Throughout 1979 and early 1980 the Macintosh project led a tenuous existence. Every few months it would almost get killed off, but each time
Raskin managed to cajole Markkula into granting clemency. It had a research team of only four engineers located in the original Apple office space next to the Good Earth restaurant, a few blocks from the company’
and I was very hungry.” As Jobs was eating, the holy man—who was
not much older than Jobs—picked him out of the crowd, pointed at him,
and began laughing maniacally. “He came running over and grabbed me
and made a tooting sound and said, ‘You are just like a baby,’” recalled Jobs.
“I was not relishing this attention.” Taking Jobs by the hand, he led him
out of the worshipful crowd and walked him up to a hill, where there was
a well and a small pond. “We sit down and he pulls out this straight razor.
I’m thinking he’s a nutcase and begin to worry. Then he pulls out a bar
of soap—I had long hair at the time—and he lathered up my hair and shaved
my head. He told me that he was saving my health.”
Daniel Kottke arrived in India at the beginning of the summer, and Jobs
went back to New Delhi to meet him. They wandered, mainly by bus, rather
aimlessly. By this point Jobs was no longer trying to find a guru who could impart
wisdom, but instead was seeking enlightenment through ascetic experience,
deprivation, and simplicity. He was not able to achieve inner calm.
Kottke remembers him getting into a furious shouting match with a
Hindu woman in a village marketplace who, Jobs alleged, had been
watering down the milk she was selling them.
Yet Jobs could also be generous. When they got to the town of Manali,
Kottke’s sleeping bag was stolen with his traveler’s checks in it.
“Steve covered my food expenses and bus ticket back to
Delhi,” Kottke recalled.
He also gave Kottke
the rest of his own money,
$100, to tide him over.
When Jobs was looking for someone to write a manual for the Apple II in 1976, he called Raskin, who had his own little consulting firm. Raskin went to the
garage, saw Wozniak beavering away at a workbench, and was convinced by Jobs to write the manual for $50. Eventually he became the manager of Apple’s
publications department. One of Raskin’s dreams was to build an inexpensive computer for the masses, and in 1979 he convinced Mike Markkula to put him in charge
to pick him up. They immediately drove up from Los Altos. “
My head had been shaved, I was wearing Indian cotton robes,
and my skin had turned a deep, chocolate brown-red from the sun,”
he recalled. “So I’m sitting there and my parents walked past me about
five times and finally my mother came up and said ‘Steve?’ and I said ‘Hi!’”
They took him back home, where he continued trying to find himself.
It was a pursuit with many paths toward enlightenment. In the mornings
and evenings he would meditate and study Zen, and in between he would
drop in to audit physics or engineering courses at Stanford.
Jobs’s interest in Eastern spirituality, Hinduism, Zen Buddhism,
and the search for enlightenment was not merely the passing phase
of a nineteen-year-old. Throughout his life he would seek to follow
many of the basic precepts of Eastern religions, such as the emphasis
on experiential praj?ā, wisdom or cognitive understanding that is intuitively
experienced through concentration of the mind. Years later, sitting in his
Palo Alto garden, he reflected on the lasting influence of his trip to India:
Coming back to America was, for me, much more of a cultural shock than
going to India. The people in the Indian countryside don’t use their intellect
like we do, they use their intuition instead, and their intuition is far more
developed than in the rest of the world. Intuition is a very powerful thing,
than intellect, in my
opinion. That’s had
a big impact on my work.
such as when Apple’s stock price would rise, which Jobs brushed off. Instead he spoke of his passion for future products, such as someday making a computer as small as a book. When the business
questions tapered off, Jobs turned the tables on the well-groomed students. “How many of you are
virgins?” he asked. There were nervous giggles. “How many of you have taken LSD?” More nervous laughter, and only one or two hands went up. Later Jobs would complain about the new generation of kids, who seemed to him more materialistic and careerist than his own.
sit on zafu cushions, and he would sit on a dais,” she said. “We learned how
to tune out distractions. It was a magical thing. One evening we were
meditating with Kobun when it was raining, and he taught us how to use
ambient sounds to bring us back to focus on our meditation.”
