them of a blue box at gunpoint. It was probably a bad idea selling them, but it gave us a taste of what we could do with my engineering skills and his vision,” recalled Wozniak.
Chapter 3: The Dropout Jobs’ quirky personality really began developing towards the end of high school, when he experimented with everything from LSD to strange diets. He also began dating Chrisann Brennan, with whom he would later have a daughter. She later said of Jobs, “He was an enlightened being who was cruel. ” After high school, Jobs chose to attend Reed College, a small liberal arts school in Portland, Oregon.
Reed was a small school, with half as many students as Jobs’ high school. Once he arrived, Jobs realized that despite Reed’s hippie reputation, college came with some annoying requirements, such as class attendance. At Reed, Jobs became close to Robert Friedland, who was either a guru or a con artist depending on who you asked. Jobs adopted many of Friedland’s charismatic personality quirks, but later dismissed Friedland as a gold digger. Jobs officially dropped out of Reed after a year, but was allowed to remain and audit classes as he wished. Chapter 4: Atari and India: Zen and the Art of Game Design
Jobs left Reed after a year and a half of auditing classes and came home to Silicon Valley. He walked into Atari’s main office wearing sandals and refused to leave until he had a job. Nolan Bushnell, Atari’s charismatic founder, took a liking to Jobs’ special brand of enthusiasm and hired him for $5 an hour. By this time, Jobs had adopted an all-fruit diet which he mistakenly believed eliminated body odor, and he rarely showered more than once a week. He quickly alienated most of his co-workers, who saw a stubborn, smelly hippie kid who had conned his way into a job.
One engineer complained, “This guy’s a goddamn hippie with b. o. Why did you do this to me? And he’s impossible to deal with. ” Jobs temporarily left Atari to visit India and pursue his interest in Eastern spirituality. Although he initially sought out a few notable spiritual gurus, he eventually turned inward and sought simplicity and deprivation, although he never found the spiritual calm he was looking for. Still, he was deeply affected by this experience and developed an understanding of the importance of intuition in Indian culture.
When he returned to Atari, Bushnell challenged Jobs to design a one-player version of the game pong, and offered an additional bonus for designing the game with fewer computer chips. Jobs recruited Wozniak to design the game and proposed they split the fee. Wozniak finished the design in four days, and Bushnell paid Jobs. There is some controversy regarding this story, as some accounts suggest Jobs kept the additional bonus for himself, never telling Wozniak about the bonus money. Chapter 5: The Apple I
As the technology revolution was being born in Silicon Valley, Steve Wozniak joined an informal interest group of computer nerds called the Homebrew Computer Club, where he saw a demonstration for a microprocessor. It was there that Wozniak came up with the idea for the modern personal computer – keyboard, screen and computer all in one package. While Wozniak initially wanted to give away his design for free, Jobs found a way to profit from Wozniak’s incredible invention. “Every time I’d design something great, Steve would find a way to make money for us,” said Wozniak.
With $1300 of start-up capital, Wozniak and Jobs decided to start Apple Computer. Jobs happened to be coming back from an apple orchard on the day they needed a name for the company, and Apple stuck. Wozniak and Jobs labored for a month to build a hundred computers, sold half of them to a local computer dealer, and the other half to their friends and other customers. Within thirty days, Apple was profitable. Chapter 6: The Apple II: Dawn of a New Age Jobs quickly realized that the Apple I lacked the polish and presentation associated with products made by larger companies, so he made appealing design an important part of the Apple II.
To get the funding necessary for scaling up into a larger operation, Jobs used his connections at Atari to get in touch with a venture capitalist who introduced Jobs to Mike Markkula, a thirty-three year old retired millionaire who had worked at Intel. “I looked past the fact that both guys needed a haircut and was amazed by what I saw on that workbench. You can always get a haircut. ” said Markkula. Markkula had the business savvy and the connections to turn Apple into a formidable computer company, and hired a publicist to work on Apple’s image.
