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'Untold Stories About Steve Jobs' include rivalry with Bill Gates, Porsche hiding

post #1 of 35
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With nearly a year now passed since the death of Steve Jobs, Forbes has published a handful of previously "untold stories" about the Apple co-founder.

Excerpts from the story, published online on Tuesday, will appear in the Oct. 22 issue of the magazine. They include first-hand recollections of Jobs by friends and colleagues.

In one story told by software engineer Randy Adams, he recalls when Bill Gates showed up for a meeting at NeXT in the fall of 1986. After his receptionist let him know that Gates was waiting in the lobby, Jobs took his time to greet the Microsoft founder.

"I could see him sitting in his cube, not really busy," Adams said. "But he didn't get up or call Gates up. In fact, he left him waiting in the lobby for an hour. That speaks to their rivalry."

Adams also told a story from 1985 when both he and Jobs each owned a Porsche 911. One day at the NeXT offices in Palo Alto, Calif., Jobs rushed to Adams and told him they had to move their cars.

"Randy, we have to hide the Porsches," Jobs reportedly told Adams. "Ross Perot is coming and thinking of investing in the company, and we don't want him to think we have a lot of money."

Steve Jobs


The Porsches were hidden behind the office so they could not be seen by Perot. The Texas businessman eventually invested $20 million in NeXT.

Author Connie Guglielmo also shared the story of a time that Jobs had a "meltdown" before introducing a new "mini" retail store design. The store had a "shiny, seamless white floor" chosen by Jobs, but the CEO didn't realize just prior to its unveiling that the floor easily collected black scuff marks from shoes.

In the minutes before the unveiling, Jobs reportedly refused to step outside and greet reporters because he was so upset over the look of the mini store. However, Jobs was "ultimately convinced" to make an appearance.

"When I saw the floor, I immediately turned to Jobs, standing next to me, and asked if he had been involved in every aspect of the design," Guglielmo wrote. "He said yes. 'It was obvious that whoever designed the store had never cleaned a floor in their life,' I told him. He narrowed his eyes at me and stepped inside."

After the store opened to the public, all of the designers were apparently tasked with returning to the store and cleaning the white floor. Apple subsequently switched its store floors to stone tile, which is less likely to collect scuffs.

Other stories included in the full story cover Jobs' thoughts on touchscreen keyboards, his legendary attention to detail as well as lack of "social graces," and the time Jobs played Santa Claus for a friend's daughter.
post #2 of 35
Never cleaned a floor? Or just never one that so readily showed scuffs?

What about a boat? then again I was on a boat that I am told collected a number of marks from shoes but I don't recall seeing them while I was on board - then again the boat itself was not really the focus of my attention.
post #3 of 35
Quote:

Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

In one story told by software engineer Randy Adams, he recalls when Bill Gates showed up for a meeting at NeXT in the fall of 1986. After his receptionist let him know that Gates was waiting in the lobby, Jobs took his time to greet the Microsoft founder.
"I could see him sitting in his cube, not really busy," Adams said. "But he didn't get up or call Gates up. In fact, he left him waiting in the lobby for an hour."

 

Author Connie Guglielmo also shared the story of a time that Jobs had a "meltdown" before introducing a new "mini" retail store design. The store had a "shiny, seamless white floor" chosen by Jobs, but the CEO didn't realize just prior to its unveiling that the floor easily collected black scuff marks from shoes.
In the minutes before the unveiling, Jobs reportedly refused to step outside and greet reporters because he was so upset over the look of the mini store. However, Jobs was "ultimately convinced" to make an appearance.
"When I saw the floor, I immediately turned to Jobs, standing next to me, and asked if he had been involved in every aspect of the design," Guglielmo wrote. "He said yes. 'It was obvious that whoever designed the store had never cleaned a floor in their life,' I told him. He narrowed his eyes at me and stepped inside."
After the store opened to the public, all of the designers were apparently tasked with returning to the store and cleaning the white floor. Apple subsequently switched its store floors to stone tile, which is less likely to collect scuffs.

 

Really, really, REALLY, gonna miss Jobs. The industry needs more of THAT man. Imagine what would be possible. 

post #4 of 35
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Originally Posted by Quadra 610 View Post

 

Really, really, REALLY, gonna miss Jobs. The industry needs more of THAT man. Imagine what would be possible. 

 

While I think your sentiment is true, I think there are some aspects of Jobs that were negative and this story about the floor is but one typical example.    While we don't know all the details and there are obviously types of (even) white floors that won't scuff, he insisted upon a white floor, probably because it fit into his concept of Zen design, regardless of the ramifications of such practical aspects as cleaning.    While I respect Jobs' insistence that even the insides of products be beautiful, that only makes sense if it doesn't take away from making sure every other aspect of the product works as well and in some cases, that hasn't happened.