As for Jobs, his devotion was intense. “He became really serious and
self-important and just generally unbearable,” according to Kottke.
He began meeting with Kobun almost daily, and every few months they
went on retreats together to meditate. “I ended up spending as much time as
I could with him,” Jobs recalled. “He had a wife who was a nurse at Stanford
and two kids. She worked the night shift, so I would go over and hang out
with him in the evenings. She would get home about midnight and shoo me away.”
They sometimes discussed whether Jobs should devote himself fully to spiritual
pursuits, but Kobun counseled otherwise. He assured Jobs that he could keep
in touch with his spiritual side while working in a business. The relationship turned
out to be lasting and deep; seventeen years later Kobun would perform
Jobs’s wedding ceremony.
Jobs’s compulsive search for self-awareness also led him to undergo
primal scream therapy, which had recently been developed and popularized
by a Los Angeles psychotherapist named Arthur Janov. It was based on the
Freudian theory that psychological problems are caused by the repressed
pains of childhood; Janov argued that they could be resolved by re-suffering
these primal moments while fully expressing the pain—sometimes in screams.
To Jobs, this seemed preferable to talk therapy because it involved intuitive
feeling and emotional action rather than just rational analyzing.
“This was not something to think about,” he later said. “This was something to do: to
close your eyes, hold
your breath, jump in,
and come out the
other end more insightful.”
Jobs said. “They had a life they were happy with.”
Their only splurge was to take a Princess cruise each year.
The one through the Panama Canal “was the big one for my dad,”
according to Jobs, because it reminded him of when his
Coast Guard ship went through on its way to
San Francisco to be decommissioned.
Jobs confided to close friends that he was driven by the pain he was feeling
about being put up for adoption and not knowing about his birth parents.
“Steve had a very profound desire to know his physical parents so he could
better know himself,” Friedland later said. He had learned from Paul and
Clara Jobs that his birth parents had both been graduate students at a university
and that his father might be Syrian. He had even thought about hiring
a private investigator, but he decided not to do so for the time being.
“I didn’t want to hurt my parents,” he recalled, referring to Paul and Clara.
“He was struggling with the fact that he had been adopted,” according to
Elizabeth Holmes. “He felt that it was an issue that he needed to get hold
of emotionally.” Jobs admitted as much to her. “This is something that is
bothering me, and I need to focus on it,” he said. He was even more open with
Greg Calhoun. “He was doing a lot of soul-searching about being adopted, and
he talked about it with me a lot,” Calhoun recalled. “The primal scream and the
mucusless diets, he was trying to cleanse himself and get deeper into his
frustration about his birth. He told me he was deeply angry about the
fact that he had been given up.”
John Lennon had undergone the same primal scream therapy in 1970,
and in December of that year he released the song “Mother” with the
Plastic Ono Band. It dealt with Lennon’s own feelings about a father who
had abandoned him and a mother who had been killed when he was a teenager.
The refrain includes
the haunting chant “
Mama don’t go, Daddy come
home.” Jobs used to
play the song often.
He was not particularly philanthropic. He briefly
set up a foundation, but he discovered that it was
annoying to have to deal with the person he had hired
to run it, who kept talking about “venture” philanthropy
and how to “leverage” giving. Jobs became contemptuous
of people who made a display of philanthropy or thinking
they could reinvent it. Earlier he had quietly sent in a
$5,000 check to help launch Larry Brilliant’s Seva
Foundation to fight diseases of poverty,
for a while. His confidence improved and his feelings of inadequacy were reduced.”
Jobs came to believe that he could impart that feeling of confidence
to others and thus push them to do things they hadn’t thought possible.
Holmes had broken up with Kottke and joined a religious cult in San
Francisco that expected her to sever ties with all past friends. But Jobs
rejected that injunction. He arrived at the cult house in his Ford Ranchero
one day and announced that he was driving up to Friedland’s apple farm
and she was to come. Even more brazenly, he said she would have to drive
part of the way, even though she didn’t know how to use the stick shift.