The Apple II launch was a tremendous success, and as Apple grew beyond Jobs’ capabilities, Markkula hired Mike Scott as President, essentially to manage Jobs. Scott and Jobs would clash often and heatedly but the Apple II, in various models, would eventually go on to sell almost six million units. Chapter 7: Chrisann and Lisa Chrisann Brennan and Jobs had been dating on and off for five years when she became pregnant with their only child together. Jobs often seemed aloof from the situation, alternately ignoring the pregnancy and claiming that he was not the father.
Lisa Nicole Brennan was born on May 17, 1978, and although Jobs joined Chrisann to name their daughter, they decided not to give her Steve’s last name. Jobs later expressed remorse at how he handled the situation with his first daughter, admitting that he was not ready to be a father. “I wish I had handled it differently. I could not see myself as a father then, so I didn’t face up to it. ” He did however provide for both Chrisann and Lisa, buying them a house in Palo Alto and supporting them financially. Chapter 8: Xerox and Lisa: Graphical User Interfaces
After the fantastic success of the Apple II, Jobs moved on to other projects but was disappointed by both the Apple III, which simply had too many different designers, and the “Lisa,” a more powerful computer that was a bit ahead of its time. The major computer innovations were coming from Xerox at the time, and Jobs struck a deal with Xerox that let Xerox invest in Apple’s second round of financing in return for Xerox sharing some of their technologies with Apple. The key technology was called a graphical user interface, or GUI, which allows computer users to see graphics as well as text on their computer screens.
Jobs understood the importance of this technology, and quickly appropriated it for Apple. He once said, “Picasso had a saying – ‘good artists copy, great artists steal’ – and we have always been shameless about stealing great ideas. ” Jobs quickly took over the Lisa project and added the GUI, as well as other innovations such as the modern computer mouse, but Apple’s senior management was growing increasingly wary of Jobs’ quirky behavior. By September of 1980, Jobs had been demoted to non-executive chairman of the board, and no longer controlled any projects.
Chapter 9: Going Public: A Man of Wealth and Fame Apple went from being worth $5,309 in 1977 to $1. 79 billion by the end of 1980, and after Apple’s IPO, Jobs was worth $256 million at age twenty-five. Jobs rarely showed an interest in material things, although he appreciated the fine design of high-end sports cars and German knives. Jobs also had a tenuous relationship with some of the early Apple employees throughout the IPO, much of which can be explained by Jobs’ occasional indifference to money.
Despite Daniel Kottke’s involvement in Apple since he garage days, he was paid hourly and not salaried and thus disqualified from the IPO. Jobs refused to give Kottke any stock options, resolutely abandoning his old friend, although Wozniak later gave Kottke (as well as many others) some of his shares. Chapter 10: The Mac is Born The Macintosh project was originally headed by Jeff Raskin, who wanted to develop a computer that was affordable enough ($1,000) for most families to be able to have one in their homes. Jobs came onto the Macintosh project and insisted on creating an “insanely great” product instead, regardless of price.
Jobs eventually won the power struggle and took over the Macintosh project. He also consolidated his power at Apple headquarters when Mike Scott, the president, became unpopular after a round of layoffs. Markkula decided to remove Scott from power, and Jobs was finally free to run the Macintosh division any way he wanted to. Chapter 11: The Reality Distortion Field Jobs had a way of motivating people to do amazing things that his employees called the “reality distortion field,” meaning that Jobs could convince people that anything was possible by willfully distorting reality.
Jobs also saw the world in black and white terms, categorizing everyone as either “enlightened” or an “asshole. ” He would also change his mind frequently, and many employees complained of how they would present an idea, have Jobs berate them for being stupid, then watch as Jobs would present the idea a week later as if he had thought of it himself. Later, Apple would start giving out an award to the employee who most bravely stood up to Jobs each year. Eventually Jobs’ co-workers realized that at the heart of Jobs’ quirkiness was an absolute commitment to perfection.
Chapter 12: The Design: Real Artists Simplify One of the things that sets Jobs apart was his attention to detail, and this showed particularly in his handling of the Macintosh project. He insisted on beautiful, white packaging for the computers and an intuitive design. Jobs also drove his engineers crazy, insisting that even the parts on the inside of the computer had to be beautiful. Jobs believed that the Macintosh should be a piece of art, and the engineers, the artists. He had the signatures of every Macintosh engineer engraved on the inside of every Macintosh computer.
