November 7, 2011

"Steve Jobs" by Walter Isaacson

In VDARE, I review the authorized (but revealing) new biography of the late Steve Jobs, cofounder of Apple.

111 comments:

RKU said...

I know the idea of Apple, which has $26 billion in cash and short term investments on its solid gold balance sheet...

Typo! Typo! Apple has *$81B* in the bank, having passed the U.S. Treasury this summer, and not just a measly $26B. Either that, or maybe they've gone on a huge splurge since Jobs died a few weeks ago...

Anonymous said...

I just Googled Woz's ethnicity. The Internet seems to think that he's Polish and Swiss. His last name does seem Slavic.

Dave said...

"Typo! Typo! Apple has *$81B* in the bank"

I thought Steve's number looked low too, but Steve is right.

Steve Sailer said...

I thought it looked low too.

bjdubbs said...

$55 billion in long-term marketable securities. Not getting enough in t-bills, I suppose.

Shouting Thomas said...

Thanks, Steve, for pointing out that immigration doesn't just depress the pay of low income, low skill jobs.

This seems to be the common misperception.

American software engineers (and I'm one of them) are always in competition with Indian and Pakistani H1B programmers.

I'm not sure why, but just about everybody seems to think that the only issue in illegal immigration is Mexicans working in fields picking artichokes.

spandrell said...

Classic.

We could use less of these 'interesting' boomers though. No amount of iphones can pay for the death of California.

RKU said...

Dave: I thought Steve's number looked low too, but Steve is right.

Hmm, how very odd. If you just Google "Apple cash on hand" you'll get a long list of leading MSM news sources describing a much larger value, the latest being $81B in mid-October. Presumably, those stories were fact-checked by people who understand finance.

Maybe we're somehow misinterpreting the Yahoo Finance balance sheet for Apple. Since I don't know anything about accounting, I can't rightly say.

Reg Cæsar said...

Just out of curiosity, how much would an iMac, iPhone or iPad cost if Apple were still manufacturing in California?

(They did manufacture in California once, didn't they?)

jody said...

when i read a technical account of who actually developed the ipad, the suggestion that steve jobs was a modern day edison seems even less accurate. not that he wasn't an important figure in the field, he certainly was, but i mean for instance he personally had little to do with constructing the device that turned around apple.

he literally told a group of apple engineers "go build something sort of like this, not really sure what i want exactly or how to build it but it should basically be better than some other similar devices i saw over the last 2 years". then they did all the technical work over the next 6 months.

definitely something to be said for his relentless pursuit of usability - we need more usability in computer science - but come on man. without access to big teams of technical guys, jobs didn't do anything for over a decade.

you can't say he wasn't important though - apple is most likely gonna slowly go downhill now without their leader.

Steve Sailer said...

The iPad is pretty reasonably priced, but I can't imagine labor makes up a lot of the cost of the $2449 base price of the 17" Macbook Pro.

Anonymous said...

My favorite story from the book:

Jobs was dating Joan Baez and saw a red dress that he thought would look gorgeous on her. He took her to the Polo store in the Stanford Mall. Instead of buying it for her, he bought a few shirts for himself while urging her to buy the dress. Nice.

In his defense, he only had a few hundred million dollars at the time, not the billions he had later.

Reg Cæsar said...

...I can't imagine labor makes up a lot of the cost of the $2449 base price of the 17" Macbook Pro.

Then it would be a relatively cheap public relations coup to build it here, wouldn't it?

Japanese, Korean, British, German and Swedish automobile companies can build in America, but American computer companies can't? Not even Apple?

Reg Cæsar said...

In his defense, he only had a few hundred million dollars at the time, not the billions he had later.

About the same time, Bill Gates was reported to have held up the line at an ice-cream stand for quite a while, searching his pockets for a discount coupon.

(I think that was in Robert X. Cringely's book, if you want a source.)

Anonymous said...

"Just out of curiosity, how much would an iMac, iPhone or iPad cost if Apple were still manufacturing in California?"

Probably the same.