“Once we got on the open road, he made me get behind the wheel, and he
shifted the car until we got up to 55 miles per hour,” she recalled.
“Then he puts on a tape of Dylan’s Blood on the Tracks, lays his head
in my lap, and goes to sleep. He had the attitude that he could do anything,
and therefore so can you. He put his life in my hands. So that made me
do something I didn’t think I could do.”
It was the brighter side of what would become known as his reality
distortion field. “If you trust him, you can do things,” Holmes said.
“If he’s decided that something should happen,
then he’s just going to make it happen.”
One day in early 1975 Al Alcorn was sitting in his office at Atari when Ron Wayne burst in.
“Hey, Stevie is back!”
“Wow, bring him on in,”
Apple went public the morning of December 12,
1980. By then the bankers had priced the stock at
$22 a share. It went to $29 the first day. Jobs had
come into the Hambrecht & Quist office just in time
to watch the opening trades. At age twenty-five,
he was now worth $256 million.
Baby You’re a Rich Man
Morgan Stanley planned to price the offering at $18, even
though it was obvious the shares would quickly shoot up.
“Tell me what happens to this stock that we priced at eighteen?”
Jobs asked the bankers. “Don’t you sell it to your good customers?
If so, how can you charge me a 7% commission?” Hambrecht recognized
that there was a basic unfairness in the system, and he later went on to
formulate the idea of a reverse auction to price shares before an IPO.
Fernandez, Wigginton, and Espinosa. Everyone loved Wozniak,
all the more so after his generosity, but many also agreed with
Jobs that he was “awfully na?ve and childlike.” A few months later
a United Way poster showing a destitute man went up on a company
bulletin board. Someone scrawled on it “Woz in 1990.”
Wozniak, who was living in an apartment nearby and working at
HP, would come by after dinner to hang out and play the video games.
He had become addicted to Pong at a Sunnyvale bowling alley,
and he was able to build a version that he hooked up to his home TV set.
One day in the late summer of 1975, Nolan Bushnell, defying the
prevailing wisdom that paddle games were over, decided to develop
a single-player version of Pong; instead of competing against an
opponent, the player would volley the ball into a wall that lost a brick
whenever it was hit. He called Jobs into his office, sketched it out
on his little blackboard, and asked him to design it. There would be
a bonus, Bushnell told him, for every chip fewer than fifty that he used.
Bushnell knew that Jobs was not a great engineer, but he assumed, correctly,
that he would recruit Wozniak, who was always hanging around.
“I looked at it as a two-for-one thing,” Bushnell recalled. “Woz was a better engineer.”
Wozniak was thrilled when Jobs asked him to help and proposed splitting the fee.
“This was the most wonderful offer in my life, to actually design a game
that people would use,” he recalled. Jobs said it had to be done in four days
and with the fewest chips possible. What he hid from Wozniak was that the
deadline was one that Jobs had imposed, because he needed to get to the
All One Farm to help prepare for the apple harvest. He also didn’t
mention that there
was a bonus tied to
the number of chips.
hatever the truth, Wozniak later insisted that it
was not worth rehashing. Jobs is a complex person,
he said, and being manipulative is just the darke
facet of the traits that make him successful. Wozniak
would never have been that way, but as he points out,
he also could never have built Apple.
“I would rather let it pass,” he said when I pressed the point.
“It’s not something I want to judge Steve by.”
He confirmed his memory with Nolan
Bushnell and Al Alcorn. “I remember
talking about the bonus money to Woz,
and he was upset,” Bushnell said. “I said yes,
there was a bonus for each chip they saved,
and he just shook his head and
then clucked his tongue.”
In addition to their interest in computers,
they shared a passion for music.
“It was an incredible time for music,”
Jobs recalled. “It was like living at a time when
Beethoven and Mozart were alive. Really. People
will look back on it that way. And Woz and I were
deeply into it.” In particular, Wozniak turned Jobs
on to the glories of Bob Dylan.
“We tracked down this guy in Santa Cruz who put
out this newsletter on Dylan,” Jobs said. “Dylan
taped all of his concerts, and some of the people
around him were not scrupulous, because soon
there were tapes all around. Bootlegs of everything.
