"On a cold winter day, Carmack laced up his shoes, slipped on his jacket, and headed out into the Madison snow. The town was blanketed in the stuff, cars caked in frost, trees dangling ice. Carmack endured the chill because he had no car; he'd sold the MGB long before. It was easy enough for him to shut out the weather, just like he could, when necessary, shut Tom and Romero's antics out of his mind. He was on a mission.
Carmack stepped into the local bank and requested a cashier's check for $11,000. The money was for a NeXT computer, the latest machine from Steve Jobs, cocreator of Apple. The NeXT, a stealth black cube, surpassed the promise of Jobs's earlier machines by incorporating NeXTSTEP, a powerful system tailor-made for custom software development. The market for PCs and games was exploding, and this was the perfect tool to create more dynamic titles for the increasingly viable gaming platform. It was the ultimate Christmas present for the ultimate in young graphics programmers, Carmack."
The dead in this industry are the super old timers, many of whom you really never hear about, or the unfortunate souls who passed away relatively young. Jobs was only 56 when he passed away.
the book was also strangely motivating.
have you (or anyone else) read anything else like masters of doom recently?
For a gripping tale of technology and hacking, The Cuckoo's Egg never fails: https://www.amazon.com/Cuckoos-Egg-Tracking-Computer-Espiona...
And, as someone reminded me in the thread about Xerox and Fujifilm, Dealers of Lightning tells the story of Xerox PARC, the Alto, Steve Jobs' visit, etc: https://www.amazon.com/Dealers-Lightning-Xerox-PARC-Computer...
Something similar but perhaps a bit drier may be Accidental Empires by Robert X. Cringely about the personal computer wars. And yes, that's the same Cringely from the Triumph of the Nerds documentaries.
I also do not recommend David Kushner's Prepare to Meet Thy Doom and The World's Most Dangerous Geek audiobooks which I believe are anthologies of loosely related articles he has written over the years. The prose was a little too purple for me.
The reason this story is told is because it's pretty unusual. Carmack's success is a result of him doing fairly exceptional things.
And still many buy iPhone and Macbook
What? Who was cutting down the office doors? Job frustration? and , still survived getting fired?
This happened after Romero accidentally locked himself in his office. Hearing the pleas, Carmack gave the knob a twist, paused, then deduced the most obvious and immediate solution. “You know,” he said, “I do have a battle-ax in my office.” Carmack had recently paid five thousand dollars for the custom-made weapon—a razor-edged hatchet like something out of Dungeons and Dragons. As the other guys gathered around chanting, “Battle-ax! Battle-ax! Battle-ax!” Carmack chopped Romero free. The splintered door remained in the hall for months.
It was a tiny company and they were co-founders. Who was gonna fire them?
Funny he should write that. Many, many years ago I wrote an email to John Carmack asking something about his .plan postings which must have seemed fairly mundane looking back on it now. He was nice enough to write me back. And I thought that was pretty cool too.
I guess it just goes to show that even the people you respect or admire have people they respect and admire themselves.
As a joke, I emailed Gabe Newell and asked if he'd wish me a happy birthday
Much to my surprise, he actually replied! https://i.imgur.com/n0BvCPS.png
I can only imagine the amount of garbage he gets in his inbox every day. So to get that email back (on a Sunday for him, as well) was pretty heart warming
I’ve always thought that it wouldn’t be that fulfilling to be famous, because you’d lose the opportunity to do things like go out to a normal restaurant with your family and have dinner without people acting weird around you constantly. Paparazzi are one thing, fans and stalkers another.
TL;DR don’t be the person who makes being famous suck, and you’ll probably get a lot more out of having an interesting conversation with someone you look up to vs just getting an autograph.
To my surprise he actually read my question and answered it on tv! It was so freaking cool! But, my inner teenager kicked in when I realized his answer was something I already tried. I sent him an really awful email in response. I called him terrible names. I was a complete shit.
