In Defense of Steve Jobs



In the immediate aftermath of Steve Jobs’ death on October 5, the praise was overwhelming.

He was the greatest CEO in history, a prescient visionary, prolific inventor, influential designer, brilliant artist. He could walk across San Francisco Bay without getting his New Balance 991 sneakers wet, bend light with his will and turn dog shit into gold.

Then the backlash hit.

About a week after Jobs’ death, the promotional tour for Steve Jobs, the Walter Isaacson biography, began in ernest. This week, the book itself hit. And so did the “dark side” revelations. Plus, former rivals and Apple employees with an axe to grind came pouring out of the woodwork to tell snarky stories about Jobs’ flawed morality, bizarre personality and petty misconduct.

As they are wont to do, the lame-stream media pounced on the negative angle.

The praise was too much. But so is the ongoing character assassination. It’s time to bring the pendulum back to the center, and provide context for some of the most egregious dissing.

In particular, there are four major falsehoods about Jobs being thrown around in the past three weeks that need to be addressed.

 Here they are:

1. Steve Jobs stole ideas from Xerox to create the Mac. 

In 1979, Jobs and a group of Apple engineers visited Xerox PARC, a famous Silicon Valley research group, for three days. During those visits, the Apple team saw what was then the future of personal computing: Bitmapped screens, graphical interfaces, desktop metaphors like folders and trash cans, Ethernet, printers, mice — the works.

Four years later, Apple shipped the Lisa and a year after that, the Macintosh — both of which used concepts seen at PARC.

The conventional wisdom has become that Xerox PARC invented the networked graphical PC, and Jobs “stole” their ideas. But this is wrong on all counts.

Of course, there’s no question that Apple made major leaps of understanding and vision by visiting PARC. But what Apple created was not Xerox technology.

Malcolm Gladwell clarified this point brilliantly in a May New Yorker piece.

In fact, according to Gladwell, Jobs instructed Apple designers to avoid Xerox’s way of doing things. According to industrial designer, for example, Jobs instructed him to create a mouse for Apple, but specifically to make it completely unlike the Xerox mouse.

Jobs told him: That mouse “cost three hundred dollars to build and it breaks within two weeks. Here’s your design spec: Our mouse needs to be manufacturable for less than fifteen bucks. It needs to not fail for a couple of years, and I want to be able to use it on Formica and my bluejeans.” Oh, and one more thing. The Xerox mouse had three buttons, but Apple’s had to have one.

Everything about Apple’s mouse — the materials, the functionality and most importantly the methods by which the device registered and conveyed movement — was totally different from the Xerox mouse.

And, in any event, Xerox didn’t even invent the mouse. Douglas Engelbart and Bill English created the first mouse prototype in 1963. And a German company even shipped the first commercial mouse in 1970.

The idea that Apple stole Xerox’s mouse invention is totally wrong on all counts. This basic scenario is also true for many other Mac technologies seen at PARC.

Of course, some things the Apple engineers saw were in fact invented by Xerox, including bitmapping and Ethernet. But the biggest thing Apple got out of the visit was the big-picture vision of how a networked graphical personal computer and printers might function. The second thing was a whole lot of pointers and shortcuts to the solution to problems solved by PARC researchers.

But here’s the most important fact: Nothing was “stolen.”

Whatever Apple got from those three days was bought and paid for as part of a fair, legal, above-the-table business deal between Xerox and Apple.

At the time, Apple was still a year away from its IPO. Everybody wanted in. Apple was the hottest of hot companies. So Xerox and Apple made a deal: Apple would be granted 3 days of access to PARC in exchange for Xerox being allowed to buy 100,000 shares of Apple stock for $10 per share.

Apple went public a year later, and the value of that stock had grown to $17.6 million. Xerox paid a million for the shares, so essentially Apple paid Xerox $16.6 million for showing its research to Jobs and his team.

This monetization of PARC research was vastly higher than Xerox’s Star, which lost a lot of money.

(Also: My back-of-the-envelope calculation, factoring in a stock split, is that those shares would today be worth about $324 million.)

There’s no question that the deal Xerox made was unfair to PARC researchers, who were forced by the suits to reveal their hard-earned intellectual property. But Xerox was a stupid company. Those researchers voluntarily chose to work for that stupid company. That’s not Jobs’ fault.

The bottom line is that Jobs didn’t steal from Xerox. He paid for whatever he got, fair and square.

2. Steve Jobs was mean, petulant, brittle, abrasive and cantankerous. 

One general theme in the piling on of Jobs attacks his people skills and personal ethics. Jobs screamed and yelled at, publicly humiliated and bruised the feelings of Apple employees and business partners. He was cold and unfeeling to his parents, lovers and children. In short, he was an asshole.

Of course, it’s better to be nice than to be harsh. Everyone should treat everyone else kindly. However, there are two points about Jobs’ coldness and petulance that need to be factored in.

Most of the “Steve Jobs is cold and unfeeling” stories come from his youth. He didn’t say good-bye to his parents when he went to college. He rejected his daughter. He humiliated an applicant by demanding to know if he was a virgin and whether he had taken LSD.

When these things happened, Jobs was practically a teenager. Remember, when Jobs started Apple, he was 20 — not even old enough to buy beer. Many of the worst stories about Jobs happened when he was in his early 20s.

In fact, all the tech titans with reputations as a-holes follow a similar pattern. Gates and Zuckerberg were jerks too. And they also founded companies in their early 20s.

Like the song says: “Nobody likes you when you’re 23.” And for good reason.

Male teens and men in their early 20s tend to struggle with the concept of empathy.

This is especially true of the kind of guys who launch successful companies too young. They’re likely to be nerdy, socially awkward, narcissistic loners. When these immature personality types are suddenly thrust into positions of wealth, fame, power and responsibility, it’s reasonable to expect callous disregard for the feelings of others.

Examples of men in their early 20s suddenly finding themselves running companies so hot they get their pictures on the cover of TIME, and who are not jerks, are non-existent.  I can’t think of a single example.

It’s also worth nothing that both Gates and Jobs mellowed, once given the chance to grow up, start families and all the rest.

So were Jobs, Gates and Zuckerberg cold, unfeeling jerks? Or were they just human beings in extraordinary circumstances trying to find their way?

The stories of Jobs’ “petulance” and his scream-fests directed at employees and business partners are completely different from his youthful displays of coldness.

I believe Jobs learned two things from being a 20-something asshole. First, he learned to regret it. He reconciled with most of the people he abused, ultimately establishing warm and kind relations with his daughter, Lisa, his parents and others.

He learned that being an asshole to loved ones doesn’t work.

But the other thing he learned is that being an asshole to employees and business partners does work.

Jobs is famously persuasive — you know, Reality Distortion Field and all that. In fact his ability to use his persuasive powers became a well understood tactical asset at Apple. It was part of Apple’s secret sauce.

But Jobs’ persuasive abilities weren’t just about inspiration. They brought to bear the whole range of human emotions — not just inspiration, nostalgia, and awe, but also fear, anger, humiliation and more.

If you read the stories about Jobs’ famous tirades, you’ll see that in the end Jobs usually got what he wanted.

When chip supplier VLSI Technology was falling behind on deadlines, Jobs screamed at VLSI executives that they were “fucking dickless assholes.” He freaked everybody out, and made them feel really, really bad. But in the end, “Team FDA” got their act together and delivered on schedule.

Jobs fired people publicly, refused to give severance pay when fired. He called people “stupid” and worse.

But the source of Apple’s incredible success in the past ten years can be oversimplified as having three parts: 1) Jobs’ competence (including competence in hiring great people); 2) Jobs’ vision; and 3) Jobs’ ability to get his way and focus everyone on his vision.

Part 3 of this formula was achieved in part through Jobs’ mastery of the art of being a prick.