And this guy had them all.”
Hunting down Dylan tapes soon became a joint
venture. “The two of us would go tramping through
San Jose and Berkeley and ask about Dylan bootlegs
and collect them,” said Wozniak. “We’d buy brochures
of Dylan lyrics and stay up late interpreting them.
Dylan’s words struck chords of creative thinking.”
Added Jobs, “I had more than a hundred hours,
including every concert on the ’65 and ’66 tour,”
the one where Dylan went electric. Both of them
bought high-end TEAC reel-to-reel tape decks.
“I would use mine at a low speed to record many
concerts on one tape,” said Wozniak.
Jobs matched his obsession:
“Instead of big speakers I bought a pair
of awesome headphones and would just
lie in my bed and listen to that stuff for hours.”
Jobs had formed a club at Homestead High to
put on music-and-light shows and also play
pranks. (They once glued a gold-painted toilet
seat onto a flower planter.) It was called the
Buck Fry Club, a play on the name of the principal.
Even though they had already graduated, Wozniak
and his friend Allen Baum joined forces with Jobs,
at the end of his junior year, to produce a farewell
gesture for the departing seniors. Showing off the
Homestead campus four decades later, Jobs paused
at the scene of the escapade and pointed. “See that
balcony? That’s where we did the banner prank that
sealed our friendship.” On a big bedsheet Baum had
tie-dyed with the school’s green and white colors,
they painted a huge hand flipping the middle-finger
salute. Baum’s nice Jewish mother helped them draw
it and showed them how to do the shading and
shadows to make it look more real.
“I know what that is,” she snickered. They devised a
system of ropes and pulleys so that it could be
dramatically lowered as the graduating class
marched past the balcony, and they signed it
“SWAB JOB,” the initials of Wozniak and Baum
combined with part of Jobs’
s name. The prank
became part of school
lore—and got Jobs
suspended one more time.
When Mike Markkula joined Jobs and Wozniak
to turn their fledgling partnership into the Apple
Computer Co. in January 1977, they valued it at $5,309.
Less than four years later they decided it was time
to take it public. It would become the most oversubscribed
initial public offering since that of Ford Motors in 1956.
By the end of December 1980, Apple would be valued at $1.79
billion. Yes, billion. In the process it would
make three hundred people millionaires.
Much of the work was done in the garage of a friend just around the corner,
Bill Fernandez, who was still at Homestead High. To lubricate their efforts, they drank large amounts of Cragmont cream
soda, riding their bikes to the Sunnyvale Safeway to return the bottles, collect the deposits, and buy more. “That’s how we started referring to it as the Cream Soda Computer,” Wozniak recalled.
It was basically a calculator capable of multiplying numbers entered by a set of switches and displaying the results in binary code with little lights.
When it was finished, Fernandez told Wozniak there was someone at Homestead High he should meet. “His name is Steve. He likes to do pranks like you do, and he’s also into building electronics like you are.” It may have been the most significant meeting in a Silicon Valley garage since Hewlett went into
Packard’s thirty-two years earlier. “Steve and I just sat on the sidewalk in front of Bill’s house for the longest time, just sharing stories—mostly about pranks we’d pulled, and also what kind of electronic designs we’d done,” Wozniak recalled. “We had so much in common. Typically, it was really hard for me to
explain to people what kind of design stuff I worked on, but Steve got it right away. And I liked him. He was kind of skinny and wiry and full of energy.” Jobs was also impressed. “Woz was the first
person I’d met who knew more electronics than I did,” he once said, stretching his own expertise. “I liked him right away. I was a little more mature than my years, and he was a little less
mature than his, so it
evened out. Woz was
very bright, but
emotionally he was my age.”
Daniel Kottke was not one of them. He had been Jobs’s
soul mate in college, in India, at the All One Farm, and in
the rental house they shared during the Chrisann Brennan
crisis. He joined Apple when it was headquartered in Jobs’s
garage, and he still worked there as an hourly employee.
