Steve Jobs biography: His thoughts on Android, cancer, Bill Gates
Details of the new Steve Jobs biography, scheduled for release on Monday, have leaked out all around the Web, offering new insights into the life of the Apple co-founder. We've collected a few of the more interesting tidbits in this post.
The book by Walter Isaacson, called "Steve Jobs," is the result of more than 40 interviews with Jobs by the author over a period of years, including one just weeks before his death two weeks ago. The book touches on Jobs' youth, his battle with cancer, his relationship with his biological parents, and his unvarnished feelings about the mediocrity of his rivals at Google Inc., Microsoft Corp. and elsewhere.
On Thursday, we wrote about Isaacson's report that Jobs regretted waiting nine months to have an operation to remove cancer from his pancreas -- a delay that likely allowed the cancer to spread.
"I've asked him" why he didn't get the operation, Isaacson told Steve Kroft of "60 Minutes." "And he said, 'I didn't want my body to be opened. ... I didn't want to be violated in that way.' 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. It'd worked for him in the past. He regretted it."
Jobs also had unwitting contact with his biological father, a Syrian immigrant named John Jandali -- now a casino manager in Reno. Though the two never realized each others' identities at the time, Jobs apparently ate at a restaurant Jandali managed years ago -- and found out only later, after he learned of the identity of his biological parents.
“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," Jobs told Isaacson. "I asked her to not tell him that we ever met ... not tell him anything about me."
Jobs has few kind words for the executives that succeeded him after his first reign at Apple, and managed to nearly run the company into the ground.
In the book, he refers to them as "corrupt people" with "corrupt values," according to excerpts reviewed by the Associated Press. That group was obsessed with profit -- "for themselves mainly, and also for Apple -- rather than making great products."
Jobs also told Isaacson that Jonathan Ive, the company's head designer and a man Jobs called his "spiritual partner," was also among his most powerful successors. Ive had "more operation power" than anyone at Apple besides Jobs -- which was the way Jobs "set it up."
The book also offers some insight into Apple's current patent battles with Google and makers of its Android phones, which he believed ripped off the design and functionality of Apple's blockbuster iPhone.
"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, according to the AP report. "I'm going to destroy Android, because it's a stolen product. I'm willing to go thermonuclear war on this."
Jobs also had some parting barbs for Bill Gates, the Microsoft co-founder and Jobs' longtime business rival and, later, friend. "Bill is basically unimaginative and has never invented anything, which is why I think he's more comfortable now in philanthropy than technology," Jobs said of Gates. "He just shamelessly ripped off other people's ideas."
-- David Sarno
Photo: The cover of "Steve Jobs." Credit: Simon & Schuster