With Apple’s success came fame for its poster boy.
Inc. became the first magazine to put him on its cover,
in October 1981. “This man has changed business forever,”
it proclaimed. It showed Jobs with a neatly trimmed
beard and well-styled long hair, wearing blue jeans and
a dress shirt with a blazer that was a little too satiny.
Jobs confided to close friends that he was driven by the pain he was feeling
about being put up for adoption and not knowing about his birth parents.
“Steve had a very profound desire to know his physical parents so he could
better know himself,” Friedland later said. He had learned from Paul and
Clara Jobs that his birth parents had both been graduate students at a university
and that his father might be Syrian. He had even thought about hiring
a private investigator, but he decided not to do so for the time being.
“I didn’t want to hurt my parents,” he recalled, referring to Paul and Clara.
“He was struggling with the fact that he had been adopted,” according to
Elizabeth Holmes. “He felt that it was an issue that he needed to get hold
of emotionally.” Jobs admitted as much to her. “This is something that is
bothering me, and I need to focus on it,” he said. He was even more open with
Greg Calhoun. “He was doing a lot of soul-searching about being adopted, and
he talked about it with me a lot,” Calhoun recalled. “The primal scream and the
mucusless diets, he was trying to cleanse himself and get deeper into his
frustration about his birth. He told me he was deeply angry about the
fact that he had been given up.”
John Lennon had undergone the same primal scream therapy in 1970,
and in December of that year he released the song “Mother” with the
Plastic Ono Band. It dealt with Lennon’s own feelings about a father who
had abandoned him and a mother who had been killed when he was a teenager.
The refrain includes
the haunting chant “
Mama don’t go, Daddy come
home.” Jobs used to
play the song often.
His biggest personal gift was to his parents, Paul and Clara Jobs,
to whom he gave about $750,000 worth of stock. They sold
some to pay off the mortgage on their Los Altos home, and their
son came over for the little celebration. “It was the first time in
their lives they didn’t have a mortgage,” Jobs recalled. “They had
a handful of their friends over for the party, and it was really nice.”
Still, they didn’t consider buying a nicer house.
“They weren’t interested in that,”
for a while. His confidence improved and his feelings of inadequacy were reduced.”
Jobs came to believe that he could impart that feeling of confidence
to others and thus push them to do things they hadn’t thought possible.
Holmes had broken up with Kottke and joined a religious cult in San
Francisco that expected her to sever ties with all past friends. But Jobs
rejected that injunction. He arrived at the cult house in his Ford Ranchero
one day and announced that he was driving up to Friedland’s apple farm
and she was to come. Even more brazenly, he said she would have to drive
part of the way, even though she didn’t know how to use the stick shift.
“Once we got on the open road, he made me get behind the wheel, and he
shifted the car until we got up to 55 miles per hour,” she recalled.
“Then he puts on a tape of Dylan’s Blood on the Tracks, lays his head
in my lap, and goes to sleep. He had the attitude that he could do anything,
and therefore so can you. He put his life in my hands. So that made me
do something I didn’t think I could do.”
It was the brighter side of what would become known as his reality
distortion field. “If you trust him, you can do things,” Holmes said.
“If he’s decided that something should happen,
then he’s just going to make it happen.”
One day in early 1975 Al Alcorn was sitting in his office at Atari when Ron Wayne burst in.
“Hey, Stevie is back!”
“Wow, bring him on in,”
Before and after he was rich, and indeed throughout
a life that included being both broke and a billionaire,
Steve Jobs’s attitude toward wealth was complex. He was
an antimaterialistic hippie who capitalized on the inventions
of a friend who wanted to give them away for free, and he
was a Zen devotee who made a pilgrimage to India and then
decided that his calling was to create a business. And yet
somehow these attitudes seemed to weave
together rather than conflict.
Morgan Stanley planned to price the offering at $18, even
though it was obvious the shares would quickly shoot up.
“Tell me what happens to this stock that we priced at eighteen?”
Jobs asked the bankers. “Don’t you sell it to your good customers?
If so, how can you charge me a 7% commission?” Hambrecht recognized
that there was a basic unfairness in the system, and he later went on to
formulate the idea of a reverse auction to price shares before an IPO.
Fernandez, Wigginton, and Espinosa. Everyone loved Wozniak,
all the more so after his generosity, but many also agreed with
Jobs that he was “awfully na?ve and childlike.” A few months later
a United Way poster showing a destitute man went up on a company
bulletin board. Someone scrawled on it “Woz in 1990.”