Can't speak for the iPad, but the latest expert estimates is that Apple's margin for the iPhone is 40 to 50%.

40. To 50.

Even if labor and parts acquisition costs go way up by manufacturing in CA, Apple can still make a good profit and keep the retail prices unchanged.

Anonymous said...

I've read some of Lisa Brennan-Jobs's pieces recently and she is an excellent writer. Her article about her time in Italy is really good.

BrokenSymmetry said...

"Jobs was dating Joan Baez and saw a red dress that he thought would look gorgeous on her. He took her to the Polo store in the Stanford Mall. Instead of buying it for her, he bought a few shirts for himself while urging her to buy the dress. Nice."

As Whiskey would say, Alpha!

Steve Sailer said...

"Then it would be a relatively cheap public relations coup to build it here, wouldn't it?"

You would think -- make a big deal out of Apple's gold-plated 17" laptop being assembled in America.

But nobody thinks that way.

Anonymous said...

"As Whiskey would say, Alpha!"

Exactly my thought. Wouldn't that creepy old guy from DC with no kids (can't recall his name right now...) say this is a good thing to do? Maybe smack her around a bit, too?

Alpha!

Anonymous said...

Of course, it's hardly a surprise, at least to VDARE.com readers, that Apple under Jobs didn't employ many blacks or Hispanics in high-level positions. What's more intriguing is that East Asian or South Asian names are also rare throughout the 630 pages of Steve Jobs.

Companies of Apple and Microsoft's generation mostly have senior executives who are white males, with a nontrivial number of South and East Asians through the ranks.

The next generation, at Google and Facebook, have them in executive positions, one step below the CEO.

http://www.google.com/intl/en/about/corporate/company/execs.html#nikesh

http://articles.businessinsider.com/2011-04-07/tech/30062306_1_jack-dorsey-twitter-google

http://money.cnn.com/galleries/2010/technology/1007/gallery.smartest_people_tech.fortune/24.html

http://techcrunch.com/2011/10/19/brin-gundotra-google-different-game-socia/

http://www.xconomy.com/seattle/2011/07/27/facebooks-main-man-on-skype-seattles-philip-su-on-making-video-calls-magical/

http://techcrunch.com/2011/11/01/former-facebook-vp-chamath-palihapitiya-invests-15-million-in-secondmarket-joins-board/

http://payvand.com/blog/blog/2010/11/15/salar-kamangar-iranian-american-leading-youtube/

http://articles.businessinsider.com/2010-05-17/tech/30065208_1_product-management-director-monetization-youtube

Anonymous said...

Steve, as someone in high tech, a lot of your article is unfortunately off base. This particular paragraph is wildly off:

Okay, how could Silicon Valley motivate more Americans to get the training to be engineers? Hey, I've got a crazy idea! They could offer to pay Americans more!

You do realize that programmer salaries in the Bay Area are currently in a bubble?

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703439504576116192416198636.html

Companies are shelling out more cash than ever before for engineers. The ROI for engineering has probably never been higher.

However, due to a number of factors, including the enstupidification of the public school system and various anti-male policies, the proportion of white American-born gentile males with technological knowhow has dropped quite a bit.

Also, cost control is what capitalism is about. This is not just the fault of the "greedy businesses" involved. You don't want to pay high prices for things. You want Google and Facebook to be free. You want your iPhone to just work. Making a high quality product at a low price means keeping salaries under control.

BrokenSymmetry said...

From the article:
"While he didn't come up with much himself, he possessed superb critical taste and a sadistic talent for motivating more creative underlings to do better."

and:

"Jobs's basic management technique is one known to dog trainers for creating the most emotionally dependent pets: erratic reinforcement. Seldom able to solve problems himself, Jobs responded to his underlings' proposed solutions with extreme emotional violence: either the employee was a genius or an idiot. "

