10 Unusual Things I Didn’t Know About Steve Jobs

10 Unusual Things I Didn’t Know About Steve Jobs

I was standing right next to Steve Jobs in 1989 and it was the closest thing I ever felt to being gay.

The guy was incredibly wealthy, good looking enough to get any girl, a nerd super-rockstar who had just convinced my school to buy a bunch of NeXT machines (which, btw, were in fact the best machines to program on at the time) and I just wanted to be him.

I wanted to be him ever since I had the Apple II+ as a kid. Ever since I shoplifted Ultima II, Castle Wolfenstein, and half a dozen other games that my friends and I would then rip from each other and pretend to be sick so we could stay home and play all day.

I don’t care about Apple stock. (Well, I do think it will be the first trillion dollar company). Or about his business successes.

That’s boring.

The only thing that matters to me is how Steve Jobs became the greatest artist that ever lived. You only get to be an artist like that by turning everything in your life upside down, by making horrible, ugly, mistakes, by doing things so differently that people will never be able to figure you out.

By failing, cheating, lying, having everyone hate you, and coming out the other side with a little bit more wisdom than the rest.


So, 10 Unusual things I didn’t know about Steve Jobs.

1) Nature versus Nurture.

His sister is Mona Simpson but he didn’t know it until he was an adult. Mona Simpson was one of my favorite novelists from the late 80s. Her first novel, “Anywhere but Here“, was about her relationship with her parents. Which, ironically, was Steve Jobs parents.

But since Steve Jobs was adopted (see below) they didn’t know they were brother-sister until the 90s when he tracked her down.

It’s proof (to an extent) of the nature versus nurture argument.

Two kids, without knowing they were brother and sister, both having a unique sensibility of life on this planet to become among the best artists in the world in completely different endeavors.

And, to me it was great that I was a fan of both without realizing (even before they realized) that they were related.


2) His father’s name is Abdulfattah Jandali.

If you had to ask me what Steve Job’s father’s name was I never in one zillion years would’ve guessed that and that Steve Jobs biologically was half Syrian Muslim.

For some reason I thought he was Jewish. Maybe its because I wanted to be him so I projected my own background onto him.

His parents were two graduate students who I guess weren’t sure if they were ready for a kid so put him up for adoption and then a few years later had another kid (see above).

So I didn’t know he was adopted.

The one requirement his biological parents had was that he be adopted by two college educated people. But the couple that adopted him lied at first and turned out not to be college educated (the mom was not a high school graduate) so the deal almost fell through until they promised to send Steve to college.

A promise they couldn’t keep (see below).

So despite many layers of lies and promises broken, it all worked out in the end. People can save a lot of hassle by not having such high expectations and overly ambitious worries in the first place.


3) He made the game  “Breakout”.

If there was one thing I loved almost as much as the games on the Apple II+ it was playing Breakout on my first-generation Atari (I can’t remember, was that the Atari 2600?)

And then breakout on every version of my Blackberry since 2000.

If he had never done anything else in life and I had met him and he said, “I’m the guy who made Breakout”, I would’ve said, “you are the greatest genius of the past 100 years.”

Funny how things turn out.

He went on from Atari to form Apple. Nolan Bushnell, founder of Atari, went to form the greatest restaurant chain in the history of mankind: Chuck E. Cheese.

Steve Jobs Breakout


4) He denied paternity on his first child… 

…claiming he was sterile. The other had to initially raise the kid using welfare checks.

I have no judgment on this at all.

Raising kids is hard. And when you have a kid you feel like this enormous energy and creativity you have for the world is going to get misdirected into a … little baby (Jobs’ parents must’ve felt that way as well. Like father, like son).

Heck, I originally wanted my first kid to be aborted.

But people change, mature, grow up.

Eventually Jobs became a good father. And that’s what counts in the end. Much worse if it was the reverse. I didn’t know this either: that the Lisa computer (the “Apple III”) was named after this first child.


5) He’s a pescetarian.

In other words, he eats fish but no other meat. And he eats anything else a vegetarian eats (including eggs and dairy).

Turns out if you compare pescetarians with regular meat-eaters they have a 34% less chance of dying of heart disease. And if you compare vegetarians with meat eaters, they only have a 20% less chance of dying of heart disease.

I think from now on I’m going to be a pescetarian, just because Steve Jobs is one. Except when I’m in Argentina. In Argentina you have to eat steak.

Ted Danson and Mary Tyler Moore consider themselves pescetarians. Somehow, even the world “pescetarian” seems like it was invented in California.


6) He doesn’t give any money to charity.

And when he became Apple’s CEO he stopped all of their philanthropic programs. He said, “wait until we are profitable.”

Now they are profitable, and sitting on $40bb cash, and still not corporate philanthropy.

I actually think Jobs is probably the most charitable guy on the planet.

Rather than focus on which mosquitoes to kill in Africa (Bill Gates is already focusing on that), Jobs has put his energy into massively improving quality of life with all of his inventions.

People think that entrepreneurs have to some day “give back.”

This is not true.

They already gave at the office. Look at the entire ipod/Mac/iphone/Disney ecosystem and ask how many lives have benefited directly (because they’ve been hired) or indirectly (because they use the products to improve their quality of life).

As far as I know, Jobs has never even commented about his thoughts on charity. Good for him. As one CEO of a (currently) Fortune 10 company once told me when I had my hand out for a charitable website,  “Screw charity!”


7) He lied to Steve Wozniak.

When they made Breakout for Atari, Wozniak and Jobs were going to split the pay 50-50. Atari gave Jobs $5,000 to do the job. He told Wozniak he got $700 so Wozniak took home $350.

Again, no judgment.

Young people do things. Show me someone who says he’s been honest from the day he was born and I’ll show you a liar.

Its by making mistakes, having fights, finding out where your real boundaries in life are, that allow you to truly know where the boundaries are.


8) He’s a Zen Buddhist.

He even thought about joining a monastery and becoming a monk. His guru, a Zen monk, married him and his wife.

When I was going through some of my hardest times my only relief was sitting with a Zen group. Trying to quiet the mind to deal with the onrush of non-stop pain that was trying to invade there.

The interesting thing about Jobs being a a Zen Buddhist is that most people would think that serious Buddhism and being one of the wealthiest people in the world come into conflict with each other.

Isn’t Buddhism about non-attachment? Didn’t Buddha himself leave his riches and family behind?

But the answer is “no”.  Its normal to pursue passions and outcomes, but just not to become overly attached to those outcomes. Being happy regardless of the outcome.

A great story is the Zen master and his student walking by a river. A prostitute was there and needed to be carried over the river. The Zen master picked her up and carried her across the river and then put her down. Then the master and student kept walking. A few hours later the student was so agitated he finally had to ask, “Master, how could you touch and help that prostitute! That’s against what we believe in!” And the Master said, “I left her by the river. Why are you still carrying her?”


9) He didn’t go to college.

I actually didn’t know this initially.

Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg are the famous college dropouts that I knew about. But apparently Steve Jobs went to Reed College for one semester and then dropped out.

I guess you don’t need college to program computers, make computers, build businesses, make movies, manage people, etc.  (Of course, you can see all my other posts on why kids should not go to college)


10) Psychedelics.

Steve Jobs used LSD at least once when he was younger. In fact, he said about the experience, it was “one of the two or three most important things I have done in my life.”

Apple’s slogan for many years was “Think Different.”

Maybe using a drug which tore him from the normal frame of reference taught him how to look at problems from such a unique perspective.

I don’t think LSD is for everyone, but when you combine it with the innate genius the man had, plus the many ups and downs that he experienced, plus the Zen Buddhism and all of the other things above, its quite possible it all adds up to the many inventions he’s been able to produce.

Steve Jobs’ story is filled with nuance and ambiguity.

People study Steve Jobs by looking at his straightforward business successes.

Yes, he started Apple in a garage.

Yes, he started Pixar and almost went broke with it.

Yes, he started and sold Next and he was fired as CEO of Apple, and blah blah blah.

But none of that will ever explain the man behind the genius. None of that will explain all the products he invented that we use today. None of that will tell us about the ipad, Toy Story, the Mac Air, the Apple II+, etc.

A man’s successes can be truly understood only if we can count his tears. And unfortunately in the case of Steve Jobs, that is one task that’s impossible.


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  • 11) He is HALF Adoptive-Armenian BOOYAH….lol….His adoptive mother, Clara Hagopian, is Armenian.

  • Anonymous

    I can’t believe you just gave away a book in the form of a free blog post. Awesome.

  • Jdpeak

    In the Stanford commencement speech, I think, Steve says the initial parents backed out at the last minute. The couple who adopted him promised he’d go to college; The devil’s in the details.

  • Anonymous

    I love the angle of improving lives as charity. Most business people would be much better off to focus on doing a good business instead of being crooks then giving money away out of guilt. Which person has changed the world in a more positive way (so far) – Steve Jobs or Bill Gates? It’s not even close.

    • anon

      It’s true, it isn’t even close… 

      Microsoft is the most pervasive entity in personal computers, they drove the PC to the masses, they made the first true smartphone (winmo 6 may not have been pretty and it may have needed a stylus, but it was a fully functional smart phone *years* before the first ios device hit the market) and they have helped video games to become a mainstream media.

      Did Microsoft engage in some shade business practices? Sure! Do Apple? You bet your life they do, so you can’t argue that Apple is a better corporation.

      Bill Gates spends huge amounts of his personal wealth on vaccines in an attempt to reduce SUFFERING! Steve Jobs died trying to amass the largest fortune he could with no concern for improving the life of those around him. He had no interest in improving people’s lives, and anyway, can you quantifiably prove that your life would have been worse with a creative zen?!

    • anon

      It’s true, it isn’t even close… 

      Microsoft is the most pervasive entity in personal computers, they drove the PC to the masses, they made the first true smartphone (winmo 6 may not have been pretty and it may have needed a stylus, but it was a fully functional smart phone *years* before the first ios device hit the market) and they have helped video games to become a mainstream media.

      Did Microsoft engage in some shade business practices? Sure! Do Apple? You bet your life they do, so you can’t argue that Apple is a better corporation.

      Bill Gates spends huge amounts of his personal wealth on vaccines in an attempt to reduce SUFFERING! Steve Jobs died trying to amass the largest fortune he could with no concern for improving the life of those around him. He had no interest in improving people’s lives, and anyway, can you quantifiably prove that your life would have been worse with a creative zen?!

  • Sooz

    “the closest thing I ever felt to being gay..”((lol)) J.A.,you are much too funny!

  • Amazing! Great post!

  • Darwin

    He did not start Pixar. He bought it. I don’t agree with yur nasty comments about charities or how he ignored hist first child either.

    But I’m a big Apple fan and bought my first Mac in 1984 the day it was released.

  • S.P.

    Really? The kid in Africa is enjoying that ipod? not sure. Anybody who can afford any Apple products really deserve charity?

    • instigator

      Apple employs over 75,000 people. They work for what they earn and in return they send their kids to college, pay their bills, and provide food and shelter for their families.

      What the fuck have you ever accomplished?

      • Todd Preston

        The united states department of defense employees 3.2 million. Are you saying that the USDOD creates value based on the number of people they employ?

      • nitin

        That is not a charity. We work more hours then the $s we get.You can never know how much caffeine hours are hidden in your iPhone.

  • Great article. However, one gets the feeling that the writer’s consummate admiration for Steve Jobs gives us an article that glosses over what many people would criticize and even demonise.Good read though.

  • James you state college as not being important and having attended it myself I do agree it doesn’t necessarily prepare you with the skills needed in the workplace. But for every Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerberg, Bill gates etc there are a million failures and startups which never became successful. So to advise someone not to obtain every qualification possible is slightly flawed. Our society values education and employers use it as a signal to determine employment for young people.

    • Anonymous

      results matter, not titles. wrapping up one’s identity around yourself is very limiting. failure is a part of life, so is success. learn from both, identify and replicate more of the latter.

    • Wpsmithjr

      Whistle… going to college and getting an education was a much better move 20-30 years ago. It does give you a chance at making a higher income… but today, the income difference is hardly worth it when you consider the cost of tuition. Many college students graduate and end up as bar tenders and waitresses… just like their counterparts who did not attend college… except they are $80K in debt from student loans.

      Most people who make it big in this world, do not follow the “go to school, get a good education and find you a stable job with benefits” mold. They are entrepreneurs… people who make their own way… not people who are hired to do a job.

      • Fubar

        the purpose of “modern” education is to create conformist workers who are compliant to the requirements of State-Capitalism and Nanny State bureaucracies. (the idea was born during the industrial revolution by monopolists)

        conformist workers need creative, innovative, risk -seeking nonconformist leaders and vice versa.

        a by-product of conformist “modern” education is that many creative children are turned into “misfits” when they resist the forces of conformism. (John Taylor Gatto)

        there is now too much conformism, not enough creativity.


        Humans are thus embodied theories of self & world, seeking a Sisyphian balance — a “dynamilbria” — between old and new activity patterns. Dynamilibria refers to a moving balance, which is different than the static balance typical of equilibria. Michael uses Sisyphus as a metaphor because we never quite get there; we are always leaning into the next moment. A major contention of constructivists is that novelty is necessary for development. We need new perspectives and experiences to keep exploring that edge. Too little novelty –> no change. Too much –> systemic contraction or a lack of functioning. All living systems have a natural and healthy resistance to change. We can only take so much change at one time. The long term view resembles respiration, with cycles of breathing in and out.


        Arthur Koestler
        Some general properties of
        self-regulating open hierarchic order (SOHO)

        …More generally, the term “holon” may be applied to any stable biological or social sub-whole which displays rule-governed behaviour and/or structural Gestalt-constancy. Thus organelles and homologous organs are evolutionary holons; morphogenetic fields are ontogenetic holons; the ethologist’s “fixed action-patterns” and the sub-routines of acquired skills are behavioural holons; phonemes, morphemes, words, phrases are linguistic holons; individuals, families, tribes, nations are social holons.

        Every holon has the dual tendency to preserve and assert its individuality as a quasi-autonomous whole; and to function as an integrated part of an (existing or evolving) larger whole. This polarity between the Self-Assertive (S-A) and Integrative (INT) tendencies is inherent in the concept of hierarchic order; and a universal characteristic of life.

        The S-A tendencies are the dynamic expression of the holon’s wholeness, the INT tendencies of its partness.

        …The most general manifestation of the INT tendencies is the reversal of the Second Law of Thermodynamics in open systems feeding on negative entropy (Erwin Schrödinger), and the evolutionary trend towards “spontaneously developing states of greater heterogeneity and complexity” (C. J. Herrick).

        In adult behaviour, the self-assertive tendency of functional holons is reflected in the stubbornness of instinct rituals (fixed action-patterns), of acquired habits (handwriting, spoken accent), and in the stereotyped routines of thought; the integrative tendency is reflected in flexible adaptations, improvisations, and creative acts which initiate new forms of behaviour.

        Under conditions of stress, the S-A tendency is manifested in the aggressive-defensive, adrenergic type of emotions, the INT tendency in the self-transcending (participatory, identificatory) type of emotions.

        In social behaviour, the canon of a social holon represents not only constraints imposed on its actions, but also embodies maxims of conduct, moral imperatives and systems of value.

        Hierarchies can be regarded as “vertically” arborizing structures whose branches interlock with those of other hierarchies at a multiplicity of levels and form “horizontal” networks: arborization and reticulation are complementary principles in the architecture of organisms and societies.

        All skills, whether innate or acquired, tend with increasing practice to become automatized routines. This process can be described as the continual transformation of “mental” into “mechanical” activities.

        Other things being equal, a monotonous environment facilitates mechanization.

        Conversely, new or unexpected contingencies require decisions to be referred to higher levels of the hierarchy, an upward shift of controls from “mechanical” to “mindful” activities.

        Each upward shift is reflected by a more vivid and precise consciousness of the ongoing activity; and, since the variety of alternative choices increases with the increasing complexity on higher levels, each upward shift is accompanied by the subjective experience of freedom of decision.

        The hierarchic approach replaces dualistic theories by a serialistic hypothesis in which “mental” and “mechanical” appear as relative attributes of a unitary process, the dominance of one or the other depending on changes in the level of control of ongoing operations.

        Consciousness appears as an emergent quality in phylogeny and ontogeny, which, from primitive beginnings, evolves towards more complex and precise states. It is the highest manifestation of the Integrative Tendency … to extract order out of disorder, and information out of noise.

        The term “equilibrium” in a hierarchic system does not refer to relations between parts on the same level, but to the relation between part and whole (the whole being represented by the agency which controls the part from the next higher level).

        Organisms live by transactions with their environment. Under normal conditions, the stresses set up in the holons involved in the transaction are of a transitory nature, and equilibrium will be restored on its completion.

        If the challenge to the organism exceeds a critical limit, the balance may be upset, the over-excited holon may tend to get out of control, and to assert itself to the detriment of the whole, or monopolize its functions – whether the holon be an organ, a cognitive structure (idée fixe), an individual, or a social group. The same may happen if the coordinate powers of the whole are so weakened that it is no longer able to control its parts (C. M. Child).

        The opposite type of disorder occurs when the power of the whole over its parts erodes their autonomy and individuality. This may lead to a regression of the INT tendencies from mature forms of social integration to primitive forms of identification and to the quasi-hypnotic phenomena of group psychology.

        The process of identification may arouse vicarious emotions of the aggressive type.

        • Great post. I love the John Taylor Gatto Reference, I copied and am going through the other things you posted re: SOHO as it is something I was highly interested in as a concept, and forwarded when invited to present engineering and systems concepts at a DARPA conference, but personally have not read the details of anyone else’s work or ideas on how to organize similar.

          I wouldn’t mind swapping some ideas and getting some more info on some sources from you if you are OK with it. s DOT e DOT murphy AT ancientengineers dot com is the best way to get ahold of me for anyone who is interested in writing and or sharing some sources of info.

  • You’re allowed to “judge”, J….you kind of do just by saying “no judgement from me”.

    Agree with the idiocy of “give back”. Entrepreneurs are one of the producers whose earnings most accurately mirror what they’ve “given” the world.

  • Anonymous

    Jobs is a modern-day Renaissance man. He spends some of his time every day in either art, commerce, science or philosophy. Truly a genius.

    • Deuce

      Well we can be sure that he DOESN’T spend it thinking about how to free his products from corporate control, IP Lawyers, exploitability, a total lack of serviceability and expandability, frequent malfunction or even the ability to simply drag and drop an MP3s from one device to another like every other non-Apple product can . Because let’s face it, Apple makes very expensive, needlessly complicated crap that malfunctions and breaks at least as frequently as anything else out there while additionally lacking any user serviceability. Then they commit fraud by telling you that it can’t get viruses and other such lies.

      Some renaissance man. Confidence man is a more applicable term…

      • Anonymous

        Dude, not one person on this planet is required to buy any Apple product. Jeez, you act like he is forcing these things on you.

        Here’s an idea: Write him with all of your requirements and see if he will build a system that is exactly what you want. I’m sure that he will accommodate you if you are willing to pay.

        Hmmmm…. Bespoke Computers? James?

        • Fubar

          re: “Write him with all of your requirements and see if he will build a system that is exactly what you want.”

          No, Microsoft already does it “cheaper”, that is not his business model.

          His business model is based on “hipness” and “coolness” (style over substance), which are fake, feel good versions of the bohemian meme.

          You have been duped!

          • Anonymous

            It is at times like this that I regret checking that email response box.

            Your inexplicable anger over something that you do not have to buy is….inexplicable. And no, I haven’t been duped, I don’t own anything made by Apple. I’m typing this on a Linux box.

            I guess since this is the weekend, you are probably off your meds, so just keep it in the road until Monday rolls around.

          • Fubar

            Thanks for the feedback, and the support and compassion.

            re: Linux

            Of course. the “other IT elitism”. God bless MS haters.

            Silicon Valley came into existence to service the US Defense Establishment. AKA the “military industrial complex”. Apple is semi-indirectly part of that. Can anybody connect the dots? Think about Apple’s Bohemian marketing. Smug. Narcissistic. Celebate indulgence. Exploit poor people. Screw american workers. Erode democracy. Undermine the constitution.

            IT Industry? Vomitorious whores to Big Banks and the Centralized State. 80% project failure rate for decades. People want something different. Geek chic. Hermes is the god of information and the god of deception.

            So, yes! SJ is a genius, and he is also a monster, like many at the top of the system of corrupt state-capitalism. Plenty of people like it that way.

            In all of human history, evil geniuses are tolerated if they meet expectations.

            And, let’s be honest, not many people would really want SJ’s job (stress), and even fewer are qualified, or talented enough, to even begin to be able to do it with an iota of competence in comparison to SJ.

            This article seeks to explain the fascinating complexities and contraditions involved in all that, which you “inexplicably” do not seem to grasp. or ___ ?

            genius(Apple) = “BoBo chic” marketing

            Most of the good social critics of the last 25 years have commented on “narcissism” and postmodern culture.