Wozniak, who was living in an apartment nearby and working at
HP, would come by after dinner to hang out and play the video games.
He had become addicted to Pong at a Sunnyvale bowling alley,
and he was able to build a version that he hooked up to his home TV set.
One day in the late summer of 1975, Nolan Bushnell, defying the
prevailing wisdom that paddle games were over, decided to develop
a single-player version of Pong; instead of competing against an
opponent, the player would volley the ball into a wall that lost a brick
whenever it was hit. He called Jobs into his office, sketched it out
on his little blackboard, and asked him to design it. There would be
a bonus, Bushnell told him, for every chip fewer than fifty that he used.
Bushnell knew that Jobs was not a great engineer, but he assumed, correctly,
that he would recruit Wozniak, who was always hanging around.
“I looked at it as a two-for-one thing,” Bushnell recalled. “Woz was a better engineer.”
Wozniak was thrilled when Jobs asked him to help and proposed splitting the fee.
“This was the most wonderful offer in my life, to actually design a game
that people would use,” he recalled. Jobs said it had to be done in four days
and with the fewest chips possible. What he hid from Wozniak was that the
deadline was one that Jobs had imposed, because he needed to get to the
All One Farm to help prepare for the apple harvest. He also didn’t
mention that there
was a bonus tied to
the number of chips.
The Atari experience helped shape Jobs’s approach
to business and design. He appreciated the
user-friendliness of Atari’s insert-quarter-avoid-Klingons
games. “That simplicity rubbed off on him and made him
a very focused product person,” said Ron Wayne. .
Jobs also absorbed some of Bushnell’s take-no-prisoners attitude.
“Nolan wouldn’t take no for an answer,”
“I would rather let it pass,” he said when I pressed the point.
“It’s not something I want to judge Steve by.”
He confirmed his memory with Nolan
Bushnell and Al Alcorn. “I remember
talking about the bonus money to Woz,
and he was upset,” Bushnell said. “I said yes,
there was a bonus for each chip they saved,
and he just shook his head and
then clucked his tongue.”
In addition to their interest in computers,
they shared a passion for music.
“It was an incredible time for music,”
Jobs recalled. “It was like living at a time when
Beethoven and Mozart were alive. Really. People
will look back on it that way. And Woz and I were
deeply into it.” In particular, Wozniak turned Jobs
on to the glories of Bob Dylan.
“We tracked down this guy in Santa Cruz who put
out this newsletter on Dylan,” Jobs said. “Dylan
taped all of his concerts, and some of the people
around him were not scrupulous, because soon
there were tapes all around. Bootlegs of everything.
And this guy had them all.”
Hunting down Dylan tapes soon became a joint
venture. “The two of us would go tramping through
San Jose and Berkeley and ask about Dylan bootlegs
and collect them,” said Wozniak. “We’d buy brochures
of Dylan lyrics and stay up late interpreting them.
Dylan’s words struck chords of creative thinking.”
Added Jobs, “I had more than a hundred hours,
including every concert on the ’65 and ’66 tour,”
the one where Dylan went electric. Both of them
bought high-end TEAC reel-to-reel tape decks.
“I would use mine at a low speed to record many
concerts on one tape,” said Wozniak.
Jobs matched his obsession:
“Instead of big speakers I bought a pair
of awesome headphones and would just
lie in my bed and listen to that stuff for hours.”
Jobs had formed a club at Homestead High to
put on music-and-light shows and also play
pranks. (They once glued a gold-painted toilet
seat onto a flower planter.) It was called the
Buck Fry Club, a play on the name of the principal.
Even though they had already graduated, Wozniak
and his friend Allen Baum joined forces with Jobs,
at the end of his junior year, to produce a farewell
gesture for the departing seniors. Showing off the
Homestead campus four decades later, Jobs paused
at the scene of the escapade and pointed. “See that
balcony? That’s where we did the banner prank that
sealed our friendship.” On a big bedsheet Baum had
tie-dyed with the school’s green and white colors,
they painted a huge hand flipping the middle-finger
salute. Baum’s nice Jewish mother helped them draw
it and showed them how to do the shading and
shadows to make it look more real.
“I know what that is,” she snickered. They devised a
system of ropes and pulleys so that it could be
dramatically lowered as the graduating class
marched past the balcony, and they signed it
“SWAB JOB,” the initials of Wozniak and Baum
combined with part of Jobs’
s name. The prank
became part of school
lore—and got Jobs
suspended one more time.