All the after-school bitching about Jobs’ “petulance” really adds up to a bunch of cry-babies getting their panties in a bunch over how mean Jobs was.

Thousands of people join the military every day, and endure boot camp where they’re screamed at in their faces every day. Other industries like Hollywood (ever seen Entourage?), ballet dance and many others involve harsh yelling and public dressing-down as a matter of course.

You don’t hear them whining about it.

Most importantly, all these relationships were voluntary. If you don’t want to work for a boss that yells at you, don’t work for Apple. If you don’t want to be screamed at by a lunatic perfectionist, don’t enter into a business partnership with Apple.

Jobs’ temper and volatility was no secret. Everyone volunteered.

Besides, the burden is on critics who think Mr. Jobs could have accomplished what he while acting like Mr. Rogers. Until proven otherwise, we can and should assume that Jobs’ “petulance” was part of his secret for success, and well worth it.

3. Steve Jobs intended to spend all of Apple’s money to destroy Android.

Jobs told Isaacson for the book that suing Google over Android was Apple’s way to say: “Google you f***ing ripped off the iPhone, wholesale ripped us off… I will spend my last dying breath if I need to, and I will spend every penny of Apple’s $40 billion in the bank, to right this wrong. I’m going to destroy Android, because it’s a stolen product.”

Apple now has $81 billion in the bank.

Of course, spending all of Apple’s cash reserves on lawsuits would be an unnecessary, irresponsible and reckless abuse of Apple executives’ responsibility to shareholders.

But Apple hasn’t done this. These were just words.

Jobs learned over the years that he can increase the value of Apple by millions or even billions of dollars by just talking.

Jobs’ “thermonuclear” comments about Android and Google actually make good business sense. If he can demonstrate over-the-top resolve to crush Android, maybe Google will make different design decisions about it in the future. Maybe they’ll be more sensitive about adding features and functionality that are similar to Apple’s.

More likely, maybe Google’s OEM partners will be affected by this now well-known resolve, and invest less in Android, or make decisions that reflect a shaken belief in Android’s future.

You don’t hear about Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt much anymore. But FUD is alive and well, and Jobs knew how to bring it.

4. Steve Jobs was evil. 

Free Software Foundation founder Richard Stallman has been dancing on Jobs’ grave ever since his death was announced.

Stallman blamed jobs for making “unjust” closed systems cool, and putting millions of people in “digital handcuffs.”

The truth is that Jobs and Stallman represented opposing sides in the battle over whether software should be free or open, or whether products should be integrated for elegance and ease of use.

The battle rages, but Jobs proved an unbeatable opponent. Now Stallman senses that with Jobs no longer able to debate, he might finally win the argument.

Personally, I love choice. And I’ve heard all the arguments on both sides. In the end, I’ve increasingly chosen Apple products because they make me happy, they improve my life.

I’ve seen life on Stallman’s Nebuchadnezzar. But F that. I want to be plugged into the Matrix. And I don’t want to remember nothing. Nothing!

It’s not evil to disagree with Richard Stallman, and having a different vision of how computers and gadgets should be put together. It’s an absurd notion.

Consumers have their choice between the most open and the most closed (or, the most fragmented or integrated) of systems and software. And those of us who buy Apple products aren’t being duped, or tricked or seduced into making the wrong choice.

Steve jobs was a complex human being. And like all human beings, he was a mixed bag of good and bad, nice and not-so-nice — he was great and flawed at the same time.

We shouldn’t delude ourselves into thinking he was perfect. But we should also not allow ourselves to over-indulge the inclination to exaggerate his transgressions.

Steve Jobs could be a jerk. But he was also insanely great. Above all, Steve Jobs was human. And both his successes and his moral failings should be tempered by an understanding of the larger contexts in which he lived his extraordinary life.

  • Jasmizar

    This is the most balanced article I have read – this and the Macworld podcast have been good about this.

  • dcj001


    You’ve made a few minor errors on this page, like only capitalizing “Apple” 44 out of the 45 times that the word appears on this page. 

    But you said, “Remember, when Jobs started Apple, he was 20 — not even old enough to buy beer.” Wasn’t the legal age for buying beer in 1975 eighteen everywhere in the US?

  • Mike

    Thanks for the correction dcj001. I corrected the lowercase a. 

    No, the drinking age in California has been 21 since the 1930s, or something like that. 

  • Mike

    Thanks for the correction dcj001. I corrected the lowercase a. 

    No, the drinking age in California has been 21 since the 1930s, or something like that. 

  • Chris Wurtinger

    WOW, you really love Steve Job’s.  Someone really needs to bring you back to reality.  I have been reading books about the beginning of the tech industry for sometime.  Isaacson’s book really shows Job’s no different than any other book of that period.  I also feel the press job’s gets about being this great inventor is wrong as well.  I don’t think he really invented much of anything.  He pushed others to get products that he wanted, and  knew how to finish up the product to make it more sellable.  But he didn’t invent anything on his own.  Your comment that Apple paid Xerox $16.6 million is just stupid.  They purchased the shares.  Apple didn’t give them anything but the key to their tech.  It was VERY stupid on Xerox’s part but he did take their idea.  He also did kind of the same thing to Woz.  I think Woz was quite trusting and VERY naive, Oh an by the way, I think he was quite able to buy beer when he did all of this.  The drinking age of the 70’s was 18.  People that write articles as asinine as yours above it why people hate Mac Users.  Grow up and get over your crush

  • Guest

    This is a good article. Thanks Mike.

    And cultofmac members should just stop being editors! It’s really getting annoying.

  • GregsTechBlog

    Thank you. I’ve spent the past few weeks pointing out that Apple didn’t steal anything from Xerox, and it’s good to finally read something that selectively highlights things that make Steve look “evil”. 

  • Shameer Mulji

    Absolutely agree.  Thank God.  

  • ppanah

    Thank you for this article.. well written!

  • Mike Elgan

    Inventors like Steve Jobs and Thomas Edison meta-invent — they invent the context and assemble the team and provide the guidance for groups to invent. They shouldn’t get all the credit, but they should get most of it. What did Apple invent while Steve wasn’t working at the company? What did they invent when he got back? 

    They were allowed to purchase at a crazy low price something a whole lot of people wanted to buy. It was identical to handing over millions in cash. 

    No, the drinking age in California has been 21 for decades:

  • Mike Elgan

    Inventors like Steve Jobs and Thomas Edison meta-invent — they invent the context and assemble the team and provide the guidance for groups to invent. They shouldn’t get all the credit, but they should get most of it. What did Apple invent while Steve wasn’t working at the company? What did they invent when he got back? 

    They were allowed to purchase at a crazy low price something a whole lot of people wanted to buy. It was identical to handing over millions in cash. 

    No, the drinking age in California has been 21 for decades:

  • Mike Elgan

    Inventors like Steve Jobs and Thomas Edison meta-invent — they invent the context and assemble the team and provide the guidance for groups to invent. They shouldn’t get all the credit, but they should get most of it. What did Apple invent while Steve wasn’t working at the company? What did they invent when he got back? 

    They were allowed to purchase at a crazy low price something a whole lot of people wanted to buy. It was identical to handing over millions in cash. 

    No, the drinking age in California has been 21 for decades:

  • Thefirststop

    Shut up

  • Scott Ronan

    I read a book years ago about the early days of Apple it was called West of Eden: The end of innocence at Apple, which by the way is a very good book indeed and in that book theres a conversation held by board members at Xerox and they decide the future is in photocopying and not computers.  I think that pretty much says it all.

  • Goldie20

    I’m sorry but this article is nothing more than opinionated drivel, from a member of the lamer than lamestream media.

  • erann

    Great article, I have had similar thoughts. Most “great men” and “great women” are not nice people. Then, on the other hand, if I reflect especially then men I know, most of them are kind of people I am ashamed of. Human beings are just human beings and human beings are imperfect. Jobs abused people in the work place verbally, but I know too many men who abused their most beloved ones physically and ruined their lives.