            Apple exploits narcissism. Apple exploits people’s need for spiritual authenticity. What is given in return is mostly fake. People like fake. People like decadent illusions. They ignore bad karma.

            All fascinating stuff. Reality.

            You may additionally reflect on the fact that middle eastern culture has an inherent tendency to have a problem with bourgeois culture. SJ is a classic Bohemian, with all the snobbery and pretence that goes with it.

            Bill Gates is the opposite. Bourgeois vs. Bohemian. Archetypal stuff.

            Decades of mistakes have cleansed SJ of part of his legendary debauchery and self-indulgence. Life is suffering, and the man’s spirit in adapting and attempting to overcome many problems and weaknesses is admirable, even inspirational. There is nothing ordinary about it.

            That does not mean that people should be stupid about Reality. This is what love/hate is all about.

            There are huge problems with Apple’s organizational culture. It works, frequently very well, but it can also be very bad. For those unconcerned about social justice, not problem. Be shallow. Revel in your shallowness. Celebrate it. Be as disgusting as possible. Knock yourself out. Fullfill your potential to be the biggest a**hole you can. Mindlessly worship even bigger a**holes.

            re: “Jobs is a modern-day Renaissance man. ”

            Urgh. Please provide evidence, definitions, etc.

            Make at least a passing, semi-accurate reference to the nature of the social changes and paradigm shifts that happened during the “Real” Renaissance, and compare them to the current shift.

            And, actually post a meaningful response to the following:

            “Apple makes very expensive, needlessly complicated crap that malfunctions and breaks at least as frequently as anything else out there while additionally lacking any user serviceability.”

            You prior response that “no one is forced to buy Apple” is diversionary, facile cr*p.

            In an open discussion facts are presented and argued about. Various interpretations are given. Various perspectives have validity, usually in specific contexts.

  • snf

    I wonder if the teabaggers, Sarah Palin, and all the other similar idiots know about Steve Jobs being half muslim. Maybe they’ll add Steve Jobs to the anti-christ list like they did to Obama.

    • Anonymous

      Dork. Why you gotta inject politics into an interesting, non-political post?

    • Bob Cranston

      uh, he half Syrian. To be Muslim, you have to join, as it were. It is not a racial category.

      • Jon E

        Wikipedia has it that he was half Egyptian, not Syrian.

    • Fubar

      Rush Limbaugh uses a Mac. hehehe.

  • Anonymous

    this is awesome. i really appreciate the great knowledge people like your self and others i am fortunate to know of share! keep doing what you do!

  • Anonymous

    His father’s name is Paul Jobs. His biological father’s name is Abdulfattah Jandali. What you wrote is pretty offensive to most parents of adopted children.

    re “His father’s name is Abdulfattah Jandali”

    • Well, thats kind of funny that you wrote that. For reasons i’m not going to tell you.

      • jumbo

        Assuming your use of the word “funny” is sarcastic, I would like for you to elaborate on your “reasons”. I doubt your intent was to be offensive, perhaps your choice of words were lazy with the contempt of being ignorant. Just an honest “mistake” to learn from, that’s all. Peace.

        • Fubar

          “reason” ??? the person complaining did exactly the thing they complained about???

      • Everyman

        Is this along the lines that a parent ‘owns’ one’s progeny? That nature is more important than nurture?

      • Actually, its the funniest comment in this blog. The only time I actually laughed! Thanks anonymous.

      • Fred

        It’s interesting that you should find this funny considering Steve Jobs himself when asked about his father made it explicit that his parents names are Paul and Clara Jobs, the people who raised him. He never met his biological father and never cared to. Did none of this come up while you were plagiarizing, oops I meant researching, articles?

  • Anonymous

    follow the path of Huff Post and the cash in the bank from that should make your effort worth it’s while.

  • Zilluss

    I really liked the information in the post, but as for your opinions: better keep them for yourself

    • Really? Thanks.

      • Fubar

        “I was blogging right next to James Altucher in 2011 and it was the closest thing I ever felt to being gay”.

        • Me

          You are seriously disturbed and obsessed with Jobs and apple. Seek help before it ends badly. PS. Where do you live? I’d like to stay clear of the area. Many thanks in advance.

          • Fubar

            Shallow drivel.

    • Richard

      “better keep them for yourself” – could say the same for your comment.

    • josbo77

      Hello? This is his blog. I think the way it works is that if you don’t like his opinions, stop reading.

  • Cleanthe Tremblay

    why do you call him ‘the greatest artist’? I have trouble

    • Tell me your troubles. Let me help.

      • Fubar

        “I was blogging right next to James Altucher in 2011 and it was the closest thing I ever felt to being gay”.

        (not really, sorta.)

  • Dan Pritts

    so basically, jobs is a jerk in any number of ways but you think that each of these ways is either excusable or not really jerky.

    fanboy much?

    • …A “jerk” is probably the simplest, most accurate assessment of Steve Jobs’ life in general. He certainly wasn’t an “asshole”, because an asshole is a jerk with class. Jobs had no class, and being a “Funky Flashman” type of showman requires an almost total lack of class.

      • Jquick99

        I think Jobs was a prick, which I think is worse than a jerk.  Where do you think prick falls in your gauge of descriptions?

        • Makes me happy to read a comment like this. So much wrong, so much never in doubt. So much aside. So easy to pass. Thank You, buddy!!! Thanks a lot, indeed

          • BigBernard

            You daft cúnt.

          • OMAR

            Shutup son of bitch

          • BigBernard

            Fuck off Nonce…

          • BigBernard

            You are still a daft cùnt.

      • Jquick99

        I think Jobs was a prick, which I think is worse than a jerk.  Where do you think prick falls in your gauge of descriptions?

      • OMAR

        What is that, watch your words

      • CelestialTerrestrial

        And you are?????

    • Robin S

      we all have to be jerks, sometimes.

  • Cleanthe Tremblay

    with comments generally but that one specifically.

  • Apple is a charity, saving millions of people from constant computer failures and thousands of dollars (individual lifetimes) in tech support and repair costs. My desktop is the final revision PPC Mac Mini (never opened for repairs), and I have the 3rd gen iPod Touch for portable use.

  • Cleanthe Tremblay

    It’s a hard assertion to swallow. That’s what she said.

    Yes, business ‘visionary’ , yes Pixar, but greatest artist ever is high praise. One can learn more from Goya than Jobs, and I know that’s not the measure, but is it because he inspires/enables? Or is it because of his standalone work, or is it something more mundane like NeXT was a great work of art and so is the ipad and masterpiece after masterpiece Jobs delivers?

    • I don’t think I can learn more from Goya than Steve Jobs.

      • Cleanthe Tremblay

        why not? I assert there is more ‘value’ in ‘Saturn Devouring’ than in the sum total of Jobs’ work, including every job he has created and every life he has immeasurably improved with trinkets. His greatest artistry appears to be his ability to transmute the religious impulse into a consumer impulse.

        • Fubar

          genius(Apple) = “bobo chic”

  • Portfolioofhomes

    You rock, James. Great story —- Paul Allen & Jobs. Separated at birth?

  • kiwitrader24

    I had a bad feeling that SJ was going to be the third “event” behind Mubarak and Gadhaffi. Now I can see the connection. On so many levels. Can’t you?

    I’m certain the lack of charitable contributions on behalf of Apple is part his Buhddist beliefs and part his wanting to stick it to BG.

  • did you know he learned calligraphy @ reed? it influenced the 1st apple http://www.girvin.com/blog/?p=4378

    • dbh

      Ha! I’ve heard Steve Jobs say that himself, even he believes it. Fact is that the fonts were already being done at the Xerox PARC labs that they toured. Reminds me of the quote, “History is told by the victors.”

  • The Apple III and the Lisa were two entirely different computers. Doesn’t anyone employ factcheckers anymore?

  • The real ending to the Zen monks story is this:

    The first monk says, “I left her by the river, why are you still carrying her.” And the second monk is like, “Yeah, exactly dude, she’s hot. What the hell were you thinking leaving her there?”

    Then the first monk is like, “Yeah, you’re absolutely right.”

    Then they go back and have a threesome.

    Not sure why you left the ending out.


    • Fubar

      he left the ending out because he can’t time-travel and does not have a warp-speed space ship.

  • Steven L. Goff

    “I was standing right next to Steve Jobs in 1989 and it was the closest thing I ever felt to being gay”
    LMAO…what a great opening line for this story of idolization and utmost admiration. You had a “man crush” on Mr Jobs. I think If I was alive when Nikola Tesla was, I would have had the same feelings.
    that opening line is the best blog opener I’ve read in awhile. You should send him a copy of this read. Good stuff James (thats becoming the norm w/ you)

  • Steven L. Goff

    “Jobs has put his energy into massively improving quality of life with all of his inventions”
    The truest thing to a modern day Tesla he is….for that was “his” major ambition in life. To make machines or more efficient processes of events necessary to obtain something. And the daily rituals of WORK a little bit easier for humans. Now just look at the world of crap we are in from exponential technology growth and it’s implementation into a society. You have to release major life altering technology at a rate an economy and it’s society can absorb it. It (exspon tech gains) is taking jobs that humans are not done using yet.

  • Steven L. Goff

    Tuesday, January 18, 2011 at 9:17pm.

    In light of the recent news in Apple (AAPL), that being Steve Jobs’s health issues and the future dynamic of the company after his departure. Below is a thesis of why now more than ever is the time for Apple to make a “cross market meshing if not societal morphing”, acquisition so to speak. One with a pretty visible revenue stream to come. One that is in the “societal sweet spot” going forward. Apple should BUY Visa Inc (V) on that premise!

    If Apple buys Visa, it is bigger foot in the door to CHINA. Get in there where and how ya can I say. Daily transactions for a Billion PLUS people. I’ll take it!

    When I think of Apples success over the last decade. I am reminded of what I’ve studied about RCA (Radio Corporation of America) And the societal and market implementations and implications it had in it’s time. A time that was in a technological infancy of the great things to come. Most at the time were saying “it (RCA) was going to take over the WORLD!” It was in existence from 1919 to 1986. In 1930, the U.S. Department of Justice filed antitrust charges against RCA, General Electric and Westinghouse (That is so crazy considering the US Navy and GE set up and spun off RCA many years earlier) As a result, GE and Westinghouse had to give up their ownership interests in RCA. RCA was allowed to keep the radio factories, and GE and Westinghouse were allowed to compete in that business only after 30 months passed. RCA) was Wall Street’s and Main Streets “best gal” high-flying tech-stock of the Roaring 1920s. It made many investors and speculators millionaires. It was in essence a monopoly on “wireless communications for the masses.” And not a serious competitor was anywhere in sight at the time.

    In the five years before the Crash of 1929, RCA stock soared from about $11 to its September 1929 high of $114 (adjusted for the 5:1 stock split in Feb of that fatal year). That’s an appreciation of 935% in only five years! That equates to an annual compound return of a monumental 60%! Also it never paid a cash dividend. Market players didn’t care, because the stock value increased almost on a daily basis. At its 1929 peak RCA boasted an astronomical PE ratio of 72:1. From 1929 and the stocks top of $114, over the next three years the stock price dropped to less than $3 (-97%) per share in 1932.

    Apple in my opinion needs to start making smart acquisitions that will replace a plateau in R&D that is comming. And for sure a plateau of life altering and market impactful release into society/world. And margin contraction issues to come. I also feel it’s the same reasons they should also buy a flash component, like a Sandisk (SNDK) and maybe a hologram related company also. Maybe even a cellular provider. Take that out of future margin contraction equation. If Apple were to buy Visa Inc. It would be like a EBay owning a Pay Pal.

    And before I go on, I wanna add this: To most around the Globe (and maybe beyond someday…ya really never know with explosive exponential technology growth) > The Visa brand/ logo equates to universal payment acceptance!

    The cashless society thesis is comming on strong. That can not be denied or argued. It is for a multitude or reasons this will be an imminent action and transition by our Federal Government. Me personally feel that the orderly functionality of society depends on it. By taking CASH/paper currency out of American and World societies circulation/and peoples daily use. All transactions would be done with a Debit/ID card or via your HAND HELD DEVICE!

    Microsoft Surface is exciting here with restaurant table tops and cashless payment and food ordering and social interaction. While say dining on a date and exchanging pics on surface of virtual table top. You can order right from the menue on the table (without even seeing a waiter/waitress…bye bye a couple 100k more jobs) By going to a cashless society would generate a “digital paper trail” per se. To have a FLAT TAX, Consumption TAX, Usage FEE, (or whatever ya terminology ya wanna” lipstick” it with) levied on the goods & services accordingly and automatically. One that is not hindered by political boundaries (ie the different States of the nation and countries of the world) Not to mention the micro managing and real time demand statics/data that could come from this move (I wrote a peice about doing away w/ The National Census on the same basis). And the necessary instantaneous adjustments demographically in needed.

    This will in essence be the Coup de Grace’ of the CASH/Underground Economy. These are the individuals and businesses that operate and live their lives on a cash basis, to avoid paying any taxes at all. At first we will see an upsurge/uprise of the barter system for those who will continue to fight it so to speak.

    By taking CASH out of society and going to a debit card/device paying culture, would stuff the IRS coffers like we’ve never seen or thought possible!

    There’s a reason why the singer Madonna has had hit songs in the last three decades. Because she constantly adapts and changes herself and her music to suit the times and the masses.

    “Nothing great was ever achieved by someone NOT taking a risk along the way”

    “Our statements must be judged by candid readers who are intelligent enough to lay our words alongside life as they are able to observe it. If our word and their observation agree, the case is made. It is perfectly silly to begin to damn us before it has been shown that our statements are baseless or reckless.”~ Henry Ford

    • Redbeard

      Apparently, you represent the fanboys of the largest criminal enterprise. A madonna fan as well… Damn insufferable legopeople, we need to dedicate a crappy state to all of you and put up a large fence to make sure you never leave.

      • Steven L Goff

        I have never enjoyed reading an insult about myself, as I have reading yours….lol
        And by the way, the State unto ourselves thing ya mentioned. We have the now, it is called
        NEW JERSEY…..that just so happens to be where I am from and live now and am damn proud of that. If this country ever had another great Civil War (we need one to kill off alot of these folks/ over population and not enough jobs…ie >> thinning the herd)….trust me when i tell ya…..you wanna be on New Jerseys side!… We will put something on your ASS, that AJAX Cleanser cant get off…lol

        I also wanna make note. I have not so much as had a J-walking ticket since my release from prison. Not one criminal charge…I am careful to live my life on the legal side of the fence now. For if I am ever convicted of another felony. They/State could change me with a career criminal aggravating factor that boost/opens up the sentencing guidelines in the current NEW CHARGE to include a 30 yr life sentence if judge sees fit…… NO THANKS!

        • Crazy_Redneck

          WTF are you rambling about? Civil War? Why would I want to be on New Jersey’s side…y’all aren’t allowed to own guns…especially a felon. I’ll stick with Texas…

          • Fubar

            re: “we need to dedicate a crappy state to all of you and put up a large fence to make sure you never leave. ”

            Goff is embracing his critics’ idea, and volunteering his own state – New Jersey.

            “Pinhead or Patriot? You decide.”

            Let the rest of the world fervently pray that completion of the fence is well underway.

  • Anonymous

    I didn’t know this much about SJ. I’ve never wanted to be him though and still don’t — black turtle neck much? I have at times wanted to be Pete Yorn, Johnny Depp, Jack Kerouac, Charles Bukowski, that effer CS from junior high with the cool ass skateboard and the Ramones jacket, and five minutes ago I wanted to be you when you wrote: I don’t think LSD is for everyone. Amazing!

    And to quote the great Hank Moody — Art…is a guy in Brooklyn. Oh yeah, I definitely want to be that guy! Hank. Not Art…


  • zzen321

    Hmmmm … after reading your piece, Can’t say I like or admire the guy.

    • Timothy

      Can’t say I like or admire you after reading this comment.

  • Betterworld

    Awesome J.A. Love your writing!

  • Tonx

    This is quickly becoming my favorite site…

  • teedlebomb

    Well, apart from you sounding like a total geek, Jobs appears to be pretty self-serving. Copped out on his first child? Ripped off Wozniak? Doesn’t give to charity with 40 billion in the bank? And we respect this guy? B*llsh**t.

    • The ‘selfish’ prick has obviously made contributions to improve the lives of millions through his products’ competitive superiority, and deserves to direct that $40B as he sees fit… can anyone argue they would spend it better than Jobs?

      I’m no Apple fanboi… I just respect his success. AND his property rights.

      Curious that those who loudly denounce his lack of charity themselves lack his ability to gather the capital they envy. Perhaps they should learn to serve the needs of humanity as well as Jobs, so they can accumulate the means to pursue their dreams as he has?

      • Kovac

        Coullit’s response was a better one than yours.

        Makes life better through his products? Oh, god forbid all us poor rich people having to work on linux. That would just make me go depressed. “Improving the lives of millions” only counts as “not being selfish” if you’re not doing it for the money.

        You may be no apple fanboi, but you’re clearly a Jobs fanboi. Instead of making excuses for what people (and obviously you too, since you’re the one making excuses) consider “faults”, try to see what they make him. I’m sure many people could spend $40B better than jobs, I just don’t think they’d read this post to the end.

        Jobs seems indeed to be a selfish prick and a neurotic, and it’s hard to say he’s not a genius. That’s what made him what he is, and that’s what made apple what it is – not only his qualities, but also (and most importantly) his imperfections.

        • Shawn

          (I know, this is timely six months later, but here goes anyway.)  He may not be a Jobs fanboi, but he is certainly an idealogue.  But his particular ideology has the side effect of making you an utter dick. 

          • Shaun

            Now now Shawn, calm down dear…

        • Hardmanb

          “Makes life better through his products? Oh, god forbid all us poor rich people having to work on linux.”

          That is not the point. The point is that millions “would not” have done the things they did on Apples and Macs, if they had to do them on Linux. I would not have, and yet Macs made me “more” money in my profession, and helped me successfully start and run two business.

        • Richard Simpson

          I’m no Jobs fanboi either. I like Android and Linux. The only Apple product I’ve ever owned was an iPod won in a contest, and soon given away as a gift.

          If I must be a fanboi of something, make it of freedom.

          If capitalism made Jobs’ selfishness to serve millions of satisfied customers, where is the injustice to be remedied?///

          • albeit

            Every other organism on the planet pursues its own self interest. Humans are more sophisticated about it, though, able to invent philosophies that talk the naive out of pursuing their interests.

        • Samantha Atkins

          God forbid any small part of “fairness” bites you in your nether regions.
          I would rather have any number of people like Jobs than supposedly non-neurotic judgmental pricks like you seem to be. Are you claiming that you aren’t so successful because you aren’t as flawed or some such?

        • Bob Gappa

          He would make a best friend for a cactus. Look but don’t touch.

      • PhasmaFelis

        I’m writing this on a MacBook. It’s a wonderful machine, and I wouldn’t use anything else. Apple makes fantastic hardware and software. Call me an Apple fanboy, you won’t be far from the truth.

        It is disgusting to compare luxury computing items to lifesaving charity as if they are equal contributions to humanity. There are children in the world starving to death and dying of preventable diseases, and you’re saying that a really nifty PC is *more valuable* than those millions of lives? Grow up.

        • Richard Simpson

          That’s not what I said at all, and you’re putting words in my mouth. What I said was that his products improved millions of lives.

          Who is comparing equal contributions to humanity? I’m comparing one man’s actual accomplishments to many others’ unfulfilled wishes. But, I’d still say that actually getting people to part with their cash voluntarily beats forced charity any day.

          And who’s to say that his products DON’T bring poor people better access to the information they need to pull themselves out of poverty, without having to thank a politician?

          • LoveAndLight

            You really need to grow up and read all your contradictions. You are worshiping a fool that had a lot of karma due to all of his mistakes. I am grateful for not having known this man personally or professionally. He is a self worshiping man wanting the world to do the same.

            #4-He denied paternity of his first child, like father like son? Yet he cried on how his parents left him. That is a sad thing not to be praised.

            #5-Screw Charity-Making the world better with technology is not feeding, clothing and housing those in need. I really shouldn’t say more on this.

            #7-He lied to Woz-I really wouldn’t want you to be my friend.

            All the rest is a bunch of worshiping jibberish negativity and makes me sick. Good luck in your journey, you really don’t seem to be going the right way. Love and Light.

          • Richard Simpson

            Are you talking to me? I worship no man, living or dead.

            Contradictions? Please elaborate.

            Sure he was imperfect. But was he any less imperfect than your favorite politician? I wouldn’t trust Jobs with political power, but he proved himself worthy of a certain amount of economic power, in the minds of those who parted with their cash for his products and services. Those people could have given that money to your favorite charity instead but they didn’t. YOU could sell that Mac and give the money to charity, but obviously, you find it of more value to you, than you imagine the money it’s worth would be to someone needier than yourself. Talk about contradictions. Project, much?