 

The real question, which can't be answered, is whether Jobs would have let the latest Mac OS go to market with its problems for some customers re: battery life and freezes and whether he would have let iOS6 go to market with the poorly received Maps application and the purple fringing on the camera as well as other complaints.   

 

And his making Gates wait for an hour only displays an incredible amount of immaturity and/or ego.  

 

Having said all that, Jobs was definitely a genius and maybe the best CEO to ever lead an American company.  

post #5 of 35
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Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

After the store opened to the public, all of the designers were apparently tasked with returning to the store and cleaning the white floor.

 

I love the fact he made the designers clean the floor.  All to often designers/engineers get caught up in their desire to make everything beautiful and shiny, with no thought towards practicality.  It was a great way to teach these designers, and i guarantee it is a something that they remember(I guessing fondly at this point) anytime they are designing a a public/high traffic space, the importance of proper materials.

post #6 of 35

Only Steve Jobs would have the huevos to make Bill Gates wait an hour. How awesome is that?

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post #7 of 35
A flawed genius- this we already knew.
post #8 of 35
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Originally Posted by zoetmb View Post

The real question, which can't be answered, is whether Jobs would have let the latest Mac OS go to market with its problems for some customers re: battery life and freezes and whether he would have let iOS6 go to market with the poorly received Maps application and the purple fringing on the camera as well as other complaints.   

The answer is in the this history.

EVERY Mac OS and iOS release, even under the perfect Steve Jobs has had issues for a portion of here users. MobileMe had issues, Antennagate etc. even Siri which was deemed so bad some folks try to sue over it, was under Steve. Hell tech moves so slowly that even is stuff we are seeing now was at least partially under Steve as will be the next 3-4 years if not longer.

The man is dead, get over it and stop with the 'this wouldn't have happened with Steve'. Because it did. Many many times. The only thing worse than these such rants is that major mags like Forbes are still milking him for sales.

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post #9 of 35
Originally Posted by iSheldon View Post
A flawed genius- this we already knew.

 

So there was zero point in you commenting here.

 

Originally Posted by zoetmb View Post
The real question, which can't be answered…

 

So you should probably stop asking an inherently flawed question that cannot be answered.

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post #10 of 35

deleted


Edited by MacRulez - 1/21/13 at 3:12pm
post #11 of 35
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Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post

Only Steve Jobs would have the huevos to make Bill Gates wait an hour. How awesome is that?

 

I think it's pretty disrespectful and overall not very nice to do that to any guest.

post #12 of 35

deleted


Edited by MacRulez - 1/21/13 at 3:12pm
post #13 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post

Only Steve Jobs would have the huevos to make Bill Gates wait an hour. How awesome is that?

 

Keep in mind the timeframe though. Revisionist history makes it amusing now, but in 1986 Microsoft had just moved to Redmond and gone public as I recall. While Gates was certainly on the upswing he wasn't exactly the superstar yet either. 

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post #14 of 35
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Originally Posted by mausz View Post

 

I think it's pretty disrespectful and overall not very nice to do that to any guest.

 

It happens, and was probably expected in this case. Business is a dirty game. Jobs was establishing the pecking order on his home turf. 

post #15 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

So there was zero point in you commenting here.

Not if you didn't already know it. lol.gif
post #16 of 35
Originally Posted by MacRulez View Post
We will never in our lifetimes find another possessing his unique attributes, neither outside of Apple or even within.

 

I disagree, but we'll have to see.

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post #17 of 35
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Originally Posted by zoetmb View Post

 

While I think your sentiment is true, I think there are some aspects of Jobs that were negative and this story about the floor is but one typical example.    While we don't know all the details and there are obviously types of (even) white floors that won't scuff, he insisted upon a white floor, probably because it fit into his concept of Zen design, regardless of the ramifications of such practical aspects as cleaning.    While I respect Jobs' insistence that even the insides of products be beautiful, that only makes sense if it doesn't take away from making sure every other aspect of the product works as well and in some cases, that hasn't happened.

 

The real question, which can't be answered, is whether Jobs would have let the latest Mac OS go to market with its problems for some customers re: battery life and freezes and whether he would have let iOS6 go to market with the poorly received Maps application and the purple fringing on the camera as well as other complaints.   

 

And his making Gates wait for an hour only displays an incredible amount of immaturity and/or ego.  

