Update: Steve Jobs biography hardcover by Walter Isaacson is now available on Amazon for a price tag of $17.88.
Fortune Magazine on Monday, October 24th, will published an exclusive excerpt of the Walter Isaacson biography Steve Jobs. The excerpt is said to focus on the Frenemy relationship that Jobs had with Microsoft Founder Bill Gates.
The magazine has also secured exclusive rights to the sections in Walter Isaacson’s Steve Jobs devoted to Jobs’ relationship to Bill Gates.
Before the official publication, many news sites have already gotten their hands on excerpts from the book.
The AP obtained a copy of the authorized Jobs bio that comes out next week. In its story, the AP details tidbits of Jobs being so angered by Android:
Jobs was livid in January 2010 when HTC introduced an Android phone that boasted many of the popular features of the iPhone. Apple sued, and Jobs told Isaacson [his biographer] in an expletive-laced rant that Google’s actions 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.”
Jobs wasn’t happy with Google Docs either, using an expletive about it, apparently calling them sh*t.
As for a famed meeting at Palo Alto’s Calafia Cafe in May 2010, between Jobs and Google’s Eric Schmidt:
“I don’t want your money. 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.” The meeting, Isaacson wrote, resolved nothing.
Huffington Post has posted tonight some excerpts from the biography:
Some words that Jobs had for president Obama on the meeting, Jobs insisted that Obama himself ask for a personal invitation. They met in the Westin Airport hotel in San Francisco. It sounds like like Jobs is more of a Conservative than “hippy Liberal” in his incredibly blunt words to President Obama:
“You’re headed for a one-term presidency,” he told Obama at the start of their meeting, insisting that the administration needed to be more business-friendly. As an example, Jobs described the ease with which companies can build factories in China compared to the United States, where “regulations and unnecessary costs” make it difficult for them. Jobs also criticized America’s education system, saying it was “crippled by union work rules,” noted Isaacson. “Until the teachers’ unions were broken, there was almost no hope for education reform.” Jobs proposed allowing principals to hire and fire teachers based on merit, that schools stay open until 6 p.m. and that they be open 11 months a year.
That said, Jobs was still willing to help Obama’s re-election campaign…
Jobs suggested that Obama meet six or seven other CEOs who could express the needs of innovative businesses — but when White House aides added more names to the list, Jobs insisted that it was growing too big and that “he had no intention of coming.” In preparation for the dinner, Jobs exhibited his notorious attention to detail, telling venture capitalist John Doerr that the menu of shrimp, cod and lentil salad was “far too fancy” and objecting to a chocolate truffle dessert. But he was overruled by the White House, which cited the president’s fondness for cream pie. Though Jobs was not that impressed by Obama, later telling Isaacson that his focus on the reasons that things can’t get done “infuriates” him, they kept in touch and talked by phone a few more times. Jobs even offered to help create Obama’s political ads for the 2012 campaign. “He had made the same offer in 2008, but he’d become annoyed when Obama’s strategist David Axelrod wasn’t totally deferential,” writes Isaacson. Jobs later told the author that he wanted to do for Obama what the legendary “morning in America” ads did for Ronald Reagan.
Huffington Post posted Jobs’ harsh comments on Bill Gates:
“He’d be a broader guy if he had dropped acid once or gone off to an ashram when he was younger.”
Bill said regarding Steve: “He really never knew much about technology, but he had an amazing instinct for what works.”
Steve said: “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.”
Jobs’ about his biological father said:
“I had been to that restaurant [That his biological father had owned] a few times, and I remember meeting the owner. He was Syrian. Balding. We shook hands.” Later Steve said, ” “I was a wealthy man by then, and I didn’t trust him not to try to blackmail me or go to the press about it.”
“When I was looking for my biological mother, obviously, you know, I was looking for my biological father at the same time, and I learned a little bit about him and I didn’t like what I learned. I asked her to not tell him that we ever met…not tell him anything about me.”
AP reporter Michael Leidtke also tweeted some additional things relating to Google that aren’t in the AP write-up. In particular, he says that while Jobs never seemed to like Schmidt, he had “mended the fences” with Googe cofounder and current CEO Larry Page:
The bio says Page came to Jobs for advice on how to be a good CEO and Jobs evidently gave Page advice that he has taken to heart
The bio quotes Jobs telling Page: “Figure out what Google wants to be when it grows up. It’s now all over the map.”
Jobs told Page Google had been putting out too many products “that are adequate but not great. They’re turning you into Microsoft.”