Chapter 13: Building the Mac During the early years of Apple, Jobs saw himself as the rebellious upstart to IBM’s establishment. However, he also competed within his own company, and competed with the Lisa team to ship his product faster. Although the Lisa shipped first, it ultimately flopped because of its modest features, and Apple was left to rely on the Macintosh for its future. Meanwhile, Jobs insisted on having full control of every aspect of the Macintosh project. “Jobs is a strong-willed, elitist artist who doesn’t want his creations mutated inauspiciously by unworthy programmers.
It would be as if someone off the street added some brush strokes to a Picasso painting or changed the lyrics to a Dylan song,” wrote Dan Farber, an editor at ZDNet. Jobs later felt slighted by TIME Magazine, which led him to believe that he would be Man of the Year during an interview, but instead named his computer the Machine of the Year. Chapter 14: Enter Sculley Jobs sensed that he was still too immature to run Apple himself so he recruited John Sculley, the former Pepsi marketing director responsible for the Pepsi Challenge campaign.
Jobs and Sculley got along instantly, and although Sculley was reluctant to leave Pepsi, eventually Jobs won him over. “I saw in him a mirror image of my younger self. I, too, was impatient, stubborn, arrogant, impetuous. My mind exploded with ideas, often to the exclusion of everything else. I, too, was intolerant of those who couldn’t live up to my demands,” said Sculley. While Sculley was a talented marketer, he had trouble fitting in with Apple’s hippie culture and insisted that marketing was just as important as engineering.
The Macintosh was designed to cost $1,995 but Sculley insisted on pricing in the marketing costs for a big launch, which pushed the cost to $2,495. Jobs later blamed this decision as the primary reason Microsoft won control of the personal computer market. Chapter 15: The Launch Even as Apple was growing, IBM was slowly starting to win the lion’s share of the PC market. Apple’s response was the launch of the Macintosh in 1984, and the Macintosh launch would set the blueprint for Jobs’ future product launches.
First Jobs hired Ridley Scott and spent $750,000 on the famous “1984” television commercial which was first broadcast at the Superbowl that year. Then he started giving interviews with various magazines, and the marketing campaign culminated in the product launch at which Jobs introduced the Macintosh to the world. Chapter 16: Gates and Jobs Bill Gates and Steve Jobs were both born in 1955 but whereas Jobs grew up like a hippie in California, Gates was the son of a prominent Seattle attorney and attended a private school.
Unlike Jobs, Gates was soft-spoken and almost shy, and he had a sense for business and strategy that eluded the more artistic style of Jobs. They first started working together when Microsoft was writing some software for the Macintosh, but their relationship soon soured when Microsoft produced Windows, an operating system that used a graphical interface much like the Macintosh. While Gates correctly argued that both the Macintosh and Windows systems were rip-offs of a Xerox technology, Jobs never forgave Gates for this perceived betrayal.
Chapter 17: Icarus By the time the Macintosh was launched in January of 1984, Jobs had become a tech icon and threw himself a lavish thirtieth birthday party where Ella Fitzgerald entertained. While the Macintosh created a lot of buzz initially, sales eventually slowed as people realized some of the machine’s limitations. By now, Jobs’ difficult personality had alienated much of Apple, and even John Sculley was being asked to reign in Jobs more and more often. Apple lost some of its best engineers in the process, including Steve Wozniak.
Eventually the friction turned into a full-on power struggle between Sculley and Jobs, with the board eventually siding with Sculley. Jobs briefly toyed with the idea of staying with Apple to run AppleLabs, a division dedicated to creating new products, but ultimately Jobs decided to leave Apple. Chapter 18: NeXT Arthur Rock once said, “The best thing ever to happen to Steve is when we fired him, told him to get lost. ” It turned out to be true, as Jobs would learn some valuable lessons in the next few years of his life. Jobs’ next venture was designed to respond to the needs of educational institutions for computing power.