But he was not at a high enough level to be cut in on the stock
options that were awarded before the IPO. “I totally trusted Steve,
and I assumed he would take care of me like I’d taken care of him,
so I didn’t push,” said Kottke. The official reason he wasn’t given
stock options was that he was an hourly technician, not a salaried
engineer, which was the cutoff level for options. Even so, he could
have justifiably been given “founder’s stock,” but Jobs decided not to.
“Steve is the opposite of loyal,” according to Andy Hertz-feld, an early
Apple engineer who has nevertheless remained friends with him.
“He’s anti-loyal. He has to abandon the people he is close to.”
a breadboard. “While Steve was breadboarding, I spent time playing my
favorite game ever, which was the auto racing game Gran Trak 10,” Wozniak said.
Astonishingly, they were able to get the job done in four days, and
Wozniak used only forty-five chips. Recollections differ, but by most
accounts Jobs simply gave Wozniak half of the base fee and not the bonus
Bushnell paid for saving five chips. It would be another ten years before
Wozniak discovered (by being shown the tale in a book on the history of
Atari titled Zap) that Jobs had been paid this bonus. “I think that Steve needed
the money, and he just didn’t tell me the truth,” Wozniak later said.
When he talks about it now, there are long pauses, and he admits that it
causes him pain. “I wish he had just been honest. If he had told me he
needed the money, he should have known I would have just given it to
him. He was a friend. You help your friends.” To Wozniak, it showed
a fundamental difference in their characters. “Ethics always mattered to me,
and I still don’t understand why he would’ve gotten paid one thing and told
me he’d gotten paid another,” he said. “But, you know, people are different.”
When Jobs learned this story was published, he called Wozniak to deny it.
“He told me that he didn’t remember doing it, and that if he did something
like that he would remember it, so he probably didn’t do it,” Wozniak recalled.
When I asked Jobs directly, he became unusually quiet and hesitant.
“I don’t know where that allegation comes from,” he said. “I gave him
half the money I ever got. That’s how I’ve always been with Woz. I mean,
Woz stopped working in 1978. He never did one ounce
of work after 1978.
And yet he got exactly
the same shares of
Apple stock that I did.”
Jef Raskin was the type of character who could enthrall Steve Jobs—or annoy him. As it turned out, he did both. A philosophical guy who could be both playful and ponderous, Raskin had
studied computer science, taught music and visual arts, conducted a chamber opera company, and organized guerrilla theater. His 1967 doctoral thesis at U.C.
San Diego argued that computers should have graphical rather than text-based interfaces. When he got fed up with
teaching, he rented a hot air balloon, flew over the chancellor’s house, and shouted down his decision to quit.
your intuition starts to blossom and you start to see things more clearlyand be in the present more. Your mind just slows down, and you see
Bruce Horn was one of the programmers at Xerox PARC. When some of his friends, such as Larry Tesler, decided to join the
Macintosh group, Horn considered going there as well. But he got a good offer, and a $15,000 signing bonus, to join another
company. Jobs called him on a Friday night. “You have to come into Apple tomorrow morning,” he said.
a tremendous expanse in the moment. You see so much more than
you could see before. It’s a discipline; you have to practice it.
Zen has been a deep influence in my life ever since. At one point
I was thinking about going to Japan and trying to get into the
Eihei-ji monastery, but my spiritual advisor urged me to stay here.
He said there is nothing over there that isn’t here, and he was correct.
I learned the truth of the Zen saying that if you are willing to travel around
the world to meet a teacher, one will appear next door.
Jobs did in fact find a teacher right in his own neighborhood. Shunryu Suzuki,
who wrote Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind and ran the San Francisco Zen Center,
used to come to Los Altos every Wednesday evening to lecture and meditate
with a small group of followers. After a while he asked his assistant,
Kobun Chino Otogawa, to open a full-time center there. Jobs became
a faithful follower, along with his occasional girlfriend, Chrisann Brennan,
and Daniel Kottke and Elizabeth Holmes. He also began to go by himself on
retreats to the
Tassajara Zen Center,
a monastery near
Kobun also taught.