Saturday, November 26, 2011

The Dark Sides of Steve Jobs Reveled

For the person who is beyond all the praise, an ideal for millions, there exists shady dark sides. We respect him for being the biggest innovator of the century, revolutionizing the User Experience in consumer electronics, forever. But its true, no one is perfect.But while Jobs was lauded as a genius who touched lives and reshaped modern culture with creations such as the iPhone and iPad, he was also remembered for being the toughest of managers, with a dark side to his personality.

I'm an Apple addict, too. But I'd be remiss if I failed to note that the bright white facade of Jobs's dream had a dark side as well, that in between his faultless designs and his legions of dedicated fans was the often harsh reality of globalized manufacturing, one that can be tainted in blood.

Indeed there were things Jobs did while at Apple that were deeply disturbing. Rude, dismissive, hostile, spiteful: Apple employees—the ones not bound by confidentiality agreements—have had a different story to tell over the years about Jobs and the bullying, manipulation and fear that followed him around Apple

Steve Jobs‘ official biography talks about several dark sides of Steve Jobs, which none of us probably heard about before. He was capable of incredible cruelty, total self-delusion, ruthless competitiveness, arrogance, and a beehive of stealing ideas.  It’s probably the most raw profile the world has ever seen on Jobs – for better, or for worse.  And it also offers a rather naked commentary about success.

1. Copy Innovation
Steve said that he was ready to go “thermonuclear” war on Android, an operating system he saw as a “stolen product.” Truth be discussed, what did Android really copy from iOS? The interface and the OS architecture are quiet different from each other. Its like comparing Mac OS to Linux, both have similar underlying Unix, everything else is different: Kernel, framework, libraries, JVM vs. Native framework, UI and Touch interfaces. Even if some of it is similar, Android was developed independently by a startup named Android under supervision of Andy Rubin. It was later acquired by Google and modified for good.
For a moment, lets assume Android was a copy. Was Macintosh not a copy of Xerox’s OS ? Steve shamelessly copied each aspect of Xerox’s User Interface and called it Mac OS. Steve J. agrees he copied, why in the world is he so furious about Android copying iOS?
2. Steal the Credit, and never be humble
Steve Jobs was famous for stealing the credit of his subordinates. Apple’s famous designer, Jonathan Ive, was frustrated because Steve was constantly taking credit for his ideas. It was a recurring problem, with incredibly talented executives complaining that Jobs took all the credit for Apple’s game-changing innovations. “I pay maniacal attention to where an idea comes from, and I even keep notebooks filled with my ideas,” Ive said. “So it hurts when he takes credit for one of my designs.”
Perhaps the worst story surrounds Daniel Kottke, who was there with Jobs at Reed College, travelled with him in India, and was one of the first Apple employees in the garage. But when Apple went public, Jobs refused to give him any shares because of his technical status within the company – despite the protests of other high-ranking employees.
Kottke was unfortunately subdued and didn’t push – until it became too much. “And at one point, [Kottke] tries to go to Steve and just starts crying,” Isaacson told 60 Minutes. “But Steve can be very cold about these things. Finally, one of the engineers at Apple said, you know, ‘We have to take care of your buddy Daniel. I’ll give him some stock, if you match it or whatever.’ And Jobs says, ‘Yeah, I’ll match it. I’ll give zero, you give zero.’”
3. Bad Son, Poor Father
This may be on the personal side, but its not to be ignored. Steve Jobs never met his Biological father.
In 1978, Steve Jobs had a daughter (his first) with girlfriend Chrisann Brennan, a painter. Jobs adamantly refused paternity, though a judge ultimately forced Jobs to pay support.
When Lisa was young, Steve, her father, almost never came to see her. ‘I didn’t want to be a father, so I wasn’t,’ Jobs said, with only a touch of remorse in his voice.”

As we rightly mourn the dream of Steve Jobs—a man who transformed multiple sectors of the economy—we should remember to look through the elegant design, all smooth edges and pure white, and into the guts that helped give it life.