When Mike Markkula joined Jobs and Wozniak
to turn their fledgling partnership into the Apple
Computer Co. in January 1977, they valued it at $5,309.
Less than four years later they decided it was time
to take it public. It would become the most oversubscribed
initial public offering since that of Ford Motors in 1956.
By the end of December 1980, Apple would be valued at $1.79
billion. Yes, billion. In the process it would
make three hundred people millionaires.
Much of the work was done in the garage of a friend just around the corner,
Bill Fernandez, who was still at Homestead High. To lubricate their efforts, they drank large amounts of Cragmont cream
soda, riding their bikes to the Sunnyvale Safeway to return the bottles, collect the deposits, and buy more. “That’s how we started referring to it as the Cream Soda Computer,” Wozniak recalled.
It was basically a calculator capable of multiplying numbers entered by a set of switches and displaying the results in binary code with little lights.
When it was finished, Fernandez told Wozniak there was someone at Homestead High he should meet. “His name is Steve. He likes to do pranks like you do, and he’s also into building electronics like you are.” It may have been the most significant meeting in a Silicon Valley garage since Hewlett went into
Packard’s thirty-two years earlier. “Steve and I just sat on the sidewalk in front of Bill’s house for the longest time, just sharing stories—mostly about pranks we’d pulled, and also what kind of electronic designs we’d done,” Wozniak recalled. “We had so much in common. Typically, it was really hard for me to
explain to people what kind of design stuff I worked on, but Steve got it right away. And I liked him. He was kind of skinny and wiry and full of energy.” Jobs was also impressed. “Woz was the first
person I’d met who knew more electronics than I did,” he once said, stretching his own expertise. “I liked him right away. I was a little more mature than my years, and he was a little less
mature than his, so it
evened out. Woz was
very bright, but
emotionally he was my age.”
Daniel Kottke was not one of them. He had been Jobs’s
soul mate in college, in India, at the All One Farm, and in
the rental house they shared during the Chrisann Brennan
crisis. He joined Apple when it was headquartered in Jobs’s
garage, and he still worked there as an hourly employee.
But he was not at a high enough level to be cut in on the stock
options that were awarded before the IPO. “I totally trusted Steve,
and I assumed he would take care of me like I’d taken care of him,
so I didn’t push,” said Kottke. The official reason he wasn’t given
stock options was that he was an hourly technician, not a salaried
engineer, which was the cutoff level for options. Even so, he could
have justifiably been given “founder’s stock,” but Jobs decided not to.
“Steve is the opposite of loyal,” according to Andy Hertz-feld, an early
Apple engineer who has nevertheless remained friends with him.
“He’s anti-loyal. He has to abandon the people he is close to.”
a breadboard. “While Steve was breadboarding, I spent time playing my
favorite game ever, which was the auto racing game Gran Trak 10,” Wozniak said.
Astonishingly, they were able to get the job done in four days, and
Wozniak used only forty-five chips. Recollections differ, but by most
accounts Jobs simply gave Wozniak half of the base fee and not the bonus
Bushnell paid for saving five chips. It would be another ten years before
Wozniak discovered (by being shown the tale in a book on the history of
Atari titled Zap) that Jobs had been paid this bonus. “I think that Steve needed
the money, and he just didn’t tell me the truth,” Wozniak later said.
When he talks about it now, there are long pauses, and he admits that it
causes him pain. “I wish he had just been honest. If he had told me he
needed the money, he should have known I would have just given it to
him. He was a friend. You help your friends.” To Wozniak, it showed
a fundamental difference in their characters. “Ethics always mattered to me,
and I still don’t understand why he would’ve gotten paid one thing and told
me he’d gotten paid another,” he said. “But, you know, people are different.”
When Jobs learned this story was published, he called Wozniak to deny it.
“He told me that he didn’t remember doing it, and that if he did something
like that he would remember it, so he probably didn’t do it,” Wozniak recalled.
When I asked Jobs directly, he became unusually quiet and hesitant.
“I don’t know where that allegation comes from,” he said. “I gave him
half the money I ever got. That’s how I’ve always been with Woz. I mean,
Woz stopped working in 1978. He never did one ounce
of work after 1978.
And yet he got exactly
the same shares of
Apple stock that I did.”
Jef Raskin was the type of character who could enthrall Steve Jobs—or annoy him. As it turned out, he did both. A philosophical guy who could be both playful and ponderous, Raskin had
studied computer science, taught music and visual arts, conducted a chamber opera company, and organized guerrilla theater. His 1967 doctoral thesis at U.C.
