First of all, my apologies for keeping this section of my blog very very very dry for almost 3 years. Drowned in work and poetry and what not, I almost lost my focus on this section. Blame it on my age old procrastination, I kept on delaying this like hell.
Thanks to all those people who kept on asking me, time and again that when will I start this again. Thanks to all those people who still visit my blog to read my stagnant articles again and again.
I owe you yet another series this year. Without any delay….
I am announcing my new series on Steve Jobs here right from next Monday. Okay… I get that expression on your face… This time it’s not going down the drain. This time it’s for real.
Let’s all be crazy for a while and take the tour of Steve Jobs Life once again.
Last post I had described about Jobs’ Childhood. In this article i am going to narrate you his high school life. How he met Steve Wozniak, the guy who became his companion throughout lifetime forever…
In high school Steve met a legendary high school geek of McCollum by the name of Steve Wozniak. Woz was far more better than Jobs in terms of knowledge about Electronics.
Woz got all the basic knowledge about Electronics from his father who used to assemble all the parts of electronic gadgets infront of him. Woz’s father always taught him NOT TO LIE. His father believed in honesty and hence 40 years later when Steve was in high level than Woz he never felt bad about it as he said that
“My Father was an engineer and i always wanted to be an engineer.”
He was too shy to become someone like Steve. When Steve played his pranks Woz used to play even bigger pranks than him. At one instance Woz was sent to Juvenile Detention Centre for one night as he had fixed tick-tick devices in lockers of his class mates. The tick tick devices gave feeling of bomb and they scared many people at school. When Woz had to spend the whole night at Detention Center he did something remarkable. He taught all the prisoners some other pranks.
It was during one of the summers at Homestead High that Woz was introduced to Steve Jobs and they had a long walk.
They discussed about the pranks they had played etc etc.Woz and Steve had pretty much many things in common.Woz liked Steve’s energy. Steve also liked Woz as he had met for the first time who was far more intelligent than himself in the field of Electronics. In addition to this, both Woz and Steve had passion for music.
The music of Bob Dylan and these pranks together had its effect on Apple.
Joanne resisted for the adoption for long time. Later as her father was constantly pressurizing her … she agreed. The same year Joanne’s dad died and that Christmas Joanne married Jandali. They gave birth to a daughter named as Mona. Mona later grew up and became an acclaimed Novelist. She wrote the book “Anywhere but here”. After 20 years the family once again met Steve Jobs.
About the adoption:
Steve was knowing the fact about his adoption since his childhood. His parents had already informed him about that. When his friends used to ask
“That means your real parents did not want you…”
Steve remembers himself crying and running inside the house. But his parents assured him saying only 1 sentence
“We specifically picked you out…”
Hence he considered himself Abandoned, Chosen and Special.
But as history repeats itself, Jobs when he was of Jandali’s age once again abandoned his girlfriend when he got to know she was pregnant. Later after few years he took responsibility of hers.
He considered his adopted parents as 1000% real ones and he simply referred his biological parents as
“They were my sperm and egg bank. That’s not harsh, it’s just the way it was, a sperm bank thing, nothing more.”
Growing up @Silicon Valley:
He grew up seeing the design sense of his fathers carpentry. He firmly followed the all the parts of a particular object must be built with same care as we build its appearance on the outside. He had a very great sense for designing of things since childhood.
He used to always say
“I love it when you can bring really great design and simple capability to something that doesn’t cost much,”
Thats when the original vision of APPLE was being born. In one of the trips that his father took him to Nasa Ames Research Centre he was exposed to the first Computer Terminal and that’s exactly where he fell in love with them. Once his Parents got to know that he is special they started arranging for better schooling for Steve. This made him feel Special always.
When he was sent to the Monta Loma Elementary School his teachers were tired of his pranks and his notorious behavior. His Parents despite of knowing all these never forced him to be calm. But when it came to 4th grade there was one teacher named Imogene Hill who became one of the saints in his life. She studied Jobs and offerred him few lollipops and five dollars on completion of a book full of Math Problems. After this incident all Steve did was to learn to please her.
He says “I learned more from her than any other teacher, and if it hadn’t been for her I’m sure I would have gone to jail.”
Also, he felt himself as very special to get Imogene’s attention in class. As he moved on to seventh grade he was bullied by many people in class and then his parents decided to move to another district. There he took special interest in his neighbours organic gardening. That’s exactly where his appreciation towards organic fruits and vegetables developed
By the time he reached 9th grade he developed his love towards walking and also moved his pranks to next level by experimenting with speakers wired around his house. He built a control room in his closet and he used to listen what was happening in other rooms. Once he wired it into his Parent’s bed room and was caught by his father. This passion made him earn a place in Hewlett Packard Explorers Club. A group of 10-15 students all gathering in Company Cafeteria on tuesday nights.
