15 Facts About Steve Jobs You Did Not Probably Know!

By | June 18, 2014
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There was more to Steve Jobs’ life, than his professional excellence at Apple. Some relatively unknown tidbits about the man behind the iPhone, the iPad and the iPod (and several other gadgets) have been shared here.





Ironically, people who constantly live in the spotlight often have an air of mystery about their lives. Steve Jobs, the co-founder of Apple, would be a perfect case in point in this regard. Everyone is aware of the great man’s vision and innovation prowess, and how he managed to pull his company out of trouble in the late 90s. Over here, we will acquaint readers with some rather surprising and little-known facts about Steve Jobs:

 

  1. The tiff with Bob Belleville – Belleville was in charge of the Xerox Star project – billed to be a revolutionary series of personal computers – in the early ‘80s. Jobs once went to check out the product that was being hyped up to the skies, and he did not like what he saw. Never a man to mince his words, he told Belleville in no uncertain terms that all the latter’s creations were ‘shit’. Soon after, Belleville came onboard at Apple!

  2. The tolerance of child labor at Apple offices – Apple Inc. has a policy of not employing kids and teens under the age of 16 in challenging work-environments. Steve Jobs, however, did not bother much to ensure that the policy was being followed. From sources as authentic as the Daily Mail, it was reported that the Apple offices in China (in particular) exploited child labor, and did not face any consequences for that. People point at Walmart for its shabby treatment of workers, without realizing that Apple was not much better in that regard.

  3. The love child – A burning ambition for professional success led Jobs to even disown his own daughter, albeit illegitimate. Apple’s co-founder became a dad at the age of 23, and went to great lengths to prove that the kid, named Lisa, was not his. He even testified in court that he was infertile – and hence, medically incapable of fatherhood. Fortunately, relations between Jobs and his daughter improved over time, and the two of them stayed in touch till Jobs passed away.

  4. The superiority complex – To be fair, Steve Jobs was probably way more efficient than all the other software developers, hardware engineers and mobile app developers working under him at Apple. He did not, however, need to show off his authority in the way he did. According to a report published in Fortune magazine, Jobs once verbally humiliated (with profuse swearing) a team working on MobileMe. He did not think twice about sacking anyone with immediate effect either. With Jobs – there were no notices, the pink slip came directly!

  5. Jobs initially drew a blank with NeXT – After getting voted out from Apple, Steve Jobs founded NeXT – and had hopes to making it a top hardware company. The computers that NeXT churned out were not well-received though, and even the initial response to the NeXTStep OS was not encouraging. The company had to focus on software development, to shore up revenue and profit levels. It’s another thing that Jobs later used NeXTStep as a blueprint for his super-successful iOS platform.

  6. The fight with Joe Nocera – For all his cerebral brilliance, Steve Jobs was never quite in prime physical health. Joe Nocera, a journalist from the New York Times, took it upon himself to highlight how Jobs was bluffing the Apple investors, by keeping the latter in the dark about his health. What followed was the wrath of Jobs – he called up Nocera, addressed him as a ‘slime bucket’, and told him that the entire report was erroneous.

  7. Steve Jobs made Apple an autocratic organization – With Steve Jobs, things like ‘freedom of expression’, or ‘providing information about soon-to-launch Apple products’ were of no value. He once famously sued a young blogger – simply because he had published the correct specifications and features of Mac Mini, before its launch. The ‘Worldwide Loyalty Team’ of Apple and the ‘Freedom From Porn’ drive were also integral components of Apple’s strict authoritarian structure (something Jobs loved). Under Jobs’ instructions, Apple got into altercations with the editors of Gizmodo too – over the ‘leaking’ of information about iPhone 4.

  8. Jobs kept Eric Schmidt in the Apple team for three years – That’s right, the executive chairman of Google served for Apple for three years – without Jobs having an inkling that Schmidt could turn out to be a competitor. Eric Schmidt has used his experience at Apple well, and has managed to make Google a more than worthy competitor in mobile application development, device and OS development, and other related lines of activities. If Jobs had got rid of Schmidt earlier, the competition could have been less fierce.

