Jobs was like any other man with talents and a determined mindset, able to do anything if he put in enough effort, but he was also a ruthless man who insulted his workers and then cried like a child when he didn’t get what he wanted. So what kind of person was he really?
Throughout his life, Jobs has been at the heart of many great technological innovations, earning him a place in the 2012 One Club Hall of Fame. He appears to most people as an accomplished, inventive genius, but what he is off the stage is very different from the impression most people get of him.
Walter Isaacson’s biography “Steve Jobs“ gives a glimpse of what he was like personally, illustrating both positive and negative aspects of the man. On the plus side, Jobs had a phenomenal work ethic and drive to keep going despite setbacks. When he was first ousted by Apple, he didn’t give up, nor did he rage and become a drunk alcoholic brooding over his friend’s betrayal.
Instead he did two things; He founded NeXT, a successful hardware company, and turned around pixar from a struggling animation company to a billionaire filmmaker.
It’s evident that Jobs has a certain talent for ingenuity and creativity, having made Apple and Pixar the world-renowned companies they know today, but Jobs maximized his talent with his strong work ethic, working from 7 to 21 every day clock worked too Business Insider. As a result, his determination to create the best possible products led to his notable achievements. Given his incredible work ethic and talent, it’s evident that Jobs has some exceptional qualities.
However, Isaacson’s biography also reveals Jobs’s negative traits, particularly his tendency to reject new ideas proposed by his peers and his lack of obedience to his superiors. At times it seemed like Jobs was living in his own imaginary world where his will is the law of the universe, making him arrogant and selfish and unwilling to listen to those he considered beneath himself.
This made his relationship with those around him uneasy, making it impossible to compromise with other people at his level. Jobs also often jeopardized his products if he didn’t like the smallest detail about them. Business Insider illustrated the darker side of Jobs as a tantrum-prone, widely hated, credit-guzzling dictator at Apple in the early 1980s.
His selfish personality made it difficult for his employees to talk or argue with him, and at times this handicapped him. Jobs could not have known what the best choice was for everything, and his employees might have had some insight or useful perspective, and his refusal to listen to them might have stymied Apple’s growth into an even bigger company.
With this in mind, the character of Steve Jobs can be summed up in his successes with his companies and the way he treats his people: He’s great because his companies were great, but he’s also terrible because he treated his people terrible. As such, there is a duality in Jobs’ character that makes him neither particularly great nor evil.
The photo in this story is by Matthew Yohe at Wikipedia Creative Commons.