He started NeXT with his own money and hired away some of his favorite engineers from Apple, cooling relations with his first company. He eventually attracted investor Ross Perot to invest in NeXT when they were strapped for cash, but he was unable to convince Bill Gates to get Microsoft to write software for NeXT computers. It was at NeXT that Jobs made many of the mistakes that he would learn from later. He overspent on a dedicated factory that only produced NeXT computers, and his insistence on a perfectly cubical design made the computer casing extremely expensive.
The NeXT ultimately flopped at its $6,000 price point, as academics had wanted a machine that was between $2,000 and $3,000. Chapter 19: Pixar For his next act, Jobs acquired a 70% stake in Lucasfilm’s animation division for $10 million and renamed it Pixar, after the name of the division’s most important piece of hardware. Pixar made three products – hardware, software, and animated shorts, and all three divisions lost money. By 1988, Jobs had put almost $50 million into Pixar while also losing money in NeXT when the studio released Tin Toy, which won the 1988 Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film.
It was this film that finally convinced Jobs to focus Pixar on making great animation, and they eventually partnered with Disney to produce Toy Story. Chapter 20: A Regular Guy Back in 1982, Jobs began dating singer Joan Baez, who was forty-one at the time with a fourteen year-old son. They eventually broke up partly because Baez didn’t want any more kids. Jobs said, “I thought I was in love with her, but I really just liked her a lot. We weren’t destined to be together. I wanted kids, and she didn’t want any more. ” Jobs waited until after his adoptive mother died in 1986 to seek out his biological mother.
He eventually reconnected with both Joanne Simpson and his sister Mona, although he never sought out his father. In an ironic twist, Jobs had often dined at his father’s Mediterranean restaurant in San Jose without ever realizing he was at his biological father’s restaurant. Jobs was an imperfect father to Lisa, who turned out to be as temperamental as Jobs. They could go months without speaking, and neither was good at reaching out. Jobs also later dated writer Jennifer Egan, and later Tina Redse, who claimed that Jobs suffered from Narcissistic Personality Disorder. Chapter 21: Family Man
Jobs met his future wife Laurene Powell when he was giving a talk at Stanford Business School, where Laurene was a student. They got along instantly and Laurene got pregnant during their first vacation together in Hawaii. They got married in a small ceremony in 1991, and moved into a modest house in Palo Alto. “He is the luckiest guy to have landed with Laurene,” one friend recounted, “[She]’s smart and can engage him intellectually and can sustain his ups and downs and tempestuous personality. ” Jobs’ daughter Lisa moved in with them when she was in eighth grade, and she lived there until she went to college at Harvard.
Jobs also had three more children with Laurene, including a son, Reed, and two daughter, Erin Siena and Eve. Chapter 22: Toy Story Disney unsuccessfully tried to lure John Lassiter back from Pixar, so instead they settled on a partnership with Jobs where Pixar would get 12. 5% of the revenue from Toy Story. When Toy Story finally premiered, it became the top grossing film of the year and opened to rave reviews from critics. Despite the success, Jobs worried about not having control of the movie and decided Pixar needed an IPO to fund their own projects.
Jobs started out the year hoping to sell Pixar to recoup his $50 million investment; by the time the markets closed on the day of the IPO, Jobs’ 80% stake was worth $1. 2 billion. With Pixar now well funded, Jobs went on to strike a deal with Disney’s Michael Eisner in which Pixar and Disney would have equal branding and equal sharing of profits. Chapter 23: The Second Coming NeXT never made a dent in the computing industry because of its high cost and small library of software. Meanwhile, Sculley was running Apple into the ground as he presided over diminishing profits and market share.