I felt so bad about my actions _for years_ that I eventually emailed him a, what I thought was, a heartfelt apology for being such a shit. I got an email back a few days later from his wife telling me she shared it with him and to not worry about it.
I still feel bad about writing it...
(I've written some pretty dumb things to him and he never called me a fooled. He was nice enough to try to re-explain things to me. I finally had to give up because I felt I was wasting his time.)
Alan is very smart and was a prodigy, but I think he put up with Steve Jobs' eccentricity to a larger extent than our eccentricity because he could influence people and got a few things right. (Although Alan has been said to call out CEOs for incompetence.) Murray Rothbard (economist) said all the billionaires he ever met were crazy. Probably because their colleagues and employees would put up with a lot of stuff they would never let anyone else get away with.
I bet dang saw that and wanted to remind him about the HN guidelines and then realized that the author of the comment was freakin Alan Kay and just said never mind.
Diogenes was in Corinth when Alexander the Great sent word through a messenger asking Diogenes to come see him in Macedonia.
Diogenes told the Alexander’s messenger, “Go tell your emperor that Corinth is as far from Macedonia as Macedonia is from Corinth. So if your emperor wants to see me, he can come and find me here.”
Irrefutable logic and infinite self-assurance. The last bit can only come from someone who really does not need anything from anyone however high and mighty.
Alexander surely was not used to being turned down. But I suppose being a warrior, he admired courage. So he went to Corinth to meet Diogenes. Diogenes was sitting in his tub and enjoying the morning sun when Alexander showed up on his high horse with a whole bunch of soldiers.
After a brief introduction, Alexander proudly offered to give Diogenes anything that he needed. “Is there anything I can do for you, Sir?” asked Alexander. Diogenes replied, “Yes, you could. You are blocking the sun. Please stand aside.”
Russ Cox never got back to me about having GUI apps take over the terminal window in Plan 9 from userspace, although my idea was fundamentally trash so I don't blame him
This was around 97, and the Internet was still new to me. There was access in one lab 1 hour once a week or something like that, so the fact that he replied with some pointers to few ps files about the OS was really amazing.
^^ Managers take note. These are excellent traits to climbing the corporate ladder. Just be a dick without looking like a dick.
If I got a chance to work on the iPhone in 2006, yeah I might put up with a lot of crap. If all I'm doing is writing yet another software as a service CRUD app and I have an insufferable manager - I'll jump ship so fast it will make their head spin.
On second thought, thier head won't spin, they will put out a rec the day I submit my letter of resignation and forget I existed in three months.
I don't think you have to necessarily be that influential to have at least part of the same power. In other words, I suspect there are mini-Jobs all over the place. The sad part is I think you can get a long way without much influence at all, as what keeps people around isn't how influential or amazing you are, but how much they perceive you to be, and some people are finely tuned producers of bullshit.
I try and remember that, though likely not often enough.
Sure, you do. Many people don't. There was this thread on Amazon today which tells me people put up with many, many abuses. Fertile ground for others to follow Jobs example.
Or any organization I've been in, some non-profit some for-profit, none of them public.
Look at open-source, for example. People with little money, often in poor countries, giving away software that generate $billions in profits for already wealthy people.
I think there is a big difference between people who try to act like Jobs and Jobs himself.
Given what we now know about John Lasseter, Jobs' record on implementing this advice was decidedly mixed.
My personal take is there's not a shortage of engineers, there's a shortage of not-shit workplaces.
After awhile, most companies go from new and shiny to sticking with the same technology (it doesn't make business sense to always chase after the tech of the week) that is not where the market is going. You have three choices - either fall behind the market, learn on the side, or change companies. I choose to change companies.
Second issue is that wage stagnation is real and most companies don't do market adjustments and the meager yearly raises start getting out paced by the market. The easiest way to get a raise is by changing jobs.
