Laurene Powell Jobs talks philanthropy & Steve Jobs in rare interview

Posted:
in General Discussion edited March 2020
In a rare interview, Laurene Powell Jobs discusses her late husband Steve Jobs, and the philosophy of philanthropic efforts honoring the late Apple founder.

Laurene Powell Jobs and Steve Jobs at a 2011 Apple conference(photo credit: Bloomberg)
Laurene Powell Jobs and Steve Jobs at a 2011 Apple conference(photo credit: Bloomberg)


The widow of the late Apple CEO is a very private person, and rarely gives public interviews. Even more rare is her candidness around Steve Jobs and what being married to him was like.

"I inherited my wealth from my husband, who didn't care about the accumulation of wealth," she said. "I am doing this in honor of his work, and I've dedicated my life to doing the very best I can to distribute it effectively, in ways that lift up individuals and communities in a sustainable way.

The "this" Laurene Powell Jobs refers to is her efforts in journalism. She is very outspoken against the current administration and believes that our democracy is at risk if proper journalism isn't available. She is also heavily invested in Emerson Collective, a foundation she runs to spur her interests in better journalism, which acquired a majority stake in The Atlantic In 2017.

"I'm not interested in legacy wealth buildings, and my children know that," she added. "Steve wasn't interested in that. If I live long enough, it ends with me."

Laurene Powell Jobs, widow to Steve Jobs (photo credit: New York Times)
Laurene Powell Jobs, widow to Steve Jobs (photo credit: New York Times)


Many of the topics discussed in the New York Times interview echoed the philosophies carried by Apple today. Steve Jobs kept no secrets in regards to his desires and political standpoints. Apple CEO Tim Cook and Laurene Powell Jobs share many of the same initiatives.

Tim Cook often says "We must leave the world better than we found it." Powell Jobs shares a similar sentiment.

"We don't have to accept the world that we're born into as something that is fixed and impermeable," Powell Jobs said in the interview.

Steve Jobs' desire for a better future rubbed off onto his closest friends. One such shared effort is in their push for Dreamers legislation, an 18 year fight that she is "resolved to never give up as long as I live."

Steve Jobs and Laurene Powell Jobs met while Jobs was still at NeXT, and were together for 22 years before his untimely demise. Powell Jobs said that they had a beautiful and rich connection, and he influenced everything. They would spend hours every day talking, so much so that Powell Jobs says she integrated much of who he was into who she is today.

"People love to quote him saying, 'put a dent in the universe.' But that's too flippant. It's too cavalier. He was thinking of it as 'We are able, each of us, to manipulate the circumstances,'" said Powell Jobs. "I think about it as looking at the design of the structures and systems that govern our society, and changing those structures."

"Because those structures, when they're elegantly designed, should be frictionless for people," she concluded. "They shouldn't require you to make huge course corrections that impede your ability to live a productive and fulfilling life. It took me a while to understand that was truly possible. But that's at the core of everything we do at Emerson Collective. We all believe that it's truly possible."

Based on the interview, the philosophy of frictionless simplicity and elegance fit into every facet of the Jobs' lifestyle, and not in just the design of Apple's products.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 25
    eriamjheriamjh Posts: 1,348member
    Steve would have been perceived to have a little more empathy beyond his rough exterior interacting His subordinates if she convinced him to be more philanthropic while he was still alive.  

    I guess better late than never.  🤷‍♂️
    minicoffee
  • Reply 2 of 25
    knowitallknowitall Posts: 1,648member
    Does she mean Steve Jobs children do not inherit anything?
  • Reply 3 of 25
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 10,490member


    "I'm not interested in legacy wealth buildings, and my children know that," she added. "Steve wasn't interested in that. If I live long enough, it ends with me."


    I have heard variations of that same comment made about almost every great entrepreneur.  They are not in it for the wealth or even for the power.  Rather they are driven by an inner drive and an inner vision to accomplish something.  For them, money is, at most, just a way to keep score.

    Lesser mortals tend to think its all about chasing after money and power.

    Steve however was heavily influenced by Zen Buddhism which stresses how fleeting and transitory such pleasures are from accumulating money and 'stuff'.  Not only is the pleasure transitory, but the more you collect the more you want -- which creates a vicious cycle wanting and unhappiness.