  9. The problem with Ryan Tate – Unless a jailbreak is done, iPads do not allow installation of third-party apps – and this has been a bone of concern among developers and general users alike. Ryan Tate, of the popular Gawker blog, criticized this policy – and Jobs, understandably, did not take kindly to the published remarks. Instead of having a normal interaction, Jobs indicated that Tate had precious little knowledge of creating anything – and hence, did not have the right to criticize what others were doing. Overpossessive? Yes. Arrogant? Seems so!

  10. Jobs did not look beyond AT&T – The worldwide market share of Android handsets dwarves that of Apple iPhones at present – and Jobs’ over-reliance on AT&T has a lot to do with that. Since Apple was not looking to tie-up with other carrier companies, Motorola grabbed the opportunity to release Droid on Verizon – and the initial sales were huge. Jobs was a very proactive man, and it’s strange that he did not realize that sticking with a single carrier for too long could hurt the popularity of iOS devices.

  11. Jobs tricked many colleagues over stock options – Apple, like many mobile application development companies and software firms at present, offers stock options and performance rewards to employees – instead of regular monetary compensations. Jobs was not very particular about this policy though. He did not bother telling one of the earliest employees at Apple, Daniel Kottke, about the stock options rule – and repeated this trick with several other colleagues/juniors. He did not believe he was doing anything wrong either!

  12. Steve Jobs hired the man who would oust him from Apple – When Jobs famously brought John Sculley onboard from PepsiCo. (an opportunity to ‘change the world’, instead of selling ‘sugared water’), little did he know that the latter would get him out from his own organization. Sculley was instructed by the Board of Directors at Apple Inc. to ‘contain’ Jobs’ irregular methods of conducting meetings and deals – there was a power struggle between the two, which finally led to Jobs getting the boot.

  13. The rude behavior with an old lady at Whole Foods – A classic example of how moody and rude Jobs could be at times. Jonathan Ive had accompanied Steve Jobs for having a smoothie – and the latter suddenly started hurling uncomplimentary remarks at an elderly lady employee about how she was going about her job. Ive recounts that Jobs later realized that his behavior had been unacceptable on the occasion – but the insult still rankled.

  14. Jobs tarnished the reputation of iPhone 4 somewhat – At a time when the Apple iPhone 4 had become almost synonymous with dropped calls and weak (or no) receptions, Jobs did not do the company any favor. In fact, he told a user who had called up to register a complaint, to avoid holding the device in a particular way. That, in turn, indicated the presence of design problems in iPhone 4. The Antennagate incident (as it was called) left Apple red in the face!

  15. The fight with Lee Clow – Mere differences of opinions became full-flown fights – when Steve Jobs was one of the involved parties. This time, the trouble was over the print ads for iMac. Jobs did not like the ‘Bondi Blue’ ads, and did not bother to take a closer look – before calling up Clow and telling him that the ad was all wrong (the f-word was used too!). As things turned out, Clow managed to calm Jobs down, and convince him that the ad designs were perfect. Jobs, ultimately, relented.

Jobs gave one more opening to Google, when it dilly-dallied for too long over the AdMob deal (2009). The man was not known for doing any significant charity-work either (there is the unlikely possibility that he kept his charity work private though). While at college, his relationship with his parents were rather estranged. These facts about Steve Jobs do not, in any way, undermine his greatness – but they do shed some light on hitherto undisclosed portions of his life.

 

After all, all of us love to know more about famous men, right?

Hussain Fakhruddin
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Hussain Fakhruddin

Hussain Fakhruddin is the founder/CEO of Teknowledge mobile apps company. He heads a large team of app developers, and has overseen the creation of nearly 600 applications. Apart from app development, his interests include reading, traveling and online blogging.
Hussain Fakhruddin
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