My rating: 5 of 5 stars
This is a wonderfully written book on a very complex individual, Steve Jobs, the co-founder of Apple and of Pixar. Apparently, he’s one of the greatest geniuses in history, revolutionizing entire industries and changing billions of lives. Among his revolutions include the personal computer (Macs), graphic design, the music industry and how we get our music (iTunes and iPods), cell phones, and tablets, as well as computer animated films. I mean, he was an amazing genius, a once in a century person. However, at the same time, he was the most narcissistic, entitled, ASSHOLE in the history of the universe, with a monster temper, no filters for other people, and the greatest DICKWEED on the planet. I couldn’t believe what I read about him. He screwed countless people over, including Steve Wozniak, his partner at Apple and one of the nicest people around, his CEOs, his board members, tons of his employees, his enemies — everyone. He viewed himself as a counterculture revolutionary, yet become a monstrously rich multi-billionaire with his own jet plane and mansions. He got pulled over for doing 100 one day on the highway. The cop told him if he got pulled over again, he’d go to jail. As soon as the cop left, he resumed doing 100. He never had a license plate on his cars. He thought he was above that and that standard rules didn’t apply to him. Instead of parking in the CEO spot at Apple, he parked in not one, but two (straddling) disabled parking spaces, just to be a jerk. When he was getting his liver transplant at a hospital in Memphis, he ordered something like 18 smoothies for him to taste test before finding one that was decent and sending the rest back. He’d order fresh juice at a restaurant and send it back relentlessly because it wasn’t fresh enough. He screwed some of his original Apple employees over (and best friends) by giving some stock options and others none. He’d go to restaurants when they were closed and demand they open and serve him and then he’d order something that wasn’t even on the menu. He was a bulimic, lifelong vegan who made everyone cater to his tastes. He drank carrot juice for months and ate nothing but carrots and turned orange. He initially thought his fruit diet was good enough to ward off body odors and didn’t use deodorant or anything like it and stunk like crazy until Apple went public and the board forced him to start showering once a week. He thought in terms of black and white. Everything was either a winner or total shit. Most everything was total shit and he would tell you that to your face. No filter. He was envious of Woz and was responsible for him leaving the company. He fought with people all the time. He was given up for adoption as a baby and always felt abandoned, but when he and his girlfriend had a baby girl, he turned his back on them completely until the state of California forced him to take a paternity test which proved he was the father and then forced him to start paying alimony. He was an obsessive design freak who believed in completely closed and integrated systems, which made for great products, but hurt his market share and his company’s bottom line. He had to have the best of everything. He never did anything people told him, not even as a child. His educators gave up trying to force him to do his schoolwork and let him do whatever he wanted. He went ballistic when Bill Gates ripped Apple off with Windows and then with everything else (like the Zune — remember that?), yet he himself ripped off the geniuses at Xerox PARC, getting from them three things — the graphical user interface (GUI) look of the operating system, the mouse, and networking, which he put into the Mac, transforming personal computers forever. I could go on and on, but I don’t have to. Isaacson already did. Just read his book. Jobs was a fascinating person and he created amazing things, but at what cost? Burned, tortured lives, careers thrown away, people discarded, no rules observed. I felt sad upon reading of his early passing, but if there is a hell, he’s definitely in it now. And I don’t feel too badly about that. I, for one, won’t say “RIP” to Steve Jobs. I’m glad to have and use and enjoy his creations, but I’m also glad he’s no longer on earth. Highly recommended book.