“Happy Birthday Steve” – Flashing through the life of Steve Jobs
There is no one who has impacted the world using technology in more ways than Steve Jobs. Today, on his birthday, we revisit the memories of the legend and bring you some moments and rare pictures of Steve. Also, here are a few interesting anecdotes people said about him.
The closest thing [Steve Jobs and I] ever had to an argument was when I left in 1985 to start a company to build a universal remote control. I went to [design agency of which Apple was a client] Frog Design to do the design. Steve dropped in there one day and he saw what they were designing for me and he threw it against the wall and said they could not do any work for me. “Anything you do for Woz, belongs to me.” I was on my own, but I was still friendly with Apple. But Steve had a burst-out there. The people at Frog told me about it. That was the only time there was ever a fight between us, but it wasn’t actually between us. Nobody has ever seen us having an argument.
He once [called] your editor, Andy Serwer, at Fortune, and John Huey, when he was trying to kill a story that you may have worked on at Fortune about his cancer treatment and everything else.
And he finally said, “What do you have in the story?” And Serwer told him what’s in the book. And he finally said, “Well, wait a minute, you’ve discovered that I’m an asshole? Why is that news?” So, he was self-aware, he was tough.
One time, Steve and I sat in Dr. [Edwin] Land’s conference room at his office on the Charles River that he used after he was fired from Polaroid. I sat there listening while these two geniuses discussed where great inventions come from.
Pointing toward the center of the empty conference table, Dr. Land said, “I didn’t invent the Polaroid camera, it’s always existed, just waiting to be discovered.” Steve replied, “That’s right. I knew long before we built it exactly what the Mac was. It always existed. I never had to ask customers what they wanted. If it’s something truly revolutionary, they won’t be able to help you.” All of Steve’s visionary products have always existed, they were just waiting for him to discover them.
I should tell you this story. We’re in a meeting at NeXT, before Steve went back to Apple. I’ve got my chief scientist. After the meeting, we leave and try to unravel the argument to figure out where Steve was wrong—because he was obviously wrong. And we couldn’t do it. We’re standing in the parking lot.
He sees us from his office, and he comes back out to argue with us some more. It was over a technical issue involving Objective C, a computer language. Why he would care about this was beyond me. I’ve never seen that kind of passion.
I’d guess Steve is the most influential founder not just for me but for most people you could ask. A lot of startup culture is Apple culture. He was the original young founder. And while the concept of “insanely great” already existed in the arts, it was a novel idea to introduce into a company in the 1980s.
More remarkable still, he’s stayed interesting for 30 years. People await new Apple products the way they’d await new books by a popular novelist. Steve may not literally design them, but they wouldn’t happen if he weren’t CEO.
Steve is clever and driven, but so are a lot of people in the Valley. What makes him unique is his sense of design. Before him, most companies treated design as a frivolous extra. Apple’s competitors now know better
I worked at NeXT the summer of 94. I was in the break room with 2 colleagues when Jobs walked in and started making a bagel. We were sitting at a table eating ours when he out of the blue asked us “Who is the most powerful person in the world?” I said Mandela since I had just been there as an international observer for the elections. In his confident fashion he stated “NO!…you are all wrong…the most powerful person in the world is the story teller.” At this point I was thinking to myself “Steve, I love you but there is a fine line between genius and loco..and I think I am witnessing this right now”. Steve continued, “The storyteller sets the vision, values and agenda of an entire generation that is to come and Disney has a monopoly on the storyteller business. You know what? I am tired of that bullshit, I am going to be the next storyteller” and he walked out with his bagel.
Also we bring you some rare pictures covering the life of steve jobs right from his early days to his apparently last known public photograph.
Dear Steve, even though you are not with us today, your work will reflect and be remembered in all aspects of our life.