My reaction every time: Yeah, we already have a term for someone who's nice to those that they want something from, and who mercilessly leverages their power against everyone else. It's called ... "not nice".
Quite Machiavellian, asking somebody to reschedule their wedding for a keynote and being completely unwilling to return the slightest favour!
Just knowing the guy and engaging with him time to time dilutes the concept of an abusive relationship.
The places where it doesn't seem like an abusive relationship it most certainly seems like the way a feudal tyrant would be behave.
Psychological pressure is not just a bad thing. Too much of it, yes, and used for selfish reasons, yes - but - there is a net positive effect of making people defend their position and holding them accountable for their views.
From what I've read Jobs combined the positive sparring attitude as well as negative I-must-have-my-catharsis-by-abusing-you as well.
An intellectually keen sparring partner is something most people cherish. Given this sparring partner is Jobs there is a random reward/punishment element involved - is he going to cherish me or banish me?
We all know this random reward system is the key to addictive interactions. Jobs was probably a keen intellectual sparring partner combined with an emotional game of chance.
No wonder people revered him.
I think the 'asshole steve jobs' reverence goes into the same pile with Gordon Gekko admiration. The problem with Jobs is he was a non-fictional character and people the lizard-people kind of types seem to completely misunderstand what was the good part in him as a leader.
I don't envy titans of industry any more than I envy celebrity for this reason. They seem to be our social experiments. We are lucky to have them and luckier still that fewer than most become real devils.
Wish I had a point for this ramble. I just feel like there is a terrible _cost_ to being someone like Jobs, Musk, Tesla, etc. A cost that doesn't seem to be adequately explained to them _or_ the people who revere them. They are the milk producing cows of productivity that we happily take out and slaughter for meat once they burn out. That we seem to love them just makes it all the more strange.
I tried explaining how we'd performed an experiment proving pie menus were faster than linear menus , but he insisted the liner menus in NeXT Step were the best possible menus ever.
But who was I to rain on his parade, two weeks after the first release of NeXT Step 0.8? (Up to that time, it was the most hyped piece of vaporware ever, and doubters were wearing t-shirts saying "NeVR Step"!)
Here's an illustrated transcript of a video (and the video itself) demonstrating the pie menus (and SimAntics visual programming language) in The Sims!
The Sims Pie Menus:
And this discusses the issues you raised and more:
OLPC Sugar Pie Menu Discussion:
Turning a dial is a totally different gesture than making directional strokes, so they are different beasts, and a dial lacks the advantages pie menus derive from exploiting Fitts's Law.
Even though the Surface Dial has a round dial, that is nothing like a pie menu, even though it's round, because you turn it. Pie menus aren't about turning around the center, they're about stroking out from the center.
Also a rotating carousel or rocker switch that you turn or nudge clockwise or counterclockwise to change between different items, and then click to select an item, is not anything like a pie menu.
You have to turn a dial or carousel more and more to select each subsequent item. (Just like you have to move the cursor more and more downwards to select each subsequent item of a linear pull-down menu).
With pull down menus, click wheels and carousels, selection is linear O(n), while with a pie menu you only have to perform one short directional gesture to select any item, so selection is constant O(1) (with a small constant, the inner inactive radius of the hole in the middle, which you can make larger if you're a spaz).
Also, the items themselves should never rotate around the menu (unless you're doing some quick transient snazzy spin-up animation), they should always stay in the same direction.
Here are some window management pie menus that spin up if you click them up without moving, and tilt up around the axis perpendicular to the direction of motion, if you move away from the center before they pop up:
Stallman likes to classify an emacs-like text editor that totally misses the point of emacs by not having an extension language as an "erzatz emacs". In the same sense, there are many "erzatz pie menus" that may look like pie menus on the surface, but don't actually track or feel like pie menus, or benefit from all of their advantages, because they aren't designed to optimize for Fitts's Law by being based purely on the direction between stroke endpoints instead of the entire path, minimizing the distance to the targets, and maximizing the size of the targets.
