Steve Jobs, founder of Apple and Pixar, was a man of wonders who helped create the Macintosh, a PC for the people. He then went on to invent the mobile phone (iPhone) and music play (iPod) that everyone loved. Steve Jobs was a visionary and knew how to communicate his idea with everyone. He was able to see a product in its entirety and knew how different features of technology came together to deliver a customer wholesome experience. Jobs changed the world on how we use computers and smartphones. Jobs was ahead of the times and his creations are now commonplace in today’s world. He loved his job, he put his companies over friends, family, and coworkers and didn’t care how they felt. Many people acknowledge Jobs for his hard work and dedication, but many forget about his ruthlessness and controlling behaviors. Many believe this is why Jobs was so successful, he was no genius, he got his fame and fortune because he was so demanding and domineering and did what was best for his company no matter what the consequence. His ability to control his friend family and coworkers is a huge factor why Steve Jobs was successful.
It all begins at birth and childhood, being adopted played a huge factor on why Steve Jobs portrayed these characteristics. If he wasn’t adopted, he wouldn’t be so controlling and would not have been so successful. The feeling of being unwanted by your biological parents and the feeling of being chosen by you adoptive parents is exactly how Steve felt growing up. Since he was chosen by a new loving family, they convinced Steve he was special and that they choose him for a reason. From that point on, he had the motivation to become someone meaningful. Steve being adopted came with some negative traits as well. “His desire for complete control of whatever he makes derives from directly from his personality and the fact he was abandoned at birth,” said by Del Yocam, Steve’s longtime associate. (Isaacson 5) Steve didn’t have control of being abandon by his biological parents, he wanted to prove that they were wrong from leaving him and wanted to become more important than them. He wanted to control every aspect of his life his ability to control almost everyone he came in contact with, made it easy for Jobs to get whatever he wanted and have other people do the work he couldn’t. Nothing would stop Steve from getting what he wanted, he created his own path and wouldn’t be stopped by no one.
Jobs had persistent pursuit of excellence, and had the ability to motivate extremely talented people. He was a man far ahead of his time but it wasn’t always rainbows and butterflies. Steve jobs also had many flaws. He was a cruel man to even the people closest to him. One was his heartless treatment of his earliest colleagues, Steve Wozniak who in which would help job create Apple. Jobs and Wozniak became best friends in high school and shared a love for electronics. According to Walter Isaacson: Jobs was working for Altari, Inc, in 1976 he got Wozniak to finish work on the video game Breakout. He lied to Wozniak that Altari had paid them only $750, and he gave him $350. In fact, Altari had paid Jobs $5,000 for the work that Wozniak had done in reducing the number of chips used in the circuit board. (Isaacson p. 53) This shows you Steve Jobs only cared for the business and for the money. Even though Wozniak is Steve’s best friend, you can see Steve didn’t hesitate picking money of a loyal friendship. Wozniak would know about this until later in his life. “Jobs is a complex person, and being manipulative is just the darker facet of his traits that made him successful” said Wozniak. He would later help Steve create more inventions that would him with his success.
Steve Jobs actually named a computer after his daughter it was called the LISA. He didn’t actually announce it to the pubic at the time though. He hid the fact that he had a daughter, he wasn’t even there for her birth. The production of the LISA project started in 1978, the same year his daughter was born. Jude Isabella said: Steve claimed at the time that “LISA” stood for “Local Integrated Software Architecture.” Years later, he admitted that it was named for his daughter he originally denied” (Isabella p. 50) Steve didn’t want a family, he didn’t want a kid. His love was his work and his products. it’s remarkable how a man could put business over family, but Steve did and he was successful from it. This LISA was a disappointment for Apple, the numbers it did was not good at all. “The LISA lacked Woz’s engineering genius” (Isabella p. 50) Wozniak played a huge factor in the success of Steve Jobs and Apple.
The MAC 2, the creation on which made Apple a big company, wasn’t even Jobs’ creation. That accolade goes to Steve Wozniak. He also developed the operating system for the Apple 2 and Apple 1 computers. Wozniak also designed the aptitude to show color on the Apple 2 and designed the built-in language as well, which made the computer special and easy to sell. No one can question the success of Wozniak and Steve’s partnership. They complimented each other perfectly. Marylou Morano said it best: Each partner brought something different to Apple. Wozniak was a talented engineer, so he designed the computers. Jobs was a skilled marketer and leader. He oversaw sales and product devilment. Their personalities were vastly different. Wozniak was shy. Jobs was forceful and often emotional. (Kjelle p. 23) Since Jobs was better at the external design and business perspective, he made it sure these computers would sell, but without Wozniak or a team to create his product, there would be nothing to sell.
