Real Men Christian Values and the Passing of Steve Jobs

15 Oct

The nation is mourning the passing of Steve Jobs. His death is surely cause for sorrow. Not only to his family and loved ones, but also to society.

It might be worthwhile to scrutinize the life of Steve from the perspective of society’s adoration, the societal values that support that adoration, and the juxtaposition of the values we are embracing in our journey as a Christian Men’s Fellowship association. To that end, and in the interest of promoting discussion, the following (social and media de-emphasized and little known) facts on Steve Jobs are offered. For those of us who are skeptics, sources for the comments are listed.
Please feel free to comment however you deem appropriate…

[At the beginning of his career] Jobs returned to Atari and was given the task of creating a circuit board for the game Breakout. According to Atari co-founder Nolan Bushnell, Atari offered $100 for each chip that was eliminated in the machine. Jobs had little interest in or knowledge of circuit board design and made a deal with [Steve] Wozniak to split the bonus evenly between them if Wozniak could minimize the number of chips. Much to the amazement of Atari, Wozniak reduced the number of chips by 50, a design so tight that it was impossible to reproduce on an assembly line. According to Wozniak, Jobs told Wozniak that Atari gave them only $700 (instead of the offered $5,000) and that Wozniak’s share was thus $350

^ Letters – General Questions Answered (Wayback machine copy from June 2011, as later versions of the page have had this fact removed),
Wozniak, Steven: “iWoz“, a: pp. 147–48, b: p. 180. W. W. Norton, 2006. ISBN 978-0-393-06143-7

Kent, Stevn: “The Ultimate History of Video Games”, pp. 71–3. Three Rivers, 2001. ISBN 0-7615-3643-4

“Breakout”. Arcade History. June 25, 2002. Retrieved April 19, 2010. 

“Classic Gaming: A Complete History of Breakout”. RetrievedApril 19, 2010.
While Jobs was a persuasive and charismatic director for Apple, some of his employees from that time described him as an erratic and temperamental manager. An industry-wide sales slump towards the end of 1984, caused a deterioration in Jobs’ working relationship with Sculley as well as layoffs and disappointing sales performance. An internal power struggle developed between Jobs and Sculley.[1] Jobs kept meetings running pastmidnight, sent out lengthy faxes, then called new meetings at7:00 am.[2]

  1. ^ a b c d Seibold, Chris (2011-05-24). “May 24, 1985: Jobs Fails to Oust Sculley”. Apple Matters. RetrievedOctober 8, 2011. 
  2. ^ a b Hormby, Thomas. Growing Apple with the Macintosh: The Sculley years, Low End Mac,February 22, 2006. Retrieved onMarch 2, 2007.

In the coming months, many employees developed a fear of encountering Jobs while riding in the elevator, “afraid that they might not have a job when the doors opened. The reality was that Jobs’ summary executions were rare, but a handful of victims was enough to terrorize a whole company.”

^ “The once and future Steve Jobs”. October 11, 2000.

In 2001, Jobs was granted stock options in the amount of 7.5 million shares of Apple with an exercise price of $18.30. It was alleged that the options had been backdated, and that the exercise price should have been $21.10. It was further alleged that Jobs had thereby incurred taxable income of $20,000,000 that he did not report, and that Apple overstated its earnings by that same amount. As a result, Jobs potentially faced a number of criminal charges and civil penalties. The case is the subject of active criminal and civil government investigations, [1] though an independent internal Apple investigation completed onDecember 29, 2006, found that Jobs was unaware of these issues and that the options granted to him were returned without being exercised in 2003.[2]

On July 1, 2008, a $7 billion class action suit was filed against several members of the Apple Board of Directors for revenue lost due to the alleged securities fraud.[3][4]

  1. ^ “Apple restates, acknowledges faked documents”. EE Times.December 29, 2006.
  2. RetrievedJanuary 1, 2007. 
  3. ^ “Group Wants $7B USD From Apple, Steve Jobs, Executives Over Securities Fraud”.
  4. ^ “Apple, Steve Jobs, Executives, Board, Sued For Securities Fraud”.

Much was made of Jobs’ aggressive and demanding personality. Fortune wrote that he was “considered one of Silicon Valley’s leading egomaniacs”.[1] Commentaries on his temperamental style can be found in Michael Moritz’s The Little Kingdom, The Second Coming of Steve Jobs, by Alan Deutschman; and iCon: Steve Jobs, by Jeffrey S. Young & William L. Simon. In 1993, Jobs made Fortune’s list ofAmerica’s Toughest Bosses in regard to his leadership of NeXT.

Jobs speaking with journalist Walt Mossberg at the All Things Digital conference in 2007.

 Cofounder Dan’l Lewin was quoted in Fortune as saying of that period, “The highs were unbelievable … But the lows were unimaginable”, to which Jobs’ office replied that his personality had changed since then. [2]

  1. ^ Colvin, Geoff (March 19, 2007). “Steve Jobs’ Bad Bet”. Fortune. RetrievedFebruary 23, 2011. 
  2. ^ Dumaine, Brian (October 18, 1993). “America’s Toughest Bosses”. Fortune (CNN).

Jobs married Laurene Powell onMarch 18, 1991. Presiding over the wedding was the Zen Buddhist monk Kobun Chino Otogawa.[1] The couple had a son and two daughters.[2] Jobs also had a daughter, Lisa Brennan-Jobs (born 1978), from his relationship with Bay Area painter Chrisann Brennan.[1] For two years, she raised their daughter on welfare while Jobs denied paternity by claiming he was sterile; he later acknowledged Lisa as his daughter.[1]

     1. a b c d e f g Elkind, Peter (March 5, 2008). “The trouble with Steve Jobs”. Fortune.