  • Mardn

    Drinking Age in the US

  • dcj001

    Well, then thanks for correcting me about the drinking age in CA. Now that I do the research, I see that you’re correct.

    In the state in which I live, the drinking age for beer was eighteen until about 1987, at which point, it changed to twenty-one.

  • dcj001

    You’re pretty stupid, pwf.

    Steve’s last name does not include an apostrophe.

    You’ve said a lot of other things that are factually incorrect.

    Mike knows his stuff.

  • Rui

    The opposite of free and open is not elegantly integrated.

    It’s closed behind locked doors.

    Something elegantly integrated can be written either with Free Software or pt proprietary software.

    To mix these terms in order to suit an anti software user freedom agenda is dispeakable.

  • Er


  • Dave Lituchy

    He might of been crazy, and that is obvious in the book, but you need to respect that what he has done has built a company, changed the world, including every single person’s life

  • I_am_Andy

    Why defending him?
    I got my iPod Touch, iPhone 4, iPad2, MacBook Pro, Apple TV and Time Capsule.
    And I’m more than happy with them.
    I don’t care what kind of man he was.
    I just love the gadgets that he made possible.
    And Google, Samsung and all the others can be happy, too.
    By copying and stealing from Apple they’ve been able to make lots of money.
    They’d have never been able to create their products without him.
    There’s no need to defend him.

  • Steve B.

    Looks like the drinking age in California didn’t change during the ’70s:

  • Steve B.

    Looks like the drinking age in California didn’t change during the ’70s:

  • Steve B.

    He might have been an a-hole, but he was our a-hole.

  • wilburg

    That Steve Jobs had a “dark side” should come as no surprise to anyone.  He was, after all, human!  And to guide Apple to its current dizzying heights took nothing less than single-minded obsession – a condition which the psychiatric community would have us believe is a fault if not an illness.

    I have always considered both Job’s accomplishments with a bit of knowledge of the dark side of his personality, and sometimes scorned the latter.

    That said, I feel some sense of personal loss at his passing.  He was an engineer (yeah, yeah, I know that Woz was the engineer) with a desire to design for the human experience as opposed to the dictates of some clueless marketing department.  Of course this decision showed his real marketing genius – improve the human experience of the product, and you can own a market.

    His impact could not be as great as it was without his personality faults.

  • Gregormax

    Great article. For a ball-licker. Jobs stole ideas and he never neglected that. Why do you need to defend him? He STOLE Xerox’ ideas and that’s a fact. He improved the concepts – and that’s all. He was a genius in stealing and improving. I wonder what would you think if someone stole your brilliant concept, improved it and released as his own. The book is fair and you should not defend Jobs. He made his own choices – some were right, some were not.

  • Agree (with Alumnus)

    There is an 89-year old Croatian professor at Clarkson University in New York. He has not had a single new idea in close to 40 years [more or less]. Nonetheless, he is constantly rehashing and writing “scholarly” papers that say the same crap over and over and over again.

    Any success to come out of his lab is due to his overworked postdocs – and he takes full credit for them even though he had nothing to do with the idea, and perhaps more importantly does not have a fundamental understanding of the concepts involved in these successes…

    Any failures are directly blamed on his [stupid] post-docs…
    This guy has kept a bunch of dirt on certain members of the board of directors that hire the university president; thus indirectly he controls the president… He gets people hired for professorship positions that did not even bother to apply for the job. He manages to obtain early tenure – a lifelong appointment – for them despite the tenure committee’s outright and unanimous rejection of the obviously unqualified [tenure “candidate”]. The later is in clear violation of the university’s so called “operations manual” and other academic so called “professional conduct” and “ethics”. 

    People like him make life completely unpleasant for their peers and others, but these people tend to get the “projects done”. Often, the conclusions are dead wrong, the methodologies suspect, and in certain cases people die from trusting the “expertise” of an old “know-it all” who simply does not. And yet, people like him manage to instill fear in others; this fear then is used as a lever of control. 

    I never met Jobs. I don’t know whether he was a dickhead or not. But, as in the above case, the conclusion of projects [often with suspicious conclusions that are later discarded] is not necessarily an end that justifies the means… If we philosophically agree that success is simply the accumulation of great wealth, then yes, concentrating power and wealth at the top is an end that justifies the means, and then, corporations such as BP (responsible for the deaths of those workers in the Caribbean, and the pollution generated by their blown out well) are to be praised and admired. If- on the other hand- work done that benefits mankind is the goal, then the Exxon Mobile’s, the BP’s, the Wall Street Bankers, and the Clarkson’s of this world are to be admonished and condemned.

    I am personally [almost] ashamed to be considered an alum of that institution, with the gigantic exception to note that my major professor in graduate school was a good man, a Swede who founded the Institute of Surface Chemistry in Stockholm, and who won the highest award given by the German Colloid Chemistry society;  who – in turn – was also run out of town by that Croatian jackass who demonstrated sheer jealousy that he was not judged worthy to receive such an honor…

    Ultimately, it comes down to people, and to what they determine to be of value in out constantly evolving human society

  • WhoCares?

    Whatever he was mean, ruthless etc. who cares? Who remembers that in 50 years? NOBODY!

    The neurosurgeon who operated on my little brother’s brain was an absolute asshole. But he is still my hero!

    Say what you want about Jobs, but I’m typing this on my iphone, and now I’m heading to do some work on my iMac.

    He may have been an asshole, but he was still a visionary, and a winner!

  • guest

    I think your article is bias!  There’s no excuse for
    way he treated people, and if you think because one is successful it’s OK, or
    that you have to be an asshole to be successful, then you’re just as much of an
    asshole!  In the big scheme of things
    life will go on with or without Apple products. 
    There have been many great people throughout history, not all of them were

  • Phil

    you should post this as an article.

  • d_n

    Because Mike obviously respects Steve and wishes to right these wrong things said about him.

  • d_n

    I’m sorry but this comment is nothing more than opinionated drivel, from a member of the dumb than dumber commenters.

  • d_n

    Fantastic, well-thought out post, Mike. I especially liked your reasoning regarding Xerox; it’s such an old, cliched argument, and I’m glad somebody has put it to rest.

  • handford

    It’s amazing how the public excuses bad behavior because of
    fame, wealth, success, etc.?

  • Len Williams

    Steve got people to work their best. Sometimes that takes some effort, prodding and even some yelling when they don’t make the grade. I’ve been a business owner for over 20 years and have seen that many employees will slack off and do as little as possible unless they’re highly motivated. Regardless of Steve’s methods, he got people to produce the products and designs millions of us love all over the world. “Assholeness” is in the eye of the beholder. People that tend to be lazy object strenuously when told they need to work harder. Many highly dedicated people can be viewed as jerks because they don’t put up with others’ half-hearted work ethic. I admire Steve because he got what he wanted: Insanely great products that people love.

  • Rongon

    “As they are wont to do”

    How I love CoM…

  • Matt Ackeret

    Earnest, not ernest.


  • yopdesign

    As far as i know, the biography book are dedicated to his children. So they can get to know and understand Steve, better. The most wise answer might come from Steve’s wife. She understand why Steve the way he was. Most people inspired by Steve Jobs since his speech as Stanford. People start seeing him as “the one” that is cool, wise, great, wonderful, etc. But thankfully, with this book, that is Steve itself that want this (book) to be exist, he wants to clear things up. Shit happens, also to Steve Jobs. He is not perfect, also his life wasn’t perfect. But hey look at Apple. He turns a shit into gold? That’s quite true! And remember that he has cancer during his career. People, stop praising Steve Jobs, and just challange yourself from now on. Can we do, just like what Steve did? “I’m not perfect, my life also wasn’t perfect, shit happens to me, but if i can do this, why can’t you?” Maybe Steve was thinking of that words for people. He encourage people to do more than he did. Admit it, he is awesome with his Apple and products. He made the greatest technologies to be able to get to the hands of as many people. He help the technologies to run faster. Google, Samsung, Microsoft, etc, can you all keep up with Apple?