          • gbacoder

            the point is that the richer we become, the more money is pointless. but some get addicted, bigger houses, bigger boats. and only spend a small amount of their vast wealth on charity. Bill Gates and Warren Buffet are some great exceptions. We need more people like that.

          • CelestialTerrestrial

            Bill Gates is just giving his guilt money away and publicizing it to make idiots like you idolize him. Bill Gates was routinely screwing people/corporations over with his bullying tactics to become a monopoly.

            I worked for smaller software companies that asshole would screw out of large business deals. He created a monopoly by screwing other companies out of getting business. That’s why Microsoft was getting their asses sued for monopolistic/Anti Trust violations. And even when they issued settlements, the settlements perpetuated Microsofts monopoly because they would issue rebates for future purchases from Microsoft instead of just giving out cash.

          • gbacoder

            Agreed he was a little opportunist to begin with. His deal with IBM giving him rights to the OS, and telling them he had an OS when he did not. He then went out and bought one from some guy. And yes there was little choice in which OS to use since then! But my point was what he has done with his wealth is very commendable. Top my mind it more than makes up for it.

          • CelestialTerrestrial

            Seattle Computer Products took QDOS and renamed it 86-DOS and then Gates eventually purchased 86-DOS and renamed it PC-DOS for IBM and MS-DOS for Microsoft’s other OEMS.

          • Bob Gappa

            “Bill Gates was routinely screwing people/corporations over with his bullying tactics to become a monopoly.” And now he’s giving it back to the world. Did anything but work and money come out of Mr. Jobs? Warren Buffet I haven’t heard such stories about but he’s giving quite a lot back to the world. I had to edit out some crap I wrote because I read down and found that RED charity was donated to. So I was wrong about that part of the story.

          • CelestialTerrestrial

            Bill Gates is giving back to the world because he gets a tax write off. every year Bill Gates gives a portion of his income away, but don’t you find it rather ironic that every year his net worth keeps on going up? He gives away the maximum allowable for tax purposes. Most wealthy people take their relative portion of income, 15%, and donate that amount to “charity”. Whether they go public about it so more people like them is entirely up to the individual. Gates is trying to get more people to like him because it’s his own insecurity/ego that he has to feed.

            Jobs? When one is the CEO of the company, they are the ones that get the credit for the success or failure of that company, and the products that come out during their tenure is what the industry gives them credit. Some of the product’s features/design might be from the CEO, but sometimes not. It all depends. But Steve did have his name attached to about 150 patents. So, it’s not like he’s just sitting around twidiing his thumbs.

            Here’s what a lot of Microsoft fanboys missed. Ever hear of DOS? Bill Gates didn’t developed DOS. He simply “sold” it to IBM without actually having a product to show. Once he signed he deal to IBM for licensing DOS, he then turned around the bought 86-DOS from Seattle Computer Products and simply changed the name from 86-DOS to MS-DOS and PC-DOS, which I don’t think Bill even touched the code, he had other employees do the actual work.

          • Steve Jobs

            You’ve got a lot of anger. Where’s the love and light gone?

          • albeit

            Corporate giving is for PR purposes. And to avoid shakedowns from those who like to harass others.

            Jobs gave that money to the shareholders instead, who were then free to do what they thought was wise. Of course, its not so easy to harass all of them.

          • orthorim

            You’re really judgmental for somebody who calls themselves “LoveAndLight”.

            Give up on your judgements. Particularly about a person or place you know truly nothing about. How certain can you be of any of these things? And even if you were certain, how can you judge without the motivations, without knowing all the details? We will truly never know any of this.

            What we can know right now is that our own judgement of others is poisoning our mind. Show the light, show the love – forgive any sins, both of the imagined Steve Jobs in your mind (as you imagine him, while realizing that you’ll never know whether that is even remotely accurate), and of yourself. Forgive yourself for judging too. Peace.

          • Mike

            You chose the screen name “LoveAndLight” then posted an insulting rant about another human being. Is it painful for you to look in the mirror in the morning and stare into the face of contradiction?

          • Robin S

            A lot of people in the world, doing those same things while also *never* contributing to humanity and moving it forward like Jobs did. So what?

          • Robin S

            You are judging him as if what you believe should be believed by everybody :/

          • Samantha Atkins

            Ah. It is a James Altucher site. I can take his advice and ignore a crappy person like you. Bye now.

          • CelestialTerrestrial

            How did he screw charity? Jobs cancelled their charity programs when he came back to Apple because Apple had financial problems, but they did give to the RED campaign when the iPod came out as that was a successful product and RED was involved with life saving programs. So, how can you say they screwed charity? That’s just dumb and a lie.

            He had his daughter Lisa move in with him and his family and he put her through college. Get your facts straight. he was actually giving money before she moved in. He first denied it, but he caved in and started to give money, but his ex was trying to ask for WAY too much. She was trying to ask for the kind of money an ex-wife would want, when they weren’t even married. Plus, she knew he didn’t want her having a child, so she had one without his knowledge and consent. But Jobs eventually had Lisa move in with his family and he took care of her, so again, you are filled with bullshit.

            Woz got over it, Woz is rich because of Jobs business sense. If Jobs didn’t do what he did, Woz would just be some poor geek in Silicon Valley because Woz has no business sense.

          • orthorim

            This discussion is EXACTLY the problem with “charity”.

            Why do people engage in “charity”? Even the very generic word itself makes no sense. You never know where your money goes, so why do it?
            1 – Because it makes you feel better about yourself. Therefore, it’s about your ego more than actually helping anyone.
            2 – Because it’s easy. Write a check, forget about it. If that same person in Africa that you *think* you’re helping showed up on your doorstep and wanted an hour of your time while you just want to rest and watch TV – where would your charity be? You’d kick that bum out!
            3 – To show others how charitable you are. Again, pure ego.
            4 – To remind yourself how others are off much worse than yourself. Again, pure ego. Makes you feel good much?

            What kills me is those people who “donate to charity” don’t even for a moment consider their every day actions inside and around where they live. Do you forgive that guy who cut you off while you were driving your car? Do you send them your love? No. You swear at that “idiot” all while “giving to charity” to make yourself feel better.

            It’s a full on ego trip. Realize that, people. As for Jobs, you judgmental ego tripping charity people are once again showing your true colors, even the most cursory search on the internet would reveal his wife’s charity fund and the fact that the Jobses only ever donate anonymously.

            For most intents and purposes, in the west, charity is a cheap way to work off the white man’s guilt. A hypocritical ego trip.

          • gbacoder

            No fanboy, but I think perhaps you are a fan of capitalism and the idea that the 1% mostly deserve it, and don’t need to give to charity – can spend it how the hell they like? You did come over that way!

        • JohnGaltHasLeftTheBuilding

          You should direct your post to your beloved government/cia who fund and support warlords that murder their fellow country men based on tribalism and religion—not Steve Jobs.
          Steve Job’s money won’t cure tribalism or religious intolerance or corrupt governments–which is the cause of ‘world starvation.’



        • Robin S

          Do you read your own comments before you hit post?

        • Samantha Atkins

          I like my Macs better for surfing the net and doing very visually oriented type task. I much prefer linux for my software work. I find all the visual eye-candy of the Mac distracting. And while the Mac is thankfully unix there is no very much in the open source metaverse that is not available there or not as easily even with brew and other tools to attempt to make it work.

          Jobs and company produced some of the slickest computers and computerized gadgets ever. Jobs and company back in the day put the idea of a personal computer into reality and made it so. The iPhone revolutionized mobile devises.

          But I actually am not a fan of much of Apple software or of the app store. I think locked down systems or systems where the platform maker gets to say what is and is not on the machine are fundamentally wrong and very against everything Steve was for when I first met him.

          • CelestialTerrestrial

            To address the App Store. It was created to help smaller software companies get exposure to Apple users, it’s also a way they can prevent malware based software from becoming wide spread.

            The industry used to distribute software through brick and mortar where they had to make physical versions and that costs enormous amounts of money and small software companies have a tough time getting exposure, so the App Store kind of neutralizes everyone to have equal exposure. Plus, we can rate the software, which helps people decide what they want. The other advantage is the user can get the update notification and updates much easier.

            Yes, they charge a percentage, but it’s a lot less than the traditional distribution method. It was common practice for computer resellers to buy through distribution at 50% off retail, so the software company would have to sell to distributors for more than 50% off MSRP. Apple, like Microsoft and Google, typically charge only 30% of MSRP and out of that 30%, they retain only about 5% since they have to develop and maintain the App Store, marketing costs, legal costs, support costs, cost of software delivery (Akamai charges money for each software downloaded), etc. so that 30% Apple makes only boils down to only 5% after all of their overhead costs and taxes. But the software company retains 70% instead of less than 50% under the previous brick and mortar distribution.

            If a software company didn’t go through an App Store, they would have to spend a LOT of money in marketing to get people to know they exist and a lot of small software companies simply can’t survive. So Apple’s App Store concept actually helps software companies, especially the small startups. And they don’t prevent you from selling your software through other app stores, nor do they prevent you from selling direct. It’s actually for everyone’s benefit. I don’t buying software outside the app store, because I don’t necessarily get update notifications, it’s also easier to deal with a company that has an 800 number in case there is a billing issue, and they try to prevent malware apps, which is always a problem. So, from a user’s standpoint, App Stores are probably the best thing that ever happened to the software industry.

            Also, with Apple’s system, large corporations can manage software purchases much better. Check out IBM’s presentation on how they manage their Mac users. It’s pretty interesting.

            Locked down? Ummmm. Apple has a different philosophy with computers. They believe it’s better to do the hardware and OS development/support themselves. Plus, since Microsoft had their monopoly, it was impossible to break that monopoly by just putting out an OS. As long as the company pays attention, it’s better to have a product that’s designed BY the company and isn’t some kludge where one company develops the OS and another develops the hardware, because neither talk to each other and it’s much harder to create a platform.

            I hate using PCs with Windows, or even Linux for that matter. Too much time is spent with administration, setup tasks. Apple makes a product that’s a lot less time consuming with regards to non-productivity tasks. Plus, with a Mac, you can install Windows or Linux if you really want to, so they give you the choice of running any OS on their hardware. They would just have to waste an enormous amount of money on OS development to make a profit if they offered their OS as an install on a PC. They wouldn’t be able to survive since they would have to charge a lot of money for the OS and support. It’s better the way they are doing it. and they tried to offer their OS to PC mfg, but they told them NO. Compaq told Jobs to make his own computers and not bother offering MacOS to PC mfg.

        • CelestialTerrestrial

          Lifesaving charities? Apple did contribute to the RED charity for many years from their iPod products.

        • Bob Gappa

          Jobs is Jobs and Richard Simpson is Richard Simpson. I am me and you are you. We each become ourselves. Some judge and some don’t but no matter what we decide what life should be we are still just we. The more I read about Mr Apple the more I like being me. But that is just me.

      • Travis

        When you have more money than god and you decide to keep it rather than sharing some of the massive excess with the less fortunate, you’re a selfish bastard. He didn’t do these things to better humanity. He did them to deify himself. There is no altruism here.

        • EndTheNWO

          altruism is fascism.

      • webhoster

        Humanity doesn’t know what it needs. That’s the whole nature of being human. Stupid. Since we are born we are shoving dangerous situations right into our own mouths.

      • Gyro

        Bill Gate has given away over 26 Billion of his own money and has eradicated Polio from India. He is working on African countries and with Malaria. Steve is dead what good is his 60billion now? Some countries don’t have that kind of money in their whole countries GDP

        • CelestialTerrestrial

          That’s because he wants people to like him because he got his wealth from ripping off customers and creating a monopoly bullying their way through the industry. Microsoft was fucked up with both Ballmer and Gates. I used to work for a relatively small software company back in the early 2000’s, that made a better software product than Microsoft, and Bill Gates would call up CEO’s of customers right before they were going to hand a large PO to the company I worked for, so they pulled business deals away from smaller companies. That’s fucked up. Gates would pull that kind of shit all of the time against other software companies. They bullied their way into corporate America. Fucked up company. I have no respect for Gates. Microsoft got sued so many times, Harvard gave Gates an honorary law degree, not an software engineering degree.

          Steve never was worth $60 Billion, I think the most he was worth was $5 Billion and much of that was from the sale of Pixar to Disney. Jobs only got paid $1 salary from Apple, he received no stock, only stock options and a lot of that money went to paying taxes. When he came back to Apple the second time around, he wasn’t doing it to become rich. If he did, he’d end up being wealthier than Gates.

          The thing about Gates is he only gives a small percentage of his wealth to charity and isn’t it strange that no matter how much he gives away, he still increases in his net worth every year? He only gives a small percentage of his wealth and I’m sure it’s only 15% of his yearly income, which is the most he can write off. Most wealthy people give away 15% of their yearly income to get a tax write off. But that $28 Billion Gates gave away was over many, many years, it wasn’t one year.

          Gates just wants you to know about it so you think fondly of him. Behind the scenes, Gates had asshole tendencies.

      • Kid Richmond

        Well he also helped lower the working age for assembly so wouldn’t that cancel out the number of people he helped excel in life? Plus he stressed out most of the people that worked in the headquarters and those people kept that status quo going. So he built a cycle of perpetual stress. That is bound to have a huge negative impact on the world.

    • Coullit

      how do we know he doesnt give to charity, maybe he does anonomously or doesnt publish the fact

      • CelestialTerrestrial

        Apparently, Jobs and his wife were giving to charities, and frankly, it’s no one’s business if they did or didn’t.

    • Earle Jones

      That $40 billion is not Steve’s $40 billion.  In fact, Steve has less than 1% of the Apple ownership.  In fact all of the officers and directors together own about 1% of the stock. (Check Yahoo Finance.)  The law requires that officers and directors make decisions in the best interest of the owners—the stockholders, not give company assets to charity.

      • himagain

        Interestingly, you are right – if the world suddenly woke up a little smarter one morning – there are virtually no assets in that fantastic merchandising business – and without Jobs……..
        It doesn’t seem to really “own” anything and that $40 billion is mainly on paper – the “perceived value” of the business.

      • Robin S

        There are lots of ways to hide money.

    • James

      Steve job’s own selfishness was his downfall, He could’ve funded a cure for cancer but he didn’t. If he used his $100 Billion wealth to fund cure research, i’m sure we would be somewhere else, since government & corporations stopped serious funding of medical research.

      Now after his death, the same cancer that he died from has a cure that’s waiting in a lab due to lack of funding, he could’ve contributed to it at the time if he searched for it. checkout iCancer for more details. Apple is also refusing to fund this cure after his death.

      • Guest

        You really don’t have an understanding of how things work.

        First – he had nowhere close to $100 in wealth and he has no authoritative power to all of sudden pivot Apple into a Bio Technology company to find cures as you put it. Apple is a consumer technology company – not a research lab.

        In addition, you can’t just throw money at a disease and expect to find a cure. It doesn’t work that way. If this were the case, then Sergey Brin would write a $1 billion check for Parkinson’s tomorrow.

        The problem with research labs and funding is to conduct a test and experiment requires a large sum of money – if that experiment fails then you go back to the drawing board hopefully with a little more information.

        So yes, funding helps, but it’s not the end all be all and excess funds will not necessarily contribute to greater output. You want to highly target the funding of such research to make the giving as efficient and effective as possible.

        Where do you think the government and corporations earn the funds to deliver to research labs? There’s not just an unlimited number of dollars floating around. They need to be earned by private endeavors and then plowed back into a sustainable enterprise to generate more profits. Therefore, only a small portion of the profits or total GDP of the nation can be plowed into high risk research because if you plowed everything into the research and then it fails, there’s no more profit generating enterprises and your left bankrupt just like if you placed everything on Black and lost at the casino.

        If you know you have a 80% chance to earn a 20% return on your capital or a 1% chance to earn 40% return on your capital, you stick with the 80% and what your good at.

        Steve was good – great – at making consumer electronic products.

        • DFcharm

          Do you think he was wealthy enough to support charities?

      • CelestialTerrestrial

        A cure for cancer? Like anyone actually has a cure for all forms of cancer? Come on.

        Why does a company have to fund every cure? Is there a guarantee that that is going to be an actual cure? How much funding does it take?

        They haven’t even found the cure for the common cold, which effects everyone yearly.

    • sam

      lol, do all you want with your money.

    • Antonio Da Silva

      Teedle things are not that black and white. It’s not was Steve giving or not pass or fail.

      You say we respect him. That is different for each person, respect is personal I can respect a person, and you can respect a different person.

      So yes people are and should be allowed to respect Steve Jobs. Yes he did lie to his friend, and yes he did play a huge role in pioneering technology to the level we have it today. If you get fired from one job, you can go on to do well at another job and get a raise or promotion.

    • Harley

      I heard on many topics Jobs only made a dollar a year from Apple after 1997 since he already had money.

    • Kyle

      I have read that he anonymously donated millions of dollars because he felt giving back should not be something someone is credited for. Don’t know if it’s true, but that’s just what I’ve heard.

      • gbacoder

        That may well be true. Perhaps motivated by ego and his rivalry with Bill Gates, whom he has disliked for some time. It is surely much better to set the example and donated in public, and show the amounts you have donated. Keeping it all secret allows those that are greedy / not caring to be able to hide. Personally, the most important thing is to donate because you care / understand the people and what a difference you will make to them. Whether you are public about it or not does not come into that. That said, it’s better to be public to set the example.

    • Diane Gingrich

      Seems that way but this is only a brief passage of his life. He might have contributed anonymously for privacy reasons or to protect himself from GREEDY so called charities

    • Samantha Atkins

      You bet we respect him. Cherry picking his less savory past elements is what is B*llsh**t. Objectivity much? And if you read the article it makes the quite good point that claiming someone who changed the face of the world across so many fields didn’t give enough is completely absurd.

      Put I first met Steve and Steve not long after their blue box days. I met them in their days of “Computer Power to the People”. So I was a bit put out when in later days Jobs tried to lock down so many products like the iPhone.

    • CelestialTerrestrial

      When Jobs was running Apple, Apple did participate with the RED program. That was a charity. they just canceled their charities when he came back because Apple was in survival mode and they couldn’t afford to donate. But they did participate in the RED program for many years. I think they still do. Apple didn’t have $40 Billion in the bank when Jobs went back to Apple. Plus, he probably was too fucking busy to even think about it.

      Ripped of Wozniak? Wozniak is a millionaire a hundred times over. Why are you complaining, Wozniak isn’t. Wozniak wouldn’t be rich without Jobs. Jobs was the business brains behind Apple. Remember, you can have the best product in the world, but if no one knows about it, then it won’t sell. Jobs was the one that put his balls on the line and marketed it to become successful. Woz was useless after his plane crash.

      No, Jobs made it up to Lisa. She moved in with Jobs and his family and she went to a top notch college, so she doesn’t feel badly towards her father. She probably misses him.

      People like you make me sick. YOU are just some pathetic loser that’s trying to meddle into someone else’s life, making up lies, and exposing your own jealousy and stupid bullshit.. I’m not saying Jobs was perfect, but you made up some lies to trash his reputation.

    • Steven-X

      Jerk or not, keep in mind that he helped create an entire industry than now employs millions, and transformed many others.

  • This blog post has just inspired me to punch Steve Jobs square in the face should I ever get the chance to meet him.

    • OMAR

      Punch my dick

  • dbh

    This Steve Jobs trivia is all in Wikipedia. As one other person commented, the Apple III was a beefed up Apple II that was first to have a hard drive. I used to program them with Pascal before the Lisa, programmed by Bill Atkinson, came out as the predecessor to the Macintosh. Woz and Jobs absolutely did nothing to “invent” Breakout. Jobs got Woz to make it run more efficiently on fewer chips. Jobs couldn’t do chip design if his life depended on it. IMHO, Jobs took advantage of Woz, much like Gates took advantage of Paul Allen, yet somehow get promoted as computer geniuses. Go figure? Probably psychologically related to their business drive. This is to be emulated?

    • dbh

      Also, after Jobs and team saw the Xerox PARC inventions created by PhD’s, I might add, he had his college graduates Bill Atkinson and others work on the Lisa. The Macintosh was a no brainer after all the Apple dealers in the country couldn’t sell the huge Lisa for $10k each. Smaller and cheaper was being begged by the Apple dealers, who started adding the new PC’s to the inventory to keep from dying. I fail to see what is so remarkable about Jobs.

      • Fubar

        genius(Apple) = “bobo chic”

    • Todd Preston

      Excellent observations…..Gates and Jobs both cunning narcissist negotiators.

  • I didn’t know anything about Steve Jobs other than, vaguely, his connection with Apples success, but still found these 10 things (well 9 of them, the Breakout connection is meaningless to me) interesting reading. It’d be a tad hasty reaching any meaningful conclusions about the man based on any of what’s written here, or anywhere else for that matter, but it seems to have stirred some controversy in the comments, which is good?

