A rash of copies of the embargoed Steve Jobs biography were purchased by news organizations yesterday, which may dampen the appeal of Fortune’s “exclusive” excerpt which is still being held for Monday.
The AP recounts that he raged at one-time Apple board member Eric Schmidt in 2010 when a Google Android phone appeared with iPhone-like features. “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,” Jobs said. “I’m going to destroy Android, because it’s a stolen product. I’m willing to go thermonuclear war on this.” After filing suit, Jobs told Schmidt, “I don’t want your money. If you offer me $5 billion, I won’t want it. I’ve got plenty of money. I want you to stop using our ideas in Android, that’s all I want.”
Jobs was mindful of what happened to Hewlett Packard after the founders left. “Hewlett and Packard built a great company, and they thought they had left it in good hands,” Jobs told Isaacson. “But now it’s being dismembered and destroyed.” He said, “I hope I’ve left a stronger legacy so that will never happen at Apple.”
He called Apple’s head of design Jonathan Ive his “spiritual partner” and Jobs says he “set it up” so that Ive had “more operation power” at the company than anyone else except for Jobs.
Jobs still saw value in his experimentation with LSD, telling Isaacson it “reinforced my sense of what was important – creating great things instead of making money, putting things back into the stream of history and of human consciousness as much as I could.” At one point earlier, Jobs had said of Bill Gates, “He’d be a broader guy if he had dropped acid once or gone off to an ashram when he was younger.” In the book, the Huffington Post quotes Jobs as saying of Gates “He really never knew much about technology, but he had an amazing instinct for what works.” He also says: “Bill is basically unimaginative and has never invented anything, which is why I think he’s more comfortable now in philanthropy than technology. He just shamelessly ripped off other people’s ideas.” Even before the LSD, “as a teenager [he] perfected staring at people without blinking.”
Jobs recounts having met his biological father at a Silicon Valley restaurant where he worked, before Jobs was aware of the connection. And the Huffington Post account accentuates the political parts of the book, in which Jobs warned President Obama “you’re headed for a one-term presidency.” Jobs advocated less regulation on business and thought our education system is “crippled by union work rules.” The Huffington Post notes “Jobs even offered to help create Obama’s political ads for the 2012 campaign. ‘He had made the same offer in 2008, but he’d become annoyed when Obama’s strategist David Axelrod wasn’t totally deferential,’ writes Isaacson.”
The NYT notes that the book “spans Jobs’s entire life, and also includes previously unknown details about his romantic life, his marriage, his relationship with his sister and his business dealings.” But they focus on Jobs’ initial decision to treat his cancer with alternative therapies rather than surgery, while noting that delay was “first reported in 2008 in Fortune magazine.”
60 Minutes clip