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Who was Steve Jobs the man?

Asher Moses, SMH | Oct. 11, 2011
We know he was driven, ambitious, demanding and a technical genius. But what was Steve Jobs like as a man?

"Nike makes some of the best products in the world - products that you lust after, absolutely beautiful stunning products. But you also make a lot of crap," Jobs told him, according to Parker.

"Just get rid of the crappy stuff, and focus on the good stuff."

Employees have described how presenting projects to Jobs struck fear into their hearts as he would often immediately narrow in on a tiny user interface quirk that he didn't like and launch into a tirade. But employees universally agree that Jobs was always correct in his reasoning.

'Soft-spoken and gracious'

Jobs had a complex personality and to dismiss it as arrogance appears to be selling him short. Rick Lucas, managing partner with Lucas Design in the 1980s, described him as soft-spoken and gracious.

Lucas joined Jobs's "inner circle" when he was developing a third-party software product for NeXT, the company Jobs created during his decade in exile from Apple. Lucas worked alongside Jobs over a period of several months.

"In my entire experience with Steve I found him to be soft-spoken and gracious to the point of being deferential," Lucas recalled.

"What others have characterised as bluntness struck me as simply an efficiency of words. Each word spoken by Steve furthered an objective."

As the world reflects on all that Jobs has achieved in his career, and his ruthless business mind, it is these obscure details of his life and personality that help reveal how he grew to become one of the most celebrated business leaders of our time.

 

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