  • paulTT

    Glad someone said this, par excellance. Great points made here.

  • Bill Gates

    Want to see an asshole? Look in your mirror!

  • Atienne

    I always love the fact that the trolling assholes log comments as guests.
    don’t like macs, or iPhones, or iPads. don’t fucking buy one then. you remind me of those assholes in the early 90s who would walk up to me at parties, because they knew I was in IT, insist we have a conversation about computers and then proceed to bash apple, all the while swearing that they would be out of business in 3 years. jesus christ. get a life.

  • Bill Gates

    Yes of course you are right, Bill.

  • Saltip

    It’s amazing to me that everyone always criticizes people who “steal” ideas from others especially when they are making money and in these specific cases – billions. I can’t count the number of times when someone has claimed that they were the one who thought of the idea but didn’t do anything about it (I am one of them too!). So because you may have thought it, do you automatically own the rights to it. Do you really think you were the only person on this earth that didn’t think about it too?

    It’s all about Commercialization – risk, time and money investment, severed personal relationships, etc.

    It’s all about Execution – if your idea was that easy, why didn’t you just do it?

    It’s all about Jealousy – shouldn’t you be praising someone for possibly inspiring you to be passionate about following your idea(s)?

    Steve Jobs was running a business and if he was failing, you would be the first to criticize him. I don’t think we would be claiming “he stole my idea.”

  • Mike Elgan

    Here’s to the crazy ones….

  • Jordan Clay

    did somebody not read the article.  if he ‘stole’ the concept of a mouse how come he put out a mouse 3 years after the 1st commercial mouse.   Also, if he ‘stole’ ideas, how come he paid $17.5 million for it.   

    You are right that one of Steve Jobs/ Picaso’s favorite quotes was “good artists copy, great artists steal” but I feel you need to dive into that deeper to truly understand it and the context.

  • DGF
  • Jordan Clay

    It is hard to take you serious when you can’t form a complete, correct sentence.

  • Atienne

    So in YOUR world, ALL cars would be Fords, all copy machines would be xerox, and all cereal would be corn flakes? and yes I know Ford didn’t invent the car, but you get the idea.

    EDIT: and by the way, the GUI came on macs before it came on Linux or Windows.

  • Jordan Clay

    I with you.  I wouldn’t say that great people aren’t nice,  I would say that they are very demanding.  I don’t think “good enough” was anywhere near good enough for Steve Jobs.  He needed it to be perfect and if it wasn’t….that is when a-hole time came.

    I’m glad Steve Jobs was an a-hole when products weren’t perfect, or when suppliers fell behind.  I enjoy a better product because of it.   If suppliers fell behind on the iPad absolutely NOBODY would have one.   ONe of my favorite stories was when Steve Jobs asked the Mobile Me team what Mobile Me did.  After they listed all the features he turned around and said “well why the F**K does it not do that?”   And now, we have iCloud which integrates w/ my iPad, Mac and iPhone and keeps all my documents in order, games synced, and I will never loose a bit of information again.

  • MarioWario

    It’s obvious: he didn’t stole from Xerox (a friend told me that the mouse concept came from members of a university nearby) – it was a trade between companies. Adele Goldberg had all rights to be upset about Steve for not understanding the concept of interoperability from OO-Software – GUI – OS (as well as the guys from the Taligent-Project/Newton (IBM/Apple COOP)).

    Steve had his greatest moments when he didn’t thought about money making – instead thinking of holistic ideas beyond just prize calculations – e.g. iPod/itunes & iPhone (no company would have invested so much money to design such a phone – that makes it outstanding). He had a real visionary moment when he saw the great potential value of the iPad (still unmatched harmonic design compared to it’s challengers & what a tool to many appliances: medicine – engineering – marketing – school/education – accessibility – private use).

    He saved apple – the most ergonomic computer company of the 80’s & 90’s. Invested in the first computer animated film (that was mind-blowing at that time) & made inventions to computerized biological analysis with NeXT-Computers at the same time. I remember leaving Apple for Windows 95 and the new Pentium (90 MHz) to realize Microsoft had no clue of multimedia and interactivity (they blocked Quicktime internally in Windows 95 to steal Apple’s success).

    It’s was more against ANDROID than against GOOGLE – Google/Larry Page should step back out of the hardware/mobile biz and heal the damages of Eric Schmidt’s BETRAYAL made in the Apple/Google-Relationship.

    Of course Steve was a split personality – we all are like this ! If there is something evil – it’s a genetic problem of the human kind … (btw you should be rough to lead 10,000 guys)

  • Jordan Clay

    and although they weren’t entirely correct, they went out, made the best product and are now extremely successful. I”m pretty sure Xerox isn’t in the corner crying about being late to put out a mouse.  

  • Andrew Craig

    Fuck yeah

  • Morgan

    For what it’s worth – Stallman is the equivalent of the Pied Piper for our Digital World.  He is leading the ignorant, easily influenced, weak-minded, socialist leaning idiots of the technology world into a land of pathetic, lame, ugly and cheap (cost, function, value, experience, et al) FREE Open SOREs software.  All Hail Stalin, er, Stallman.

  • David Clark


  • Naruto Uzumaki

    Damn right that’s all true. Yes he was human and for the record business men have to be cruel and mean to get that high up in the won’t get anywhere if your as nice as granny. To the little five year olds who are crying and whining because some one wasn’t nice stuff it. This isn’t a play ground it’s called reality so grow or go play with your dollies.

  • Hoser Man

    I’ve worked with a world famous person that never barked a foul word out of his mouth and had the most respected organization in medicine. I’ve also worked with a flaming asshole who also had a respected organization in medicine. Either will work in today’s society if you want to exude respect in your field, but I’ll guarantee  that the turnover in a  more relaxed workplace is much less than in one that is constantly in eruption. Jobs had a chemistry of sorts at Apple that will not be replaced. I feel that future product advancement will not be as dramatic as it has been under Jobs. And I also think that other consumer electronic companies have also learned from Jobs’ commitment to quality and design. It will be only a matter of time before other companies use the same philosophy of the workplace that is attributed to Apple to further their own company’s futures and possibly beat Apple at their own game.

  • Billingford

    Yep. Money & status are pretty much stand-ins for moral character.

  • Mark

    Nice Article!

  • Focusonurbest

    To all the people who have nothing good to say, come up with your solution, fund it, prototype it  and sell it, then we will listen to you. I think the greatest feat of Steve was keeping people believing in you.

  • Billingford

    Overreact much?

  • Dan

    I don’t think you’re being fair to socialism. Stallman is an arrogant ideologue whose notion of openness leaves out all non technical users.

  • Atienne

    if I did, the reply would be a great deal harsher than this.

  • Are you under 25?

    He was old enough to buy beer. The drinking age was 18

  • Alvin777

    Hi. I think it’s more like, something from the bible (roman catholic for me) and built-in our souls reminded by our holy books: this without the same weaknesses or sins cast the first stone. We have to accept that for the most part Steve was mean even in older years because it’s almost impossible to change your personality at a certain age, it should be true he copied Xerox but we have to define copy as copying some of it like the GUI, not copied at in 100%, if it were words he copied it not in verbatim, in short it was a copy that’s more inspired by it. 