     2. Retrieved March 5, 2008.
And yet, it turns out the man who gave us the iPhone also gave photographers some serious lip when it came to taking his pictures. PDN Pulse, the blog run by Photo District News, a monthly magazine for professional photographers, spoke with some of the people who took photos of Jobs over the course of his career at Apple. And instead of talking about how meaningful the photos they took of him were, especially in light of how sad his death made the world, what the photographers remembered most was how hard it was to get him to sit still. Jobs was known to walk onto a set, start changing complicated lighting setups, complaining about the concept and calling people’s bosses to have it changed. He also yelled a fair bit.

 The revelation might be shocking to some, considering how calm and collected Jobs was during most of his Apple keynote addresses and product launches. But like runway shows, those events were highly produced and took a lot of prep work to achieve. Consider this anecdote from photographer Doug Menuez‘s shoot for a 1988 cover of Fortune magazine:

 Menuez wanted to photograph him in the NeXT offices, on a staircase that Jobs had commissioned architect I.M. Pei to design. Jobs arrived for the shoot, looked at what Menuez had in mind, “then [he] leaned in and says, ‘This is the stupidest  [expletive deleted] idea that I’ve ever seen.’ Right in my face, like 5 or 6 inches away,” Menuez says. “I felt like I was 10 years old. He went off on a tirade. He said, ‘You just want to sell magazines. ‘And I said, ‘And you want to sell computers.’ And at that he said, ‘OK,’ and sat down.
Fussy Shopper – Jobs was notoriously choosy of designs that he had to research for months before picking up a gadget or an appliance for his household. “I end up not buying a lot of things, because I find them ridiculous,” he told The Independent in 2005, at the original iPod Shuffle launch.

Jobs once described how he and his family went about choosing a washing machine for the household. Though he didn’t have to worry about the price tag, factors like European versus American design, relative water use, detergent demands, and its time requirement, made him deliberate over it for weeks.

Jobs considered a choosing a washing machine similar to that to buying a phone. “You get one of the phones now and you’re never going to learn more than 5 per cent of the features.” he was quoted as saying. “You’re never going to use more than 5 per cent, and, uh, it’s very complicated. So you end up using just 5 per cent.”

No wonder why designers were the most respected people in Apple who reported directly to the CEO. “Most people make the mistake of thinking design is what it looks like,” he told The New York Times in 2003. “People think it’s this veneer – that the designers are handed this box and told, ‘Make it good!’ That’s not what we think design is. It’s not just what it looks and feels like. Design is how it works.”

Dislike for Focus Groups – Jobs never liked the idea of designing according to popular suggestions. “It’s really hard to design products by focus groups,” he told Business Week in 1998. “A lot of times people don’t know what they really want until you show it to them.”

John Sculley, former Apple CEO once reflected on what Jobs thought about product designing, “He said, ‘How can I possibly ask somebody what a graphics-based computer ought to be when they have no idea what a graphic based computer is? No one has ever seen one before.'”

Car Without a License Plate – Jobs drove a silver Mercedes which had a barcode without a license plate. However, he never really got into trouble for a license plate-less car.

Disabled Parking Spots – Jobs didn’t really care to find parking space when disabled parking spots were available. Andy Hertzfeld, who was a member of the original Macintosh development team once said, Jobs “seemed to think that the blue wheelchair symbol meant that the spot was reserved for the chairman.”

According to a popular Jobs legend, reported by Fortune, Apple employees often joked about Jobs being too busy to find a parking space and once put a “Park Different” note under his windshield wiper.

Wannabe Buddhist Monk Who Sold Computers — Jobs traveled to India, after dropping out of Reed college, to visit Neem Karoli Baba at his Kainchi Ashram with a college friend (and, later, the first Apple employee), Daniel Kottke, seeking spiritual enlightenment. He came back a Buddhist with his head shaved and wearing traditional Indian clothing.

He was quoted saying that he thought of becoming a monk up in a monastery in Japan instead of starting Apple, but his guru Kobun Chino convinced him otherwise. However, Jobs’ critics often questioned his stringent management style given that he was a devout Buddhist: “Imagine what he’d be like if he hadn’t studied buddhism…”

His marriage to Laurene Powell on March 18, 1991, was presided over by the Zen monk Kobun Chino Otogawa.


Steve would punish those who did not report the Apple company line. He would ostracize media personnel who reported any non-Apple endorsed or Apple friendly or contrarian viewpoint

denny myers 10.16.11


One Response to “Real Men Christian Values and the Passing of Steve Jobs”

  1. kingjoseph316 October 16, 2011 at 4:17 am #

    A few observations come to mind when I first read the discussion. Reading about the many character flaws that Steve seemed to have reminds me of Beethoven. I don’t think anybody can deny that he(Jobs) was a genius in his own right. It seems like alot of history’s genuises were tyrants in their personal lives. These geniuses are battling demons and their various art/expression is their outlet for built up frustrations.

    Reading the discussion also reminded me how very human Mr. Jobs was because of his flaws. I don’t think anybody can claim perfection and it seems certainly not Steve nor myself.

    Another observation that comes to mind is the question, does success justify the means by which we achieve that success. Does success cover over all the lives we might have impacted negatively in pursuit of that success. Of course I think the answer is no, success does not justify an “any means necessary philosophy.”

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