It won’t come as a surprise to anyone that the Steve Jobs revealed in Walter Isaacson’s biography was both brash and introspective, arrogant but capable of admitting mistakes.
He walked away from religion when he saw a magazine photo of starving children. He was 13 years old. He put off cancer surgery because he didn’t want his body “invaded,” a decision he seemed to regret. He tried juice fasts and herbal medicines instead. He said Google’s development of Android amounted to “grand theft.”
“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.”
In a face to face meeting in Palo Alto, Jobs told Google’s Eric Schmidt he had no interest in settling the lawsuit Apple had launched over the matter. “I don’t want your money,” he said. “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.”
Bill Gate thought Jobs was “fundamentally odd” and “weirdly flawed” He was “either in the mode of saying you were shit or trying to seduce you.” For his part, Jobs said Gate would be “a broader guy if he had dropped acid once or gone off to an ashram when he was younger.” His bottom line:
“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.”
He thought better of William Hewlett and David Packard. “(They) built a great company, and they thought they had left it in good hands,” he said. “But now it’s being dismembered and destroyed.” He added: “I hope I’ve left a stronger legacy so that will never happen at Apple,” he added.
The book, Steve Jobs, goes on sale Monday.