Jobs’ take on money and wealth
Isaacson said Steve Jobs, despite being worth billions of dollars, lived in a modest house in Palo Alto and was determined not to let money change him.
In a taped interview for the book, Jobs told Isaacson a lot of people had changed at Apple after becoming wealthy.
“A few people went out and bought Rolls-Royces and they bought homes, and their wives got plastic surgery,” Jobs said. “I saw these people who were really nice, simple people turn into these bizarro people,” he said. “And I made a promise to myself. I said: ‘I’m not going to let this money ruin my life.’”
Isaacson said that after Jobs became ill with pancreatic cancer in 2003, he “no longer wanted to go out, no longer wanted to travel the world” and would instead “focus on the products,” he said.
“He had a few other visions,” he said. “I think he would’ve loved to have conquered television. He would love to make an easy-to-use television set.
In the 1970s, Jobs took a seven month leave from working as a technician at video games manufacturer Atari and spent them wandering across India looking for spiritual enlightenment.
“And it turned out not to be a waste of time,” he says. According to Isaacson, when Jobs returned from India he said, “The main thing I’ve learned is intuition, that the people in India are not just pure rational thinkers, that the great spiritual ones also have an intuition.”
Isaacson says that “the simplicities of Zen Buddhism, really informed his (Jobs’) design sense. ”That notion that simplicity is the ultimate sophistication,” the biographer says in the interview.
Jobs was diagnosed with cancer in October 2003 but he didn’t have surgery to treat the cancer, a neuroendocrine tumour, until July 2004.
He initially tried “fruit juices, acupuncture, herbal remedies and other treatments” instead of traditional medicine, according to the New York Times, a move that distressed his family and friends.
However, cancer experts have questioned whether the nine month wait had any impact on how long Jobs survived.
Steve Jobs had offered to design a campaign advertisement for embattled US President Barack Obama for his re-election fight next year, while at the same time warning the man in the White House that he might not be in the job for long, according to the Huffington Post.
While offering a helping hand, Jobs also spoke bluntly to Obama, saying: “You’re headed for a one-term presidency.”
He said that the US was losing out to China due to excessive regulation and costs, and that the US education system was “crippled by union work rules.”
Jobs was willing to indulge in a “thermonuclear war” with Google for their Android system.
Jobs’ sheds light on Apple’s legal battles over Google’s Android mobile operating system, helping explain the lengths to which Apple is going in courts around the world.
Apple and Google initially had a strong relationship and former Google CEO Eric Schmidt served as an Apple board member from 2006 to 2009. The original iPhone relied heavily on Google services, and still does, but Jobs felt betrayed when Google released Android.
“I will spend my last dying breath if I need to, and I will spend every penny of Apple’s $40 billion in the bank, to right this wrong,” Jobs said, according to the Associated Press adding, “I’m going to destroy Android, because it’s a stolen product. I’m willing to go thermonuclear war on this.”
According to Associated Press business and technology writer Michael Liedtke, Jobs is said to have more than turned sour on Google. Liedtke tweeted:
“Jobs also likens Google products outside of search to defecation, to put it diplomatically.”
Of his digital rivals Microsoft and Google. in an interview to his biographer Walter Isaacson, he said, “They just don’t get it.”
With inputs by agencies