    In short we have to forgive his weakness because at one point we did copy something (copy is still the word because Steve says it’s art also which automatically means that you have to copy some stuff from a previous art).Sometimes the exact definition of copied matters. We sometimes can’t be absolutist and too technical.It wasn’t GUI invention but GUI pioneering or making it available to everyone which made it avant grade or moving forward because it makes it easier for people. With Android, I believe that’s the one I 100% agree with Apple’s whole cash in hand not even a significant amount say 75% would all be allocated to eliminating Android, that’s possible but mostly likely not reasonable. Apple’s not even behind in terms of sales, it just looks like that because the many Android (I think Steve means when they don’t get it, is that it’s becoming like Linux, very segmented, each forking out and each not being 100% compatible with each other which defeats the purpose of having one OS for the smartphone) makers like HTC and the rest are all ganging up on Apple. If Apple were Bruce Lee, the others would also be very good martial artist also but they would be Chuck Norrises (no disrespect to Chuck, he’s very cool and we must be charitable and kind to all people big or small). Apple is right on being walled but open-source has it’s advantages too.When you need to boot to Linux you can thank God and the people who contribute to Linux despite their other paid jobs, download it for free so you can use it’s utilities on the Mac or just play with it. It’s better to have both open-source and a walled garden. No camp should say their camp is better, a combo of good things is usually the best not always like when you have 30 A-list actors in one movie, focus disappears unless it’s 50 great singers singing for a cause).In the end is this serving as many people as possible. Apple should just settle with Google and Samsung, they have some UI that made it into the iOS 5 anyway. They should just share patents, focus their energies on giving their best for all mankind. They are cash rich anyway, profitable that anyone copying Some of their art won’t bankrupt them. It’ll be all about the total product that’ll make people buy and sometimes people buy two. There should be room for everybody. The suing must stop unless a company’s (like in China) truly copying 99% of the design which is not inspiration anymore but very sinful because there’s nothing Apple or Android can copy back if a clone in China just copied 99% if not 100% of your design or art.Thank you for reading.Gbu.[We must do our best & do things for the love of God first, before people]

  • vanmacguy

    I think this is a great article and I also think it needed to be written, so thanks Mike.

    I’m currently reading to book and for me, the people that are highlighting the negative Jobs information need to take the book (and the man) as a whole and not focus on the sensational (as is the want of todays “mainstream” press).

    He was clearly a genius in our time and at the same time he was a human being. Who amongst us has not thrown an absolute screaming hissy fit about something? Who amongst us has not been completely unreasonable at one time or another? Who amongst us has not been a complete a$$hole about something or other?

    He was an amazing human being and like all human beings had his flaws but his flaws made things happen. Things that gave websites like this reasons to exist and people like us something to obsess about.


    I think things are going to get interesting now and feel comfortable that for the next three years anyway, Apple will continue to innovate. Three years because from what I’ve read, Jobs worked that far in advance, so those wheels are already in motion. What’s going to happen after that? Who knows, but I’m really looking forward to finding out.


    End of line.

  • AdamC

    Quality cost money, like the aluminum body used in Apple products and how many companies which are making peanuts from their products are willing to shell out great quantities of money to get it right.
    Btw I wonder you had notice that all Apple products are slammed by many as suck, expensive, for example the latest and greatest is slammed for killing battery life.
    I believe many know quality but to execute it is difficult because too many variables are involved.
    Many companies are beating Apple today and it doesn’t take tomorrow to do it.

  • Done

    So I guess we’ll all just ignore his quote from the book “good artists copy, great artists steal….”. You’re all a bunch of delusional hypocrites! Call it like it is…

  • Hendricks

    Nobody’s perfect, you’re right, but are you really selling us this crap? It’s ok to be a raging delusional ass all the time? And you’re defending this by saying we all fly off the handle SOMETIMES so it was ok fr him to be like that to others ALL the time? Get real.

  • vanmacguy

    Seriously? You’re out in public? After 9PM?

    Who *ever* said he was like that all the time?

  • dinodxynez

    Now, can any one of you blind sheep tell me HOW (specifically HOW) Google copied from Apple’s OS ~ There’s nothing similar AT ALL (thank goodness!) Nothing at all since Google Android’s conception! But, all you blind sheep will TOTALLY ignore the fact how Apple has recently copied key Android features for your beloved iOS and CONTINUE to covet more features currently enjoyed by Android users (recent article: “15 most wanted features for iPhone 5” – most of which are currently in use by Android phones; but Google will have copied those too, right!?)

    Freakin bunch of desperate hypocrites!

  • Guest

    you serious? the android is a freaking bad copy of the IOS. pathetic.

  • Guest

    get a life please. or be a real editor. or get a job. don’t edit other people’s work without being asked to.

  • dinodxynez

    You still haven’t answered HOW!!! Be specific and stop acting as if you know what the hell you’re talking about. You sheep make me so sick – do some research and stop repeating baseless phrases that just happen to come out of other people’s mouths.

    Oh, and uh, you still haven’t addressed the most recent Android replications adopted on iOS5 – wanna comment on that?

  • Guest

    why is everyone making such a big deal of this. the world is romanticizing steve’s life too much. look he’s a smart guy, he made some great things and we love him for that. he’s also human who makes mistakes like the rest of us. he is no god and he never tried to be. so give him a break. and give him the respect he deserves.

  • opticalserenity

    Very, very good article.

  • Evan Benford

    Hey troll I can answer your question. Android stole the idea of a intuitive finger based Touch Interface, Inertial Scrolling, multi-touch gesture interface, a REAL virtual keyboard with self correcting algorithms, first real mobile web browser (Webkit), quality of apps to take mobile computing to the next level, the complete omission of other input methods (trackball, optical pad, stylus, excess buttons, hard keyboard. etc.) which moved touch computing forward faster, etc. We have become so accustomed to these things on cell phones we dont even recognize them as innovations anymore and what impact they had. These were ALL profound leaps that were implemented into Android as soon as Google got word of the iphone…before it was a Blackberry/Treo copy. Honestly go look at prototype Android n read the comments. Anyone remember zoom buttons or menu>zoom>menu>zoom>menu>…WTF! Glad to be out of that. A notification drawer that pulls down is a touch based input that allowed for that to work, which goes back to who REALLY made touch input possible.… (thank the iphone)

  • James155


    I mean I LOVE Apple products as much as the next guy (mainly their computers… and the iPod classic, can’t beat that deal) but these people are so blind when it comes to Android. 

    I have an Android phone (had the G1 when it came out, now just an LG Optimus) and recently got a touch as a gift, and it drives me nuts how iOS is just so hard to do simple things. The multitasking is a joke, and now they copied our pull down menu and Siri is acting all revolutionary… 

    Phones has always had “apps”, and Windows phones organized them all in a somewhat similar mannor. There is only so much you can do with a touch screen…

  • Steven Zahl

    All geniuses have their dark side.

  • Artman Tx

    Actually the things you claim we ripped from Android were actually in the works years ago, since the inception. They just took time to be fleshed out and post certain Android devs doing site visits back in the day, mysteriously ended up a droid feature first. Your ignorance is apparent.

  • aardman

    I think you should air your personal professional grievances somewhere else.  

  • Lasseter

    We? R u an engineer at apple? Puhleeeease.

  • Hendricks

    Read the book. He is portrayed as that more often than not. In fact, it the principle underlying theme of it all. The irony of it all is that he wanted everyone to think different and do great things but what he created is a society of people, like yourself, that follow blindly and actually stop thinking… ( and yea I’m writing this on an an iPad but I continue think for myself!).

  • Hendricks

    I am assuming (big assumption) that you do read…and not just the picture books or those published by DC comics…real books, some that are bound in hardcover and such.

  • vanmacguy

    I am in the process of reading the book. And while I can’t proclaim to have finished it yet, I do have the benefit of having read the beginning and knowing something of humanity.

    So if you’ve finished the book and the book says that he was a complete a$$hole all the time that made the whole world think like he did then I have to bow to you, because I’ve not finished the book yet.

    So until I’ve finished it (as you clearly have) you have me at a disadvantage, and I can’t argue the same position that you can. The only thing I can argue is knowledge of humanity.

