Steve Jobs was an innovator. But also one tough cookie, his Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak has revealed.
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|The two Steve’s|
Although reports of Jobs’ ruthlessness is nothing new, Wozniak’s or ‘Woz’ as he is better known, comments indeed confirm a controlling, cruel zeal to the deceased Apple CEO, who built the company created in 1976 from a one hit wonder (Apple I, II) to the most valuable techie today.
But like most humans Jobs was a complex character, on one side was this LCD, trippy, spiritual hippy from California and on the other, was a man who would sack staff in the lift at the drop of a hat, publicly humiliate and even rip-off close friends (in the case of Wozniak).
“I did cry, quite a bit actually, when I read [about the Atari payment] in the book,” he revealed to Evan Davis, presenter of the documentary ‘Steve Jobs: Billion Dollar Hippy’ which aired on BBC Two last night, referring to the infamous incident where his business partner kept most of the money paid to them for the computer code he wrote for Atari.
Jobs told Woz the computer company only gave him $700 and gave him the apparent other ‘half’ $350. But this was a lie. Atari paid Jobs a far more substantial $5000, but kept it quiet and held on to the loot.
And where the two Steve’s differed was Wozniak, who built the first ever Apple I computer, was happy to keep designing and building, while Jobs on the other hand, wanted to develop a money making giant and was quite prepared to “step on other people” in the process.
“I was so close to Steve Jobs I could never really see the transition,” he said. “I just wanted to be in engineering only – I never wanted to run a company, never wanted to run things, step on other people – Steve very clearly did, and wanted to be a top executive and a really important thinker in the world.”
“He was always focused on ‘if you can build things and sell them you can have a company’ and ‘the way you make money and importance in the world is with companies,'” Wozniak said.
However, the doco paints Jobs as less of a fruit loving hippy (which he was) then a corporate villain whose ambition to become an influential world figure and build an empire lead him to stomp on anything that would come in his way.
Jobs’ comments on Android, where he declared “thermonuclear war” on the rival over what he beleived to be theft of Apple intelligence, support Woz’s view of his friend.
“I will spend my last dying breath if I need to, and I will spend every penny of Apple’s $US40 billion in the bank, to right this wrong,” Jobs also reportedly said.
“He wanted to be one of those important people in the world,” Wozniak added.
“Apple does a lot of conservative [things] – we control things – and has very little tolerance. Even if an engineer told a friend something and it got out. You’re fired!”