NEW YORK (MainStreet) — If there’s one takeaway from the forthcoming biography of Steve Jobs, it’s that even geniuses have flaws. Or really, especially geniuses.
The former CEO and co-founder of Apple, who passed away earlier this month, left behind an array of innovative products as well as a slew of controversial quotes and anecdotes in Steve Jobs, an official biography penned by Walter Isaacson and set to be published next week. The book is peppered with evidence of how Jobs could be vengeful, stubborn, eccentric and overconfident to a fault.
There’s no doubt that some of these characteristics helped Jobs achieve the success he did, but Jobs’ flaws nonetheless complicate the legacy of a larger-than-life figure, or at the very least remind us that he was just a man after all.
Here are some of the more revealing facts about the visionary in the book, from leaked copies obtained by several news outlets.
Jobs Hated Google With a Passion
Many have written about Jobs’ tendency to hold a grudge, as evidenced by his longtime feud with Adobe (which some speculate is why the iPhone and iPad don’t work with the Adobe Flash format), but that’s nothing compared to the hatred he developed for Google after the company launched its smartphone platform.
Jobs accused Google of having “ripped off the iPhone” with the release of its Android phones, and according to The Huffington Post, he was quoted in the book as saying, "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. I'm going to destroy Android, because it's a stolen product."
Jobs Initially Refused to Meet With the President
Humility was never Jobs’ strong suit, even when it came time to meeting the president of the United States.
According to another passage in the book quoted by the The Huffington Post, Jobs initially refused to meet with President Obama in late 2010, insisting that the president personally ask Jobs for the meeting. It took a full five days for Jobs to change his mind and agree to the meeting, but when Jobs finally did he was strikingly blunt to Obama.
“You’re headed for a one-term presidency,” Jobs told the president early in their meeting, before laying out his criticisms of the administration.
Jobs Displayed Eccentric Behavior
Jobs displayed eccentricities at a young age, including drug use, odd diets and an outright refusal to bathe.
According to The Associated Press’ reading of the biography, “As a teenager, he exhibited some odd behaviors — he began to try various diets, eating just fruits and vegetables for a time, and perfected staring at others without blinking.”
The AP goes on to note that Apple’s first president exerted much time and energy trying to get the then 22-year-old Jobs to bathe more frequently, but to no avail.
Jobs Was Obstinate About His Cancer Treatment
Jobs first found out that he had pancreatic cancer in late 2003, and waited a startling nine months before undergoing an operation, instead choosing to first try herbal remedies and alternative treatments to fight it off.
His wife is quoted in the book as saying this was because “he really was not ready to open up his body,” according to The New York Times, but eventually she and other close acquaintances were able to convince Jobs to go through with the surgery. Still, there’s no telling what impact his obstinacy towards proper treatment may have had on his long-term condition.
Jobs Didn’t Spend Enough Time With His Kids
Shortly after Jobs passed away, the biography's author revealed that much of the reason Jobs pushed for the book to come out was to compensate for what he might have viewed as his biggest mistake: failing to spend enough time with his four children.
“I want my kids to know me,” Isaacson quoted Jobs as saying in one interview. “I wasn't always there for them, and I wanted them to know why and to understand what I did.”
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