Another way to implement frustrating difficult to use erzatz pie menus that totally miss the point is to only use the small areas of the item labels as targets, not the entire huge wedge shaped pie slices extending out to the screen edge.
Yet another way to screw them up is to trigger them when you move a certain distance from the center (or pop them up when you roll over a target without clicking, or use time-outs without clicking), instead of when you click or release the mouse (or tap or release your finger, pen, etc). There should always be a kinesthetic delimiter like a click or tap at the beginning and ending of the stroke, but the stroke is free wander around any path or pause for any duration. Only the angle between the delimiters matters, to allow for browsing and reselection and error correction.
If distance or time is the trigger, the user has no way of reliably and directly controlling or sensing at which point the selection happens, or using the menus without looking at the screen, and it terribly interferes with navigating nested pie menus.
Any pie menu that does not initially pop up with the cursor (or your finger) in the center, or that is already showing before you start tracking from anywhere on the screen, is terribly broken, because the whole point is to bring the pie menu center to you, so you can select with quick directional gestures without looking at the screen, not for you to have to first look at the screen and then move to the center yourself. That would totally defeat the purpose of pie menus!
Handling the screen edge problem can get tricky, especially when combined with mouse-ahead display suppression. One way of handling that is to "warp" the mouse back to the center of the menu if the menu needs to be moved to fit on the screen. But you must be careful not to cancel out any motion away from the center that's already happened (which is why you should delay warping the mouse until you actually pop up the menu (if ever), so there is no mouse warping when you mouse ahead and the menu is not displayed).
Web browser don't directly support mouse warping (i.e. like XWarpPointer), and you can't tell if the edge of the browser window is actually the edge of the screen, but you can use the "Pointer Lock API" to implement a software cursor that you can warp anywhere in the window you want (but not outside).
There's a lot more discussion of screen edge handling and mouse-ahead display suppression here:
Also see the discussion of "gesture space" here:
It's the 30 year anniversary of CHI’88 (May 15–19, 1988), where Jack Callahan, Ben Shneiderman, Mark Weiser and I (Don Hopkins) presented our paper “An Empirical Comparison of Pie vs. Linear Menus”. We found pie menus to be about 15% faster and with a significantly lower error rate than linear menus!
So I've written up a 30 year retrospective:
This article will discuss the history of what’s happened with pie menus over the last 30 years (and more), present both good and bad examples, including ideas half baked, experiments performed, problems discovered, solutions attempted, alternatives explored, progress made, software freed, products shipped, as well as setbacks and impediments to their widespread adoption.
Here is the main article, and some other related articles:
Pie Menus: A 30 Year Retrospective. By Don Hopkins, Ground Up Software, May 15, 2018. Take a Look and Feel Free!
We've been trained from an early age to process lists. Lists are cool.
Registration funds important things like police, fire, and public education. Rolling around town as a tightwad billionaire who thinks hes too good to pay for public services is beyond the pale.
He only did that because he wanted to drive around without a license plate. And tightwads can be tightwads when it comes to spending their money on other people but splurge on themselves.
Because he didn't pay registration fees? How well do you know people? The average person has done much worse than this.
Besides, "more asshole than legend" goes to some random asshole, not to a person that, asshole or not, still inspired millions, was several times "person of the year", and built the most valuable market cap company in history.
All that, and the worst that they say about him is that he was mean and petty sometimes, and didn't recognize his daughter at first. There are tons of major figures of history that have done way way worst things than that.
>Registration funds important things like police, fire, and public education. Rolling around town as a tightwad billionaire who thinks hes too good to pay for public services is beyond the pale.
As if he did it to avoid paying registration funds. And as if his fortune haven't been used to pay tons of charity and public taxes and build jobs.
Because he used his plates, or lack thereof, to park in disabled parking spaces . That speaks volumes about what kind of person Steve Jobs was.