By 1996, Apple was openly floundering with its stock price down to around $14, and they had gone through a few CEO’s before settling on Gil Amelio, who had come from National Semiconductor. Amelio needed some fresh ideas for Apple and eventually chose to acquire NeXT over its rival Be. At first it was unclear what role Jobs would have at Apple, and eventually Amelio and Jobs settled on simply calling him an “advisor. ” From that point on, Jobs would have to choose how he would distribute his time between his family, Pixar and Apple. Chapter 24: The Restoration
Once back at Apple, Jobs quietly began consolidating his power base by installing his favorite people from NeXT into senior Apple positions. This wasn’t so much a Machiavellian power play as it was Jobs being naturally inclined to seek control. Meanwhile, Larry Ellison of Oracle was constantly in the press claiming he was ready to finance a hostile take over of Apple and install Jobs as CEO whenever he wanted. Jobs declined, but he didn’t publicly denounce the idea which infuriated Amelio. Apple’s board however could see that Amelio was not going to save Apple, but that they might have a chance with Jobs.
They offered Jobs the CEO position but curiously, Jobs refused, insisting on remaining an advisor leading the search for a new CEO. Instead, he started running Apple as the advisor, demanding the repricing of stock options for top employees, and that the entire board resign. Jobs also managed to strike a partnership with Microsoft, which ended a decade of litigation and sent Apple’s stock price soaring. Chapter 25: Think Different Jobs always believed in the importance of marketing, and one of his favorite campaigns was the “Think Different” campaign that featured photographs of luminaries such as Albert Einstein and Gandhi.
Meanwhile, the Apple board eventually gave up the search for a new CEO, giving the reigns fully to Jobs. Upon his return, Jobs killed off the licensing deals that Apple had struck with some other computer manufacturers, and demanded that the company refocus on making fewer, great products. The company decided to focus on making four great computers – a desktop and a laptop for professionals, and a desktop and a laptop for consumers.
In 1997, Apple lost $1. 04 billion, but after Jobs’ first full year as Apple’s CEO in 1998, Apple recorded a profit of $309 million. Still, Jobs’ extreme work schedule took a toll on his health. It was the worst time in my life. I would go to work at 7 a. m. and I’d get back at 9 at night, and the kids would be in bed. And I couldn’t speak, I literally couldn’t, I was so exhausted. All I could do was watch a half hour of TV and vegetate. It got close to killing me. ” Chapter 26: Design Principles Steve Jobs had an eye for talent, and when he realized how talented a designer Jony Ive was, he made him the second most powerful person at Apple in fact, if not by title. Ive worked directly for Jobs, and the two shared a passion for making the best possible product based on principles of simplicity and usability.
They both understood the importance of packaging, and both of their names are listed on the patents for a variety of innovative packages for Apple products, most notably the plastic case that the iPod was sold in. Jobs described his respect for Ive, “The difference that Jony has made, not only at Apple but in the world, is huge. He understands business concepts, marketing concepts. He understands what we do at our core better than anyone. If I had a spiritual partner at Apple, it’s Jony. ” Chapter 27: The iMac
The first product that Jobs and Ive designed together was the iMac, a desktop computer priced around $1,200 and designed for the everyday casual user. Jobs and Ive made bold changes to the idea of what a computer should look like, choosing a blue, translucent case that gave the computer its signature “cuteness. ” Jobs displayed his signature temper throughout the design process of the iMac, but eventually the computer came together. Jobs launched the iMac in May of 1998, and critics raved about the novel look of the computer. The iMac sold 278,000 units in its first six weeks, and 800,000 by the end of the year. Chapter 28: CEO
Jobs eventually accepted the title of full CEO, dropping the “interim” from his title. He immediately began streamlining Apple’s operations, cutting inventory, striking favorable deals with suppliers, and bringing in Tim Cook to head operations. By this time, Jobs had been running Apple for two years while only taking a dollar a year in compensation, which unsettled the board. When they dropped the interim from his title, Jobs asked for a jet instead of a salary, but the board also offered him 14 million stock options. Instead of accepting, Jobs actually asked for 20 million options instead, which the board reluctantly gave him.
Chapter 29: Apple Stores Jobs believed in his products but hated the idea of someone else selling them, because the features that made Apple products unique could be lost in a big box retail store. He decided that Apple needed to control the retail process as well, and began making plans for Apple retail stores. The board hated the idea of retail stores since Gateway had failed miserably by investing in stores, and Dell was the profit leader in personal computers at the time because they sold direct to consumers by mail. Still, Jobs insisted and he put together a team to design a retail store worthy of Apple.