  • Without the genius of Steve Jobs, 1M Chinese would not have a job.

    • zzen321

      They’d just build android phones, or windows phones, or blackberries, or something else. They don’t need SJ.

      • jhadley

        That is incorrect they would be building micro razor phones by now with interchangeable covers if it were up to Motorola and Sprint. Thanks to SJ all of the phones today look mysteriously like…hm well, iphones. Wonder why?

        • Sam

          The LG Prada came before the iPhone, and looks remarkably like an iPhone. Whether touchscreen phones have followed an inevitable progression or Apple really did crib the iPhone on existing handsets (as the Samsung counter-lawsuit insists), the iPhone isn’t some highly innovative or unique product. The numerous Android, Blackberry and Windows Mobile touchscreen smartphones on the market today would still have existed without Apple’s contribution.

    • Santi

      Without 1M 2cheap” chinese, SJ would have less money…

    • Kenley Belony

      Without Apple, too many chinese would not have died from diseases due to contact with hazardous elements in Apple’s products.

    • Kenley Belony

      Without Apple, too many chinese would not have died from diseases due to contact with hazardous elements in Apple’s products.

  • Deuce

    Wow, despite some negative posts being purged since yesterday (subjugating truth is the true sign of a GREAT “journalist” isn’t it?) there is still no denying the general attitude here is that Jobs is a dick, Apple is crap and the author is clearly a teenager in love with Jobs.

    • Good thing I’m not a journalist. But I do like for this site to have intelligent commentary. When all someone says is a two word curse then I’m going to delete the comment and block the IP address.

      • Joe

        Blocking an IP for someone using profanity? Seems way overboard and knee jerk to me especially for someone that forgives a liar, thief, and dead beat dad. I guess making money negates all of that.

      • SteveJobsILoveYou

        Does your rationale in point 7…

        “Its by making mistakes, having fights, finding out where your real boundaries in life are, that allow you to truly know where the boundaries are.”

        …absolve rapists too or only guys that design cool phones?

        • hardmanb

          He was talking about “overcoming”, not absolution.

          And yes, I think it is possible for someone who technically and (unintentionally?) to later overcome the mistake and become a “good person”. Millions of men have committed date rape using alcohol…or sometimes even “honeyed words”, or taking advantage of vulnerability…yet later overcome it and become good husbands, fathers, and citizens.

      • Sckrap

        Nice going, James. People who use vulgar language lack the intellectual capacity for deeper thinking. I appreciate intelligent dialog.

        • Deuce

          You clever devil. I love satire!

          (Yes, I see the word “ckrap” hiding right there in your user name)

      • Ssohara

        I think that’s your right (to block profanity) and I agree. If you have a point to make, you can do it with logic, you don’t need to curse people out.

        BTW, I admire and respect Jobs as a businessman and an innovator, but see flaws in his character – the fact that he lied to Woz, he didn’t take responsibility for his daughter, and that he doesn’t give to charity. However, no one is without flaws. I personally think you should take responsibility for your actions and that you shouldn’t lie, but none of us is perfect. I personally think one should give money to charity, but it’s got to be because you want to, not because anyone is forcing you to.

        Would the world be a better place without Jobs? No. Jobs has created value for all of us by creating Apple. But, he’s not my hero.

        • Fubar

          The real evil of postmodern society (besides the Cargo Cult of Modern Money Worship), is that politically correct inquisitors and thought police so mindlessly use accusations of moral-linguistic “offensiveness” to bully those that do not conform to the Vagination of the World (and other Pluralist/Relativist/Multicultural Idiocies that are merely a new version of social hierarchy and status stratification).

          So, the use of “offensive” language may or may not be any more STUPID, or enlightened, than the use of non-offensive language. However, there is a species of non-offensive PC language that is particularly odious in that it is intended to “oppress” nonconformism by Heretic Phallocentrists and other such “socially unacceptable” (to the PC world) types.

          • Fred

            OMG I wish I could like this 1 googolplex times!

          • Fred

            OMG I wish I could like this 1 googolplex times!

          • Jay

            I admire your vocabulary :)

        • Fourtheye

          how do you know he doesn’t give to charity, and doesn’t have plans to later? Isn’t charity without recognition the greatest of all? it’s people like you that create the whole “celebrity” giving PR thing

          and for all those others who think Steve Jobs is all about money. If you had billions in the bank, would you still go to work everyday to make the world a better place, remain faithful to your wife, and live in a modest (relatively speaking yes) home? most of you would choose to live like an emperor.

          • Robin S

            that celebrity giving thing is a PR ruse. Consumers advanced passed the celebrity for celebrity sake phase so they had to think of another angle.

      • Deuce

        If you’re implying that MY post, which you deleted, was a two word curse, then you can add lying by implication to your lies of omission.

        My post was a concise deconstruction of the Apple mystique full of verifiable facts that contradict the accepted Apple/Jobs persona. As a Silicon Valley native, member of the IT community, and a PC user back to the early 80’s my post was intelligent and informed whether or not it was friendly to your teenager-in-love-with-Jobs sensibility. And clearly you didn’t block my IP and username either. So if your response was an attempt to salvage some credibility, I daresay you have done quite the opposite in a most fantastic of manners. Not a word of it is true, accurate or informed. Much like your inane POS love sonnet to Steve Jobs that he will never read nor care about…

        • Anonymous

          Well, after a little research I fount that the author here is not a
          teenager. He is merely expressing his views and opinion. You are suppose
          to approach new information with an open mind, but so far all I notice
          here are a bunch of people with closed minds that have only formed their
          own opinions and are looking for a chance to lash out. Did you all have
          a bad day at work? Loose your cat? Girl/Boyfriend dump you? Either way
          grow up, the only people acting like teenagers here are the ones with
          nothing nice to say that want something else to complain about.

          I will say, though I do not agree with Steve Jobs actions, I respect his
          success. If it takes such dishonesty to be largely successful I do not
          think I will ever be able to go that extra mile.

          Most importantly, Jame Altucher, This was a well written article. You
          had some great research to present and you presented it beautifully.

          • Fred

            This article is a rephrased copy of another article posted on yahoo news. Point by point exactly the same.

          • Fred

            This article is a rephrased copy of another article posted on yahoo news. Point by point exactly the same.

  • Light

    Turth is we are all _______ at one time or the other

    Judge not for Ye shall be Judged

    judgement is mind sayth the Lord

  • pjc

    The Jobs haters are strange and a little sad. Jobs is clearly a genius.

    I’m a bit worried about Jobs these days. Does the timing of this post have anything to do with Jobs’ health problems.

    I don’t usually worry too much about the health of celebrity CEOs. But if “Steve Jobs loses his battle to cancer” is a headline within the next 9 months I will feel genuine loss.

    • I’ve been seeing a lot of anger both on this post and on the syndicated version thats on businessinsider.com. I think whats happened to a lot of people is that:
      A) they lost a lot of money in the financial crisis, maybe sold at bottom, or had issues with house, etc.
      B) they have had problems in their emotional lives (probably triggered by the anxiety in their financial life)
      C) their parents didn’t love them
      D) etc

      And so a blog that is more or less about honesty triggers their own honest reactions, which is anger. Unfortunately they then try to spread it. But it doesn’t really work here.

      • pjc

        Jealousy. There wouldn’t be so much hatred if “Jobs runs Apple, take two” had been a moderate success, with perhaps a doubling of the stock price.

        But now that Billg is off running his charity, and AAPL has surpassed MSFT in market share, I guess it’s time to hate Apple.

        In the meantime, my iPad has taught my 7 year old his times tables (well almost) while at the same time making him tech savvy. Sounds good to me.

        • Nan

          Nobody needs an ipad to learn times tables.

      • Nomadfromcincy

        James, I don’t think you understand the reactions in this piece. I agree that Steve Jobs is a creative genius. But you are glossing over his flaws and claiming they are part of what makes him a genius. I would argue that they are the flaws that make him human… but they are flaws.

        His (non-)belief in charity is not something to admire. Whether or not you want to compare Bill Gates to Jobs as a foil… however, there are many examples of people who built incredible businesses AND are charitable. What is Steve Jobs going to do with his money? Perhaps donate it when he does (giving him the benefit of the doubt). The rationale for Gates (and others) in giving away their money now and dedicating time to charitable pursuits is that they can help give that money in more effective ways.

        Denying paternity… yes, parenting is hard. I am not going to call him names but I have trouble seeing anything redeeming in what he did.

        And lying to his partner. I know this is common and people make mistakes but once again, clearly a flaw that proves he is no better than the rest of us… but he is a creative genius.

        • pjc

          With re: to charity and Bill Gates. Mr. Gates was was able to make an enormous fortune at a relatively young age. By all reports, he has been in good health. Thus, he has had the luxury of earning a fortune, and living long enough to see it given away according to his views.

          Steve Jobs is only now becoming tremendously rich. He has been wealthy for some time, but only with the most recent explosion in Apple’s stock price has he had the sort of fortune that will surely exceed any entrepreneurial ambitions. Moreover, Mr. Jobs is not blessed with good health. He will be lucky to live past 60.

          I think one can forgive him for wanting to focus on his core talents during the time he has left, and leave the charity to his heirs.

          You can’t take it with you. Someone else will spend the fortune Steve Jobs has earned. So there is no doubt that Steve Jobs will be a charitable person, albeit posthumously.

      • Fubar

        ultimately, all archetypes are about “mommy”, “daddy”, and “potty”.

        some posts are (metaphorically) poopy pants and wet bed stuff.

      • All these angry posts are from people that didn’t buy APPL stock under $100.

  • Mince

    As stated, “You only get to be an artist like that by turning everything in your life upside down, by making horrible, ugly, mistakes, by doing things so differently that people will never be able to figure you out. By failing, cheating, lying, having everyone hate you, and coming out the other side with a little bit more wisdom than the rest.”

    I excelled with the former, have yet to come out the other side. I suppose I should have been a moderate; oh well, too late now, I am about to die. After all, I’m on Jack Kevorkian’s speed dial. (“Hello? Oh, wazzup Doc? No, not yet…I’ll let you know. Later.”) I’m the artist formally known as Mince.

  • Shagadelic

    James, with that poodlehead haircut you look a bit like Ian McCullogh from the 80s band Echo & The Bunnymen. Anyone ever tell you that?

  • By the way, I’m really grateful for all the comments I’ve received both here and where the column was syndicated on businessinsider.com. I know not everyone agrees with the way I presented things here (and some of the comments are a bit heated). But its interesting how polarizing Steve Jobs is, in either direction. I, for one, hope that he continues to be as polarizing in the years to come.

    • Oscarwildedog

      Having worked for AAPL for about nine years, I got to know Steve a little bit (I was Director of Supply Chain). He’s strange, to be sure…but it’s ok as long as you don’t hurt anyone. Very demanding as well…kept us all on our toes; there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. Let’s face it: he made many of us wealthy…something Sculley couldn’t do.

      I think a lot of the responses you got James come out of left field for the simple purpose that they really don’t know the guy, save from news reports, third-hand comments, et al. So, to “belong” to the narrative, they post vehement and vituperous pap for the simple reason to be noticed.

      • Thanks Oscar. You are probably right abt the comments. Good points about how he was able to help many people directly (as opposed to Sculley). I remember meeting Amelio once when he was trying to get HBO to buy more Macs. Seemed like a nice guy, but no Jobs.

    • Fubar


      I’m a populist, so Apple makes me sick with their fake “coolness” / “bob chic” stuff, but I respect their accomplishments.

      I will be sad if SJ passes from this world of illusion into the Great Empty. I will miss him.

      To become fully human is to extend compassion toward those we do not like. Suffering is universal.

  • Mikem

    I really wonder if Steve Jobs has even one true friend? I enjoy and respect what he has accomplished but I wouldn’t want to work for him or have any dealings with him. In fact I used to give Woz more credit then Jobs but later I realized even though he didn’t engineer products it was Jobs drive that propelled the company. Too bad he doesn’t have any personal integrity. By all accounts Steve Wozniak is a sweet guy who doesn’t care about money all that much. There are stories about un-cashed checks left on the floor of his car, and he gave his personal stock options to employees who helped build Apple but somehow didn’t qualify for them. He probably would have given Jobs the Atari money if Jobs had bothered to ask for it. No in Jobs mind it’s better to hurt your best friend. There has got to be s special place for people like this.

    • Fubar

      re: ” really wonder if Steve Jobs has even one true friend?”

      the word “true” implies a level of character integrity that may not be applicable, but:

      Doesn’t Jobs hang out with Larry Ellison – another legendary and creepy silicon valley EVIL genius?

    • someone

      that is correct I give much more respect to Wozniak than Jobs.

      Even though Wozniak wasn’t good at business he is still one of the best engineers/programmers Apple will ever have.

      A very good man and a better man than Jobs will ever be.
      He is now a teacher, and still alive and kicking.

      Woz will not talk badly about
      Jobs betraying him though.

      What really grips me is that Jobs betrayed his friend.
      Shame on Jobs for stealing from his best friend in college.

      I applaud Woz for even putting up with Jobs.

  • Mjceachin

    This article was mentioned and linked to by dealbook.nytimes.com, I read your article and looked about the site, I found nothing of worth or merit . I am so disillousioned that the NYT felt that this article was worth mentioning that I am canceling my subscription to the newsletter. Please understand why I am not book marking your site.

    • Biobot

      I totally agree that this clueless article sucked. I used to work for Apple. Jobs was always a dick. He was also noted for parking his Porsche in the handicapped space at Apple HQ.

      THe Apple III was a POS. It’s os was called SOS. That was funny since it was so unreliable. But back to Jobs. Not giving to charity or allowing corporate donations to charity is as despicable as he is personally.

      But he is a creative genius and an immoral person in every sense of the word.

      • Steven L Goff

        ” I used to work for Apple”….I guess we know why ya USED to work there…lol HISTORY you are NOW!

        • Fubar

          I lived in the Santa Cruz area in the early 80s. Lots of people used to come into the store I worked in that commuted to the Bay Area to work at the Apple “factory”. When Apple’s sales were up, there was a lot of assembly work. When sales were down, lots of people got laid off. Why look for reasons to be creepy? Just ask why someone was laid off.

  • amy

    I think people respond with anger because, like a religious figure, Jobs is a kind of person people want to believe in. He has attained the highest form of bodhisattva-hood one can achieve in our materialist culture—getting really, really rich from being creative.

    The expectation with a figure like Jobs is that he will embody only good. But he doesn’t. He cheats his friends. He’s uncharitable. He’s denied his first child (at first). I think there are people who would like to strike out at this deity but cannot so strike out at the messenger instead.

    • Fubar

      No question that is true.

      Jobs is a genius at exploiting the craving for spiritual authenticity and depth (beauty, truth, good).

      “Bobo chic”

  • Solar Neophyte

    What’s foolish is how much people hate apple fanboy-ism, deriving enough energy to create libel on every comment box they can, yet fail to realize that they are simply fueling the fire named “ANY PR = GOOD PR!”

    You make Job’s richer every time you slander him or his company and let all of the intrawebz to see.

    Staying relevant is the whole point. If u are against Altucher, Jobs, Apple, etc., why contribute keystrokes at all?

    • Madtekwriter

      Why contribute keystrokes at all? Because staying relevant is NOT the WHOLE point–we are having a conversation here, an intelligent dialog. This includes the freedom to disagree.

    • Fubar

      rational analysis of irrational behavior and culture.

      people rant against apple for irrational reasons.

      people buy apple products for irrational reasons.

      the apple empire will eventually collapse for:

      ___ irrational reasons, or:

      ___ rational reasons?

  • Jobs is an incredible genius and deserves our admiration no matter his personal choices. He’s built one of the greatest companies on earth. Anyone who derides his success or personal motivations is simply jealous.

    • Fubar

      Gotta love postmodern absolutism.

      ZEN AT WAR!!!



      ” I used to watch Patton when I was a kid—the movie with George C. Scott. Actually he had some flaws as a leader. But he did have quite a remarkable ability to see the big picture and to strategize how to move successfully. It takes a lot to hold the big picture. to help coalesce people behind a vision to get an organization to move fluidly and to help people to move fluidly. There’s nothing more frustrating than working within an organization where everybody has great intent, but there’s no galvanizing presence. Leadership is either disbursed, confused or conflicted. I certainly see that as a mediator. I’ve seen a lot of organizations like that, a lot of them.”

  • Billymclaughlin

    I think you missed the main one: His mentor and friend was Bob Noyce (father of monolithic IC and leader of the 7 who started INTEL)

    • Ahh, I didn’t know that. How was he mentored by Noyce? And why didn’t he use INTC chips later on?

      • zzen321

        Why didn’t he use INTC? Quote from a previous comment, “No in Jobs mind it’s better to hurt your best friend.”

        What did you expect?

        • Fubar

          Oh pleeze. Early Apple was about anti-establishment “artzy fartzy”, underdogs, etc.

      • Billymclaughlin

        He even talks about Bob N in his Stanford speech (emotionally) and would go to Bob’s his for dinner when he was younger. As for using Intel chips in the relaunch of Apple, the HyperMos platform offered by Moto/IBM (outstanding architecture but poor yield) easily outpeformed the x86, and perhaps also that Bob had moved on to Sematech at that point. Steve admired Bob not Intel (….WinTel), ironically Bob never liked establishment either……..hence why he left Fairchild.

  • Anonymous

    Even though I don’t agree with what Jobs has done in his personal life, and I doubt he’d agree with my personal choices, he has built one hell of a company and introduced some excellent products.

  • Rob

    All of you people are still carrying the prostitute.

  • Anonymous

    When Jobs dies (which will be soon), Apple will become another AOL.

  • haha

    admire him, a very brilliant genius. Different from bill gates a thief who stole IBM’s dos and apples window to become rich.

    • Fubar

      Apple “stole” Xerox’s GUI R&D. Xerox probably didn’t even care.

      It takes genius to see how an emergent tech meme will connect with the right nodes in the global commerical and social networks to make things possible.

      Xerox was not making the connections.

      IBM did not want to make the connections either. They made a conscious decision to destroy their PC business (Warp was better than Windows) and stay with the Mainframe/corporate paradigm.

      Consumer/retail is more frothy than most established IT companies like ?

    • Cheta

      Bill Gates didn’t steal DOS from IBM. IBM was looking for an operating system for their new PC, so they went to Digital Research, but because of IBM’s confidentiality policy, Digital Research didn’t sign up. So when they went to Microsoft to talk about the programming languages they were offering, Bill Gates didn’t have a problem signing this policy, and since he found out IBM was looking for the operating system he jumped in and say he could provide it. At that moment he didnt have an operating system but he knew where to get one, so he talked to Tim Paterson from Seattle Computer and bought it from him.

      So there you go, didnt steal it from IBM. He bought it for $25.000 from Seattle Computer.

    • Cheta

      Bill Gates didn’t steal DOS from IBM. IBM was looking for an operating system for their new PC, so they went to Digital Research, but because of IBM’s confidentiality policy, Digital Research didn’t sign up. So when they went to Microsoft to talk about the programming languages they were offering, Bill Gates didn’t have a problem signing this policy, and since he found out IBM was looking for the operating system he jumped in and say he could provide it. At that moment he didnt have an operating system but he knew where to get one, so he talked to Tim Paterson from Seattle Computer and bought it from him.

      So there you go, didnt steal it from IBM. He bought it for $25.000 from Seattle Computer.

  • Great thoughts here. I had no idea Jobs was adopted nor a Buddhist, but at least the latter makes sense. I respect him on the charity issue, but I’m sure once (if) he retires, he’ll be singing a different tune.

  • Wpsmithjr

    Sure, he sounds like a jerk because of a few choices he’s made in his life. I’m sure most people have done things they regret…

    …but that doesn’t take away from his success or his genius. And in a time where people idolize people like NBA stars (talk about not taking care of your children) and American Idol rejects… Steve Jobs doesn’t look that bad, does he? I mean, can’t you admire someone for their success in one area, even if they aren’t so successful in others? Who among us is perfect in all areas of life?

    I don’t give to charities either. Many aren’t worth the money. Can’t you be helpful to mankind in other ways… or is the only way to judge generocity is by how much money you donate to charity?

    Having said all this, I don’t have any man-love for Jobs… at least not like Altucher. :)

  • Deuce

    Anyone who comments on their own article is a world class douche!

    • I’m sure you’re a good guy. You should just relax and play with your kids this weekend. Blow off some steam.

    • Steven L Goff

      It’s a blog…an interactive feed back one at that…ya deck of cards dick! Where is you blog on something constructive and informative at? please post up a link so i can go give some opinion. Get back to me on that one.

  • Steve Jobs is good at selling an image. Whether or not that image is real, is another matter entirely.