The kids in this HP Explorers club had to do some projects and Jobs was bulding Frequency Counter. When he needed some parts from HP he searched for the number of CEO of HP and directly called Bill Hewlett and got all the parts that he wanted to build it. By then Steve had a car and had also started smoking marijuana. Steve also used to listen to lots of music and read more on Science and Technology. He loved King Lear, Moby Dick, and poems of Dylan Thomas.
How did this guy start thinking that he could build something revolutionary and build Apple?
More to come… keep reading “I love you Steve” Series…
Paul Jobs (who adopted Steve Jobs) after retiring from Coast Guard was in search of a soul mate. He met Clara and they fell in love in the same year 1946 and got married. Their marriage was a real “ideal marriage” types because it lasted for almost 40 years. Paul was a very calm and composed person unlike his alcoholic and abusive father.
Clara came to New Jersey after they were forced to flee from Turks in Armenia. She was already married to a man and she did not disclose this to Paul as her husband was dead in war. She wanted to start a fresh life with Paul because both of them were vexed up from the War Situation. All they now wanted was to settle down, raise a family and lead a less eventful life.
Clara wanted children but was suffering from a strange problem called as ectopic pregnancy. After 9 years of their marriage they finally decided that they must adopt a child.
Here Joanne Schiebele (biological mother of Steve) was from a family where her father was very strict and was against inter-community marriage. In-spite of all these Joanne fell for Abdulfattah Jandali, a Muslim teaching assistant from Syria. Jandali was a Political Science degree holder.
In 1954, Joanne went with Jandali and spent 2 months vacation in Homs. When she returned from Homs she discovered that she was pregnant and they both were just 23 by then. So they decided not to get married and Joanne’s father threatened her that he will be disowning her from his property if she married Jandali. Abortion was also not a good option. So in the year 1955, Joanne travelled to San Francisco and gave birth to a baby boy and put him up for adoption.
She had put-forth a condition in-front of the doctors that the baby will be adopted only by educated parents. But on Feb 24, 1955 Jobs was adopted by Paul and Clara (both were not from very educated backgrounds) and they named him as
Welcome to the 4th part of the Blog Series “I love you Steve”
In 2004, Steve Jobs called Isaac only to ask him to write a biography on himself. Walter Isaacson thought this is quite absurd for a person who is right now in the middle of his oscillating career and suggested Jobs that he would take up this project once he is retired from Apple.
After a few months Steve attended the book signing function of Einstein’s Biography at Palo Alto and this time he once again took Walter Isaacson to a side and pursued him to start writing his autobiography again. Then one day in the year 2009, Steve’s wife Laurene Powell said Walter Isaacson very bluntly that
“If you’re ever going to do a book on Steve, you’d better do it now.”
Walter Isaacson was pretty surprised about why even Laurene is persuading about this biography thing. He then came to know from Laurene that he had already taken 2nd medical leave and that was how he got to know about Steve’s Cancer. Laurene replied
“Almost nobody knew ….He had called me right before he was going to be operated on for cancer,
and he was still keeping it a secret”
At this point of time Walter Isaacson thought that he would take up this project as soon as possible.
Regarding the book Steve said at the very beginning that he would have no control over the content of the book and he would not see it in advance. He gave Walter Isaacson the full freedom to write and express everything about Steve in the Autobiography. Walter Isaacson recalls ….he said
“It’s your book…I won’t even read it”
After this both of them got busy in their own work lives when one day Walter Isaacson got a call from Steve Jobs. He was calling from his Palo Alto home and was with his only sister Mona Simpson. His wife and children had gone out for skiing trip and he too wanted to go with them but the illness resisted him from going with them. He started telling Walter Isaacson about his first venture of creating a frequency counter when he was just 12 year old. He also told that he had directly contacted Bill Hewlett, the founder of HP from the phone book asking for parts.
Steve later revealed that he liked humanities as a kid but liked Electronics. He also said that he wanted to be an intersection of humanities and sciences and decided that’s what he wanted to become.
Steve encouraged Walter Isaacson to talk to all those people whom he fired, abused, abandoned, his foes and also his former girlfriends. He never drew any lines/ limitations on the content that would be published. He confessed boldly
“I’ve done a lot of things I’m not proud of, such as
getting my girlfriend pregnant when I was twenty-three
and the way I handled that.
But I don’t have any skeletons in my closet that can’t be allowed out.”
It took almost 2 years for Walter Isaacson to interview forty plus people and pen down all those intricate details of this mighty personality. During this journey Laurene Powell said
“There are parts of his life and personality that are extremely messy, and that’s the truth, you shouldn’t whitewash it. He’s good at spin, but he also has a remarkable story, and I’d like to see that it’s all told truthfully.”
This book is all about the Creative Entrepreneur who revolutionized 6 industries at once and made Apple one of the most Valuable Companies in the world – A company that he started in his Parent’s garage.
In short this blog series is for those people who want to know how Steve turned Silicon into Gold right from Ground Zero. In the following posts I shall keep posting about excerpts from his autobiography.