Another of Jobs’s maxims at the retreat was “It’s better to be a pirate

Another of Jobs’s maxims at the retreat was “It’s better to be a pirate than to join the navy.”

He wanted to instill a rebel spirit in his team, to have them behave like swashbucklers who were

proud of their work but willing to commandeer from others. As Susan Kare put it, “He meant,

 

‘Let’s have a renegade feeling to our group. We can move fast. We can get things done.’”

To celebrate Jobs’s birthday a few weeks later, the team paid for a billboard on the road to

Apple headquarters. It read: “Happy 28th Steve. The Journey is the Reward.—The Pirates.”

a bit of the old reality distortion field.) He pulled out a bottle of mineral water and symbolically christened the

prototype onstage. Down the hall, Atkinson heard the loud cheer, and with a sigh joined the group. The ensuing

party featured skinny-dipping in the pool, a bonfire on the beach, and loud music that lasted all night,

which caused the hotel, La Playa in Carmel, to ask them never to come back.

 

environment to become an industry standard,” he wrote. “The hitch, of course, is that

now one must buy Mac hardware in order to get this user environment. Rarely (if ever)

has one company been able to create and maintain an industry-wide standard that

cannot be shared with other manufacturers.” His proposal was to license the Macintosh

operating system to Tandy. Because Tandy’s Radio Shack stores went after a different

type of customer, Murray argued, it would not severely cannibalize Apple sales. But Jobs

was congenitally averse to such a plan. His approach meant that the Macintosh remained

a controlled environment that met his standards, but it also meant that, as Murray feared,

it would have trouble securing its place as an industry standard in a world of IBM clones.

Machines of the Year

As 1982 drew to a close, Jobs came to believe that he was going to be Time’s Man of the

Year. He arrived at Texaco Towers one day with the magazine’s San Francisco bureau chief,

Michael Moritz, and encouraged colleagues to give Moritz interviews. But Jobs did not end up

on the cover. Instead the magazine chose

 

“the Computer” as the

topic for the year-end

issue and called it

“the Machine of the Year.”

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But what truly devastated Jobs was that he was not, after all,

But what truly devastated Jobs was that he was not, after all,

chosen as the Man of the Year. As he later told me:

Time decided they were going to make me Man of the Year, and I was

twenty-seven, so I actually cared about stuff like that. I thought it was

 

pretty cool. They sent out Mike Moritz to write a story. We’re the same age,

and I had been very successful, and I could tell he was jealous and there was

an edge to him. He wrote this terrible hatchet job. So the editors in New

 

York get this story and say, “We can’t make this guy Man of the Year.” That really

hurt. But it was a good lesson. It taught me to never get too excited about things

like that, since the media is a circus anyway. They FedExed me the magazine, and

I remember opening the package, thoroughly expecting to see my mug on the cover,

and it was this computer sculpture thing. I thought, “Huh?” And then I read

the article, and it was so awful that I actually cried.

In fact there’s no reason to believe that Moritz was jealous or that he intended his

reporting to be unfair. Nor was Jobs ever slated to be Man of the Year, despite what

he thought. That year the top editors (I was then a junior editor there) decided early

on to go with the computer rather than a person, and they commissioned, months in

advance, a piece of art from the famous sculptor George Segal to be a gatefold cover image.

Ray Cave was then the magazine’s editor. “We never considered Jobs,” he said. “

You couldn’t personify the computer, so that was the first time we decided to go

 

with an inanimate object.

We never searched

around for a face to

be put on the cover.”

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Accompanying the main story was a profile of Jobs, which was based

Accompanying the main story was a profile of Jobs, which was based

on the reporting done by Moritz and written by Jay Cocks, an editor

who usually handled rock music for the magazine. “With his smooth sales

 

pitch and a blind faith that would have been the envy of the early Christian

martyrs, it is Steven Jobs, more than anyone, who kicked open the door

 

and let the personal computer move in,” the story proclaimed. It was a richly

reported piece, but also harsh at times—so harsh that Moritz (after he wrote a

book about Apple and went on to be a partner in the venture firm Sequoia

Capital with Don Valentine) repudiated it by complaining that his reporting had

noted that he “would occasionally burst into tears at meetings.” Perhaps the

best quote came from Jef Raskin. Jobs, he declared, “would have made an

excellent King of France.”

To Jobs’s dismay, the magazine made public the existence of the daughter he had

forsaken, Lisa Brennan. He knew that Kottke had been the one to tell the magazine

about Lisa, and he berated him in the Mac group work space in front of a half dozen

people. “When the Time reporter asked me if Steve had a daughter named Lisa, I said ‘

Of course,’” Kottke recalled. “Friends don’t let friends deny that they’re the father of a

child. I’m not going to let my friend be a jerk and deny paternity.