    And this tells me that we all act like a$$holes sometimes but not all the time, which is what my original comment was based on.

    But while you’ve read the whole thing and know Jobs intimately as well as everything he ever said, meant and felt, then I have to bow to you.

    You truly are the master. I’m bowing right now. Really, I am. No, really. Here I go again. Bow.

  • likethesky

    You clearly haven’t read the book, or have forgotten pieces of it, even Jony Ives is quoted as saying that Jobs treated people very poorly (insensitively) and he and Jobs didn’t even meet until the late 1980s when Jobs was well into his 30s. So please stop saying it was youthful indiscretion. Read the book. He acted that way up until his death, as the book makes clear.

    I’ll also add that Ives was quoted from the past 2-3 years as well–and he’s a very close friend of Jobs & his family–so it’s clear that Jobs’ “assholeness” went very much above and beyond just ‘getting things done’ and was a permanent feature of his personality. Throughout his life.

    That said, he’s clearly immensely talented. I don’t, however, believe the ends justify the means. Enough said.

  • vanmacguy

    Oh and something I forgot to target in my reply. He had a wife and had children and had friends, which means he couldn’t possibly have been an a$$hole all the time. I’m an a$$hole some of the time but my wife and children and friends wouldn’t put up with it if I were like that all the time.

    Your point seems to be that he was like that all the time and mine was that he couldn’t have been an a$$hole all the time, so this seemed important.

  • Done

    Finally, someone with a head on their shoulders. I like apple products, that’s why I come to this site, but I can’t believe the thoughtlessness of many apple followers. And even some of the contributors here. Always turning a blind eye to indiscretions or transgressions and just blindly buying into stuff that they feel makes apple superior. Apple stole ideas (jobs: “good artists copy, great artists STEAL!!”. The jobs hypocrisy: they stole from xerox so that’s ok, but Microsoft steals from apple is not ok. Seriously, apple fans would be a lot more respected if they just call it like it is. He was a jerk that made good products. I would teach my kids to emulate his tenacity but never conduct myself they way he did throughout much of his life. Many on here are commenting without reading the book…just read the book. It’s painfully obvious….and if it isn’t, we’ll nothing is going to help you.

  • Hendricks

    If you read the book, you would know he didn’t have very many friends. In fact the two guys that threw him his bachelor party did so because they felt sorry for him that nobody else would do iT. And oh, there where a grand total of 3 guys at his bachelor party…INCLUDING Stevet. Did you hear that? Ya that’s the sound of me stomping all over your lazy, factless, arguments….stats tart reading schoolboy….

  • Hendricks

    Idiot. If you read more than 25 pages of the book, you would be able to feel the tone. You’ve obviously haven’t finished your hooked on phonics course.

  • Hendricks

    And Wozniak, his supposed best friend? Ended up not ever being able to trust jobs…and he’s the nicest guy out there. When jobs was done with him, he moved on. He even banned other companies from working with woz after he left apple. What a NICE guy that Steve jobs. I sure would like to have more friends like that around me.

  • Lulz

    It is hard to take you serious when you can’t form a complete, correct sentence.
    Lol maybe you should take your own advice.

  • Lulz

    I’m sorry but this comment is nothing more than opinionated drivel, from a member of the stupid than stupider commentators.

  • vanmacguy

    I have already said that I didn’t finish it.

  • vanmacguy

    Yawn, haven’t finished the book yet, don’t think I’ve read that part.

    Given how nice you are I’m sure you’ll have lots of people around you.

  • vanmacguy

    I’ve finished more than 25 pages of the book.
    I can feel the tone and it doesn’t feel as negative as you seem to want it to feel. Which is why I responded the way I did.I want to remove myself from this dialog now that you’ve reduced it to school yard name calling but feel that I can’t because that would make you think that you’ve won something.

    So what would you like to say next?

  • vanmacguy

    Oh and for all your name calling you’ve still not said where it was said in the book (all 100 pages that I’ve read so far) that he was an a$$ *all* the time. 

    Unless you’re reading a different book than me that is?

  • J

    Did you hear of Elon Musk or Richard Branson? You don’t have to be an a-hole to achieve even when your young.
    There is never an excuse being an a-hole.


  • HerbalEd

    You forgot the part where Ives says that Jobs was his “best” friend, and how much he admired Jobs. Also, given the big picture, I’d say you are wrong about the ends justifying the means.

  • HerbalEd

    Apple “stole” from Xerox??? Did you actually read this article?

  • HerbalEd

    You get sick very easily. You should get that checked out.

  • d_n

    ? loops ftw!

  • R W

    Wasn’t Eric Schmidt part of the Apple Board members, whilst he was developing Android ??  I rest my case :)

  • Done

    LOSER, read the book. This is exactly it. Thoughtless sheep. Just mike wrote an OPINION above doesn’t mean I choose to buy it. Jobs says about this “transaction” with xerox: good artists copy, great ones steal”…now wtf do you suppose he meant by that? Don’t answer, I already know what you’re going to say…soooooo predicatable….thoughtless sheep.

  • Aaron

    You think Elon Musk isn’t an a-hole? Really? Have you researched him? Inc magazine said about Elon, “He’s not particularly young or brash or handsome, and he can come off as kind of a jerk.” 

    As for Sir Richard Branson, yes he can do some pretty a-hole things, too, like throttling his Virgin Internet access to any sites that conflict with his business ideals, whether it be a competing IPTV service or VoIP service. That’s not being an a-hole? Maybe he’s not in person, but actions speak louder than words.

  • Hendricks

    Hahahaha, zero. You little, socialist…you started the name calling with your “out after ” comment, which I’m not sure what it means but I guess it hurt, I guess….. If you’re too big for this convo, or can’t come up with anything clever to say, which is painfully obvious, the I understand why you would want to bow out….but just in case you’re compelled to write again, you can have the last word, I’m done here.

  • Done

    Woz was once his best friend until he screwed him! Banned frog design from working on a stupid little remote that apple had no field of play in. Great guy. Sure, he had a few best friends, they all lost that status at one point or another when he would eventually screw them.

  • Sean Murphy


  • aramishero

    No one can judge everyone if you don’t know much about the person. As long as Steve Jobs really contribute for the technology and create a great product for all of us. Consumer have their choice… If the product suck they won’t buy it and buy it again and some more queue for over night for the gadget like iPhone and iPad. User not stupid and they don’t paid money for just believe what Steve Jobs said… That is user experience, worth value, stability and endurable. All the Apple product user know it. Stop those lover hater drama, it will just make you look like a fool and retarded.

  • HerbalEd

    And Woz has said many times recently that Jobs was still a good friend up to the end and that he still has tremendous respect for Jobs. 

    Why do you pretend to know about “all” of Jobs best friends? You don’t.Frog design??? What’s that about? 

  • Agree (with Alumnus)


    I think that ‘An Alumnus’ was simply making a statement that being an asshole is not necessarily a pre-requisite to [so called] success, and that assholes at the top simply need to be removed from their positions – their cost to the quality of life of others (co workers, associates, customers) is simply too great to be justified by their perceived “accomplishments”.

  • Jdsonice

    Excellent article. 

    No one is being forced to like Steve Jobs. Everyone wants to be Steve Jobs – yeah – even the ones complaining about him – they are just jealous. 

    There will always be petty stories about him – he was human and therefore flawed. Now that he is gone, it is time to forget his flaws and learn from his work.


  • barryson

    good said 

  • Steve

    The Apple mouse wasn’t stolen from Xerox’s mouse and the Samsung phone wasn’t stolen from the iPhone. All devices are slightly different. Think different!

  • PHenry

    I had a professor in College very similar to Jobs. He commanded the room, he chastised students in front of their peers, and pushed them relentlessly to do better and think for themselves. He also had drinking binges and other flaws. I consider him a mentor and someone who helped me mature and take responsibility for my own behavior. Those Lame stream media bashers probably would have dropped his class

  • Yacko

    Exactly that, a design firm. A look and feel design firm. Was used by Apple at various times including tablet, laptop and newton-ish designs most of which never saw the light of day.