    I am, however, always puzzled that fans of personal and economic liberty can support closed source, proprietary, and authoritarian computer control schemes. As we can see with iOS on the iPhone, if it were up to Steve Jobs, you wouldn’t be able to write the programs you want, use the programs you want, create images you want, or basically do anything without his approval if he could help it.

    The future belongs to GNU/Linux and the open source movement, not to iOS, and certainly not to Windows. Selling software was always a broken paradigm that is only enabled through intellectual property monopoly, which must be granted by a central authority (government). Software should be given away and the source code free for anyone to look at. Instead of selling software, sell the service of maintaining and using the software. That is the way of liberty and the way of the future.

    • Fubar

      it is all about the postmodern tendency toward “style over substance” and “feel good” culture

      (not “best ideas”)

      re: open source delusions?

      in case you haven’t noticed, the idea of the “democracy of the knowledge commons” is in big trouble – except for the “weird” fact that the “Internet is Free” (for the time being).

      open source is supported by corporations.

      as soon as an “open/free internet” is a real threat to State-Capitalism, it will vanish.


  • Foo

    He didn’t start Pixar, He bought it.

  • Steve

    His next mistake, although it will go un-noticed, is how has screwed his faithful reseller channel.

  • Billy_G

    Another interesting / unusual thing about Steve Jobs is that his first name isn’t really Steve…

    It’s DICK.

    • Frederickbloggs

      No it’s Blow.

  • Concrete Dovetail

    Has anyone seen the documentary “Triumph of the Nerds”? Contains many interviews with Jobs, Wozniak, Gates, etc. This was created after Jobs was kicked out and before he came back. I remember seeing this in high school and thinking “Why would they get rid of jobs? He seems much more determined to succeed than anyone else in this niche.”

    • They got rid of him because he was in over his head, disruptive, and an asshole.

  • Hey, I am pescetarian already… and I didn’t go to college. Thus I am 20% similar.
    Thanks for making my day!

  • Markdj93

    Did you see Steve in his recent appearance? He look extremely thin and weak….hate to use the term “walking skeleton” but that’s how he looked. I wonder how his health his.

  • Fubar

    re: Zen at War


    Transformative Practices
    An Esalen Invitational Conference
    November 28 – December 2, 1999

    Essential Spirituality
    Roger Walsh


    Michael asked whether Roger feels something legitimately new has come into the world with the advent of psychological therapies and conscious work with relationships. Roger said there are three broad views on development — devolution (downhill since a more idyllic past), stasis (shamans have had this going all along), and evolution (which he mainly subscribes to). 2500 years ago the awareness practices were added, 2000 years ago nondual traditions emerged, and today psychotherapy has added new tools to our transformative repertoire. There was little understanding of psychodynamics and defense mechanisms in these contemplative traditions and we are richer for this new knowledge. Michael stated that the opportunities today are unprecedented, although they certainly involve reclaiming what has been lost as well. Somatic disciplines also represent new inventions.

    Jeffrey added his appreciation for the perennialist elegance of Roger’s mapping, but noted that historically these religions have been at each other’s throats. What’s new today is that we can take the crème de la crème from multiple traditions. This still doesn’t completely alleviate religious conflict. Roger stated that it is difficult to talk about religion unless we acknowledge that

    [] there are at least ten major stages of human development and that
    [] religion can be practiced at any one of them.

    The number of people who actually undertake transformative practices probably amounts to less than 1% of the population. Most are doing pre-rational magic and mythic stuff.

  • Steven L Goff

    Just maybeeeee Steve Jobs plans to take all that CASH with him when he passes! The ancient Egyptians tried that. And in today’s world, I aint seen any U-Haul Trucks in funeral car procession lines recently, have you?

    $30 Billion bucks and growing and priced in USD (Could be problemo soon). Instead of sharing it(the cash and that risk) with the shareholders who have earned a taste of it. Via taking on the risk to get here by them. And especially to those who are thinking of or have entered here @ $350-360. And are longer term, bigger picture investors in AAPL. Not me, just some people. RCA in their day never issued a DIV. People didnt care, because the stock seemed to go up daily. All came crashing down for RCA though. Just saying!
    Jim Cramer says “I dont care if Apple burns the cash….they can do whatever they want”

    • Fubar

      re: “Jim Cramer ”

      please keep him behind the New Jersey fence and never let him out.

  • Tom

    Great article James.

  • I drew the picture you’ve used on your article ‘Steve Jobs used LSD’ a credit either linking back to my website http://www.redeye-art.com or just with my name Adam Pinson would be appreciated and fair i think, thanks

  • I’m shocked about the “not giving to charity”. #6 is a stretch to say his products are equal to charity. Let’s ask if Apple has helped kids in ghettos, Africans with aids or starving, etc. Go ahead and make fun of Gates(the mosquitoes crack is ridiculous) but his philanthropy is light years beyond anything one tries to claim about Jobs. The Wozniak and child stuff add to a picture not to pretty about him. This article lowers my opinion of him. I respect Jobs and the company he built but how about giving credit to his people, scientists, programmers, etc? Everyone treats the guy like HE is the only person in Apple.

    • Anonymous

      Ditto. I don’t have respect for Jobs unlike Gates due to Gates massive worldwide help. I have an uncle working w/ Gates foundation. I think it’s amazing what Gates’ does. My uncle and his family met him and were amazed w/ how simple of a man Gates is.

      • Fourtheye

        why is the only form of “charity” giving to those who can’t help themselves? the world is a complex place, how do you know what will have the greatest benefit to mankind in the end?

        so i could criticize Bill Gates for not contributing to animal welfare, those are the sentient beings most in suffering. (if i were Bill Gates, I would contribute to developing in vitro meat, and help prevent the suffering of billions of animals – but hey, I wouldn’t criticize him for what he HASN’T done, just like we shouldn’t criticize Steve Jobs for what we BELIEVE he hasn’t done)

        • Mintoo2cool

          true, but its better than sitting on a pile of tens of billions dollars.

        • serge

          a lot of people need money for medical research, not a damn ipod or such… people that doesnt have that kind of money for any number of reasons… let them die or not to help them because i dont do charity? but what if one of them was your unkown sister? or somebody that is a friend? … simple as that you have to be heartless, plain and simple.

          • deej

            I agree. I also don’t think you have to sacrifice charity for innovation and profit, as Bill Gates proves. I also like how Bill and Melinda Gates don’t just right a check. They work at giving. I like Jon Huntsman’s take on wealth and giving, “Why should someone who has $5 billion only give away $2.5 billion? They can’t take it with them.”

    • chouaib mallem

      i don’t know about gates, the idea is a zillion times better way than products are charity, but in reality i live in Africa and believe me the gates foundation is another “effectiveless” charity (or so!) organization as the other thousands here, maybe in USA they make it look  great but in reality it’s just another organization (and i don’t really know if they really want to eliminate mosquitoes!)

      • Anonymous

        A lot of what the Gates Foundation does isn’t obvious to the public. He funds a TON of medical research that produces public health results that you would never know resulted from his contribution (example – research combating diarrheal diseases in children which result in malnutrition and increased risk for other diseases). Just because you personally haven’t seen results doesn’t mean it doesn’t make a difference. 

        • nobody

          Then by the same token one can’t say that Jobs’ products haven’t benefited society just because they “haven’t seen results”. Do the multitudes of educational institutions, hospitals etc that have benefited immensely from Apple’s products suddenly not matter just because some people starve in the world? I hate to break it to everybody, but starving in the world ain’t going anywhere soon, even if all the Gates’ and Jobs’ in the world pool their money together (I’m definitely not saying you shouldn’t feed hungry people, but I am saying its the POLITICS that needs to change more than the hunger). Having said that, skeptical as I am of the benefit of charities such as the Gates Foundation, I think it is an amazing endeavor, and that is HIS contribution to the world. Steve’s contribution was devoting his entire life to Apple so that Apple could improve and help lives with technology. I don’t think this is any less charitable, every level of humanity needs help, and even like ripples in a pond can indirectly help others in need and make the world a happier place =)

          As a sidenote, wasn’t it AFTER Bill Gates stepped down as CEO that he started his charity foundation? o_0

          • Abubakar

            Gates, through Microsoft has made products that have created value for the world in the same vain as Jobs through Apple. I, in my own way, have created value for the world by much of the work I have done on earth.

            The question is not about that. It is about re-investing the benefits reaped from value created simple. Jobs created value and reaped benefits worth $7.7b. Gates created value and reaped benefits worth $79.5b. He has now choosen to give back a large portion of this benefits to the world through research on diseases that can be eradicated from our world soonest and alleviating the suffering of the most impoverished people in the world.

            He can only do so much at one time though. He can’t save the animals, end wars, stop hunger and stop global warming. At least he is doing something. He is not just throwing money at his charity like most philanthropist. He is using his great experience as a leader to manage, guide and direct his foundation to produce results just like he did at Microsoft.

            What he is doing is not just charity, he is redirecting value to make the world a better place.

    • Todd Preston

      Gates was a smarter business Man than Jobs and consequently ended up richer.

      • Timothy

        They both made some great stuff and I’m sure they both gave plenty to charities. As someone in the software field, I like the tools and products that Jobs created as a platform for building the future. I’m not saying Windows wasn’t useful, but it’s too messy to depend on. Soon, osx will be the same because throwing a bunch of system developers together in a room to produce an operating system can only go so far. Eventually, because the laws of complexity, there are certain fundamental abstractions that need to take place. For our current decade, Apple provides the best commercial computers, phones, and tablets. When I grew up, I heard and thought plenty about Gates. I didn’t know about Jobs, though. I liked how his rules of thumb played out for him. Me, though, I’m different. My rules of thumb are more fundamental to the universe and sound sorta strange if I explain them. But, hey, that’s just the way things are.

      • daryldad

        My personal opinion is that Steve Jobs was more intelligent but Bill Gates was never reprimanded for having a monopoly as was AT&T etc..

        • CelestialTerrestrial

          reprimanded? You call getting sued for AntiTrust violations and monopolistic business practices as just being “reprimanded”? Oh, OK.

      • CelestialTerrestrial

        Being richer doesn’t mean a smarter businessman. Jobs wasn’t as greedy as Gates. Jobs didn’t take a huge salary when he returned to Apple, nor did he want large amounts of stock. He got stock options, but he typically sold it every year and it was probably enough to pay his taxes. He became a billionaire purely from the sale of Pixar to Disney and he was content with the money had already had. But Apple became bigger company in terms of market cap than Microsoft. Jobs just didn’t want stock and salary, he did more for the fun of it, not for a means of becoming super rich.

  • Agreed with the charity bit, this is one of the most idiotic statements i’ve ever heard!!

    “I actually think Jobs is probably the most charitable guy on the planet.”

  • Bb2nrg

    jesus was a mushroom

    • Fubar

      more likely a mexican.

  • JJ

    Steve, A Buddhist? Maybe in American Media Style wanna-be Buddhist, otherwise, a big joke.

    • Fubar

      Has anyone really researched and written about what SJ’s experience with Buddhism actually was/is? James’ article is somewhat skimpy on the matter, but does indicate that SJ has/had a relationship with a buddhist “guru”.

      Again, SJ is buddies with Larry Ellison, another bizarro-land IT Entrepeneur that loves “Zen at War” type stuff. These guys actually think, on some level, that Global Capitalism involves the same psychosocial dynamics as medieval Japan. Think about the appeal of a disciplined, conformist, spiritually refined society full of people that served occasionally inspired, but crazy/eccentric leaders with complete loyalty.

      ……connecting the dots yet? ………..

  • “Eventually Jobs became a good father” Is that based on fact or wishful thinking? Corporate icons have their flaws (e.g. Henry Ford) but their legacy eventually surpasses them.

  • Anonymous


  • Purpledogbone

    when reading comments like the ones under this story i am reminded why this country is rapidly down down the drain. we live in a county that prides itself on a persons individual freedom and choice making, to sink or swim, win or lose by our own effort. we can seek guidance or leadership as we see fit, yet we are allowed as individuals to choose what we want. i think that the people who are so quick to condemn and judge the actions and choices of others, are the biggest danger to our freedom we have.{ like most of the comments under the jobs story] , the people who think that he should give to charity, or that the fact that he didnt treat a coworker fairly, or anything else in the article they didnt like, are valid and real reasons he should not be where he is today. the fact that it has gotten to the point that people seriously believe that their standards are the only ones to judge by is scary. the mind is closed and locked and will spend their time and effort to sit and comment about all the problems they see and how it should of been. we, as a nation, have taken the idea that all are equal and have a voice and allowed the people to think that it is the only one to be heard. the fact that you can speak has absolutely no bearing on whether your right or wrong on the issue. we give the idea that since you can speak out you must have something important or valid to say. i blame the ones who listen to those voices for it, the elected. we have the people who need us to keep their job setting the stage and making the rules. and if the ones making the law need the ones makeing the noise for their job, well its a never ending cycle and the rest of us get to watch as we are told what we can or can not do or say or think, by whoever is the loudest at the time. knowledge and understanding are not involved anymore. so of course the people think that they are right in thinking they know how someone should spend their money or live and act a certain way. the proof is in a bunch of comments on a story of a guy who succeeded in one of the toughtest markets. too bad most miss the fact that he spend his time worrying and working on his ideas, and not on others or their impression of him,

    • great great comment.

    • Anonymous

      so the country is going down the drain not because of a billionaire’s greed but because others criticize him for it?

      are you kidding?

    • Anonymous

      so the country is going down the drain not because of a billionaire’s greed but because others criticize him for it?

      are you kidding?

  • Basil Rathbone

    re: pescetarian-
    FYI – A good buddy of mine works around Mary Tyler Moore- she is a real primadonna self-absorbed complete bitch, and as funny as Ted is on Curb, he stuck his face in Whoopi’s vagina- multiple times, you did say fish- right? What a horrbile visual-
    BTW – you are an athiest, or equal- like Gates and Buffet- or even Einstein, correct?
    There is only one obvious intelligent answer,
    or do you base your intellect on pedagogy Voodoo and fables!
    PS Fish is not a meat!

    I lived down the hall from M. Dell at UT- his parents funded his first few semesters at UT while he created PC’s then dropped out his 4th semester! Larry Ellison and Paul Allen ditto! alll billionares

  • Hmph

    Not that it makes any difference, since many people have already – understandably – bashed this post for being inaccurate and barely more than fiction, but Steve Jobs did not “make” the game breakout, or have much of anything to do with it, aside from hiring Wozniak to create a version of it. He didn’t come up with it, he didn’t program it, so in what way exactly did he make it? From many things I’ve read about him, I don’t see much to admire about Steve Jobs. He is a snake oil salesman who created a cult, and used people to get where he is. Apple’s business strategy is shady, censorship-driven and secretive.

    You say “Show me someone who says he’s been honest from the day he was born and I’ll show you a liar.” while that may be true, we are teenagers at some point, professionally, there are many honest people, including myself, who never screwed anyone over. If you think otherwise, it’s a sign of the kind of people whom with you surround yourself, and there’s nothing great about that,

  • Jody

    This is the first time I have ever posted to a blog – I have everything Apple and I was instantly deeply disappointed to hear that Apple/Steve Jobs doesn’t give to charity. That takes the ‘feel good’ out of Apple — it takes the ‘cool’ out of Apple in a heartbeat. oh.

  • Guest

    Steve Jobs is just a man.

    The working conditions in the Foxconn Factory in China that assembles Apple products (and many others) may take the “feel good” and “cool” out of Apple more quickly then the lack of charitable donations.

  • Newyorker

    It wasnt a zen master and a student, and it wasnt a prostitute. It was two monks walking, and an ordinary woman. They were prohibited from touching women,and it was that prohibition the second monk was referring to. Doesnt change the point of the story much, and your version is probably easier for the casual reader to relate to.

  • Newyorker

    It wasnt a zen master and a student, and it wasnt a prostitute. It was two monks walking, and an ordinary woman. They were prohibited from touching women,and it was that prohibition the second monk was referring to. Doesnt change the point of the story much, and your version is probably easier for the casual reader to relate to.

    • I’ve seen the story both ways. this is a story two thousand years old so I can imagine there’s been some different versions.

  • Joshuaguila

    Damn, you must really worship the ground Steve walks on.

  • great article

  • Just the facts, ma’am.

    SJ didn’t make Breakout — The Woz did.

    • chouaib mallem

      i don’t think so about that dude! 

  • Sean of GoSEAN.org

    wow, my mom kicked Steve out of the house once back in the 70s in California, Dad worked @ Xerox Parc as a contractor … small world!!

    • You have to tell us the story. Why did she kick him out?

  • rondini

    Funny how no one ever looks closely at what the Gates foundation does with its money. Not the part they give away, the part that they invest, and who and what they invest in.

    Personally, I think what a person does or doesn’t do with their money vis-a-vis charity, is their own damn business. Always skeptical of donors who have to make sure everyone knows they gave. Reminds me of the selling of indulgences in the Roman Catholic Church once upon a time.

  • Anonymous

    Interesting article as it is with any really creative & thus controversial persona.

    No philanthropy with $40B in the bank is not unusual. A corporation has an extreme set of unknowns it must account for with reserves.

    We have already seen Apple commit $4-5 B for LCD supplies, part of which likely went out in advance. After the Tsunami in Japan, Apple may well commit to establishing its own manufacturing which it currently farms out to guarantee supply and there goes another $5B. 2 GIANT server farms in Pennsylvania did not come cheap, $1B kaching out the door. Apple may actually choose to make a strategic acquisition of $10-20B to retain a key objective position to stay on top of the tech trends (gaming, displays & semiconductors come to mind).

    $20B can go out the door very quickly in order to secure your supplies you must have to stay in the race.

  • font9a

    All that LDS in the sixties, man…

    • Duh!

      Now THAT’s funny! I didn’t even know he was a Mormon!

      And doing it even as a baby. Wow!

  • Dbcdbc3

    There are too many errors in this post to allow me to recommend a read by my friends, especially those of us in the Apple world — who grew up with Jobs by working for and selling Apple products for years. i.e. the Apple III was not the LISA. The LISA was Jobs’ baby and creation (he hoped it would kill the Macintosh. LISA was a big failure, so he slid over to the Macintosh division (which was designed at the same time and blew away the LISA). Jobs took most of the credit for the Mac.

    Jobs has never invented anything, but he has lead some great inventors — usually not more than once. He burns people out, lies to them and cheats them to get what he wants — honorable because it’s successful? I don’t think so. Unfortunately, many successful people have done the same thing. Regarding charity – Jobs is a Liberal — Liberals are not very charitable. But, he does donate to Liberal politicians.

  • Anonymous

    It’s a good blog article, most people don’t know this stuff, although people who are Steve fans (or haters) might. Regarding charity, one thing Apple did when he was still running it – is give computers to elementary schools. For free. The first computer I ever programmed on, or even used. I think it was second grade. These were brand new machines. I think they were Apple IIs. A few years later I received as a xmas present, my first PC, the IIc. I read several biographies of Jobs , one I recommend the most is The Journey is the Reward.

    There is a “cult of personality” around some business tech titans. Because they have a deeply unusually personal history. And people have a voyeuristic inclination to explore the private lives of such people, as if by doing so you might uncover the secret to their success. And it is this: eccentricity, fearlessness, intelligence, et. All of these people are generally mavericks. They often either ignore or are unaware of social conventions. They are persistent, focussed, driven. And yah, they have flaws,like all of us.

    And in some cases these traits might take the form of mania or narcissism. People still talk about the “reality distortion field” – that was the name for the effect Steve would create in a group. To some extent, you have to make your own reality, reside there, and when others intrude, invite them in, or turn them out, but in no case let them deny your reality.

    That more than anything, to me, is what “vision” is. And a good deal of leadership is wrapped up in being able to propagate that vision. Being charismatic helps. So it helps to be good looking, articulate, persuasive, in other words, a salesman. If you look at business leaders, even ones that haven’t had the career Jobs has had, they are more likely to be a 42 long, to be good looking, to have a full head of hair, etc, than the population at large. I’m not saying you can’t be a CEO if you are short, bald, frumpy, and introverted, but its just not all that likely. One of the richest people I personally know is a very well known (to Silicon Valley people) CEO who is short and bald, but he is also incredibly articulate and a commanding presence who exudes charisma, even if he would be lost in a crowd.

  • I never liked Apple products and especially now after reading this. Certainly no cult of mac for me.

    Anyone that shuns their own child to Steve’s degree is beyond selfish. Making up for such actions, the inflicted welfare poverty and assumed absence is nearly impossible.

    Perhaps his issues are a genetic defect, inheritance? Lots of odd mental health issues amongst the very traditionally well college educated (which Steve was sprung from).

    Not giving to charity? Indifferent about that. Gates and others haven’t pooled together to save poor unfortunates in distant lands. It’s nothing more than wealth sheltering and more captive markets for wealth generation.

    As always James, a good read. Comical and troubling at times, but good.