San Diego argued that computers should have graphical rather than text-based interfaces. When he got fed up with
teaching, he rented a hot air balloon, flew over the chancellor’s house, and shouted down his decision to quit.
your intuition starts to blossom and you start to see things more clearlyand be in the present more. Your mind just slows down, and you see
Bruce Horn was one of the programmers at Xerox PARC. When some of his friends, such as Larry Tesler, decided to join the
Macintosh group, Horn considered going there as well. But he got a good offer, and a $15,000 signing bonus, to join another
company. Jobs called him on a Friday night. “You have to come into Apple tomorrow morning,” he said.
a tremendous expanse in the moment. You see so much more than
you could see before. It’s a discipline; you have to practice it.
Zen has been a deep influence in my life ever since. At one point
I was thinking about going to Japan and trying to get into the
Eihei-ji monastery, but my spiritual advisor urged me to stay here.
He said there is nothing over there that isn’t here, and he was correct.
I learned the truth of the Zen saying that if you are willing to travel around
the world to meet a teacher, one will appear next door.
Jobs did in fact find a teacher right in his own neighborhood. Shunryu Suzuki,
who wrote Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind and ran the San Francisco Zen Center,
used to come to Los Altos every Wednesday evening to lecture and meditate
with a small group of followers. After a while he asked his assistant,
Kobun Chino Otogawa, to open a full-time center there. Jobs became
a faithful follower, along with his occasional girlfriend, Chrisann Brennan,
and Daniel Kottke and Elizabeth Holmes. He also began to go by himself on
retreats to the
Tassajara Zen Center,
a monastery near
Kobun also taught.
Getting shocked was a badge of honor for Woz.
He prided himself on being a hardware engineer, which meant that random shocks were routine. He once devised a roulette game where four people put their thumbs in a slot; when the ball landed, one would get shocked. “Hardware guys will play this game, but software guys are too chicken,” he noted.
During his senior year he got a part-time job at Sylvania and had the
But Yang Feng fell into an ambush. Suddenly the whole mountain side was lit up with torches and out sprang Cao Cao’s troops, he himself being in command.
“I have been waiting here a long time. Do not run away！” cried Cao Cao.
Yang Feng was completely surprised and tried to draw off, but was quickly surrounded. then Han Xian came to his rescue, and a confused battle began. Yang Feng succeeded in escaping, while Cao Cao kept up the attack on the two disordered armies. A GREat number of the rebels gave in, and the leaders found they had too few men left to maintain their independence, so they betook themselves to Yuan Shu.
When Cao Cao returned to camp, the newly surrendered general was presented and well received. Then again the cavalcade set out for the new capital. In due time they reached Xuchang, and they built palaces and halls, an ancestral temple and an altar, terraces and public offices. The walls were repaired, storehouses built and all put in order.
“True； you are really a good man.”
then Xu Huang, taking only a few horsemen of his own men with him,
left that night and deserted to Cao Cao. Soon someone took the news to Yang Feng, who at the head of a thousand strong horsemen, set out to capture the deserter.
As they drew close, Yang Feng called out,
“Betrayer！ Stop there！”
That night Man Chong, duly disguised, got over to the other side and made his way to the tent of Xu Huang, who sat there by the light of a candle. Xu Huang was still wearing his coat of mail.
Suddenly Man Chong ran out in front and saluted,
saying, “You have been well since we parted, old friend？”
Xu Huang jumped up in surprise, gazed into the face of the speaker a long time, and presently said, “What！ You are Man Chong of Shanyang？ What are you doing here？”
“I am an officer in General Cao Cao’s army. Seeing my old friend out in front of the army today, I wanted to say a word to him. So I took the risk of stealing in this evening and here I am.”
Xu Huang invited Man Chong in, and they sat down.
then said Man Chong, “There are very few as bold as you on the earth. Why then do you serve such as your present chiefs, Yang Feng and Han Xian？ My master is the most prominent man in the world——a man who delights in wise people and appreciates soldiers as everyone knows. Your valor today won his entire admiration, and so he took care that the attack was not vigorous enough to sacrifice you. Now he has sent me to invite you to join him. Will you not leave darkness for light and help him in his magnificent task？”
On Thanksgiving weekend of his senior year, Wozniak visited the University of Colorado. It was closed for the holiday, but he found an engineering student who took him on a tour of the labs.