    Also worked for NeXT. When Jobs found out they were prototyping some sort of remote control for Wozniak (who also had left Apple), Jobs went ballistic.

    You’re right, Woz and Ive both profess love for Jobs, but Jobs is proof you always hurt the one you love.

  • Done

    Frog design, one of the mat successful design and engineering companies in the tech field. Now owned by aricent a KKR company. Look it up and learn a bit about technology companies outside of your blinded apple goggles

  • HerbalEd

    Do you always make assumptions with so little info? Try learning a bit about life.

  • CitizenX

    During the dealer introductions to the Mac given by Apple employees and dealer reps full, credit was given to Xerox along with the fact that Apple paid 4 million dollars for the right to use Xerox ideas.

    Xerox even sued in the early part of this decade claiming infringement and the suit was summarily dismissed.

  • Talk2Tony

    Nice Job Mike!!

  • Talk2Tony

    There is something to said in defense of Apple here with regard to Samsung. Remember that Samsung had and has a business relationship with Apple worth 8 billion dollars to Samsung . In this relationship they are trusted with priority information as part of that agreement. For Samsung to abuse their fiduciary resposabilty

  • sir1jaguar





  • Talk2Tony

    Maybe your cousins the asshole?

  • Raymond in DC

    PARC was a great idea factory but they lacked the talent to translate their innovations into products and revenue. In that regard they were less successful than Bell Labs which at least gave us the transistor, fiber optics, and UNIX. Most forget that Postscript also got its start at PARC. Xerox didn’t know what to do with that either, so the developers went off to create Adobe.

  • Thomcarl

    The courts have a different view point than yours Steve, l draw your attention to the multiple  injunctions against Samsung.

  • Thomcarl

    Spot on herbaled, your more polite than I would have been.

  • Done

    Lol. Blind leading the blind. You can’t make this shit up! Cuddle up boys!

  • Done

    My assumption is that you like many other in here are blind sheep wanting to be a part of something so you can feel special…and I’m likely right.

  • Jubei Kiwagami

    Wrong, the SAMSUNG Phone and just about everything else they are doing, including their stores are all stolen from Apple. OH and Google helped the entire Android lot of copy cats.

  • Jubei Kiwagami

    No he didn’t. Job made quotes on purpose to confuse and mix up competition into making wrong decision. Done doesn’t have enough grey matter to figure that out. LOL

  • sir1jaguar


    If he’s ass hole, you are the imoron & istupid mongoloid-izombie fanatics of DICK STEVE JOBS…


  • Jubei Kiwagami

    Unfortunately most TROLLS, Fandroid, MS Pawns and the likes cannot get past “left or right, black or white, up or down, negative or positive” It’s too much mental effort, so they stick to one thought. Sometimes right, most of the time wrong.

  • sir1jaguar


    Those istupid & izombie ifanatics can’t be sway or will believe IN THE TRUTH that even MIKE OPINIONS are ACCEPTABLE WITH THEM even it’s MANUFACTURED TO DEFEND iSTEVE “evil” JOBS…

    If steve jobs will say he’s the GOD, theses iMORON WILL BELIEVE…

  • sir1jaguar





  • sir1jaguar





  • Fesswaterzoe

    Doubt it.

  • sir1jaguar




  • sir1jaguar



    EVEN HE WILL LIE AND MANUFACTURE WORDS, HE WILL DO FOR ALL istupid, imoron, izombie, itards, etc…


  • deasys

    Steve Jobs name is listed on over 300 patents as the lead inventor. How many patents do you have?

  • Mojo

    It was Pocasso who first said the line good artist copy great artist steal.

  • deasys

    As the article so clearly explained, Apple paid for Xerox’s ideas; it didn’t “steal” them.

    BTW, the Wright brothers “just improved concepts,” too. Yep–“that’s all” they did…

  • BObs

    They paid xerox, that’s a historical fact.

  • BObs

    Look at android before the iPhone and then after. Before the UI was a clone of Blackberry, then after the iPhone was released, and probably before with Eric’s inside board info, Android suddenly switched gears and looked like the iPhone OS. There’s the proof you asked for so feel free to piss off.

  • BObs

    Jeez, STFU already.

  • comments2

    This Elgan article overreaches. Steve
    Jobs was an exciting genius, who brought many new products and ideas to the
    market. The positive hype for all that is well deserved.


    However, there simply is no defense for
    the way Steve Jobs treated family, friends and colleagues. His management style
    was the model not follow. 


    Neither age, nor references to social
    conduct in TV dramas can justify the pain, frictions and simple bad taste that
    flowed from his belittlement, petty control and nastiness in life. 


    Comments on his horrific behavior are no over-indulgence.
    Commentators correctly seek to reaffirm that people –even talented people, have
    no license for hurtful and boorish, antisocial behavior

  • comments2

    – This Elgan article overreaches. Steve
    Jobs was an exciting genius, who brought many new products and ideas to the
    market. The positive hype for all that is well deserved.

    – However, there simply is no defense
    for the way Steve Jobs treated family, friends and colleagues. His management
    style was the model not follow. 

    – Neither age, nor references to social
    conduct in TV dramas can justify the pains, frictions and simple bad taste that
    flowed from his belittlement, petty control and nastiness. 

    – Comments on his horrific behavior are
    no over-indulgence. Commentators correctly seek to reaffirm that people –even
    talented people, have no license for hurtful and boorish, antisocial behavior.

  • comments2

    – This Elgan article overreaches. Steve Jobs was an exciting genius, who brought many new products and ideas to the market. The positive hype for all that is well deserved.
    – However, there simply is no defense for the way Steve Jobs treated family, friends and colleagues. His management style was the model not follow. 
    – Neither age, nor references to social conduct in TV dramas can justify the pains, frictions and simple bad taste that flowed from his belittlement, petty control and nastiness. 
    – Comments on his horrific behavior are no over-indulgence. Commentators correctly seek to reaffirm that people –even talented people, have no license for hurtful and boorish antisocial behavior.

  • d_n

    Dude. Buy a new keyboard. Or calm down or something.

  • Bob Hannan

    I choose Apple’s “closed” systems over Microsoft’s and IBM’s closed systems.They work well!

  • Lennart

    You really are a nasty a**h*le, aren’t you? If you had a lot of “friends” at your bachelor party I bet they came because they were hoping to see you get really humiliated.

  • Kendall Tawes

    Yeah, I forgot how Samsung paid Apple to have the designs of their chargers, basic shape, function, and marketing.

    Apple paid Xerox and if Samsung did something similar to Apple then Apple wouldn’t have a leg to stand on. But that is not the case.

  • Victor Healey

    What fools view as a prison, I view as a fantastic Apple benefit. 

    I no longer spend my life worrying ever single second our accounts have been transferred to Russia by cyber criminals or that a trojan is silently using our computers as part of a bot net to bring down some government.

    Just being able to instantly use an iPad or have my wife at home on the Mac without worry is a huge relief. We now have cyber luxuries and live in a tightly guarded castle that keeps the evil out.

    I can boot Windows 7, Chrome, and Linux but Lord knows, why would I want to?
    I have discovered the tools I have with Mac OX Lion and iCloud are far better and easier to use.

  • Roger Ramshit

    Regarding Point 4…you can actually have it both ways. I like Linux (OSS)  at work because I have the time to tinker and get things working. Away from work I like Apple because I then have time to get other things done without having to tinker. I like both models and and that suits me.

  • Roger Ramshit

    Definately his stengths were vision, attention to detail and unrelenting perfection at all costs. Because of that Apple stayed the course and are now reaping their rewards. His people skills were questionable at best and appaling at worst. Unfortunately with Steve Jobs you had to take it as a packaged bundle (the good with the bad).