The entire business world was skeptical when Apple opened its first retail store in May of 2001. Gateway stores averaged 250 visitors a week, but Apple’s stores were averaging 5,400 visitors a week by 2004. Jobs added the Genius Bar to his stores, and eventually opened the flagship Apple store in New York City. The Manhattan store would eventually become the highest grossing store of any store in New York, including Saks and Bloomingdale’s. Chapter 30: The Digital Hub Every year, Jobs took his 100 best employees to a retreat, where they would brainstorm ideas for new products.
At such a retreat, Jobs became convinced that the personal computer would eventually become a “hub” that would control a variety of devices, from video cameras to music players. Jobs wanted Adobe to write video editing software for the Mac but Adobe refused, which Jobs saw as a betrayal and further convinced him that he needed control of the entire user experience, from hardware to software to the retail store. Jobs decided that portable music players would be the next great Apple product, and acquired SoundJam to begin the process of designing Apple’s music player.
By combining new hard disk technology with a tiny LCD screen and Apple’s now-famous click wheel, the iPod was born. Critics were skeptical that people would buy a $399 music player, but consumers soon made the iPod so successful that it would change the entire music industry. Chapter 31: The iTunes Store By 2002, music piracy was starting to make a real dent in music sales, with legal sales of CDs down 9% that year. The executives at the music companies stunned Jobs by flying to Cupertino to ask him what they should do. The music companies tried a few different ideas, such as various standards of digital protection, but none took off.
Finally, Jobs convinced the music companies that they needed to compete directly with piracy by offering an affordable, seamlessly integrated way to purchase music that was more convenient than stealing it. The iTunes store was that solution, and Jobs extracted incredible concessions from the music industry to make it happen, such as unbundling songs from their albums and selling every song for the same price – $0. 99, of which $0. 70 would go to the record companies. iTunes was a huge success, and eventually Apple’s top management even convinced Jobs to offer a Windows version of the iTunes store.
This would prove to be the tipping point for the iPod. By January 2007, iPods were half of Apple’s revenues, and the iTunes store sold seventy million songs its first year. Chapter 32: Music Man The iPod was so successful that the question “What’s on your iPod? ” became a part of modern culture. When Jobs was asked that question, he revealed that his iPod was filled with everything from Dylan and The Beatles to Joni Mitchell and Yo Yo Ma. Jobs was such a fan of Dylan that he eventually struck a marketing deal where Dylan would appear in an iPod commercial.
Dylan’s album debuted at #1 for the first time in three decades, and appearing in an iPod ad became a coveted position that musicians would gladly do for free. Even Bono eventually agreed that U2 would do an iPod commercial if Apple made a limited edition U2 iPod where U2 received some of the royalties from sales. Jobs was also a lifelong admirer of Yo Yo Ma, whose playing he said was “The best argument I’ve ever heard for the existence of God, because I don’t believe a human alone can do this. ” At this point Jobs already had cancer, and he made Ma promise to play at his funeral.
Chapter 33: Pixar’s Friends Jobs’ main role at Pixar was to structure the company’s deals, and one of the enemies that he made in this role was Jeffrey Katzenberg, who had left Disney to start Dreamworks. Jobs was convinced that Katzenberg had stolen the idea for Antz from a pitch of A Bug’s Life, and although the story was a bit more complicated than that, he never forgave Katzenberg for the perceived theft. Pixar’s deal with Disney was running out, and Jobs was clashing more and more often with Michael Eisner, who thought that Disney did not need Pixar.
But once Disney’s board realized that every hit movie Disney had released in the last decade had been a Pixar production, they made moves to replace Eisner with Bob Iger, Disney’s chief operating officer. Jobs and Iger saw eye to eye, and eventually worked out a deal where Disney acquired Pixar, but Pixar’s senior management landed in all of the top positions at Disney’s animation division. Chapter 34: Twenty-First-Century Macs Jobs and Ive made a habit of designing unique, novel products, but not every one of their concoctions turned out to be a success.