    Perhaps an idea attributed to Steve also says it:  When he said that (to paraphrase) 'freedom and success come when you realize that they are no smarter than you".  I suspect that the combination of the two is what opened him up to be the best that he could be and to do all that he was capable of doing.
    montrosemacsbadmonkargonaut2stepbayStrangeDays
  • Reply 4 of 25
    AI: you know, you reported and excerpted an interview done by someone else and published somewhere else without giving credit to who did it and where, much less provide a link to it.  
    SpamSandwich
  • Reply 5 of 25
    cornchipcornchip Posts: 1,862member
    AI: you know, you reported and excerpted an interview done by someone else and published somewhere else without giving credit to who did it and where, much less provide a link to it.  


    is this the link you were thinking of?


    Many of the topics discussed in the New York Times interview echoed the philosophies carried by Apple today. Steve Jobs kept no secrets in regards to his desires and political standpoints. Apple CEO Tim Cook and Laurene Powell Jobs share many of the same initiatives.


    daven2old4funmontrosemacsviclauyycGeorgeBMacargonautDogperson2stepbaylolliverStrangeDays
  • Reply 6 of 25
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 6,275administrator
    AI: you know, you reported and excerpted an interview done by someone else and published somewhere else without giving credit to who did it and where, much less provide a link to it.  
    This is addressed in the article, and was at the time of publication as the above poster said. Did you even read the article?
    edited February 2020 2old4funGeorgeBMac2stepbayJWSClolliverStrangeDaysjony0
  • Reply 7 of 25
    She better spares us more of the same. As much as I miss Steve (a spiritually high developed being), I don't need to listen to more of her nonsense. I hope she'll eventually get where Steve has already been, by meditating.
  • Reply 8 of 25
    sflocalsflocal Posts: 5,775member
    cmaus said:
    She better spares us more of the same. As much as I miss Steve (a spiritually high developed being), I don't need to listen to more of her nonsense. I hope she'll eventually get where Steve has already been, by meditating.
    And we’ll accept (and accept) the same from you.  Nothing.
    GeorgeBMacDogpersonrbc-42stepbayJWSClolliverStrangeDaysjony0
  • Reply 9 of 25
    jdwjdw Posts: 998member
    The fact is that if Steve was still alive, any philanthropy he engaged in would likely still be out of the public eye, versus his wife who is more open about it.  This is not a criticism of either Steve or his wife but a mere observation.  Indeed, I doubt investors even today would have an AAPL dividend if Steve were still in control.  Things have changed only because he is gone and no longer in control.  Steve partly thought he was giving back to society through the great tech he helped bring to market, and I don't think he was really wrong in thinking that way.  We have all benefited quite substantially from Apple products and even non-Apple products in that they were in many ways inspired by Apple products.  The fundamental difference now is that his wife wishes to give back to society in ways that are not necessarily tech related.  And no surprise because she really isn't a geek like Steve Jobs was.  

    The only other difference I see is between Mrs. Jobs and Mr. Cook.  Tim seeks to keep the lines of communication open with those in power, even if he disagrees with them, whereas Mrs. Jobs is more openly hostile toward those same people in power.  

    How we perceive each of these people is often influenced by our own political leanings.  Even so, as a conservative, I've long known Apple and Steve embrace a more liberal stance.  That hasn't affected my love for Apple or its products though.  I think it's possible to get along with others, despite differences, if we try.  We can do that without hate and anger too.  And perhaps that's really the biggest dent of change we can each make to our highly divided society.  Rodney King was right.  We need to get along.
    2stepbayJWSCminicoffeelolliveruraharaFileMakerFellerjony0
  • Reply 10 of 25
    Giovanni FileroGiovanni Filero Posts: 1unconfirmed, member
    Α bored billionaire's widow who consider herself philanthropist. Superyacht & yoga, jets & natural foods, mansions' collection & dozen of charitable initiatives. Her husband's company stole tens of billions of taxes from Europe countries and make the widow billionaire. The stolen money will return in the society as a charity by the noble lady, when she isn't busy buying or building new mansions, find new crews for super yacht and jets, organize new cruises around the world. She's a very busy philanthropist.
  • Reply 11 of 25
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 33,408member
    I guess I forgot to push the “Post Comment” button earlier...