 

Having said all that, Jobs was definitely a genius and maybe the best CEO to ever lead an American company.  

 

You are making so many and such varied assumptions here that you might as well be just making it all up.  

 

You don't know that he personally chose the original white floor, you don't know why he chose it if he did.  You don't know that he made Gates wait (in the original story it was something guessed at, not known), and if he did you don't know why he did.  You also show that you don't understand Apple design by reason of the fact that you raise that old saw about how Apple aims for beauty first, then function, (they don't).  

post #18 of 35
Why are these "previously untold"? They were all in the official authorized biography.
post #19 of 35
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Originally Posted by Baka-Dubbs View Post

 

I love the fact he made the designers clean the floor.  All to often designers/engineers get caught up in their desire to make everything beautiful and shiny, with no thought towards practicality.  It was a great way to teach these designers, and i guarantee it is a something that they remember(I guessing fondly at this point) anytime they are designing a a public/high traffic space, the importance of proper materials.

 

Yes, but it was also stated that Jobs was involved with every decision about the design of the store so he should have accepted some blame too and helped them clean. I think there was also a time when he gathered the MobileMe team and berated them, when he could and should have seen all the problems before the launch. Yelling about something after everyone else has already noticed the problem too doesn't take any skill.

Before everyone jumps in and gets mad, I'm just pointing out one or two things. I have no doubt there were plenty of bad decisions he caught in time that we will never know about since they never made it out the door.
post #20 of 35
How about the time they had to hide the Sony engineer brought in to pitch 3.5 floppies for the Mac. Jobs was insisting on sticking with the Lisa "twiggy" drives, so they kept ferrying this poor engineer from lab to office to closet so Jobs wouldn't know he was here from Japan, only to have Jobs run into him at a local drug store magazine rack. He later commented matter-of-factly how he had seen so-and-so at the store with no great concern...
post #21 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by charlituna View Post


The answer is in the this history.
EVERY Mac OS and iOS release, even under the perfect Steve Jobs has had issues for a portion of here users. MobileMe had issues, Antennagate etc. even Siri which was deemed so bad some folks try to sue over it, was under Steve. Hell tech moves so slowly that even is stuff we are seeing now was at least partially under Steve as will be the next 3-4 years if not longer.
The man is dead, get over it and stop with the 'this wouldn't have happened with Steve'. Because it did. Many many times. The only thing worse than these such rants is that major mags like Forbes are still milking him for sales.

 

I agree with you for the most part, but I'm starting to get upset at the knee-jerk response we see so often lately to the effect that *all* comments in the form "this wouldn't have happened if Steve were still alive ..." are necessarily wrong or bad.  I think it's terribly overused and mostly used by idiots with nothing better to say, but we must be careful not to invalidate all such comments.  

 

Steve Jobs was a part of Apple and made major contributions.  He was involved in almost every aspect of every product to some degree.  It seems plainly obvious to me that his loss will be felt, (how could it not be?).  There are going to be things at Apple that go differently now that he is gone.  This is just plain fact.  

 

Personally, I feel Apple is in fact not operating as well as it did when Steve jobs was alive.  I feel that it's failings are in precisely those areas that typically fell to Mr. Jobs to oversee.  I think it's plain that they are doing things that they wouldn't have done when Steve was alive.  

 

I don't think this means they won't survive or be "successful" without him, in fact as far as I can see economic success has very little to do with what Steve Jobs added while he was there or what they are "missing" now he is dead.  Apple isn't going anywhere, it isn't "doomed" and will likely continue to have market success for many years.  All that doesn't mean that they aren't missing something that they used to have when he was around though.  

 

IMO Apple appears to be missing a bit of focus, a bit of direction, their commercials lack "taste," and a myriad of small details seem to be fucked up or overlooked now.  Needless to say this is precisely what Steve Jobs offered when he was still around

post #22 of 35
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Originally Posted by zoetmb View Post

The real question, which can't be answered, is whether Jobs would have let the latest Mac OS go to market with its problems for some customers re: battery life and freezes and whether he would have let iOS6 go to market with the poorly received Maps application and the purple fringing on the camera as well as other complaints.   

That is, of course, nonsense.

There were just as many "problems" when Jobs was in charge as there are now. And 2 years from now, the current problems will be just as insignificant as Jobs' problems. We had Antennagate. And broken screens. And WiFi complaints. And crashing. And any number of other problems.

