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Source global Wall Street Journal     time 2022-12-17 15:03:54
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Love Is Just a Four-Letter Word

After informing Gassée that Apple was buying NeXT, Amelio had what turned out to be an even more uncomfortable task: telling Bill Gates. He went into orbit,” Amelio recalled. Gates found it ridiculous, but perhaps not surprising, that Jobs had pulled off this coup. Do you really think Steve Jobs has anything there?” Gates asked Amelio. I know his technology, it’s nothing but a warmed-over UNIX, and you’ll never be able to make it work on your machines.” Gates, like Jobs, had a way of working himself up, and he did so now: Don’t you understand that Steve doesn’t know anything about technology? He’s just a super salesman. I can’t believe you’re making such a stupid decision. . . . He doesn’t know anything about engineering, and 99% of what he says and thinks is wrong. What the hell are you buying that garbage for?”

You might care more about porn when you have kids,” replied Jobs. It’s not about freedom, it’s about Apple trying to do the right thing for its users.” At the end he added a zinger: By the way, what have you done that’s so great? Do you create anything, or just criticize others’ work and belittle their motivations?”

Soon after that, Jobs succeeded in tracking down the woman who had put him up for adoption. His quiet quest to find her had begun in the early 1980s, when he hired a detective who had failed to come up with anything. Then Jobs noticed the name of a San Francisco doctor on his birth certificate. He was in the phone book, so I gave him a call,” Jobs recalled. The doctor was no help. He claimed that his records had been destroyed in a fire. That was not true. In fact, right after Jobs called, the doctor wrote a letter, sealed it in an envelope, and wrote on it, To be delivered to Steve Jobs on my death.” When he died a short time later, his widow sent the letter to Jobs. In it, the doctor explained that his mother had been an unmarried graduate student from Wisconsin named Joanne Schieble.

If the music companies had been able to agree on a standardized encoding method for protecting music files, then multiple online stores could have proliferated. That would have made it hard for Jobs to create an iTunes Store that allowed Apple to control how online sales were handled. Sony, however, handed Jobs that opportunity when it decided, after the January 2002 Cupertino meeting, to pull out of the talks because it favored its own proprietary format, from which it would get royalties.

Unfortunately his Zen training never quite produced in him a Zen-like calm or inner serenity, and that too is part of his legacy. He was often tightly coiled and impatient, traits he made no effort to hide. Most people have a regulator between their mind and mouth that modulates their brutish sentiments and spikiest impulses. Not Jobs. He made a point of being brutally honest. My job is to say when something sucks rather than sugarcoat it,” he said. This made him charismatic and inspiring, yet also, to use the technical term, an asshole at times.


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