  • Joe – CMH


  • MoonRockwell

    Well say what you like about Steve Jobs, he favourite Nerd Rock Star, you also forgot to mention that he is The Lowest Paid CEO in The World paid only $1 Dollar a Year. But they do give him bonuses like buy him a plane and not mention all the Billions he has in the Bank.

    • chouaib mallem

      i think he deserves every penny of them

  • al

    Steve Jobs didn’t invent anything. He took things that already existed and, in some peoples eyes, made them better.

    An innovator yes, inventor? No!

    • chouaib mallem

      i agree, but i think that any invention is based on many inventions before it. it’s just the inventor has to connect the dots between them (which is not as easy as it seems)

  • smc

    Nice opening line; after that I had a lot of mixed thoughts about this post and Jobs.  In no particular order: Ayn Rand, genius, being fearless, arrogant b*****d, liar liar pants on fire, pescetarian–wha the wha?, Altucher writes cool.

  • joe

    SJ is famous for parking in handicapped spaces, yelling at and bullying subordinates to the point of tears, overworking and underpaying employees, and just generally being a selfish, egotistical asshole.

    and he managed people who designed a good (subjectively) phone and pc.

    really? that’s all it takes to be your hero?

  • Denying paternity?  Immaturity.

    Charity?  Personal philosophy.

    Lying to Wozniak?  To me, that’s the one that falls somewhere along the asshole-sociopath spectrum.

    People along that spectrum do have a leg up on the other creative geniuses of the world.  Maybe that’s something to admire.

  • Denying paternity?  Immaturity.

    Charity?  Personal philosophy.

    Lying to Wozniak?  To me, that’s the one that falls somewhere along the asshole-sociopath spectrum.

    People along that spectrum do have a leg up on the other creative geniuses of the world.  Maybe that’s something to admire.

  • Rigelto

    An idea for Steve Jobs: make all your products in America with american- made components. Apple has the cash to afford it. That would be charitable and fair to the people who fuel his wealth.

  • Teledon12

    He sounds human to me. You would have to know his definition of charity. It may just be the charitable organizations he’s against. Ripped off Wozniak? Maybe he had more invested in the project. Seems to have turned out to be as good or better than most. 2cents.

    • joe

      he lied to his best friend, the guy who did all the work, and took money from him. i don’t see how you can rationalize that no matter how much he was “invested” in the project.

      and the general definition of charity works for me, i don’t need his definition.

  • Anonymous

    Jobs did not start Pixar. He acquired it and grew it. 
    Pescetarians may not die of heart disease, but they will die…maybe of a liver problem.
    Jobs is not an inventor in the strict sense of the term; he is a businessman who leads engineers and marketers.

    • chouaib mallem

      you’re right, but i think that the real inventor is the one who leads teams to create great products/services, it’s only he has the vision to do so  

  • Celia

    Sorry if this is a repeat of one of the prior 186 comments, but Jobs did not start Pixar, he bought it from Lucasfilms.

    • Yes, but considering the changes he made, the tech he built there, the team he brought on, the enormous money he put in, the depths of bankruptcy and rebuilding it almost went through, I consider that he is worthy of the “founder” title.

  • MikeB

    Informative story about Jobs.  But you have some seriously sick readers.  Amazing that so many of them condemn Jobs for not being more charitable.  It’s a microcosm of the “We know better how to spend your money” attitude prevalent in government.  And if I didn’t like this site, I’d be gone, instead of hanging around to name-call.

    • Mike, one thing I’ve “discovered” (I put it in quotes since I guess it was always there) since writing for finance site and then starting this site is that many people are cruel and stupid, a horrible combination. They can’t fix it because they are too stupid to know they are cruel. And they are too cruel for anyone to have the sympathy to tell them in a pleasant way how wrong they are. So battles erupt among the cruel and stupid that occasionally engage the less cruel and less stupid.

      I don’t know what category I’m in (i’ve been called both “cruel” and “stupid” many times ) so I try to avoid all battles just to play it safe.

      • MikeB

        In addition to being cruel, I’d say these folks are very unhappy — with their families, work, or both.  So much so as to attack you personally for simply writing a mostly positive article on Jobs.  Sadly, successful people who don’t fit the mold have large bulls-eyes on their backs these days. 

      • Kran

        James, I like your replies better than your articles.  And to put that in perspective, I like your articles very much.  I agree with this 100 percent and would like to note that I once was and in part still am one of these people, which I hope gives this a bit more credibility.

      • bmh

        James and Mike!….I completely agree with your comments! There are certainly readers here that would be categorized “sick” if and when they were to meet others in the physical world.
        I read the biography “Steve Jobs” and your observations in this article are very accurate. However, reading the entire book gives you more insight and understanding of a very unique and complex personality. Would I wish to be Steve Jobs?….absolutely not!  

  • MikeB

    Informative story about Jobs.  But you have some seriously sick readers.  Amazing that so many of them condemn Jobs for not being more charitable.  It’s a microcosm of the “We know better how to spend your money” attitude prevalent in government.  And if I didn’t like this site, I’d be gone, instead of hanging around to name-call.

  • ElliotM

    Steve Jobs: The Most Interesting Man in the World.

  • Honestly I wasn’t much of a mac fan till the ipod’s launch, and still back then I though that was all for mac… then I saw his speech at stanford university + iphone and he got me. Now I read every single thing about him…

  • Honestly I wasn’t much of a mac fan till the ipod’s launch, and still back then I though that was all for mac… then I saw his speech at stanford university + iphone and he got me. Now I read every single thing about him…

  • Oo

    “i’m going to be a pescetarian, just because Steve Jobs is one.”

    This is stupid fanboy typical statement.

  • Mrhuh?

    One things for certain.  Jobs had made life better and improved the lives of many FAR MORE than Barrack Obama has.

    • Anonymous

      I think you’re on the wrong website. You’re looking for http://www.freerepublic.com/ .

      Also, why do comments by conservatives ALWAYS have spelling, grammar and punctuation errors? Here is your sentence as written by an educated fourth-grader:

      One thing’s for certain: Jobs has made life better and improved the lives of FAR MORE than Barack Obama.

      I’m tempted to draw a correlation between conservatives’ lack of basic communication skills and their lack of common sense but it’s probably already obvious to everyone intelligent.

      • please no political discussion here. I dont even know what political party Jobs is in. If you find out, tell me, then i’ll join it. 

  • Mintoo2cool

    the only phrase that comes to my mind after reading this article – cult of personality
    “But none of that will ever explain the man behind the genius. None of that will explain all the products he invented that we use today”
    excuse me ? “he invented”? “genius”?
    he didnt invent it. apple inc did. the design team is the true genius here, whom you give no credit whatsoever.
    i dont deny that steve jobs is a successful businessman and a legend in his own right, but this article is nothing but another “i worship the ground steve jobs walks on” type of article. 

    • Even Thomas Edison had people working under him. Or Andy Warhol. But in many group cases you can attribute all of the initial success to one man. I think later successes for Apple will be different but will still stem back to his original creative philosophy. 

      • Anonymous

        One does not worship the person one attempts to learn from the successes and failures. James admits to being start struck (among other  confessions in other blogs)

        Cherry Pick the lessons. There is some low hanging fruit here and Jobs will not slaughter a fat hog but I’ll take a ham sandwich.

    • Jgoo052

      This is an interesting question : Was SJ a genius or a jerk? Did he guide Apple to where it is today through “building products people didn’t know they wanted” or simply assemble a good team and teach them well? I’d suggest that the jury is still out on this question. I guess we’ll find out soon enough.

      I just sold half my APPL stock….

  • Yuhoo

    Your story about the Zen Monk carrying a girl across the river was not correct.

    The girl is NOT a prostitute.   She was just an ordinary passer by.

  • Ari

    Good list, James.  Very interesting man.  I used to think he was Jewish too until I read his bio by the way.  I hope he’s able to continue fighting vs. his health problems.  He is a true creative genius.  I think his vision will live on well beyond his years.  If the bears crush the stock here, I would say it’s a huge buying opportunity.

  • James, he’s always been a prick as a human being and a great visionary in computing.  No reason to try to square the circle here.  He’s done far more good for the world than a lot of nice, charitable people, however, so your point is taken… 

  • Steve is a great man no doubt but you want to be like him sound strange. don’t you know what you are doing is also great. I am learning virtually from u a lot and learning to be a good human.
    James you don’t need to be like steve you have a world in your own. Thanks for this nice piece of work. 

  • “You don’t need to increase your productivity. Increasing your productivity leads to maximize work. And work isn’t results.Results are remembered. Work never is.”This is what one of my friend Sebastian sastre said few days ago.And today’s post remind me this again.Whatever Jobs has in his life, done at his work, with his co-worker or partners,the results are remarkable and we all Thank you him.

  • I love this post James. Thanks for tweeting it out.

    “A man’s successes can be truly understood only
    if we can count his tears.”

    One of my favorite!

    If you haven’t seen this Ted with SJ watch it amigo title: How to Live Before We Die.



  • Justsurfinby

    Chuck E. Cheese is the “greatest restaurant chain in the history of mankind”? ;)

  • Anonymous

    Ha! I haven’t had this much fun reading a blog and comments since I cut my teeth on a dodgy online theology forum 10 years ago. Thanks for writing people…

  • James, great article. The big question is how does Apple sit post-Steve? I so want to see this company do well but I’m very afraid. So much of the Apple/Jobs story reminds me of the Pan Am/Juan Trippe story around 1968 when Trippe ordered way too many 747’s and then promptly retired. It was a 20 year downhill disaster that saw new CEOs every few years, lots of red ink, acrimonious lawsuits, and the eventual dissolution of a flagship American company.

    Regardless of one’s personal opinion on “is Jobs a jerk?” the fact remains that Apple is now a real estate and consumer goods company and must be able to run those two businesses perfectly in addition to their hardware and software companies. I don’t want to see a flagship American company bite the dust but there are some tough questions that I’m afraid managers appointed by institutional shareholders could never solve.

  • Adrian Meli

    Great post. Had no idea about all of these things but enjoyed reading them. There is a lot to him that I have read in the past couple of days about him that I was unaware of, and it just incredible what a full life he has led thus far. It is amazing-in 10 years he has arguably created more value than anyone in the world and if you add up the decades before that it is equally as impressive.

  • Adrian Meli

    Great post. Had no idea about all of these things but enjoyed reading them. There is a lot to him that I have read in the past couple of days about him that I was unaware of, and it just incredible what a full life he has led thus far. It is amazing-in 10 years he has arguably created more value than anyone in the world and if you add up the decades before that it is equally as impressive.

  • G M

    You’re a stupid fucking cunt.

  • Bilal ahmad

    James you write and try to flow against the tradition currents thats why you got very rough comments.but there are some people who get the core thoughts for what you write posts thats why they wait your posts.and the matter of fact i believe when without the haters life is tea without sugar:-).if you don’t have them you are not doing fine job:-)

  • Rodgie, A Scotsman

    Jobs is a lot more creepy than I certainly imagined. I was feeling sympathetic towards him because of his illness, combined with his incredible business acumen, but the reality is…it’s always been about HIM….So, who cares?

  • I have to agree about “giving back”.  Entrepreneurs trade their work with others, so they aren’t taking anything that needs to be given back.  

    Obviously, they should take care of their kids.  They may owe their parents something and something to those that laid the foundations for this civilization but thats a difficult debt to pay.

    Random strangers though?  They benefit enough already from the products.  Otherwise, people’s responsibility lies to those they take on.  Morally, they don’t owe me a thing.

    • Anonymous

      so morally it’s ok with you that infants are starving to death? interesting

  • Richjholland

    You shouldn’t diminish the work the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation has done. They’ve literally saved millions of lives by “deciding which mosquito to kill”. LITERALLY MILLIONS. 

    Saving a life is a much bigger accomplishment than designing a cool computer. I never knew these ‘facts’ about Steve Jobs… sounds like he is as smart as a snake. 

  • Sam

    It really doesn’t surprise me that he took LSD. A man with that much creativity and insight must have had some sort of psychedelic experiences.

  • I love this. Thankyou.

  • Seven24

    He lived at the orchard with Robert Friedland the kazilionaire mining executive

  • He didn’t exactly start Apple in a garage. He had been interning at HP and had that corporate connection before he made that first personal computer.

    Use and abuse of LSD are very different. Compare a Frisco cabbie who dropped acid 50+ times to someone who used it to “go on a vision quest” one or two times in their life.

  • And he will now become legend.
    RIP Steve, thank you for all the brilliance.

    • Yes. RIP. I can’t believe how choked up I am about this.

      • John Walles

        Let me start with, great writing.  I happen to be 55.  I am also broken up by his loss.  In looking at why, I go to his children and his relationship with them.  I believe he had a dramatic change that first came to light with the Stanford speech.  Probably has to do with a doctor telling him he had 5 yrs to live and him stretching it out as long as possible.  Jobs was who he was but I think in the last 6 to 7 years he tried to overcome it at least with his family.  I have 4 children and spending time with them is really something I enjoy.  To think of that going away makes me sad and I am sad for his wife and children because of that.

        One other thing, you are a smart guy and there are a lot of children and people who are not as smart as you.  They need a college education to survive in this world.  Please don’t think that all the people below your SAT score can achieve at the same level as you, can be as creative as you and are smart enough to create an entrepreneurial life like you have for yourself and your family. 

        All the best,

  • Guess these comments are all part of the fun of being an author James. Incredible how some people have such myopic viewpoints and need to put a box around every concept through literal interpretation in order to deduce some form of reason within their atrophied ideal muscles.

    I happen to agree with your perspective and this whole Jobs vs charity issue people have is quite illogical. They’d rather just throw a nominal amount of cash that has little bearing in their own lives and have someone else deal with the problem. Steve dedicated his entire life to “creating” new, exciting, revolutionary things for the benefits of all people. The guy could always have banked his first millions and just led the life of a playboy twat for the rest of his days.

    A Jobs quote that I saw last night on twitter quoted him as saying “it’s much harder to meaningfully give a dollar than it is to make one” (or something to similar effect). And it is true, who are the people allocating money in charities? Most importantly why is charity either “Africa or nothing”. What about the societal benefits people have received within so many countries and cultures with his inventions.

    Like all people he had character flaws and made poor decisions no doubt over and over again, but isn’t that the path to success and enlightenment so long as you choose to learn from them? He may have ripped off his partner, but did he do it repeatedly? et al

    The internet can have such an incredibly positive impact on society whilst also offering a forum for small minded fools to troll people as yourself who are “creating” ideas and offering them out for public critique.

    Your writings, whilst I don’t always agree entirely, make me think from an alternative perspective and I thank you for this. Unlike many of the posters here, you will be remembered by many. Keep it up.


    • David, thanks very much. I just commented above on how I think most people happen to be very unhappy (its hard to be happy) and take it out anonymously on message boards like this. Thanks for your addition to the article with your thoughts on charity. I didn’t know about that Jobs quote.

  • BigOldGeek

    The Lisa was not the Apple III. The Apple III was the Apple III. It was taegeted at business customers and failed miserably.

  • anon

    Wow, came here to reflect on jobs post death. Just saw all these comments for the first time. Been worried about childhood bullying for a long time. This is the first time I’m considering the impact of adult bullying. AMAZED I’ve never witnessed this before. Wow.

    • Yeah, unfortunately I have to deal with it every day. But I’ve sort of realized that it’s proof that projections really exists. Most people are unhappy in their own lives and take it outon others.

      • anon

        Yes, they are projecting. However, this is a childish act. And children are supposed to grow out of that at some point. They are supposed to “grow up,” … “mature.” I can understand children bullying others, but there is an onslaught of adults who simply never grew up. A lot of people in this world have never taken the time to reflect on their own thoughts, simply out of a lack of care. How do you make people care about others? How do you make them realize that the success of others is directly related to the success of the whole. How do you make them realize that making other people feel good is the most basic and sincere way of feeling good yourself?

        • I think, on the whole, you can’t. But it’s like the saying goes: if  by your work you can change the life of one person for the better, then it was worth it.

          • anon

            Good enough for me James, thanks.

      • Anonymous

        Rather than criticizing your readers, you might be grateful they’re here in the first place.  You’ve published a list of facts about Steve Jobs that paints a very poor picture of him, and then go on at length to argue why each is actually a good thing. He was an iconinc person, but also very imperfect. You would sound much more credible and genuine if you simply acknowledged this instead of attacking your readers’ maturity level.  Their opinions have nothing to do with happiness or lack thereof. 

  • Slightlysober

    Steve Jobs did some amazing things, amazingly venal and amazingly great. I’m a big fan of the amazingly great stuff he did and do take inspiration from what he helped guide and create. Those accomplishments do not excuse the amazingly venal actions. To point to any one accomplishment or action of Jobs (or a cherry-picked collection) and state such defines who Jobs was says much more about the commentator than Jobs. James I appreciate your seeing the whole Steve Jobs in your comments.

  • lipplog

    Actually know one knows if he gives to charity or not. Buddhists, by practice, can only give to charity anonymously. Otherwise it’s considered self-serving.

    • Anonymous

      buddhists don’t live in multi-million dollar mansions or accumulate billions of dollars or scream at subordinates or park in handicapped spots either.

      are you suggesting he conveniently stuck to that single principle of selflessness while being a douchebag to everyone around him the rest of the time?

  • Extremely poor piece.  Reeks of fanboyism, and the fact that the author childishly lashes out against criticism under the guise of “intelligent discourse” reveals what a manchild he really is.

  • Guest

    You are a total idiot if you think it’s cool that a 40 billion dollar company is justified in not being philanthropic, in any sense. By stealing and then marketing a bunch of lousy products that promote technological ignorance and overcharging fans for them is ‘Giving Back to the community’ then you sir are a complete buffoon. Hate to break this to you, with all do respect, he kind of sounds like an elitist, greedy, selfish dick to me.

  • Bigbabbich

    You compare his charity of selling you cool devices with helping Africa?

     To hell with the closest you’ve come to being gay.  This is the closest thing I’ve ever read to being terminally retarded.

     You sir, are a complete twat.

  • Joe Andelin

    Great 2nd to last line James.  He had a special mind and was a creative genius but had his flaws like all of us.  Another thing I think is worth remembering: 8 sigma success can’t be put into a template for others to emulate and replicate that success.  That only works with 3 sigma success.

  • Joe Andelin

    Great 2nd to last line James.  He had a special mind and was a creative genius but had his flaws like all of us.  Another thing I think is worth remembering: 8 sigma success can’t be put into a template for others to emulate and replicate that success.  That only works with 3 sigma success.

  • Brian

    Steve Jobs was a dick, you can spend all day justifying his jackassery all you want because as far as I’m concerned – NO JUDGEMENT! – people can be completely retarded.  I can respect that he did much with his time on this earth that many people cannot touch, but as a human, he failed pretty hard.

  • Brian

    Steve Jobs was a dick, you can spend all day justifying his jackassery all you want because as far as I’m concerned – NO JUDGEMENT! – people can be completely retarded.  I can respect that he did much with his time on this earth that many people cannot touch, but as a human, he failed pretty hard.

  • Brian

    Steve Jobs was a dick, you can spend all day justifying his jackassery all you want because as far as I’m concerned – NO JUDGEMENT! – people can be completely retarded.  I can respect that he did much with his time on this earth that many people cannot touch, but as a human, he failed pretty hard.

  • Brian

    Steve Jobs was a dick, you can spend all day justifying his jackassery all you want because as far as I’m concerned – NO JUDGEMENT! – people can be completely retarded.  I can respect that he did much with his time on this earth that many people cannot touch, but as a human, he failed pretty hard.

  • Jasidj

    Wow what a fucking dick.  I’m glad he’s dead. 

  • pjc

    Re: Jobs and charity. Who knows what he would have done had he lived another 30 years. 

    Perhaps he would have re-invented charity.

    The Kindle Fire would never have been built without the iPad. And the Kindle Fire is a $200 computer that can be used by people with little technological skills.

    Wasn’t that a big charitable endevaour a few years ago? Figure out how to make an inexpensive computer that was easy to use? And basically Jobs + Bezos did  that work as part of a profitable companies.

    The man worked his butt off his whole life. I’ve never read some story about how he competed in yacht races or flew around the world in a $100 million dollar balloon or has the biggest mansion in Maui or anything like that.

    I’m sure he enjoyed nice food and a nice house and such, but isn’t it now obvious that he worked right up until he was physically unable to work anymore!? Who else would have done that? If it was me, I would have been on a beach the last year, at least.

    • Anonymous

      Wrong: The iPad wouldn’t exist if it weren’t for the original Kindle. And to call it a charitable endevour, frankly, is absurd. I doubt Apple’s shareholders look at in that regard.

      • pjc

        “The iPad wouldn’t exist if it weren’t for the original Kindle.”

        Sure, they were built as competing models for easy to use, easy to hold, computing.