Just as now, people were screaming and yelling about what a disaster it was - and then after a few months, it was clear that the problems were either very isolated or else they were things that every phone does. The same thing applies to the purple fringe and battery life and the Maps.
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post #23 of 35

OH,

 

He was just a man.

post #24 of 35
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Originally Posted by jragosta View Post


That is, of course, nonsense.
There were just as many "problems" when Jobs was in charge as there are now. And 2 years from now, the current problems will be just as insignificant as Jobs' problems. We had Antennagate. And broken screens. And WiFi complaints. And crashing. And any number of other problems.
Just as now, people were screaming and yelling about what a disaster it was - and then after a few months, it was clear that the problems were either very isolated or else they were things that every phone does. The same thing applies to the purple fringe and battery life and the Maps.

 

 

Yeah, people who ignore history.

post #25 of 35
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Originally Posted by techguy911 View Post

Yes, but it was also stated that Jobs was involved with every decision about the design of the store so he should have accepted some blame too and helped them clean. I think there was also a time when he gathered the MobileMe team and berated them, when he could and should have seen all the problems before the launch. Yelling about something after everyone else has already noticed the problem too doesn't take any skill.


Before everyone jumps in and gets mad, I'm just pointing out one or two things. I have no doubt there were plenty of bad decisions he caught in time that we will never know about since they never made it out the door.

Yes, everyone knew that Jobs was a jerk. Since it says that Jobs hand selected the floor, he should have been involved in cleaning it. But people working for him must have felt that the positives outweighed the negatives.
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post #26 of 35
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Originally Posted by MacRulez View Post

It's like Guy Kawasaki once wrote:  "Steve is the only guy I've ever met who could change his mind and make you feel he was right twice."

 

I take it that you're not married. lol.gif

post #27 of 35
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Originally Posted by Mac_128 View Post

Why are these "previously untold"? They were all in the official authorized biography.

 

No there weren't.  Not the Porsche thing, not the particular bit about the floor, not the making Gates wait.  If you read the book these examples aren't surprising, but they aren't in the book.

post #28 of 35

Man, if Steve were alive now, he would have scuffed the iPhone 5 when using a prototype, and ordered a redesign weeks before launch. /s

p.s. He did do that and Apple had to call Corning to start making Gorilla glass when he scratched his iPhone prototype plastic screen.

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post #29 of 35
Originally Posted by spacerays View Post
p.s. He did do that and Apple had to call Corning to start making Gorilla glass when he scratched his iPhone prototype plastic screen.

 

Wait, it was during the keynote that plastic was noted, but right after the keynote when the site was updated, it said glass. Or am I remembering the timeframe wrong?

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post #30 of 35
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Originally Posted by iSheldon View Post

A flawed genius- this we already knew.


Yes a flawed genius, but a perfectionist and truly irreplaceable one!  Apple is truly not the same without him :(

Quote:
My job is NOT to be easy on people. My job is to take these great people we have and to push them and make them even BETTER.

--Steve Jobs on being a CEO
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Quote:
My job is NOT to be easy on people. My job is to take these great people we have and to push them and make them even BETTER.

--Steve Jobs on being a CEO
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post #31 of 35
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Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post

Only Steve Jobs would have the huevos to make Bill Gates wait an hour. How awesome is that?

 

Not very, as it speaks to his ego and need to feel in control at all times. But that was Steve.

 

Also, if you follow their weird relationship from start to finish, they did this sort of thing to each other over the course of decades. You could write an Odd Couple'esque comedy out of the whole weird affair.

post #32 of 35
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Originally Posted by MacRulez View Post

The difference is the RDF.  It's not just a joke.  If you ever spoke to Jobs in person you know exactly what I mean.  It's like Guy Kawasaki once wrote:  "Steve is the only guy I've ever met who could change his mind and make you feel he was right twice."

Cute story. That has zero to do with the issue of Steve Jobs allowing, or not, the release of something hyperbolically deemed 'a major flaw' by the blogs and forms

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post #33 of 35
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Originally Posted by MacRulez View Post

Jobs was one of a kind.  We will never in our lifetimes find another possessing his unique attributes, neither outside of Apple or even within.

But 'we' wont have any issue with comparing everyone else to him or hit whoring with his name

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post #34 of 35

I'd take anything that Forbes magazine says about Apple with a grain of salt -- they have a hard on for this company and it's not healthy.

Scan their magazine for a few years -- it's almost like they are required to say something nasty about Apple.

post #35 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fake_William_Shatner View Post

I'd take anything that Forbes magazine says about Apple with a grain of salt -- they have a hard on for this company and it's not healthy.
Scan their magazine for a few years -- it's almost like they are required to say something nasty about Apple.

Yep. There are several other Forbes articles today that are totally absurd. Forbes hasn't published a fair and accurate article about Apple for years.
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