    She’s a clucking chicken who didn’t earn even one dollar of those billions and now she throws it away on political causes to impress her friends. Disgusting.
    dbvapor
  • Reply 12 of 25
    Remember Jobs is the same person who didn't recognize his own daughter except in passing (the Lisa was named after her) for many years while her mom lived on welfare benefits and a younger Jobs was already a multi-millionaire. As to tech junk, tech gadgets are tools, nothing more.
  • Reply 13 of 25
    I believe Laurene is a capable, intelligent, and caring person. Steve’s work benefited us all in so many ways, both directly and indirectly. Doing so, brought him and his family incredible wealth which both he and his wife want to give back to society. I see this as a positive net gain for us all as a community and don’t begrudge the fact of their enjoying some of that wealth for themselves in the meantime.
    2stepbaylolliver
  • Reply 14 of 25
    toysandmetoysandme Posts: 243member
    ... The "this" Laurene Powell Jobs refers to is her efforts in journalism
    Journalism has to be one of the worst professions to get into these days. The social engineers have created all kinds of ways to censor people directly or indirectly. Political correctness is the obvious one, followed by "hate speech" laws, and others that encourage self-censorship. Last summer YouTube removed 17,000 channels and 100,000 videos from its platform. I personally noticed that a dozen or so channels I was following (all related to geopolitics) had disappeared. They had nothing to do with "hate speech". They simply didn't support the "regime change" policies being promoted by the military industrial complex that control our "Mockingbird Press". Search "935 Lies: The Future of Truth and the Decline of America's Moral Integrity".

    And while on this subject, I'm glad to see that Udo Ulfkotte's main book has finally been translated into English. Some of his interviews are still on the net.
    http://www.progressivepress.com/book-listing/presstitutes

    edited March 2020
  • Reply 15 of 25
    davgregdavgreg Posts: 901member
    From what I have read elsewhere, the trust (estate) Steve Jobs left has been invested away from Apple and Disney holdings and has grown significantly in the time since his passing. As to what amount of his estate was passed along to his children, that is nobody’s business but the Jobs’ family.

    Steve Jobs was no shy person regarding his political viewpoints. He let the Clintons use the Jackling House during their daughter’s time at Stanford and also warned Obama that he could lose his re-election bid based upon his policies. He did not work the politicians the way Tim Cook does, but that was a different time and Apple is a much different company.

    GeorgeBMac
  • Reply 16 of 25
    Α bored billionaire's widow who consider herself philanthropist. Superyacht & yoga, jets & natural foods, mansions' collection & dozen of charitable initiatives. Her husband's company stole tens of billions of taxes from Europe countries and make the widow billionaire. The stolen money will return in the society as a charity by the noble lady, when she isn't busy buying or building new mansions, find new crews for super yacht and jets, organize new cruises around the world. She's a very busy philanthropist.
    Oh, please, do shut up with your nonsense.
    GeorgeBMaclolliverStrangeDaysdsdjony0carlgorski
  • Reply 17 of 25
    I adored Steve...literally broke down and cried when, during WWDC they panned to an empty seat, thinking oh no, we’ve lost Steve.

    The saddest thing about his life and death is that he didn’t come to know Christ Jesus as his Lord and Savior, at least that we know of. I hope he did in his final moments. I would love to spend some time with the guy in eternity.

    A lot of people hate Steve, and Apple, but I’m convinced that he was a great blessing.
  • Reply 18 of 25
    sully54sully54 Posts: 102member
    Wow, this comments section is quite...something. 
    StrangeDaysauxio
  • Reply 19 of 25
    FatmanFatman Posts: 513member
    If her charitable giving helps fight injustice, and helps the hungry, homeless, sick and those without access to education - then more power to her.
    StrangeDaysjony0
  • Reply 20 of 25
    carnegiecarnegie Posts: 960member
    The Apple stock that Mr. Jobs left when he died - meaningfully all of which he acquired as compensation during his second run at Apple - would be worth nearly $11 billion now, even with the recent drop in Apple's share price.
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