 

He was really angry

and felt violated and told

me in front of everyone

that I had betrayed him.”

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Apple launched the Lisa in January 1983—a full year before the

Apple launched the Lisa in January 1983—a full year before the Mac was

ready—and Jobs paid his $5,000 wager to Couch. Even though he was not

part of the Lisa team, Jobs went to New York to do publicity for it in his

role as Apple’s chairman and poster boy.

 

He had learned from his public relations consultant Regis McKenna how to

dole out exclusive interviews in a dramatic manner. Reporters from anointed

publications were ushered in sequentially for their hour with him in his

 

Carlyle Hotel suite, where a Lisa computer was set on a table and surrounded by

cut flowers. The publicity plan called for Jobs to focus on the Lisa and not mention

the Macintosh, because speculation about it could undermine the Lisa. But Jobs

couldn’t help himself. In most of the stories based on his interviews that day—in Time,

Business Week, the Wall Street Journal, and Fortune—the Macintosh was mentioned.

“Later this year Apple will introduce a less powerful, less expensive version of Lisa, the

Macintosh,” Fortune reported. “Jobs himself has directed that project.” Business

Week quoted him as saying, “When it comes out, Mac is going to be the most incredible

computer in the world.” He also admitted that the Mac and the Lisa would not be compatible.

It was like launching the Lisa with the kiss of death.

 

The first was “Don’t compromise.” It was an injunction that would,

over time, be both helpful and harmful. Most technology teams made

trade-offs. The Mac, on the other hand, would end up being as “insanely great”

as Jobs and his acolytes could possibly make it—but it would not ship for

 

another sixteen months, way behind schedule. After mentioning a scheduled

completion date, he told them, “It would be better to miss than to turn out

 

the wrong thing.” A different type of project manager, willing to make some

trade-offs, might try to lock in dates after which no changes could be made.

Not Jobs. He displayed another maxim: “It’s not done until it ships.”

The Lisa did indeed die a slow death. Within two years it would be discontinued.

“It was too expensive, and we were trying to sell it to big

companies when our expertise was

selling to consumers,” Jobs later said. But there was a silver

lining for Jobs: Within months of Lisa’s launch, it became

 

clear that Apple had

to pin its hopes on the

Macintosh instead.

Let’s Be Pirates!

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“It reflects his personality, which is to want control,” said Berry Cash,

The candidate looked baffled. “What did you say?”

“Are you a virgin?” Jobs asked. The candidate sat there flustered, so Jobs changed the subject.

“How many times have you taken LSD?” Hertzfeld recalled, “The poor guy was turning

varying shades of red, so I tried to change the subject and asked a straightforward technical

 

question.” But when the candidate droned on in his response, Jobs broke in.

“Gobble, gobble, gobble, gobble,” he said, cracking up Smith and Hertzfeld.

“It reflects his personality, which is to want control,” said Berry Cash, who was hired by

Jobs in 1982 to be a market strategist at Texaco Towers. “Steve would talk about the Apple

 

II and complain, ‘We don’t have control, and look at all these crazy things people are trying

to do to it. That’s a mistake I’ll never make again.’” He went so far as to design special tools

 

so that the Macintosh case could not be opened with a regular screwdriver. “We’re going

to design this thing so nobody but Apple employees can get inside this box,” he told Cash.

Jobs also decided to eliminate the cursor arrow keys on the Macintosh keyboard. The only

way to move the cursor was to use the mouse. It was a way of forcing old-fashioned users

to adapt to point-and-click navigation, even if they didn’t want to. Unlike other product

developers, Jobs did not believe the customer was always right; if they wanted to resist

using a mouse, they were wrong.

There was one other advantage, he believed, to eliminating the cursor keys: It forced

outside software developers to write programs specially for the Mac operating system,

rather than merely writing generic software that could be ported to a variety of computers.

That made for the type of tight vertical integration

between application

software,operating

systems, and hardware

devices that Jobs liked.

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Jobs’s desire to control the user experience had been at the heart

Jobs’s desire to control the user experience had been at the heart of his debate with

Wozniak over whether the Apple II would have slots that allow a user to plug expansion

cards into a computer’s motherboard and thus add some new functionality. Wozniak won

 

 

that argument: The Apple II had eight slots. But this time around it would be Jobs’s machine, not

Wozniak’s, and the Macintosh would have limited slots. You wouldn’t even be able to open

the case and get to the motherboard. For a hobbyist or hacker, that was uncool. But for Jobs, the

Macintosh was for the masses. He wanted to give them a controlled experience.