This actually sounds very much like how a top scientific research laboratory works these days. The Boss is busy applying for grants, writing papers, hobnobbing and keeping an ear to the ground at an endless round of symposia while most of the creative work is down by lowly graduate students and post-docs (I've been there!). Scientific research, even in academia, is so infused by contemporary managerial culture that the lab head, who becomes the corresponding author on published results, is automatically credited with any breakthroughs even when they have contributed nothing substantial from an intellectual point of view. Over time, this position becomes significantly bolstered if the discovery is of such importance that the work of the lab is re-oriented towards teasing it out further hence generating a steady stream of related research from the same lab. As most graduate students or postdocs leave science, this leaves the lab head as the constant figure in the development of a particular line of research. In addition, I have heard of several cases where in return for the senior scientist's help in establishing a young researcher as an independent scientist with their own group, there is a gentleman's (sic) agreement that the junior researcher should stay out of the field that is now universally identified with the senior scientist. One wonders how many recent Nobel's owe their origin to such chicanery.

eh said...

His son, worried that he'd be hit up for money, never reached out to him.

Yeah, I guess he was a bit short.

But this seems to match:

"...Because of how very sensitive he is, he knows exactly how to efficiently and effectively hurt someone. And he does do that."

Tel Aviv Scots-Irish said...

Reg Cæsar: Japanese, Korean, British, German and Swedish automobile companies can build in America, but American computer companies can't? Not even Apple?

Steve Sailer: You would think -- make a big deal out of Apple's gold-plated 17" laptop being assembled in America. But nobody thinks that way.

But it would require the use of Red State manufacturing, and SWPLs hate hate HATE HATE yucky eww-gross troglodyte Red State beta civil war losers.

Red State iMac == waayyy uncool.

Anonymous said...

"He took her to the Polo store in the Stanford Mall. Instead of buying it for her, he bought a few shirts for himself while urging her to buy the dress. Nice."

That is likely to have made her pretty damn hot for him. Yes, this is pure alpha in action. Watch and learn. I know that I´m trying to.

/learner

been down so long said...

I was wondering if anyone would mention the topic of the recent New York article "Bubble Boys" (thanks, anon 2:11)

Not sure why iSteve Augustus Maximus is so (repeatedly) offended by the Joan Baez tale, which he obviously accepts at face value. It might merely display the wide variance of give & take in relationships, but Jobs additionally was one of that ultra-rare breed of the "strict hippies." He is more reminiscent of the proverbial Dutch uncle than this selfish jerk tycoon by whom Sailer is so scandalized. Given Jobs's harsh words about teacher unions it's unsurprising he also scoffed at el DREAM acto

Anonymous said...

BrokenSymmetry said... "As Whiskey would say, Alpha!"

"Jobs's first child, Lisa Brennan-Jobs, was born in 1978, the daughter of his longtime partner Chris Ann Brennan, a Bay Area painter. For two years, she raised their daughter on welfare while Jobs denied paternity by claiming he was sterile; he later acknowledged Lisa as his daughter."

Some alpha. More like omega.

BrokenSymmetry said...

To anonymous@4.53am

Au contraire. There are many at Chateau Heartiste who will hold this up as the very epitome of Alpha.

I write this as a happily married beta who is bringing up his own son.

Anonymous said...

For the instant revisionists: it's not like Edison was a lone genius confecting his magic in a basement laboratory all by himself. The Menlo Park laboratory was the first true industrial R&D campus, employing scads of engineers and support personnel--Edison was the director and the idea man, to be sure, but he had a lot of help to get to working models from blackboard theory.

Edison also was well aware of the centrality of PR to the success of his enterprise, which makes the parallel with Jobs even more appropriate.

In the final analysis, Jobs was still probably a few notches below an Edison in terms of achievement/legacy. But his historical stature will compare favorably with Henry Ford's, and maybe a notch above Walt Disney's. I agree with some commenter of a few months ago that by comparison, Bill Gates will probably be down the memory hole by mid-century.

bruce banner said...

Classic piece, Steve!
Steve Jobs and you sort of had paralell lives. Up to a point, sure!
How many talented children have been literally thrown in the bin because of abortion?
One could argue that both abortion and adoption hurt the genetic interests of the White middle-class these days, given that the majority of adopted kids come from other races.
Adoption used to be positive for society, now it´s just another case of genetic cuckoldry.