That answered, why do you go into BS psychological questions instead of giving actual counter-arguments?
Is this considered an easy "winning strategy" / cheap cop out from actually discussing: painting the other commenter as having some kind of psychological need / personal issue for saying what they say?
He famously didn't own much furniture (at least when he was single) because he couldn't find any he liked, not because he was cheap.
>seven years ago, Microsoft opened a small office in Reno, Nev., to collect the money it got from PC manufacturers that installed Windows and Office on the computers they sold. In the years since, Microsoft has sheltered more than $60 billion in royalty revenue in Nevada, a state with no corporate income tax, costing Washington an estimated $327 million in unrealized tax revenue.
>Registration funds important things like police, fire, and public education
Jobs paid his taxes and registration, he just didn't put his plates on the car.
Microsoft has intentionally dodged paying hundreds of millions of dollars in taxes to the state where they are located.
Where was Carmack when everyone was forcing us to listen to "web apps are the future of mobile"?
He could have ended that HN debated instantly.
As it happened, the reaction to web apps was so negative they ended up releasing their SDK hastily (which anyone who went through the pain of using it for the first couple of years can attest to).
One of the common mistakes people have when discussing Steve Jobs is mistaking what he said for what he believed. (We see this confusion constantly in the news, where "The Whitehouse believes" is used to describe something in a press release.) He knew how to stay on message, and he knew that saying "our SDK will probably be released in alpha form in a year and be somewhat stable in two years" was off message.
It's also fairly clear that if he had had a bunch of arguments about something and reached some provisional conclusion, he wasn't going to have much patience with an argument he had previously encountered and beaten to death from someone random.
Reminds me of “we couldn’t get the fingerprint sensor under the screen working, so we had to quickly come up with an alternate authentication method, and that required this hideous notch” vs “Face ID is the newest, best thing ever.”
They still try to hide it when things don’t go their way.
I think you should try using iPhone X before you comment on it.
> He could have ended that HN debated instantly.
This is going to be difficult to hear, but online debates are essentially for entertainment purposes only. Arguments had on the internet rarely affect our industry as a whole. Arguments had in person between people of power and influence are far more effective, time efficient and can affect entire industries (even countries!) in profound ways.
No amount of technology beats face to face communication. No amount of technology replaces individual power and influence.
Reading about a new awesome technology, might make someone go out and do a project with said technology. While that doesn't affect the industry as a whole, the debates sure are useful for the people reading and participating in them
A good rule of thumb is that a "consultative process" is a smokescreen unless the people being consulted have voting rights amongst those doing the consulting.
He was in the debate at the origin, speaking firmly and directly to the key players, as your quote shows.
You're conflating the web with web apps. Those are two separate things.
If web apps are to be the future, bloating up the browser to the size of an OS to get native-app level functionality sounds like a dystopian future to me. I don't want my browser to access my GPU, I don't want by browser leaking my LAN IP, I don't want my browser communicating with USB devices on my machine, etc, etc...
Also, nobody (yet) has been able to create a GUI/Client App standard for cross-platform delivery that performs well across different hardware architectures and operating systems which are designed and optimized for completely different things. That makes sense because the "one size fits all" way of doing things is terrible for performance among other things.
>The only right answer is universal apps(the web).
The only "right" answer is that we should tolerate specific web apps only when the benefits outweigh the costs.
Native apps will likely always have a place when OS/UI integration are paramount. But web apps will become a lot more prevalent than they have been previous as more and more hooks are exposed to the native core. Which is a good thing for everyone.
I don't really know the best way to delineate what should and shouldn't be a web app, beyond a vague notion that my daily news rotation should be in the browser.
Actually I'd argue the web is great for that too. On Android you can already implement a messaging app, complete with notifications, on the web.
I wish people like my bank used it. I don't want to install their native app because I barely ever use it, but would I like to get urgent notifications from them every now and then? You bet I would.
