"Jobs never did a lick of engineering in his life. He had me snowed," Alcorn later recalled. "It took years before I figured out that he was getting Woz to 'come in the back door' and do all the work while he got the credit."
Jobs convinced Wozniak to work on the game during his day job at Hewlett-Packard, when he was meant to be designing calculators. At night the two would collaborate on building it at Atari: Wozniak as engineer, Jobs as breadboarder and tester.
Allegedly, Jobs told Wozniak that he could have half of a $700 bounty if they were able to get the chip count under 50 (typical games of the day tended to require around 100 chips). After four sleepless days that gave both of them a case of mono (an artificial time limit, it turns out: Jobs had a plane to catch, Atari wasn't in that much of a rush), the brilliantly gifted Wozniak delivered a working board with just 46 chips.
Jobs made good on his promise and gave Wozniak his promised $350. What he didn't tell him -- and what Wozniak didn't find out until several years later -- was that Jobs also pocketed a bonus somewhere in the neighborhood of $5,000. Though it's often reported that this caused a rift in their friendship, Wozniak seems to have no hard feelings."
This doesn't diminish Steve Jobs for me (maybe it should, but he was what he was and it's ancient history anyway), but it definitely enhances Steve Wozniak's stature.
Not: "SJ did that, and it was bad, so I think worse of him."
But: "SJ did that, which shows that he was unusually willing and able to take the credit and the benefits of someone else's work; so my estimate of the share of the credit and benefits he got later in his career should accordingly be reduced."
Without excusing his behaviour I'd like to remind people here that perhaps we have all acted selfishly or done things we are not proud of when we were younger (high school or college aged).
Especially during the last years it were, for example, often the leading engineers themselves who demoed their software.
In his public appearances I followed (all post-2000) I never ever had the feeling that he was taking undue credit, I never really had the feeling that he was taking credit at all. I can’t recall any instance where he presented something as his great idea, it was always “we”, never “I”. He didn’t always specifically thank everyone who worked on the products they presented but quite often. (You know, that whole routine where he asks all the people from Apple in the audience to stand up – didn’t always happen, but sometimes.)
I’m not sure whether it makes a lot of sense to judge the 2000s Jobs based on the 70s and 80s Jobs. Humans do a lot of dumb stuff in their lives. But humans also change.
Even Jef Raskin's signature is in there, for crying out loud, and Jobs stole the Mac team from him.
But to your general point, have you ever seen a product intro where the entire team is brought up and named one by one? It seems like you're holding Jobs to an arbitrarily high standard.
The best way I can sum it up, is that Apple may have been evolutionary, but not revolutionary, even though for many people owning one of their products was a revolution. Did Apple invent or just popularize the GUI? Was SJ more a popularizer or more an inventor?
This is McNealy's take on Apple and SJ:
"Apple is beyond proprietary, and the consumer has no idea that they are checking into the roach motel. Jobs has been brilliant, and he also understands the power of the secret better than anyone I have every seen." (3/10)
-- the conductor bows to audience with orchestra, and applauds orchestra as well.
I haven't read iWoz, and I doubt Woz himself feels this way about it, but these stories just have a way of coming across that way.
I think he's just fine being seen that way:)
None of these people are saints. At the time Jobs was essentially a kid. If you dig deep on any person you will find things that will disappoint you. We are human and destined to be flawed. One, or even a few moments, do not sum up a man's life. You must take it in its entirety. Even then, you have to also understand that every decision or path we take will define us, one way or the other.
Ask yourself, is there an Apple without Jobs or Woz? If no, then they were mutually beneficial to each other. In the end both Woz and Jobs have come out with a more significant life than if they had never met.
Woz seems to be able to think of this story in the spirit of a practical joke.
If you don't like what he has done then be a better person. Learn from his mistakes, as well as the triumphs, and pay it forward. Jobs is a hero to many but he is not worthy of worship.
What this says to me is that Steve grew out of this just in time and with a little luck and a lot of self improvement, became better. Good on him.
Because he worked on a side project during working hours at HP?
This is far from an ethical high point for Jobs, but Woz, too, does not come over as a saint.