The Power Mac G4 Cube, designed for serious professionals, was so beautifully designed that it won a place in the Museum of Modern Art. Nevertheless, it never sold even a fraction of the number Apple anticipated it would sell. On the other hand, Jobs was learning from his mistakes and eventually began to consider things such as costs and practicality in designing products such as the iPod. One of his great operational successes was moving from a Motorola chip set to an Intel chip set, one of the few times he impressed Bill Gates with his operational expertise.
Jobs also had a complex relationship with money, sometimes working for $1 a year and other times demanding enormous stock grants. Some of the backdating of options Jobs demanded ended up getting some senior financial officers in trouble with the SEC, but the SEC ultimately determined that no intentional wrongdoing had gone on. Chapter 35: Round One Jobs first learned of his cancer during a routine urological exam in October of 2003. Unfortunately, Jobs approached the problem of his cancer the same way he approached a design problem, ignoring all conventional wisdom and deciding for himself what should work.
He refused surgery for nine months, instead trying to cure himself with vegan diets and acupuncture. As time passed, the tumor grew and he eventually had to have invasive surgery to remove the tumor. This experience reminded Jobs of his mortality, and that and turning fifty led Jobs to accept an invitation to give a commencement speech at Stanford in 2005. It turned out to be one of the great commencement speeches in history, and he urged the students to remember that they would all die soon, and to be fearless in the time that they had.
Jobs and Gates eventually found a grudging respect for each other, which culminated in a joint interview they gave to The Wall Street Journal in 2007. Gates admitted that he admired Jobs taste and his intuitive sense for what worked. Jobs in turn, admitted that Apple had never been good at partnering with other companies, and that a little bit of that skill would have benefited Apple greatly. Chapter 36: The iPhone Jobs saw how cellphones with cameras were killing the digital camera market, and anticipated that the same would happen once cellphone companies started adding music players to their phones.
He responded initially by trying to make a partnership with Motorola but was frustrated by delays, so he gathered his creative team to design their own cellphone. The two important technologies that made the iPhone possible were multi-touch, which allowed devices to sense more than one finger, and gorilla glass, an incredibly strong type of glass developed by Corning Glass in New York. When Apple announced the iPhone, critics were skeptical that anyone would pay $500 for a cellphone, but again Jobs proved the critics wrong. Chapter 37: Round Two: The Cancer Returns
Jobs’ cancer returned in the spring of 2008, and because Jobs insisted on his peculiar diet of certain fruits and vegetables, he lost over forty pounds while his family watched in dismay. This was particularly difficult for Jobs because he had always been an intensely private person, but his role as Apple’s CEO made his health a legally material fact that needed to be disclosed to shareholders. Jobs eventually got a liver transplant in Memphis that year, but not before a concerted effort by everyone around him to go through with the procedure.
Jobs also struggled with the fact that he may no longer be indispensable to Apple, since the company’s stock price had risen from $80 to $140 by the time he announced his return. By early 2010, Jobs was near full strength again decided to throw himself into yet another revolutionary product. Chapter 38: The iPad Jobs had wanted to make a tablet computer since the early 2000s, but he chose to focus on the iPhone first. Once the iPhone was launched, Jobs moved onto the iPad and launched it in January of 2010.
Because he unveiled the product before it was available, some in the press didn’t appreciate the device and panned it before they had a chance to test it. When it was finally released, Apple sold over a million iPads in the first month, and fifteen million in the first nine months. Jobs was unhappy with most of the ads developed for the iPad, but eventually settled on one that emphasized all of the different things people could do with an iPad. His senior team also convinced him to allow third party developers to write applications, which would create a whole new industry overnight.
Jobs then turned his sights to forging a deal with the publishing industry, although here he had to give significant concessions since the Amazon Kindle was already around and he didn’t have the negotiating leverage he held over the music companies years ago. Jobs also forged an unexpected friendship with Rupert and James Murdoch, although he warned Rupert that Fox News was a destructive presence that could tarnish his legacy. Jobs also expressed interest in next turning his attention to education and the textbook market, which he felt was perfectly positioned to be destroyed by a new wave of technology.
