Steve Jobs – Five Things You Didn’t Know About Him

Steve Jobs

You have seen those shiny iPhones in the hands of the glamorous and elitist to project coolness. Well, that phone started from a college dropout named Steve Jobs – whom many believe gave humanity true SmartPhones.

“We started out to get a computer in the hands of everyday people, and we succeeded beyond our wildest dreams.”-Steve Jobs

Likewise, Steve Jobs’ business and technology accomplishments should serve as a great inspiration. As Bill Gates wrote,

“The world rarely sees someone who has had the profound impact Steve has had, the effects of which will be felt for many generations to come.”

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He was one of the youngest people to make the Forbes list

Steve Jobs’ success, according to Forbes.com meant that he made it on a number of Forbes lists. He was number 17 on most powerful people in 2010, 39 on the Forbes 400 rich list in 2011, and 110 on Billionaires in 2011.

Steve Jobs Last Words

Following Steve Jobs diagnosis with pancreatic cancer in 2003, a rare form difficult to survive. He tried natural alternative healing such as becoming a vegan, acupuncture, and herbal remedies. He resisted medicine. Jobs died at his home in Palo Alto with his family at his side. His final words were, according to Inc.com “Oh wow. Oh wow. Oh wow.”

Steve Jobs maintains obsessive secrecy.

This didn’t just apply to the ultra secrecy around Apple’s products, the details of which were famously guarded until unveiled in Jobs’ mind-bending keynotes (down to his famous “there’s one more thing”).



Super secrecy also applied to the eight-year-long, closed-lipped strategy that Apple employed with investors and the media about Jobs’ health problems (the concealment of which “disgusted” one board member, the late Jerome York). Yet Apple was able to withstand the pressure for more transparency because its products consistently delighted customers and its results wowed investors.

This, along with Jobs’ particular talents, allowed Jobs to carve out an exception for himself. Imagine if such secrecy culminated in a fiasco, such as a large share price drop.

Steve Jobs Projects a reality-distortion field

In describing his technology-related arguments with Jobs, Eric Schmidt, the executive chairman of Google, recently wrote: “He had this extraordinary depth. I have a PhD in this area, and he was so charismatic he could convince me of things I didn’t actually believe.” Steve Jobs’ “reality distortion field” is legendary, and refers to his ability to exert his knowledge, charisma, personal and persistence to convince anyone of anything. Others attempting the same technique could pull it off, and would most likely be laughed out of the room. It’s better to work with reality and make the best of it.

Steve Jobs[PHOTO: Steve Jobs, Associated Press]

Steve Jobs micromanage every detail.

Fortune magazine described Steve Jobs as “a corporate dictator who makes every critical decision — and oodles of seemingly noncritical calls, too.” Not only did he control every aspect of product design, he also weighed in on the glass stairs in Apple stores (for which he held a patent), the design of the Apple shuttle buses, and the food in the cafeteria, to cite just a few examples.

He even tried to mandate a company uniform, seriously! Micromanaging certainly worked for Steve Jobs, and for Apple. But, think about every other micromanager that you’ve ever worked with. Did it work for them, or those who worked for them?

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But don’t allow Steve Jobs’ success to lure you into adopting (or accepting) his management style. That’s the route to alienating coworkers and stoking workplace discontent and war, without delivering any of Steve Jobs’ magical results. He was Steve Jobs, and you are not. Nor am I, unfortunately, no matter how much I wish to be him.

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