 

a philosophical component, one that was related to his penchant for

control. He believed that for a computer to be truly great, its hardware

and its software had to be tightly linked. When a computer was open

to running software that also worked on other computers, it would end

up sacrificing some functionality. The best products, he believed, were

“whole widgets” that were designed end-to-end, with the software closely

tailored to the hardware and vice versa. This is what would distinguish the

Macintosh, which had an operating system that worked only on its own

hardware, from the environment that Microsoft was creating, in which its

operating system could be used on hardware made by many different companies.

“Jobs is a strong-willed, elitist artist who doesn’t want his creations mutated

inauspiciously by unworthy programmers,” explained ZDNet’s editor

Dan Farber. “It would be as if someone off the street added some

brush strokes to a Picasso painting or changed the lyrics to a Dylan song.”

In later years Jobs’s whole-widget approach would distinguish the iPhone,

iPod, and iPad from their competitors. It resulted in awesome products.

But it was not always the best strategy for dominating a market. “

From the first Mac to the latest iPhone, Jobs’s systems have always

been sealed shut to prevent consumers

 

from meddling and

modifyingthem,”

noted Leander Kahney,

author of Cult of the Mac.

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Instead he insisted on applying only to Reed College

Instead he insisted on applying only to Reed College, a private liberal arts school in Portland, Oregon, that was one of the most expensive in the nation. He was visiting Woz at Berkeley when his father called to say an acceptance letter had arrived from

Reed, and he tried to talk Steve out of going there. So did his mother. It was far more than they could afford, they said. But their son responded with an ultimatum: If he couldn’t go to Reed, he wouldn’t go anywhere. They relented, as usual.

Reed had only one thousand students, half the number at Homestead High. It was known for its free-spirited hippie lifestyle, which combined somewhat uneasily with its rigorous academic standards and core curriculum. Five years earlier Timothy

Leary, the guru of psychedelic enlightenment, had sat cross-legged at the Reed College commons while on his League for Spiritual Discovery (LSD) college tour, during which he exhorted his listeners, “Like every great religion of the past we seek

to find the divinity within. . . . These ancient goals we define in the metaphor of the present—turn on, tune in, drop out.” Many of Reed’s students took all three of those injunctions seriously; the dropout rate during the 1970s was more than one-third.

When it came time for Jobs to matriculate in the fall of 1972, his parents drove him up to Portland, but in another small act of rebellion he refused to let them come on

campus. In fact he refrained from even saying good-bye or thanks. He recounted the moment later with uncharacteristic regret:

It’s one of the things in life I really feel ashamed about. I was not very sensitive, and I hurt their feelings. I shouldn’t have. They had done so much to make sure I could go there, but I just didn’t want them around. I didn’t want anyone to know I had parents. I wanted to be like an orphan who

had bummed around the country

on trains and just arrived

out of nowhere, with no roots,

no connections, no background.

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The problem was that the rivalry became unhealthy. Jobs repeatedly

The problem was that the rivalry became unhealthy. Jobs repeatedly portrayed his band

of engineers as the cool kids on the block, in contrast to

the plodding HP engineer types working on the Lisa.

 

Midway through the summer, Jobs was almost killed when his red Fiat caught fire.

He was driving on Skyline Boulevard in the Santa Cruz Mountains with a high school friend, Tim Brown, who looked back, saw flames coming from the engine, and

casually said to Jobs, “Pull over, your car is on fire.” Jobs did. His father, despite their arguments, drove out to the hills to tow the Fiat home.

In order to find a way to make money for a new car, Jobs got Wozniak to drive him to De Anza College to look on the help-wanted bulletin board. They discovered that the Westgate Shopping Center in San Jose was seeking college students who could

dress up in costumes and amuse the kids. So for $3 an hour, Jobs, Wozniak, and Brennan donned heavy full-body costumes and headgear to play Alice in Wonderland, the Mad Hatter, and the White Rabbit. Wozniak, in his earnest and

sweet way, found it fun. “I said, ‘I want to do it, it’s my chance, because I love children.’ I think Steve looked at it as a lousy job, but I looked at it as a fun

adventure.” Jobs did indeed find it a pain. “It was hot, the costumes were heavy, and after a while I felt like I wanted to smack some of the kids.” Patience was never one of his virtues.