  • Roger Ramshit

    I think this was quite a revelation. Many people think Apple “stole” Xerox’s idea but they didn’t. They bought the rights to view it and Xerox actually benefitted by allowing Apple to make something of it….I guess Xerox…like Apple…allow others to to what they are best at. Xerox didn’t neccessarily fumble….they just felt it was not a technology they wanted to pursue and allowed Apple to take the ball and run with it. In hindsight Xerox could have done the same but they just weren’t as focused on the PC revolution taking place.

  • Roger Ramshit

    This has to be Google’s biggest embarrasment. They have given non-US manufacturers the ability to compete against US companies just so they can guarrantee the Ad delivery platform. They are deliberately hurting Apple and BB and even Motorola just the the sake of annoying Advertisement.

  • Roger Ramshit

    I haven’t read any stories of Branson individually berating employees. Maybe he does and maybe he doesn’t but you seem to be confusing business tactics with A-holeness.

  • normm

    You have no idea what the quote means. Great artists don’t copy what another artist actually does, they copy the *essence* of what the other does, merging it with their own approach. The stealing is metaphorical.

  • oakdesk23

    “When these things happened, Jobs was practically a teenager.”
    He was NOT a teenager. Nice try. And even if he was a teenager it’s not an excuse for being an asshole. These stories have been told about him his entire life. I’m inclined to believe he was an asshole.”Remember, when Jobs started Apple, he was 20 — not even old enough to buy beer.”

    The drinking age in 1976 was 18 or 19 in most states.

  • HerbalEd

    Assumptions are most often inaccurate, if not completely false. And, BTW, what makes you so special that you judge people with such disdain?

  • Mark

    Damn good article

  • Jason

    Did you guys who talk about how bad Jobs was to his family read what his sister had to say about him? I think Mike was right on.

  • Charel

    I’d rather have a boss like Jobs, who shouts at me for mistakes and any perceived inadequacies than a boss who is nice to my face and arranges to have me fired to hide his own faults and misdeeds.

    Mind you, the “powers that be” found out and he got fired a few months later. 

  • Ed_Kel

    “what you’ve just said is one of the most insanely idiotic things I have ever heard. At no point in your rambling, incoherent response were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought. Everyone in this room is now dumber for having listened to it. I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul.”

  • Ed_Kel

    Thoughtless sheep? I love how trolls always refer back to farm animals to overcome a debate.

    You’re an idiot.

  • Ed_Kel

    You are the biggest idiot of them all!

    Learn proper grammar before you take to the streets and criticize others.

  • Ed_Kel

    Why are you even here if you don’t have anything nice to say? Instead of wasting your time bashing people you don’t know, maybe you should go back to school and take English 101.

  • Ed_Kel

    Just because “There is only so much you can do with a touch screen…” doesn’t make it right.

  • Ed_Kel

    Anyone with half a brain cell can make an argument against copydroid, but lets address the REAL issue plaguing Google……

    How do you feel about Google’s blatant disregard for the Linux licensing terms? If they don’t even give a shit about the foundation of their OS, what makes you think they care about stealing ideas from competitors?

    And to answer your question.. Are you stating that the pull-down notifications was stolen from Google? The only similarity between the two is that you swipe down with your finger, everything else is different. How would you defend Apple’s patent of “swipe to unlock” that is used on almost every Android phone?

  • Bert Vanderveen

    There have been THREE 2-to-1 stock splits, but the total is correct : )

    June 15, 1987
    June 21, 2000
    February 28, 2005

  • Done

    Ohhh norm, you’re so smart. Smart enough to even read into it and try to make it whatever you want it to be so u can be part of the special apple nation. You’re special, norm! But, let see….are you inventing here are improving someone else’s idea? There’s nothing wrong bettering someone elses product but just don’t go bashing others when they start doing it to you! If it was ok for apple to do it to xerox, it’s ok for Microsoft to doit to apple. Stop being such a sissy.

  • jnjnjn3

    So both aren’t a-holes.
    Thanks for the confirmation.


  • jnjnjn3

    What’s your excuse Sean?

  • MacGoo

    As always, the truth is somewhere in the middle. As this article finds itself there as well, it’s likely much more accurate than the Jobs Worship AND the Stallman hate speech. Thanks Mike!

  • Leap Bay

    who is that stallman guy? what’s he been doing great? 

  • sir1jaguar

    Thanks for flagging my comments,

    What an ass hole way of blocking my truth comments…

  • sir1jaguar

    Fuck you, Ed…

  • sir1jaguar


    Proper grammar your face…

    Lots of imorons…

  • Brandon Shelley

    This. Article. Is. Absolutely. BRILLIANT.  You laid it on nice and thick; deliberate, articulately-delivered, and intelligently written.  This should be published as an afterword to Isaacson’s book.

  • Mikec257

    I am reading the book and I agree with a lot of what you have said.  Microsoft did the same sorta of things and Apple is even now called the new Microsoft because of their lawsuits.  It sure appears that Apple is trying to stop the sale of any Android device.  Some of their lawsuits seem ridiculous and Apple has photoshopped images of Samsung tablets to make it appear that Samsung copied the iPad shape.  Steve Jobs said he wasn’t in business to make money only pure products.  If this is true why does he want to eliminate all the competition and control all Apple devices and software to the extent Apple does.  Actions speak louder than words.  Steve Jobs was a great inventor and businessman and salesmen but definately flawed as a human being.  Crying to get your way when you are an adult is acting like a spoiled child.  When you love someone you accept the good with the bad and probably a lot of Steve Job’s friends did just that.  But his behavior is still not justified.  Unfortunately  a lot of CEOs get what they want by bully behavior.

  • Agree (with Alumnus)

    “Aww, he just stole from me. But I steal from everybody. Why, I’m the biggest … stealer there ever was.”— Woody Guthrie, quoted by Pete Seeger
    (More influences, better work)

  • Mikec257

    Any rational thoughts here?

  • Mikec257

    Like Apple trying to patent the shape of an iPad? Or photoshoping photos of Samsung Galaxy to make it appear more like an iPad.  Apple truly is acting like Microsoft use to.  Big Bully on the block!

  • Mikec257

    Let’s just have Apple products!  No competition!  Would that make everyone happy!

  • Frank

    Very well put and well said. The world can have their debates on which is better, who is nicer and what works… so long as I still have my choice and can continue to supply my arsenal of gadgets with the bitten apple logo on them… I’m happy and grateful that Mr. Jobs was exactly who he was till the very end.

  • kriswm

    to all the steve jobs naysayers: it’s easy to talk about a man after he’s gone. steve was man enough to talk about you in the same room.

  • Curtis

    So, um, let’s see:
    a) Really, Google’s biggest embarrassment is creating a platform that allows choice, encourages competition, and through that innovation? Terrible.
    b) The Blackberry is from RIM, which is not a US company.
    c) Shouldn’t you also be bashing Apple for doing all of their manufacturing at non-US plants in China (in near sweatshop conditions)?

  • Done

    I love how thoughtless sheep go back to the “troll” well when they have nothing clever to say.  Stay true to yourself ed, keep not thinking. The world will continue to better than you.

  • Done

    I love how thoughtless sheep go back to the “troll” well when they have nothing clever to say.  Stay true to yourself ed, keep not thinking. The world will continue to better than you.

  • jim-butt

    This can’t be serious. You fucking submissive faggot sycophants are all disgustingly pathetic.

    Jesus fucking Christ, this shrine built by weak idiots is just surreal.

  • Guest1

    You seem to “follow blindly” everything written in the book “actually not thinking.”

  • Buy
  • Brixter de Leon


  • naren

    hi,really great job? Thanks mike this is good article

  • DarlieB

    You managed to convince me Jobs stole everything.