        “And to call it a charitable endevour, frankly, is absurd”

        I didn’t call it that. It’s not a zero-sum world. Apple earns money and enriches people’s lives. The sell “bicycles for the mind”, not crack cocaine. 

        The world would be a poorer place had there been no Apple. Not just aesthetically poorer, but also, I think, poorer in productivity, in global health, in personal satisfaction, in education, in any number of other things. 

        You might disagree with this assessment, but your disagreement will be registered over a technology where Jobs was a giant and a pioneer.

  • Fezeka Saige

    Although thought provoking I don’t agree with the conclusion. As pointed out by most, I would not dismiss so lightly denying your child or not giving to charity. He was brilliant yes, I love apple products but I have other people that I look to for role models and it’s not because they are perfect!

  • Mispam

    I like Jobs and many of the things he accomplished were great, but jeez man, don’t be so blindly infatuated.

  • guest

    Damn! I heard the slurpping sounds of gargling Steve Job’s nuts from here! 

  • guest

    Damn! I heard the slurpping sounds of gargling Steve Job’s nuts from here! 

  • Marc

    It’s been a long time since I read an article this bad, some reasons :

    … It’s proof (to an extent) of the nature versus nurture argument. Two
    kids, without knowing they were brother and sister, both having a unique
    sensibility of life on this planet to become among the best artists in
    the world in completely different endeavors …

    It’s no proof, it’s coincidence ! By the way, Steve Jobs was not an artist, he was a (very talented) CEO. By the way, Mona Simpson is not one of the best artist in the world, she’s a good novelist : that’s quite a stretch.

    …. that Steve Jobs biologically was half Syrian Muslim …

    Biologically Muslim ? Are you serious ? Religion is genetic ? Since when ?

    … The other had to initially raise the kid using welfare checks. I have no judgment on this at all…

    If you can’t have a judgment, then you morals are fuckin’flawed : deny responsibility, deny a father figure to a child, take dozen years to correct your position : dick.

    … And if you compare vegetarians with meat eaters, they only have a 20% less chance of dying of heart disease …

    Please educate yourself : this is bogus. Read Gary Taubes, or look for Denise Minger blog.

    … People think that entrepreneurs have to some day “give back”. This is not true. They already gave at the office …

    I’m an entrepreneur like you wrote, and this is full of crap. What I’m giving at the office is for myself, like every other entrepreneur. Steve Jobs included.

    He lied to Steve Wozniak + He’s a Zen Buddhist

    He’s been a zen buddhist before lying to Wozniak … now tell me that lying pertains to zen. Bullshit. Also, your buddhist tale is of no relevance.

    … I don’t think LSD is for everyone, but when you combine it with the
    innate genius the man had, plus the many ups and downs that he
    experienced, plus the Zen Buddhism and all of the other things above,
    its quite possible it all adds up to the many inventions he’s been able
    to produce…

    Man, you have no idea how creative people work, do you ? Creativity is a habit, you don’t need anything other than will.

    … None of that will explain all the products he invented that we use today…

    You want explanation ? He hired the right people (Steve Cook, Jon Ive …) and both pushed and trusted them. And never ever had any consumer focus group.

    A critical Apple User.

  • Shawn

    My God, you’re a forgiving person.  Maybe you should stop worshipping at his altar and consider how it would feel to be the kid that was not taken care of (even if it was temporary) or the guy who got shafted when his business partner dicked him over.  Also, what’s with the charity thing?  Can you imagine being an actual billionaire and scrooging away all your money?  What an asshole.  I won’t say I’m glad he’s dead because I respect some of his accomplishments, but this was a deeply flawed person we’re talking about here.

  • Simwolfe

    LOL, who said he didn’t give to charity. He was a Zen Buddhist. Buddhists aren’t about “Hey, everybody I just gave Soooooo much money to a charity. Aren’t I awesome!”.

  • Caromusa

    I can’t believe how dumb those hateful comments are.
    I don’t care if Jobs was a jerk, greedy or whatever flaws he may have had. I never even touched an Apple product.
    I just take the inspiration from all the great things he has accomplished, and from his attitude, and wisdom.
    Dumb people don’t try to be great, they just try to make the great look bad.
    That’s plain pathetic. I hope I’m never like that.
    Great post James, I think I missed it somehow when you posted it in february.

  • …Yep. Another Jobs apologist. Any former Power Computing employees out there care to share their delight over Jobs’ kicking the bucket? How about anyone from Franklin?

  • Kgraves779

    Your comments about when he lied to Woz is that you have no judgement…….. then in the same paragraph you say that some who says they have been honest since the day they were born is a liar.  Setting out the parameters for what makes someone a liar is a judgment.

    Personally I think you are in love with Jobs, envious as hell of what he did and fully infatuated with his life.  You know, you can get one of those yourself.. a life that is.

  • David Horwitz

    As Stephen Jobs is rightfully eulogized by columnists as one of America’s greatest industrialists and innovators, and it is lamented that more CEOs, and politicians for that matter, are not more like him, I wonder how many of these well educated, upper middle class commentators would allow (or approve) their kids to take the path Jobs did after graduating high school which Jobs himself thought was a very influential part of making him who he was; namely, dropping out of college after one semester, taking a calligraphy class, dropping LSD, going to India to visit an ashram and shaving his head and becoming a Buddhist.

  • Fred

    -Richard Simpson- but I’m guessing even after all of that apologistic bologna you’ll be one of the first to join the Wallstreet “protest”.

  • Dreieye

    Just one comment – why worry about heart disease if you have a rare and incurable cancer?

  • Maryumali1992

    I didn’t know that Steve Jobs was half-muslim by birth!!!! That is soooo cool!!! & btw so was Obama

  • Natashadacool

    i can,t belevive he is a muslim. OMG!

  • hannah khan

    i so wish he wasn’t dead so sad!
    i am a fan os apple!
    i hav an ipodnano
    1phone 4
    iphone 4s.

  • Anonymous

    Number 6 is painful to read. Screw charity? Seriously?

  • Andrew

    It’s true that Jobs improved lives through his inventions, at the very last by spawning thousands (perhaps millions?) of jobs within Apple and outside the firm (think developers, people making cases for iPads, components, etc.). However, charitable giving is a deservedly important but distinct endeavor. There are plenty of needy people in the world who will never have the luxury of working for part of the Apple-industrial complex, or of using a Mac. There are people whose needs are about survival, about beating disease, about getting clean water, human rights…These are areas where the wealthy can make a difference. While we don’t need to judge Jobs for not saving the world from all its problems, it would have been great had he done more for charity. With a mind like his, think of all the good he could have done for the neediest. 

  • Anonymous

    I stop reading we you said screw charity and that he did charity just designing products, that is just dumb, because we have many companies designing great products. Charity is charity, learn that.

  • Hi, 
    Great post! I agree that it is easy for us, from the outside to judge other people’s decision. Steve Jobs was a genius in his own sense, and most brilliant people have a very unique life…. I personally think. But what I wanted to comment on is the Zen part of your post. I live a very busy professional life with a little two year old to raise that I am crazy about and quite often I find fantastic support (and inspiration!) reading the Tao. More and more I believe the Tao is an excellent business guide which sounds quite controversial right?

    Great blog, I´ll stop by more oftern for sure!


  • Anonymous

    Small correction. Mr. Jandali was fully prepared to marry his girlfriend when she got pregnant with Steve but her father forbade her to marry a Syrian Muslim. The reason is not known to me and I don’t want to be over judgmental but could it be that the would-be father in law was just another bigot?. What a hypocrite…daughter going out and sleeping around with a Syrian was OK, but getting married to him was not…what would the white family and friends say? You should also know that Mr. Jandali hails from a rich Syrian family and could have easily supported his wife and kids. He currently works as an executive in a Nevada casino.

  • R.I.P

  • Kathy Lovins

    Jobs’ genius was hindered by his mental instablilty, distortions and acts of extreme disrepect.  Apple (to a greater degree) and Pixar share a long list of Jobs’ “refugees.”  
    What he did do was bring together some of the best talent in the world and push them
    to co-operatively create beautiful, forward thinking, user friendly software and hardware.
    What is amazing is what a bunch a smart people can do when the bar is raised beyond high and those in charge believe the “impossible” is completely possible.      


    And I thought we all respected him. 

  • NullusTutela

    Zen is nothing more than a philosophy of advanced psychological self-centeredness seeking inner peace through self-justification based on one’s opinion of what is right/wrong.

    How much one gives does matter, greatly; two brass mites…

  • Rick Leonard

    Not to miss the point of the article, and I’m sure some one posted the same info 100 posts below, but the Lisa was not the Apple III, there was an actual Apple III that was a business-centric PC competitor: http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apple_III

  • Bkind2dogs

    you’re a complete idiot. no judgement.

  • Bkind2dogs

    how can any of you argue that making the ipod is a charitable exercise when gates is trying to use his wealth to eradicate disease? apple products are just that, products. expensive products at that. the guy was an amazing amazing businessman. he was also selfish, mean-spirited, vindictive and egomaniacal.

  • Business Strategist

    Incredible lively discussions. Incredible of the vast range of emotional, and a few logical view points.  For what it’s worth I’d like to add view points both from my experiences in Germany, as a small business owner/re seller, and someone that uses the Ipad and Iphone.  
    First to define my viewpoint. I like Apple products. I have no jealousy of others success. I’m fortunate to have my own success.  I hope for it. It’s what makes the US and world great. Innovation is the mother of opportunity.  

    The challenge I see with many comments is also the challenge of what can go wrong with the US, just as any country. There is a blur between the person and a company.
    Consider Steve Jobs. A genius. Literally: of an IQ of 185. I’ve read some think it was higher. He’s a marketer and opportunist. Many don’t know this but Nokia first came out with the Iphone’s touch pad, music and app store. Apple purchased, and some say robbed the ideas. Regardless, Steve so an idea created by others and new how to market it where Nokia didn’t. Apple is well known of taking other ideas and redesigning and marketing. Is there anything wrong with this–businesses do this all the time. There’s a reason for this, and how to block it, but this isn’t a business discussion. 

    Steve Jobs as the man. I don’t know him. Nor am I saying I have any view point due to most information being 3rd party. However part of the threads in this discussion, as well as the authors view are what is wrong with our country. NOTE: if you have a high level of narcissism, or sociopath tendencies, stop reading now. It won’t matter to you anyway. 
    The problem is we either idolize or burn people at the stake for what they do, and not by who the person is. There’s a saying–if you don’t stand for something, you’ll fool for anything. If true of what was said about SJ. Than he was a horrible human being. Bottom line. Let’s total it: he lied, cheated, back stabbed, had no loyalty, treated people like dirt, had no respect for others, was disrespectful, so on…but this is OK just because he made products and money. What’s wrong with this? This is how the Hitlers of the world manipulate the weak.  

    People to this day ask how did Hitler do it? How did he convince a nation to murder was OK? This is how, slowly. When in Germany for college I spoke with senior citizens in Germany. Hitler started making community improvements. Increased the countries GDP. Increased employments, and made people financially comfortable. Once he won they’re emotional/or greed, he little by little started adding his morbid beliefs. Psychologists call this conditioning. A person that does a little good, mixed with a little bad. The good covers or allow the person to justify the bad. First it’s one teaspoon. The two. Then a table spoon. Later your eating gallons of crap. Then something incredible happens.  It’s called social proof. Not necessarily the truth. But since the majority of the social group say’s its true–we’ll then, who am I to question? This is why professionally athletes that do great on the field get away with rape, abuse and other crimes. He did good over they’re, so he can’t be that bad over on this issue. If he wasn’t an athlete–he’d be in jail.
    This is why if you don’t stand for something–decency, integrity, loyalty, honesty, giving back as well as working hard…you justify incredible acts of horrible potential.  History is full of proof. 
    Another point: Microsoft vs. Apple. Some say Apple and SJ have done more good. I would say look at the data not just emotional feelings. Apple is a success. A good product. And does well. But Microsoft with it’s issues. Again, I see it for what it is. Has done from a market economic, and GDP producing perspective incredible greater returns. Apple’s model is targeting you and I the consumer. Microsoft however has added thousands of millionaires outside of Microsoft (MS). MS model has created a distribution model that has allowed entrepreneurs to start companies that sell and support MS products and services. Small companies that have grown from 2 employee’s to 100’s. Others from 2 to 20. But these businesses are profitable, and provide high paying salaries.  Between $15 to $70 per hour. MS has created new business categories previously not created. Is this better than philanthropy? To some extent yes. It’s better to teach a person to fish rather than feeding him/her; however, sometimes a person needs a fish to survive to learn how to fish and become independent.  The bottom line–we all put or pants on the same, one leg at a time. Don’t “love” or “idolize” anyone. Be appreciative-yes. Give credit where credit is due–yes.  Be happy for others success–yes. But never follow other blindly such as I feel the author has. Never compromise integrity and ethics over money, or athletic records, or looks. Define what you stand for–stick to it. Principle over preference. 

     If you sleep with dog’s, you’ll get fleas. If you do, you’ll get burned. It’s the nature of that world .Remember, when you justify negative behavior, it’s OK when you’re on the winning side. But when, and it will, turn on you because you don’t aid with they’re needs, then you’ll get burned. Don’t com plane when you do.  Granted, if you’re a narcissist, or sociopath, you’ve wasted 10 minutes reading this. I told you.  

  • vonjaxen

    One thing I have observed about American’s is that they laud your success until you actually become successful. Then it’s all about judgement, shame, blame, jealously, envy, etc. The great thing about Steve Jobs, like most successful people, is what you see is what you get.

  • Entrepreneur at heart

    Steve Jobs didn’t sell products he sold an idea and a lifestyle. Thats what makes him so admirable.

  • Cody

    I’m quite frankly surprised that as such a huge fan of Steve, you didn’t know any of this stuff at one point.

  • Vivek

    To everyone who is calling Steve Jobs selfish. You are the same people who complain about how terrible your flight was (ignoring the fact the you are in a chair in the sky) or how terribly slow your cellphone is while it retrieves information from outer space. Ask yourselves this question: what have you done to try and make this world a better place?
    Steve’s official salary at apple was 1 dollar a year (totally zen and such a simplistic man). True story. His earnings were through shares of apple stock. Bill gates’s salary was in the millions. Steve jobs once had a mansion, but abandined it and moved into a small house in palo alto, had two cars, nothing fancy. Bill Gates built a 200,000 sqft 20 bedroom mansion for his family of 4. I dunno bout all of you, but the difference I see between the two is with Steve, what you see is what you get. There’s no PR team advising him what to say. Gates is a politician.

    And not all charities are legit especially when they are run as a corporation. That completely changes the nature of the intent. The “charity” becomes a self serving “not for profit” organization. They then have to pay the workers employed and not all the money gets to the people who need it most.
    You really think bill gates motivation in donating that money is purely out of goodwill and not self glorifying publicity? how naive people can be.
    Goodwill should come from the heart and out of the nature of good people collectively.

  • Joanna

    He was rejected and adopted. Had to scrape and hustle. Created everything out of nothing with no support. The theory behind ‘Pay It Forward’ culture is that people reciprocate. If nobody helps though in the beginning or on that road.. fuck them. Why pay back people who did nothing for you?

    **If you did it yourself… so could they.**
    And ps – I personally am really sick of the 90% techies – pampered geek pussies thinking they are original ‘pirates’ when they have only had a golden paved road.

  • Anonymous

    Also he did not wear deodorant! Yes, he did “need” it!

  • lolguidos

    Steve Jobs was a marketer. That’s not something I’d consider anywhere in the remote atmosphere of genius. Steve Wozniak has always been the brains behind apple.

  • Bobby

    So what you are telling us here basically is:
    1. He is a liar
    2. He is a bad husband, and initially, a horrible dad
    3. He only loves himself and his own success
    4. He does not believe that the less fortunate deserve a break

    Combined with my knowledge that he used up the talents that surrounded him, and wrung them out of ideas to create his egomaniacal “saviour” image, and the fact that he was totally ok knowing what was going on in the manufacturing plants that produced the parts, along with a greedy stranglehold on the market that was apple apps, and the entire platform,.. I think that makes him just another jerk. Oh…btw…. not everyone thinks success = money + image of being rich.
    In most parts of the world success without charity is actually the hallmark of evil….it’s only in the US where money is seen as the mark of success…and even there only by some…such as the writer i guess.

  • Prashant Donekal

    thet define a*hole on ud as steve jobs

  • Jelly Bean

    Very Helpful

  • Reptilian

    Mr. Altucher, I would have to say this is the only one of your articles I don’t like, because you reek so much of being an Apple fanboy here. Blind devotion, glossing over Jobs’ seriously a-hole traits (stiffing Wozniak, and you merely have “Young people do things” to say about it?), being an apologist for the mistakes that Jobs made and exaggerating the achievements of what is, when all is considered, merely a consumer electronics company (Apple and Disney raised the quality of life of humanity? Created jobs? SERIOUSLY? Jobs for whom? The lowly-paid Foxconn workers in China? The financial advisors at Braeburn Capital who are good at keeping Apple’s profits away from the IRS and the public?).

    I was once a Buddhist, and if Steve Jobs truly understood what it meant to be a Buddhist, he would understand that charity and compassion are two of the core tenets of that religion. Materialism has no place in the Buddhist life, and yet look what the mad dash to Apple’s gimmicky products have wrought in sheeple’s minds.

    And please don’t call Apple products “inventions.” They are not inventions by any stretch of the word’s definitions. Inventions are things that are brought into existence. Innovations, on the other hand—which are what Apple products are—are stuff that improve on what already existed before. Apple did not invent mp3 players, was not first to the tablet concept, and certainly did not invent the personal computer or the cellphone.

    • halp

      absolutely. he lost me when he said “he became a good father in the end and that’s what counts.” Sorry, life doesn’t work that way just because you’re a man.

  • brzli

    The pescetarian stuff is interesting because fishes sometimes have a high dose of heavy metals, mercury and other weird chemicals which, unless you eat a lot of it for too many years, you don’t have too much to be afraid. However, if Jobs only ate fish meat, maybe his cancer had something to do with his pescetarianism.

  • himagain

    There is this strange belief that people get to the top by being “nice”.

    Steve Jobs and Attila the Hun had much in common.

    You don’t get to the top of ANY tree by being nice.

    Sure, there must be exceptions out there, but in my decades dealing with the Big Dogs, I never met one.

    My first real mentor fired me after I had just pulled off a pretty big deal. As he said, ” You fight corporately like you fight Kai Tai ( a violent Martial Art form) you let ’em get up again. You don’t like blood, you just don’t have the killer instinct.”

    He was one of the richest, smartest hustlers on the planet. A great teacher and psychologist.

    He was right.

  • Scott Johnson

    I’ve always thought he was a douche, his genius being exploiting the genius of others. Like a good homework copy-er in college.

  • Daz

    With out Steve Wozniak there would be no Steve Jobs, maybe your worshipping the wrong guy.

  • Stumplifter

    Steve was an unapologetic self absorbed driver. He was the wolf among the geek (rhymes with sheep). I knew a guy who helped make him rich – Lisa project manager Wayne Rosing – (Check him out on Wikipedia – he’s made a lot of people rich), who is giving of his time and money, If you want to profile someone as an example for the rest of us profile Rosing. He to has a sister, Candice DeLong former FBI profiler who is successful in her own right and was the model for Clarice Starling (Candice Rosing – get it) of Silence of the Lambs. She now hosts Deadly Women. You and I and very few others are the only ones who know this.

  • Agnesa DeAli

    How can you be a Zen Buddhist if you behave like a jerk?

  • mahituna

    if you had a daughter and she had a child and the father refused to accept that and lie he wasn’t the father you wouldn’t have him on your christmas list. if you had a good friend knowingly ripp you off he probably would be a friend fot long. if he brought your wife to tears at work by yelling and demeaning her you would’nt be a fan. if you where a stock holder of apple you would be kissing his ass. it is all about one effects ones life. did he make the world a better place, no. did he bring gadgets we can live without but make life easier, yes. when the soviets tore down the berlin wall did more in that one moment to humanity than any ipod will ever do. its all relative

  • There is no point in being judgmental. Things aren’t always as they appear. Despite everything else, Steve Jobs is a legend, there’s no doubt about that.

  • Todd Preston

    Steve was pretty much a self-centered self-serving prick. The only reason that people hung around was because he happened to be somewhat of a mad genius with ideas that were right for the time—so very much in a sense was a lucky bastard. Wozniak was probably smarter than Jobs for programming but Steve was the type of Narcissist that was needed to sell the products and ideas. He was also flipped out on LSD which probably contributed largely to his hubris. To say you admire Steve Jobs is to say that you probably also Admire Adolph Hitler—-another megalomaniac narcissist. Both were crazy for power. THERE IS A REASON why Jobs was fired from Apple—-nobody like him.

  • Tyler Zeta

    according to Wikipedia it was Wozniak that make breakout not jobs.