Steve Jobs was known to have created a reality distortion field. According to Isabella Jude: It meant that to Steve, reality was flexible and he could convince anyone of practically anything, including himself. (Jude p. 53) Steve Jobs had the ability to make his workers believe they could do unbelievable work in short amount of time. Bud Tribble, a longtime colleague of Steve’s said, “Reality was malleable. He could convince anyone of practically anything. It wears off when he’s not around.” The reality distortion field was one of the main motives why Steve Jobs is successful and remained successful throughout his lifetime. Shawn Klein talked about how Steve jobs used reality distortion field to control his workers: None of these people who did what they did under jobs would have been able to do the things that they did without his having made them believe that the ‘impossible’ was, in fact, possible. His use of his reality distortion field was necessary, to get them to change their beliefs. To get them to “think different.” (Klein 12) This shows how Steve had easy control over his workers and how much of an impact it had on the workers. Steve Jobs had control of his employees, and made them work more efficient in less amount of time. He did this without even knowing he was doing it, it came natural to him. He created products no company could and did it in a time which was close to impossible. It didn’t only affect his coworkers it affected everyone. He would use this for his product release speech as well which made the audience feed into what he was saying. The reality distortion field played a huge part of Steve’s success, if he didn’t make them believe in the impossible than the impossible would have never been reality.
Steve jobs loved what he did, He would put his work over everything. His passion and dedication for his work separated him from the rest. I believe anyone could have done what Steve did, but no one could have done it without the passion he had. He worked early mornings and late nights to accomplish his goals. Steve wasn’t a genius he just had love for what he did. Steve once said “I care about Apple a great deal I put pretty much my whole adult life into creating great products and building a great company. So, I am going to give what I can to further Apple. If it means clean up the toilet, then ill clean the toilet. If It means to clean up the floors, then ill sweep the floors.” (Klien p. 98) This shows you how dedicated Steve was for his work. He did anything to make his company successful, but could he have done it without being so cruel and controlling? I don’t think.
Was Steve Jobs a genius? I don’t think so, but I do believe Jobs was so passionate about being successful and changing the world, he knew nothing would stop him. In an interview with Daniel Morrow, Steve explained the passion that drove him forward to become successful, he said, “I’m convinced that about half of what separates the successful entrepreneurs from the non-successful ones are pure perseverance. Its hard, you put so much of your life into one thing. There are such rough moments in time that I think most people give up. Its pretty much an eighteen-hour day jobs, seven days a week for a while. Unless you got a lot of passion about this, you’re not going to survive. You going to give up. So, you’ve got to have an idea, or a problem or a wrong that you want to right that passionate about, otherwise you’re going to have the perseverance to stick it through. Think that’s half the battle right there.” (Steve Jobs 1995) Any average person can become successful, as long as your passionate about something and willing to put in the work anything is possible. Steve Jobs admire every aspect of his job and products.
Steve Jobs will go down as one of the most successful entrepreneurs of all time. His marketing and business skills were phenomenal. He was also a rebel, he didn’t like rules he liked creating and controlling his own rules. Steve Jobs put his product over everything in his life including family. Jobs was not a genius, He was a normal guy born from California with a goal and vison which nothing stopped him from reaching. The main reason for his success came simply from being a control freak and being determined and persistent in his goals. It began when he was adopted, which snowballed into Steve betraying his best friend also would lead to Steve’s reality distortion field which would have his employee do the impossible. Steve Jobs didn’t only become successful from these aspects, he created a one trillion-dollar company which changed the way we live today.
- Steve Jobs (1995), In Daniel S. Morrow’s Transcript of a video interview with Steve Jobs on April 20, 1995
- Isaacson, Walter. Steve Jobs. New York: Simon & Schuster, 2011.
- Jude, Isabella. Steve Job; Visionary Entrepreneur of the Digital Age. New York: Crabtree Publishing, 2014
- Kjelle, Marylou Morano. Steve Jobs: Visionary Founder of Apple. Minneapolis, Minnesota. ABDO Publishing 2015
- Klein, Shawn. Steve Jobs and Philosophy: For Those Who Think Different. Open court. 2015