Just because there's been a lot of progress in making web apps do things that were more natural for native apps, doesn't mean that it's the best way to go about something.
I get the wish for more support for web apps, though. I just switched over from a near 4-year-old phone that was replete with security updates and other un-removable stuff in the storage which prevented me from having a lot of apps installed (especially as so many insist on a large footprint in internal storage), so I increasingly used my web browser to access things. After the switch, though, you can bet I downloaded a bunch of apps I had deleted.
One of the most annoying examples of that for me is accepting a new connection on LinkedIn from my phone. I want to tap on the link in the email and be done. Instead it redirects me to the store, I close it, try again. Sometimes it works, sometimes I give up and do it later.
Another example is Facebook. :)
Steve could be rough to work with but they obviously had respect for one another, so it is sad to see in the end there was some bad blood. At least John tried to get back in touch. I think the line at the end really says it all, "...but elements of the path that led to where I am today were contingent on the dents he left in the universe. I showed up for him."
Edit: If you're reading this John, thank you for all the gaming joy you've given the world over the years. I remember asking you programming questions and you were always responsive. You've left dents for others too.
Edit: Regarding the snide comment Steve made that you could write your own OS. He might have secretly feared you would. He knew you could.
For example, a couple of years ago, I remember a game dev saying that they made one of the top selling game on iOS and received plenty of attention/help from Apple's engineers at WWDC, but when they made an Android version of their game, suddenly it was radio silence with Apple.
This is the kind of thing Jobs would have done, but now that he's gone, I'm disappointed that Apple did not evolve past this kind of behavior.
When he announced his Android version, Apple kinda stopped returning his calls and engineers would not give him as much time for questions and help. He went from VIP to nobody.
How is it possible that Doom was developed on NeXT?
As far as I know, Doom was first released for MS-DOS. Wouldn't be really hard to develop a MS-DOS game from another operative system and another CPU architecture? Specially at the time without engines abstracting platform details?
You need to remember that Doom had a software renderer only. It only needed to be able to write to a color framebuffer for display. It also needed access to a keyboard, and sound. As long as you do it properly and carefully (and this is John Carmack we are talking about), it is not too difficult to abstract. You need to be careful not to paint yourself into a corner (endianness, pointer sizes, properly isolating platform-specific code, etc). That way you can develop most of the game without even touching the target hardware.
Doom did have what would be nowadays called an "engine", only it was designed for that particular game. Id Software was probably one of the first (if not the first) company to sell a generic "3d Engine". In any case, the abstractions were there.
They probably could not do the entire development using the NeXT workstations. At some point they would need real PCs to finish the port, and check how it worked on the target hardware. That was even more of an issue back then: although the C code could be cross-compiled (to solve the different CPU architecture problem), they did have lots of assembly code for performance.
Nowadays, we are spoiled. iOS developers do exactly the same thing day to day as they did, only they don't even notice for the most part. Click a button on their Macbooks (which run amd64 arch), code get cross-compiled to ARM and linked with ARM-specific libraries. Android developers do the same, and they even have a fully emulated environment.
Writing cross-platform code, especially for early games where you're using a fairly restricted set of the platform code (and even less if you're doing a software renderer), is similarly not that hard in the common case if you've thought about it/have experience with it. There are a few different approaches, but even just having a single file that has POSIX and DOS compatibility functions (ie, above the stuff the C standard provides) and some macros could probably get you 90% of the way there.
I don't mean to downplay how hard it is to, say, support multiple renderers, which is a problem that came later, or porting code that was written without any thought given to future portability. But given they knew they were supporting two platforms, it's not that hard to do (compared to the other, actually hard, stuff they did).
From my memory of reading Masters of Doom, they developed for where they expected the consumer PC hardware market to be at the time of release. If you wanted that hardware at the time they were developing, $10k Next workstations were your best bet.