Jobs says he initially wanted to say “f-you” to Page, but remembered how Bill Hewlett advised him when he was young
He called Jonathan Ive, Apple’s design chief, his “spiritual partner” at Apple. He told Isaacson that Ive had “more operation power” at Apple than anyone besides Jobs himself — that there’s no one at the company who can tell Ive what to do. That, says Jobs, is “the way I set it up.”
According to a New York Times article, after attempting to combat a cancerous tumor on his pancreas with a special vegan diet, Jobs then turned to the latest in modern medicine, which included an experimental gene therapy:
According to Mr. Isaacson, Mr. Jobs was one of 20 people in the world to have all the genes of his cancer tumor and his normal DNA sequenced. The price tag at the time: $100,000. The DNA sequencing that Mr. Jobs ultimately went through was done by a collaboration of teams at Stanford, Johns Hopkins, Harvard and the Broad Institute of MIT. The sequencing, Mr. Isaacson writes, allowed doctors to tailor drugs and target them to the defective molecular pathways. A doctor told Mr. Jobs that the pioneering treatments of the kind he was undergoing would soon make most types of cancer a manageable chronic disease. Later, Mr. Jobs told Mr. Isaacson that he was either going to be one of the first “to outrun a cancer like this” or be among the last “to die from it.
A 60 Minutes preview (video embedded below) with Walter Isaacson also touched on Jobs’ cancer treatment, with the biographer revealing that Apple’s late CEO in hindsight was regretful for going with a special diet rather than chose to operate on it sooner.
The blurb from CBS seems to eerily echo a Quora post by a Harvard Cancer Doctor Ramzi Anri that basically said that his cancer was mild and treatable but spread while he was trying to treat it holistically.
While Mr. Jobs was trying all sorts of alternative [medicine] his tumor grew, and grew, and grew…
… and then it somehow grew beyond control.
Jobs waited so long before seeking normal treatment that he had to undergo a Whipple procedure, losing his pancreas and whole duodenum in 2004. This was the first alarming sign that his disease had progressed beyond a compact primary to at least a tumor so large his Pancreas and duodenum could not be saved.
Jobs seemingly waited long enough for the disease revealed to have spread extensively to his liver. The only reason he’d have a transplant after a GEP-NET would be that the tumor invaded all major parts of the liver, which takes a considerable amount of time. Years, in most neuroendocrine tumors. It could be that this happened before his diagnosis, but the risk grows exponentially with time.
We then saw the tumor slowly draining the life out him. It was a horrible thing to see him lose weight and slowly turn into a skin and bones form of himself.
Yet it seems that even during this recurrent phase, Mr. Jobs opted to dedicate his time to Apple as the disease progressed, instead of opting for chemotherapy or any other conventional treatment.
Isaacson also seems to imply that it spread during that time and obviously in hindsight, Jobs was regretful for not choosing to operate on it sooner. Isaacson said,
“I’ve asked [Jobs why he didn’t get an operation then] and he said, ‘I didn’t want my body to be opened…I didn’t want to be violated in that way,'” Isaacson recalls. So he waited nine months, while his wife and others urged him to do it, before getting the operation, reveals Isaacson. Asked by Kroft how such an intelligent man could make such a seemingly stupid decision, Isaacson replies, “I think that he kind of felt that if you ignore something, if you don’t want something to exist, you can have magical thinking…we talked about this a lot,” he tells Kroft. “He wanted to talk about it, how he regretted it….I think he felt he should have been operated on sooner.”
Jobs also told Isaacson:
Jobs had actually met the man who turned out to be his biological father before he knew who he was. He also talks about the discussion he had with Jobs about death and the afterlife, explaining that for Jobs, the odds of there being a God were 50-50, but that he thought about the existence of God much more once he was diagnosed with cancer. Another aspect of Jobs’ character revealed was his disdain for conspicuous consumption. He tells Isaacson in a taped conversation how he saw Apple staffers turn into “bizarro people” by the riches the Apple stock offering created. Isaacson says Jobs vowed never to let his wealth change him.
Another interesting tidbit from the New York Times article: Apple’s co-founder began designing his own luxury yacht back in 2009. This is a surprise since Jobs was many things, but not the kind of guy who would display his wealth:
The book also offers some tidbits about Mr. Jobs’s legendary attention to detail, which, according to Mr. Isaacson, extended to a luxury yacht that he began designing in 2009. The design is sleek and minimalist, with 40-foot-long glass walls. It is being built in the Netherlands by the custom yacht firm Feadship, the book says.