  • Matt Dragon

    So…Does it matter that you can cure cancer or hiv or aids or any other disease and the drug companies will shut you down because they don’t make as much money off of cures? Quit your damn crying and take control of your own lives…

  • Guest

    He did not invent Breakout! Steve Wozniak created it and Jobs stole the credit and almost all the money! I hope Jobs is burning in hell.

  • bb

    Wish I didn’t know some of these things. I liked putting Jobs up on his own pedestal but now he’s been knocked off. At least Gates seemed to be a better balanced man.

  • Anonymous

    He did donate money to charities just anonymously.

  • William

    Make products that last–that is a revolutionary idea…

  • Debbie Gross-Longo

    he also has Assgergers .

  • steveknobs

    Just cause Jobs had some great ideas that later turned into great products that does not make him a great human. He seemed like a knob but I love my Apple stuff. If you have that much money and you don’t share it or give it to charities then your values are mixed up. He never spent it, he just died. Who knows, maybe he gave it to a bum or a hooker who he liked. Even the rich die.

  • mel

    i have to say i disagree with Steve Jobs contribution as philanthropic. Amazing design and technology not to mention keen business sense? Yes. But we would all be better served if it didn’t create (at least in part) the enormous insatiable demand for tech goods (the newest ipod/iphone/ipad/macbook that seem to come out every 6 months) and maybe focused a bit more on recycling/updating programs for apple products.

    i don’t think people really get what it takes to make one cell phone. the demand on resources is unparalleled and to not factor that in somehow is, in my opinion, irresponsible.

    i also disagree with pescetarians being ‘healthier’. eating healthy is eating healthy. putting constraints on your diet (whether paleo or vegan) usually means you are aware of what you’re putting in your mouth and veer away from junk in general. most studies show that. for example, grass-fed beef (as nature intended it) is supremely healthy and doesn’t have the health concerns that grainfed does. so if you are comparing non-meat diets with grain-fed beef…you know where i’m going here.

    i could also go on about how grains/sugars are known inflammatory agents and basically death for people like me (ulcerative colitis or any other immune disorders) but i’ll digress.

  • Hammid

    His biological father Abdulfattah “John” Jandali is alive and still a successful entrepreneur and businessman.

    So I’m sure Steve received a lot of genetic goodies from his Syrian-Arab father.

    And no way on earth was Steven Paul Jobs, Jewish.
    Even if rough sometimes, he was quite humble and had no interest in money.

    • Nissim Levy

      You are an anti jewish racist pig.

    • Russell.L

      “His biological father Abdulfattah “John” Jandali is alive and still a successful entrepreneur and businessman.”

      Have any examples? Not to put down Abdulfattah for his honest work, but I heard he worked in casino restaurants.

  • Sunil

    ” focus on which mosquitoes to kill in Africa (Bill Gates is already focusing on that)” with this statement, this person established himself as MORON.

    google biil gates MDG, what his foundation is doing in developing countries.

    Still I think steve jobs charity is his personal. His inventions truly made the world better.

    He’s a Zen Buddhist.Psychedelics. blahh.. craaapp. this is here due to jobs effect+personal interest. no point to take.

  • noname

    How did his products improve millions of lives more than Samsung’s android products? Hell there are plenty of tech companies making products to ‘improve peoples lives’. The problem is that all of apple’s products are non-essential, and so aren’t those of Microsoft and Samsung and Google. Beyond that, it is hard to say that you are a charitable company when your profit margins are exponential compared to any other company in your industry (when they could definitely be charging less). An open-source non-profit company like Linux changes more lives than apple does because they offer those without money the opportunity to use technology. Google as a company is also more charitable than apple was under Jobs; right now they are undertaking an effort to offer free internet to people in highly populated cities, would apple ever do this? Hell no.

  • halp

    What do you mean him becoming a good father is ‘what matters in the end’? What about the woman he left to raise a child on her own on welfare?

  • Guest

    Steve Jobs held up an iPad to a crowd and asked, “Do you get it?” Apparently, a lot of people don’t get it. They don’t understand Steve Jobs. They don’t need to understand Steve Jobs. He’s dead, and his record speaks for itself. For all you better people out there, look in the mirror and ask, “Do you get it?” What have you done? What is your contribution? If you can do better, then do it. Later, you can ask me, “Do you get it?”

  • Twos

    wozniak made breakout, not jobs. In an interview he says jobs was incapable of the technical side of breakout but did the marketing, wozniak also said steve screwed him on the deal.

  • Jonathan

    Steve Jobs was no saint but he sure had incredible work ethics. He worked hard to make his vision true while others were tinkering. He left Apple and continue creating and innovating. Surely, he surrounded himself with the best engineers designers and business people but he kept the ship on the right direction and demanded excellence.

    He proved himself when he left Apple and directed his team to create something of value again. Jobs would have envisioned an opportunity anywhere. The fact that Woz speaks ill about Apple, even “accidentally” has revealed details of new apple releases, just show how poisoned with envy Woz is about the glorification of Steve Jobs. The creators of the upcoming new movie should know that Woz is not the motor that ignited the creative force behind Apple. The new movie producers need to judge history based on the evidence out there. Woz created a motherboard that would have been devoid of creative power if Steve Jobs would have not been there. Now that Steve Jobs is dead Woz is emerging out of the shadows stating facts that happened behind closed doors.

    All the followers, the leaches, the omegas become the leaders, once the master mind is dead.

    In Jobs’ quest for excellence and his obsesiveness about quality, Steve Jobs made a lot of enemies, many people envy him. Now is the chance for all those who fear him in life to come out like cowards, hide their conformism and mediocrity and out their resentment.

  • Jonathan

    If someone works hard starting at twenty years old while seeing other young people wasting away in clubs, watching tv, having the time of their life. Then, everybody is entitled to harvest what they have sow. I am sure there were many nights during which Steve Jobs slept only 3 or four hours while others slept 8 or 10.

  • elvenpath

    Jobs was one of the greatest bastards, and it was gods fair payback that granted him with cancer. Jobs destroyed lives of people working for him by firing them for no reason, mistreating them, lying them, cheating them… so it was divine justice what he got in the end. Let him burn in hell forever as a scum that shouldn’t deserve to live. Shame that he didn’t died sooner cause it would have surely saved some other innocent persons life (countless apple ex-workers fired by him lost everything when they their job. Mortgages, homes, cars, family needs.. all things that this bastard helped people to suffer). So burn in hell, unworthy to live subject (cause the word human is a title to him). You finally got what you deserved.

  • elvenpath

    Why did you erased my post?

  • melodicmizery

    i know a chick who sucked steve jobs cock, true story. jk wanted to have a different comment then everyone else

  • briana

    actually he did go to college but then he dropped out!

  • Joanne Calligan

    Fuck Bill gates, he’s not doing shit through his malaria programs. He’s part if the illuminati! He wants to cull 1 Billion people. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aXk9j2yFpqU

  • Nissim Levy

    Steve Jobs sounds like an a-hole. Shirked parental responsibility, no charity, cheated wozniak. And he’s a Zen Buddhist? What a hypocrite.

  • alfakte

    James, this is the only one post of you that I don’t like. Steve Jobs was a businessman not a man of value. Apple is a company that his goal is to win money not to create value …

  • Didn’t know about the Breakout. That’s awesome. Love Steve.

  • KodyWB

    Again another post that emphasizes WAY to much praise on Steve Jobs because the person knows little to nothing about Apple. The real person who should be receiving all the credit is Steve Wozniak – the one who made the Apple 1 to begin with. Steve Jobs only had a skill in other ideas like running a company despite minor corruption.

  • James Altucher Is Ballsack

    This article is so poorly worded.

  • John Har

    A true american. Get the money and people love you. Money makes you a better person. Poor people are the worst and don’t deserve charity.

  • niktu70

    “Atari gave Jobs $5000 to do the job. He told Wozniak he got $700 so Wozniak took home $350. Again, no judgment. Young people do things. Show me someone who says he’s been honest from the day he was born and I’ll show you a liar. Its by making mistakes, having fights, finding out where your real boundaries in life are, that allow you to truly know where the boundaries are.”

    Yeah, because all of us at some point in our lives have screwed good friends out of thousands of dollars. That’s just totally normal and helps us grow as people.

  • sam

    the guy who wrote this is a moron

  • passerby

    ps jobs was not a tech wiz he was a marketer a business man.
    more than a technical person.

    Wozniak was the hacker/engineer of the group.

    but Steve was cut throat and good for business.

    A genius I wouldn’t say a genius.
    a good persuader yes.

    but people over glorify Steve Jobs way too much
    Apple products look good yes.

    are they the best, HELL NO.

    the best stuff is usually hidden behind all the smoke and mirrors.
    but common people know no better hence they just buy what is marketed to them.

    Why do you think diamonds are worth so much?
    Yes we humans are stupid! so easy to manipulate.

    Anyway Jobs knows what people liked and had some tech insights of what is possible and what is not.

    He didn’t create anything.

    HE COMBINED the technology that ALREADY EXISTED.
    Wozniak created almost everything that apple patented.

    patent curved design? BARF

  • JohnGaltHasLeftTheBuilding

    Great article! I ordered ‘Choose Yourself’ from the awesome amazon.com for under $7.00 bucks and FREE shipping!!!!…I couldn’t believe the price! I felt so lucky. UPS will deliver tomorrow…can’t wait to read! Every night I thank G*d for the ‘JohnGalts’ in our world who have done the hardest thing in life—create inventions that have improved the standard of living for all of us. I have no TV, only My apple MacBookPro which got me through nursing school and other hard times when I made only made $3876.00 on my income tax just 2 years ago. Thanks to inventions from this man ‘low income’ people have had amazing opportunities to change their life and gain a skill. I truely thank Steve Jobs for his risk in thought which lead to my awesome Apple computer and the improvement of my life; as for his personal life—most Americans are RonPaul Libertarians and don’t give a crap! Steve Jobs owes no one anything! He’s his own person and we are not a fascist statist country….for now anyway. I can’t believe the nasty comments about this man, and no one comments on the the corruption of your Big Brother Government, who invents only NSA and BS—who creates conflicts, sends your boys and girls to their demise, destroys your BillofRights and gives nothing back to any of you! Steve Jobs has given more than your DMV or your beloved oBSamaCare—-sorry, just had to rant. Signing off.

  • Loneanger

    Number five. I find it odd that anyone would choose to emulate the eating/health habits of a guy who died in his mid 50s. Give me a beer and a steak so I can enjoy life into my eighties.

  • albeit

    Steve Jobs was not fired as CEO of Apple. John Sculley, the CEO at the time, fired him.

  • Nayab Siddiqui

    There were greater people. Leonardo Da Vinci was best.

  • mtkwam

    peace love respect happy family!!!! good thoughts good feelings good day!!!!!
    faith work not fear !!!!! and god please let truth reign …… good bad indifferent let it reign!!! respect w/o love of truth= censorship “IE” propaganda

  • Glen Fullmer

    Having graduated from the University where Nolan Bushnell went to school I worked in the computer lab and there was a machine made with TTL chips that Bushnell built the previous year. What did it do? It was the first Breakout game. Where did you get your information about Jobs creating it? Like his statement, “good artists copy, great artists steal”, he might of stolen Breakout from Nolan. ;-)

    • Glen Fullmer

      Opps, it was Pong and not Breakout! ;-)

  • Will Fehlow

    Dear James, loved this post. Reading the comments: wow, you really get the people going! Especially the “immutables.” Cheers! Will

  • Syllinger

    Steve Jobs’ story is best left as a cautionary tale. One that articulates the consequences of America’s fetishization of success and notoriety. His unquenchable desire for recognition eventually cost him his humanity.

  • Robin S

    Although I do not subscribe to the system and it’s marketing: Jobs was a brilliant and superior businessman. I admired him for that and the world is way better off with Steve having lived in it!

  • Keyser Söze

    There is that word again – invention; it’s actually his repetition of a failed venture, or recycling of an idea (I remember his heartfelt mantra: good artists copy, but great artists steal – that’s why Apple has an army of patent lawyers to sue the shit out of you, nobody thought of making money out of patenting in those years Gene’s team conceptualized Star Trek’s PADDs, etc.)

    He was, simply, put, the best marketing frontman to grace any conference with media coverage. And thanks to Steve Wozniak’s technical genius, for sure.

  • Josh Hensonian

    This is pretty biased, Steve Jobs was good business man and good sales man, he never programmed anything worth mentioning unless you think breakout is so he really didn’t have any of his own inventions, his employees invented electronics.

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  • Timotheus

    I’d like to focus in on a comparison that is made briefly here, and seems to be made by implication in everyday discussions about the lions of Silicon Valley, namely, the comparison between Steve Jobs and Bill Gates. The event in technology history to which I like to hearken is the Apple shareholders’ meeting in late 1983, just prior to the release of the Macintosh computer, in which Steve Jobs is holding court and playing host in a silly but entertaining “Dating Game” gameshow, with three Silicon Valley moguls as suitors of the soon-to-be-released Macintosh: one whom no one’s ever heard of (or will again); the founder of the company that published Lotus Notes; and a pip-squeaky Bill Gates who would remind you immediately of Napoleon Dynamite.

    In his role as ultra-nerdy “Bachelor Number Three,” Bill Gates says that of all the platforms he’s seen recently, the Macintosh is one of the most promising, and he promises to develop for that platform. The pertinent and fascinating thing about this appearance before Apple shareholders is that at this point, there really wasn’t any other valid platform on which to develop the software Gates had in the works—at least not the kind of software that would become the Microsoft Office that the entire world uses today and has used since the early 1990s. The *only* platform upon which Office could have been created then was the groundbreaking WYSIWYG Mac operating system, and no one had anything even close to it at the time—much less, Bill Gates himself.

    What is remarkable about this is that about a year later, in the process of developing Office for the Mac, Gates and company “discovered” Windows—which could not by anyone honest with himself or herself be described as either original in any regard or in any way viable—yet—as a competitor with the Mac OS. It was at least five years from that point before Windows could be described as a competent or viable platform upon which to develop anything of value in the software universe. What this shows me is that the one who is—or at least was at the very outset—ethically challenged on a massive scale is Bill Gates, who flagrantly (and, I still think to this day, illegally) ripped off the Windows operating system from Apple. It is the same kind of wholesale appropriation that has recently been repeated in Google’s development of the Android mobile operating system—which has been flagrantly ripped off from Apple’s iPhone/iPad iOS, in blatant disregard of Steve Jobs’ very public vow to protect his intellectual property during his personal introduction of the iPhone in 2007 (“and boy have we patented it!”).

    I do support some of the charitable work Bill and Melinda Gates have done in recent years—after years of being very publicly excoriated by the press for their lack of generosity. But even that work is tainted by the fact that it is the product, in my opinion, of ill-gotten gain. Apple, meanwhile, has not only directly participated in the [RED] campaign since its inception, but has supported the work of education and innumerable nonprofits with its products—which, generally, are more reliable and accessible as stand-alone systems, not needing as much attention from IT geeks and gurus. Apple’s emphasis on beautiful design not only improves on the idea of what technology should be by making it usable by everyday people in every walk of life, it literally supports the beauty brought to the world by artists and designers who use its software to create a more beautiful cultural landscape against which every other product is set as a background. To me, that in itself is charitable work, especially when compared with the connivery and machination of the numbers-crunchers, hackers and deep-Web lurkers who are poised to pounce on the next unsuspecting sap or sucker, making our world a more power-hungry, self-serving, ugly, impersonal place—perhaps, a more dystopian, Machiavellian or Orwellian place—in which to live and work.

  • Vinchenzo C

    Jobs was a jerk. You’ve made excuse after excuse for him. I’m a bit flabbergasted.

  • Larry Bouchard

    Most of the negative comments here focus on Jobs motivations whereas the positives focus on the benefits of his products to the many.

    First of all, who cares about your motivations or character if you’re net impact on people (or the planet) is positive? Or if it’s negative? Actions matter more than thoughts. I loved Kurt Cobain’s music. Was he a selfish dick? Maybe – but no Nirvana fan would care. Because his positive impact had vastly more carry and impact than any personal quirks or possible insensitivities along the way.

    Raise that exponentially in the case of Steve Jobs. And don’t forget Jobs set out intentionally to change the world with a massive vision. If he had close to zero tolerance for his own employees causing entropy for the usual selfish workplace motivations – not only is it forgivable but critical given the magnitude of the mission itself.

    It all comes down to what matters most, personal motivations the degree of positive or negative impact your efforts have on the world. If you believe the latter (which I definitely do and so apparently does James) Steve Jobs is your hero.

  • Timothy

    It’s not true that he didn’t give to charity…
    He just kept it secret. ._.

  • I yield all judgement of Jobs to his children. I don’t care if he walked over people to get where he’s at as long has he didn’t do anything illegal. If you get taken advantage of in this life, most of the time it’s your own fault. Take the Wozniak pay story for example. That happens EVERY SINGLE DAY in small business America. The guy negotiating the sale almost always takes a much bigger cut. I know this because it happens to me constantly. I personally can’t do it. If I say half, I mean half. But the thing is… I genuinely don’t care if others do it to me as long as I get my rate for the work. I really don’t care. I Woz didn’t know the value of his work, then so be it.

    As far as the charity argument… He left the world with a company that has an insane amount of money in the bank. And he had no time to pay attention to almost anything other than work. It’s up to others now if they want to do something amazing with that money. I personally hope they use it for something great like a perpetual motion device or the first time machine…

  • Bill Payne

    What a perfectly shitty article. You’ve done nothing to support your claim that Steve Jobs was a great artist. Sure. Good business person with a good team. If anything, your re-hashed (no new information) copy/pasted set of “omg lookie what I discovered” list of “facts” shows him to be a typical human that had some good ideas along with the brains to make them happen. Artist? Capitalist! And a damn good one.

  • feelgood

    He had an interesting life

  • Dee

    Your humour is great and it’s why I signed up…well that and for the careers advice.

  • TroothFairy

    Borderline sociopath. I only wish he had died before the iphones came out. Inventions my ass: fucking glorified junk peddler.

  • sting_is_ok

    Funny that his successor is such a substantial person!

  • Nick McKillip

    Nothing but incredible respect for Jobs. He’s singlehandedly willed beauty into the world in so many ways. His ideas and creations are the basis for the technology we use 24/7. Even if you don’t use apple, what do you think windows was based on? If you don’t have an iphone, what do you think your android is based on? He created touch screen phones the app store. Before itunes there wasn’t even a way to legally download music. Pixar changed animation. Say what you want about his personal life but the reality is he gave up his relationships to devote 100% of his time his work and then worked him self into an early grave. Even more incredible is his he new his life was about to be over since 2004 but chose to spend his last working like a slave to innovate. After his diagnosis he gave us the iPhone and iPad.

  • Kid Richmond

    James, buddy, love you but I’d like to see you place judgement in areas that require it. He had a child and denied it, oh that certainly deserves judgement. He flat out lied to Wozniak about how much he made on a sale after agreeing to terms. That makes Jobs a liar and a con artist along with being greedy but I believe greed is probably in his core.


  • Marlene Sery

    oh so much passion here…i won’t comment on Steve Jobs .. …the thing is both Steve Jobs and Bill Gates made a fortune using the work of a lovely man , a discreet engineer named Doug Engelbart ..it is Doug who invented the mouse as we know it to use on a PC and a Mac and the concept of “windows” that Bill Gates was canny enough to use and build his entire operating system on ..and another lovely engineer worked on what was to become the internet “the world wide web” ..hence the “www “….they wanted it to be free and hardly ever got any credit for any of this ..not even a pc or an Apple IMac from those two guys …so that’s a little sad to read abut those called “geniuses” who have made it when in the background there were people who have made this possible to happen because of their groundbreaking work ..and no one knows about them..and they did not make much more than a salary ….yet they’ve changed the lives of so many people …..it seems it is all about $$$$$ ..not “genius”

  • suresh

    He Initially Opposed Apps, He Acted As A Mentor To Google’s Founders, But Felt Betrayed By Them, He Initially Refused Cancer Treatments, He Got Along With Bill Gates. http://www.savebee.in/10-best-smartphones-under-10000-in-india/

  • Josh Berta

    Steve jobs was a piece of shit, but a brilliant marketer… He had the ability to take crap (Apple, Next, Atari, and ultimately iPhone) and then turn them into cash cows! He was more of a marketing guy than anything, but holy shit! All those lemmings of consumers jumped to the next Mac or iPhone (years after the technology was created by real innovators like Bill Gates)… Apple was last to the 4G thing, last to face recognition, last to NFC technology (you know, the thing that makes Apple Pay and Air Drop work, for all you Apple dumbasses!), and well… Pretty much just waits for everyone else to develop new technologies, and then wait for them to become cheap to adapt and charge a premium for! I guess I could rant on forever about how Steve Jobs was despicable, but I won’t…. Christ to some, Satan to me! Good riddance!