When Doom came out, I (and most other folks) needed a new PC.
Ports to multiple platforms were pretty common in those days with games and that's something the team had a lot of experience with from their years at Softdisk. Having looked at the game code, it's not really terribly difficult.
Nope, fortunately someone invented C!
Expressive, objective, and committed people tend to assume that their inner sense of security and self-assurance is universal, and don't understand when people get offended at one-off comments, or associate a negative comment constrained within context A as something broadly/universally applicable (e.g., "This is crap" referring to thing A does not necessarily have any bearing on thing B, thing C, etc., even if they're from the same source).
Personally, I think this is the reason that many successful people get labeled "assholes" by people who are less successful. The insecure take offense from little things and memorialize and repeat and nurse them as justifications for their own insecurities, whereas the supposed "offender" hardly realizes anyone has a problem.
You can say it is bad not to elevate Everyone Else's Feelings to #1 priority if you want, but again, it only further solidifies the personality types. The insecure fret over their own insecurities, and the secure and self-assured don't take criticism personally, and focus on getting something real done.
My biggest question is, why now? I mean what trigger you to post this / share this pieces about Steve Jobs?
The reason I ask was because only a few week ago I posted a few comments about the state of Mac, Gaming on Mac and Gaming as iOS App Revenue. In the age of E-Sports and Gaming is the sole segment that is pushing / slowing / stopping the decline of PC sales, I wonder if Apple would take gaming a little more seriously, since Steve Jobs deleted all Gaming DNA in Apple once he returned from NeXT. And I said I wish John Carmack would comment a bit on Steve Jobs given he has been on Stage a few times in Keynote, and has surprisingly never shared any stories since he passed away.
But I think this confirms my suspicious
>Several things over the years made me conclude that, at his core, Steve didn’t think very highly of games, and always wished they weren’t as important to his platforms as they turned out to be. I never took it personally.
And it is a little strange since Steve worked at Atari.
or you can see Carmack's original tweet here: https://twitter.com/ID_AA_Carmack/status/993142700374462464
That's funny. I had a boss at Apple when I did some contracting there in 1999 who told me that Jobs asked him, "You wanna be a hero?" before giving him a project. My boss told me, "Yep, one day you're a hero, the next day you're a shithead."
"One time, my wife, then fiancée, and I were meeting with Steve at Apple, and he wanted me to do a keynote that happened to be scheduled on the same day as our wedding. With a big smile and full of charm, he suggested that we postpone it. We declined, but he kept pressing. Eventually my wife countered with a suggestion that if he really wanted “her” John so much, he should loan John Lassiter to her media company for a day of consulting. Steve went from full charm to ice cold really damn quick. I didn’t do that keynote."
I find sociopaths fascinating, but I would sure never want to work for one. It must take an incredible amount of calculation and self discipline to keep a semblance of normality for an incredibly high profile sociopath like Jobs.
On a side note, the late Pieter Hintjens of ZeroMQ wrote an excellent book about psychopaths available online for free here.
Also want to disclaim that I am not a psychiatrist and my opinion of Job's sociopathy is only my speculation.
Mr. Hintjens was not a psychiatric expert either. That he wrote a book on the subject, is not entirely to his credit. As such, he could have just described "predatory behavior".
There is popular material available on psychopathy and socipathy written by subject matter experts. For example "The Psychopath Inside: A Neuroscientist's Personal Journey into the Dark Side of the Brain" by James Fallon is written by a neuroscientist who accidentally discovers he is a psychopath.
It's not a clinical diagnosis and should never be treated as such. But after you've run into a couple of people in your own life with those same attributes and that same pattern of behaviour, that's plenty to go on.
a) Not every pathological behavioral pattern has some underlying psychiatric or neurological condition to explain it. Some people just behave badly.
b) Often diagnosed psychological conditions don't really manifest in how people think they manifest
c) Completely dissimilar conditions can create similar behavior in some situtations.