Reed College

Seventeen years earlier, Jobs’s parents had made a pledge when they adopted him: He would go to college. So they had worked hard and saved dutifully for his college fund, which was modest but adequate by the time he graduated. But Jobs, becoming

ever more willful, did not make it easy. At first he toyed with not going to college at all. “I think I might have headed to New York if I didn’t go to college,” he recalled, musing on how different his world—and perhaps all of ours—might have been if he

had chosen that path. When his parents pushed him to go to college, he responded in a passive-aggressive way. He did not consider state schools, such as Berkeley,

where Woz then was, despite the fact that they were more affordable. Nor did he look at Stanford, just up the road and likely to offer a scholarship. “The kids who went to Stanford, they already knew what they wanted to do,

” he said. “They weren’

t really artistic. I wanted

something that was more

artistic and interesting.”

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Toward the end of his senior year at Homestead

Toward the end of his senior year at Homestead, in the spring of 1972, Jobs started going out with a girl named Chrisann Brennan, who was about his age but still a junior. With her light brown hair, green eyes, high cheekbones, and fragile aura, she was very attractive. She was also enduring the breakup of her parents’ marriage,

 

which made her vulnerable. “We worked together on an animated movie, then started going out, and she became my first real girlfriend,” Jobs recalled. As Brennan later said, “Steve was kind of crazy. That’s why I was attracted to him.”

Jobs’s craziness was of the cultivated sort. He had begun his lifelong experiments with compulsive diets, eating only fruits and vegetables, so he was as lean and tight as a whippet. He learned to stare at people without blinking, and he perfected long

silences punctuated by staccato bursts of fast talking. This odd mix of intensity and aloofness, combined with his shoulder-length hair and scraggly beard, gave him the aura of a crazed shaman. He oscillated between charismatic and creepy. “He

shuffled around and looked half-mad,” recalled Brennan. “He had a lot of angst. It was like a big darkness around him.”

Jobs had begun to drop acid by then, and he turned Brennan on to it as well, in a wheat field just outside Sunnyvale. “It was great,” he recalled. “I had been listening to a lot of Bach. All of a sudden the wheat field was playing Bach. It was the most

wonderful feeling of my life up to that point. I felt like the conductor of this symphony with Bach coming through the wheat.”

That summer of 1972, after his graduation, he and Brennan moved to a cabin in the hills above Los Altos. “I’m going to go live in a cabin with Chrisann,” he announced to his parents one day. His father was furious. “No you’re not,” he said. “Over my dead body.” They had recently

fought about marijuana, and

once again the younger

Jobs was willful. He just said

good-bye and walked out.

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The closest of those friends was another wispy

In late 1972, there was a fundamental shift happening in American campus life. The nation’s involvement in the Vietnam War, and the draft that accompanied it, was winding down. Political activism at colleges receded and in many late-night dorm

conversations was replaced by an interest in pathways to personal fulfillment. Jobs found himself deeply influenced by a variety of books on spirituality and enlightenment, most notably Be Here Now, a guide to meditation and the wonders of psychedelic drugs by Baba Ram Dass, born Richard Alpert. “It was profound,” Jobs said. “It transformed me and many of my friends.”

The closest of those friends was another wispy-bearded freshman named Daniel Kottke, who met Jobs a week after they arrived at Reed and shared his interest in Zen, Dylan, and acid. Kottke, from a wealthy New York suburb, was smart but low-

octane, with a sweet flower-child demeanor made even mellower by his interest in Buddhism. That spiritual quest had caused him to eschew material possessions, but

he was nonetheless impressed by Jobs’s tape deck. “Steve had a TEAC reel-to-reel and massive quantities of Dylan bootlegs,” Kottke recalled. “He was both really cool and high-tech.”

Jobs started spending much of his time with Kottke and his girlfriend, Elizabeth Holmes, even after he insulted her at their first meeting by grilling her about how much money it would take to get her to have sex with another man. They hitchhiked to the coast together, engaged in the typical dorm raps about the meaning of life,

attended the love festivals at the local Hare Krishna temple, and went to the Zen center for free vegetarian meals. “It was a lot of fun,” said Kottke, “but also philosophical, and we took Zen very seriously.”

Jobs began sharing with Kottke other books, including Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind by Shunryu Suzuki, Autobiography of a Yogi by Paramahansa Yogananda, and Cutting Through Spiritual Materialism by Ch?gyam Trungpa. They created a

meditation room in the attic crawl space above Elizabeth Holmes’s room and fixed it up with Indian prints, a dhurrie rug, candles, incense, and meditation cushions. “There was a hatch in the ceiling leading to an attic which had a huge amount

of space,” Jobs said.

“We took psychedelic drugs

there sometimes, but mainly

we just meditated.”

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