Seriously though, this is something probably the majority of HNers do. Those in the minority probably used to, but got burned when the higher ups found out and either fired them or appropriated the tech.
Hewlett and Packard explicitly wanted their company to serve as a springboard for local talent.
Back to Breakout. Satisfaction will get you through times of no money better than money will get you through times of no satisfaction.
Perhaps the things people are often celebrated for are actually chance outcomes of generally negative behaviors.
To know whether that is the case requires people to be more critical of people's positive aspects and spend more time thinking about their negative aspects.
I still think you make an interesting point, and I find it compelling to look at idols when they were young and nobody cared.
Bringing such idols back to earth can help one realize that we are all in fact human, and as such all have tremendous challenges, flaws, and potential
I get the feeling you are assuming something that seems obvious to you but may be worthy of further discussion.
- if it's a symbiotic herding then nobody cares
- people smarter than [ insert cunning entrepreneur / biz expert ] may be smart enough to realize that they don't really need to be in a greater position of power, or have more money than you
- offer superb scientists / engineers a position that is at the optimal trade-off between work satisfaction and compensation.. they'll take it
- they are smart enough not to take on the responsibility of directly negotiating with VCs / investors
Here are some really interesting points from Mr.Ive
" Ive said in a 2006 speech that his goal is not self-expression. It’s to make something that looks like it wasn’t really designed at all -- because it’s inevitable.That’s been the case since his college days, according to Clive Grinyer, who went to school with him. Grinyer recalled visiting Ive’s apartment, and being shocked to see hundreds of foam models of a single product. Each one was good enough to have been the final product "
" The British native is known to travel to Asia for weeks, studying intricacies of metal-bending equipment, according to former Apple designer Thomas Meyerhoffer. The result is that Apple’s products have unique shapes, textures and thinness. The solid feel of products such as the iPhone is due in part to Ive’s insistence on minuscule tolerances -- the tiny gaps around each part and screw in a product. "
" Ive lacks operations, marketing and sales skills, something he doesn’t regret, according to his 2006 speech. "
" Victories from your ability to sell are very short- lived," Ive said in the speech. " Victories from things you’ve really worked hard at can have a lasting impact. "
I think Steve and his colleagues were acutely aware their own strengths and weaknesses. Here's an interesting video :
I know you make your own luck and all that, but there has to be an element of “right-time-right-place” to all this, a chance event that changes the person’s status.
Jobs could have been just another “brilliant but wierd tech guy” who maybe tried a few things. But he wasn’t, and something else took him to the big league. Citing products is one thing, but to my mind it’s not enough. Combine it with personality, tenacity? Is that all it takes?
I’m still not convinced.
Not trying to make any value judgements on Christianity in general, but prevenient grace is an Augustian idea, and as such is one of the more repressive ideas of Christian theology
It directly contradicts Buddhist teachings of Karma
" Is it possible to communicate not by "making known" but by "making understood how little we know"? If we can recognize that we know so little, a method for finding out little we know will become clear as well. As the Greek philosopher Socrates remarked, " The only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing ". There are infinite number of methods to attain knowledge; finding the right method is up to the individual ". This single idea throws conventional communications methods into reverse. I call this method "exformation", as a counterpart to "information" ( pg. 376 , http://www.amazon.com/Designing-Design-Kenya-Hara/dp/3037781... )
* - not to follow dogma, if you think clearly, is a faulty recursive function
What surprises me most about this article is just how dirty and weird Jobs comes off in his late teens. I look forward to reading his biography when available.
Long live Woz.
Not that the deal had much of a hope in hell. Apparently Woz's father strongly opposed the deal because he felt his son should get more than 50%, and Commodore pulled out before the two founders ever had an agreement to sell.
Hepatitis attacks the liver and was very likely the reason for his needing a liver transplant in 2009. It's also linked to increasing the risk of pancreatic cancer. I wonder if his spiritual trip to India was both a source of enlightenment AND eventual cause of death? =/
This was the truth, wasn't it? Or at least, if it is a lie, it's one Jobs was repeating to the Cupertino City Council just this year http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gtuz5OmOh_M#t=2m00s . Maybe he exaggerated his work experience with HP...