Of c) especially: For example aspergers and narcissists can behave exactly the same in some situations. They both can lack in reciprocity, but for completely different reasons.
"...after you've run into a couple of people in your own life with those same attributes and that same pattern of behaviour, that's plenty to go on."
I agree that it's really critical to understand that there are people who don't engage in reciprocal relationships and can be abusive.
I think it would be very difficult to not work for one since they're at the top of pretty much every successful company.
There is a ton of truth to this:
Being a jerk != being successful!
Having a great product eye and good design sense are excellent traits to emulate.
Having "strong opinions, loosely held" is another great trait to emulate.
Being honest and direct when something isn't good is also a great trait to emulate.
Demanding people do their best is another great trait to emulate.
Being a jerk (at least under certain circumstances) is orthogonal and unrelated.
Unfortunately far too many people mistake correlation for causation and think being a demanding jerk is the key to success. First: you are no Steve Jobs. Second: that isn't what made him successful.
(Being direct and brutally honest can also come off as being a jerk. We have lots of pressure to be positive / supportive and avoid social conflict. It is always easier to say "that's great" or "nice job" than give actual constructive feedback, especially when the recipients are likely to be defensive about it. It is critical for startups to avoid this and be brutally honest with themselves about the product!)
Don't defend him while trying to separate the fact that he was the king of jerks because you have spent big money on his products. Does not work that way. Sorry.
"One time, my wife, then fiancée, and I were meeting with Steve at Apple, and he wanted me to do a keynote that happened to be scheduled on the same day as our wedding. With a big smile and full of charm, he suggested that we postpone it. We declined, but he kept pressing. Eventually my wife countered with a suggestion that if he really wanted “her” John so much, he should loan John Lassiter to her media company for a day of consulting. Steve went from full charm to ice cold really damn quick. "
> Don't defend him while trying to separate the fact that he was the king of jerks because you have spent big money on his products. Does not work that way. Sorry.
You sound like a jerk.
Sorry, not very productive, but you made me smile
Or a SOB if you prefer.
- Be Charismatic
- Be Successful
- Don't Be Unsuccessful
Prolly why I always finish last lol.
One can be brutally honest in a nonpersonal way, with non-sarcastic humor, with lightness and friendliness.
Including appreciation for already existing effort, adding reasoning, logic, and vision in the communication go a long way.
Edit: added appreciation :)
Not true. Attractive people tend to be treated nicer and think that’s the norm for behavior.
This doesn't sound so much like an admirable quality as much as it sounds like a symptom.
Based on his reactions to social situations, I truly believe he was on the autism spectrum, and that he suffered from lifelong reactive attachment disorder. To some degree, I can understand the disdain others feel for him, but I also can’t fully understand it either. It’s not like anyone was suckered into Apple not knowing how he was. I feel that if you signed up to work there, you were signing up for his uncompromising vision. People with uncompromising visions are a lot like him from my observation.
By the way, you criticize the previous commenter's assertion, but you haven't provided any rationale on why they might be mistaken.
Fine. John Rockefeller, Henry Clay Frick, Steve Cohen, Bill Gross, LBJ, Larry Ellison, Pablo Escobar, Donald Trump, Bo Xilai, Harvey Weinstein, Vladamir Putin. And those are just a small fraction of the HUGE assoles. Not even run of the mill assholes like Jobs.
Recent history (and ancient history) is filled with successful assholes. So, my rationale that it's not something that can be asserted without evidence is simply the prevalence. Which, to be honest, probably didn't need to be said. This is common knowledge.
Let's say I get involved in a pet project, put lots of bloody time on it, and get involved on it mentally. I can become a jerk when someone criticize it.
Taking critics is good. But it is very hard when you put lots of effort. Steve Jobs did put lots of work into Apple. That could made some of his reactions a backfire that people perceived badly.
Maybe a better word to describe Jobs is honest.