Chapter 39: New Battles Having successfully launched the iPad, Jobs moved on to a new project, or rather, a new enemy – Google. Jobs had always had a fondness for Google, mentoring their founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin and even asking their CEO Eric Schmidt to be on Apple’s board. All of this changed when Google launched the Android operating system, which copied many of the iPhone’s signature features. While the legal battle is ongoing, Jobs promised, “I will spend my last dying breath if I need to, and I will spend every penny of Apple’s $40 billion in the bank to right this wrong.
I’m going to destroy Android, because it’s a stolen product. ” The reason Jobs was so upset was that many of the features of this rivalry echoed Apple’s battle in the 1980s with Microsoft, which it eventually lost. Jobs still maintained that a closed, tightly integrated system produced the best consumer experience, while companies like Microsoft and Google believed that open systems and natural competition should determine the winner. Jobs displayed his talent for public relations when reviews of the iPhone 4 bemoaned frequently dropped calls.
Jobs’ simple reply was that phones are not perfect, and that they would keep working to make the best products possible. Anyone who wanted a refund could have it, but orders for the sold-out iPhone 4s actually increased instead after Jobs announcement. Jobs notched a personal victory when he finally made a deal to bring The Beatles to iTunes. Chapter 40: To Infinity For the iPad 2, Jobs responded to criticism of the original iPad that it was only a media consumption device, and not a creative device. He added powerful iPad versions of Garageband and iMovie, and added front and back cameras.
Jobs also began to design a yacht that he hoped to finish before his death. He believed that working on a long term project was a show of defiance in the face of mortality. Jobs also began work on two long term projects at Apple. The first was iCloud, a cloud storage system that would become the future of computing. The second was Apple’s future campus, which he hoped would become the greatest office building in the world. Chapter 41: Round Three One milestone that Jobs was determined to reach was the high school graduation of his son Reed, and called it one of his happiest days.
His relationship with his other daughters wasn’t as strong, but he nevertheless made more efforts to connect with them as his health waned. His wife said of him, “Like many great men whose gifts are extraordinary, he’s not extraordinary in every realm. He doesn’t have social graces, such as putting himself in other people’s shoes, but he cares deeply about empowering humankind, the advancement of humankind, and putting the right tools in their hands. ” Jobs met with Obama in 2010 where he lambasted the current educational system and the lack of engineers and trade schools in the country.
He would later organize a dinner for some of the most prominent tech CEOs to meet with Obama and offer their insights. Jobs continued to struggle with his cancer as well as his own eating disorders, much to his family’s dismay. He would be one of the first twenty people in the world to have their DNA sequenced, although ultimately in an effort to save his life that fell short. In his last year, Jobs expressed an interest in mentoring the next generation of tech leaders, such as Larry Page of Google and Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook. Jobs formally resigned from Apple in August of 2011.
He admitted that the day had finally come when he could no longer serve effectively as CEO, and helped with a smooth transition of power to new CEO Tim Cook. Afterwards, Jobs reflected on his career, “I’ve had a very lucky career, a very lucky life. I’ve done all that I can do. ” Chapter 42: Legacy At Steve Jobs’ core was his incredible intensity, and everything he did in life was a product of that intensity, from the binary way he viewed people as either gods or shitheads, to his legendary anger when he perceived that someone had stolen his ideas.
His insistence on integrated, closed systems cost Apple the PC market in the 80s and 90s, but it led to Apple’s resurgence in the last decade, and Apple surpassed Microsoft as the most valuable tech company in the world shortly before Jobs’ death. Jobs’ own words end the book, as he answered what drove him. I think most creative people want to express appreciation for being able to take advantage of the work that’s been done by others before us. I didn’t invent the language or mathematics I use. I make little of my own food, none of my own clothes.
Everything I do depends on other members of our species and the shoulders that we stand on. And a lot of us want to contribute something back to our species and to add something to the flow. It’s about trying to express something in the only way that most of us know how – because we can’t write Bob Dylan songs or Tom Stoppard plays. We try to use the talents we do have to express our deep feelings, to show our appreciation of all the contributions that came before us, and to add something to that flow. That’s what has driven me.