He begged his father to let him go there, even though the out-of-state tuition was more than the family could easily afford. They struck a deal:
He would be allowed to go for one year, but then he would transfer to De Anza Community College back home. After arriving at Colorado in the fall of 1969, he spent so much time playing pranks (such as producing reams of printouts saying “Fuck Nixon”) that he failed a couple of his courses and was put on probation.
By fourth grade Wozniak became, as he put it, one of the “electronics kids.” He had
an easier time making eye contact with a transistor than with a girl, and he developed the
chunky and stooped look of a guy who spends most of his time hunched over circuit boards.
At the same age when Jobs was puzzling over a carbon microphone that his dad couldn’t explain,
Wozniak was using transistors to build an intercom system featuring amplifiers, relays, lights,
and buzzers that connected the kids’ bedrooms of six houses in the neighborhood. And at an age when
Jobs was building Heathkits, Wozniak was assembling a transmitter and receiver from Hallicrafters,
the most sophisticated radios available.
Woz spent a lot of time at home reading his father’s electronics journals, and he became enthralled
by stories about new computers, such as the powerful ENIAC. Because Boolean algebra came naturally
to him, he marveled at how simple, rather than complex, the computers were. In eighth grade he built
a calculator that included one hundred transistors, two hundred diodes, and two hundred resistors on ten
circuit boards. It won top prize in a local contest run by the Air Force, even though the competitors
included students through twelfth grade.
Woz became more of a loner when the boys his age began going out with girls and partying,
endeavors that he found far more complex than designing circuits. “Where before I was popular
and riding bikes and everything, suddenly I was socially shut out,” he recalled. “It seemed
like nobody spoke to me for the longest time.” He found an outlet by playing juvenile pranks.
In twelfth grade he built an electronic metronome—one of those tick-tick-tick devices that keep
time in music class—and realized it sounded like a bomb. So he took the labels off some big batteries,
taped them together, and put it in a school locker; he rigged it to start ticking faster when the locker
opened. Later that day he got called to the principal’s office. He thought it was because he had won, yet again,
the school’s top math prize. Instead he was confronted by the police. The principal had been summoned when the device was
found, bravely ran onto the football field clutching it to his chest, and pulled the wires off. Woz tried and
failed to suppress his laughter. He actually got sent to the juvenile detention center, where he spent the
night. It was a memorable experience. He taught the other prisoners how to disconnect the wires leading to
the ceiling fans and
connect them to the bars
so people got shocked
when touching them.
was almost five years older than Jobs and far more
knowledgeable about electronics. But emotionally and socially he was still a high school geek.
While a student in McCollum’s class, Jobs became friends with a graduate who was the teacher’s
all-time favorite and a school legend for his wizardry in the class. Stephen Wozniak, whose younger
brother had been on a swim team with Jobs,
Like Jobs, Wozniak learned a lot at his father’s knee. But their lessons were different.
Paul Jobs was a high school dropout who, when fixing up cars, knew how to turn a tidy
profit by striking the right deal on parts. Francis Wozniak, known as Jerry,
was a brilliant
engineering graduate from Cal Tech, where he had quarterbacked the football team, who became
a rocket scientist at Lockheed. He exalted engineering and looked down on those in business,
marketing, and sales. “I remember him telling me that engineering was the highest level of
importance you could reach in the world,” Steve Wozniak later recalled. “It takes society to a new level.”
One of Steve Wozniak’s first memories was going to his father’s workplace on a weekend
and being shown electronic parts, with his dad “putting them on a table with me so I got to play with them.” He watched with fascination as his father tried to get a waveform line on a video screen to stay flat so he could show that one of his circuit designs was working properly. “I could see that whatever my dad was doing, it was important and good.” Woz, as he was known even then, would ask about the resistors and transistors lying around the house, and his father would pull out a blackboard to illustrate what they did. “He would explain what a resistor was by going all the way back to atoms and electrons. He explained how resistors worked when I was in second grade, not by equations but by having me picture it.”
Woz’s father taught him something else that became ingrained in his childlike, socially awkward personality: Never lie. “My dad believed in honesty. Extreme honesty. That’s the biggest thing he taught me. I never lie, even to this day.” (The only partial exception was in the service of a good practical joke.) In addition, he imbued his son with an aversion to extreme ambition, which set Woz apart from Jobs. At an Apple product launch event in 2010, forty years after they met, Woz reflected on their differences. “My father told me, ‘You always want to be in the middle,’” he said. “I didn’t want to be up with the high-level people like Steve. My dad was an engineer,
and that’s what
I wanted to be. I was way
too shy ever to be a
business leader like Steve.”