Anonymous said...

Is Joan Baez supposed to have told this story?

Because, if she didn't, then that means that Jobs must have bragged about it afterwards.

Which would make him a truly world-class jack-ass.

And if that's what you "Game" nerds are aspiring to become, then, well, to hell with you.

slumber_j said...

Good piece. Regarding the general loathsomeness of Jobs's personality: isn't another exception his refusal to live the grotesquely robber-baronial existence of, say, a Larry Ellison? He seems to have been an asshole, but not _that kind_ of asshole at least.

Regarding Apple's "cash" on hand, if you go to the actual balance sheet...

http://finance.yahoo.com/q/bs?s=AAPL

...and add up the first two lines in "Current Assets" plus "Long Term Investments," you get to the $81B number.

Christopher Paul said...

Those foreign automakers build cars in the (Southern) U.S. to sidestep trade barriers (and avoid unions).

As for making Apple products in America: Apple relies on mystery and secrecy to feed the hype surrounding its latest must-have product. Semi-imprisoned Chinese wage slaves don't leak. Jaded American clock-punchers? You see the problem.

Anonymous said...

"
Au contraire. There are many at Chateau Heartiste who will hold this up as the very epitome of Alpha.
"

True, because it is objectively alpha if one defines "alpha" as "attractive to women". Some people just have to get over the somewhat dark nature of female sexuality.

/learner

Mr. Anon said...

"Anonymous said...

Steve, as someone in high tech, a lot of your article is unfortunately off base. This particular paragraph is wildly off:"

"in high tech". How? As an engineer who does things? Or as a manager who wants to pay engineers less to do those things?

Anonymous said...

But what about the will???

So far I haven't seen anything about that, and it would be kind of interesting to find out who got what. Does anybody know yet?

Anonymous said...

Jobs was once deeply interested in US manufacturing. In his first go-around at Apple and in the NeXT years he had US factories that were considered models of efficiency, though the NeXT factory never got much of a workout.

Anonymous said...

BrokenSymmetry said... "There are many at Chateau Heartiste who will hold this up as the very epitome of Alpha."

Yes. But that doesn't make them right ;)

I say that as a woman happily married to a "beta" male. :)

Anonymous said...

"I just Googled Woz's ethnicity. The Internet seems to think that he's Polish and Swiss. His last name does seem Slavic."

Wozniak's paternal grandparents were Polish.

Anonymous said...

I was watching Zuckerberg on Charlie Rose last night. That woman who left google to join him was with him. The only thing she got passionate about was how immigrants create jobs for dumb Americans who think they steal jobs and how she wants to staple visas to their college degrees. Zuckerberg said he thought engineering salaries might have doubled in the last seven years.

I think what the country needs are sitcoms that glamorize computer engineers rather than lawyers.

edgy gurl said...

Slightly OT: Wouldn't a Joan Baez be pro-Open Source and anti-Polo brand cost elevation?

candid observer said...

It's always struck me that Jobs real abilities were critical, not creative.

A model that seems to suit him well is that of Petronius: the elegantiae arbiter, "judge of elegance" under Nero's rule.

Steve Jobs sneered for a living, and he developed an entire cult who sneers.

stari_momak said...

One of your best, Steve. Tightly focused review.

Paul Mendez said...

Compare and contrast Steve's article with Malcolm Gladwell's New Yorker article about Jobs, "The Tweaker."

Steve looks at Jobs' life and sees HBD, nurture vs nature.

Malcolm looks at Jobs' life and sees someone whose genius was rooted in hard work and trusting his gut.

MacBurgler said...

Wow, if Jobs comes across this bad in his authorized biography image how bad he was in real life.

Kylie said...

"Is Joan Baez supposed to have told this story?

Because, if she didn't, then that means that Jobs must have bragged about it afterwards.

Which would make him a truly world-class jack-ass.

And if that's what you 'Game' nerds are aspiring to become, then, well, to hell with you."


As far as I can tell from Roissy's site and the comments there, the Game nerds are aspiring to become guys who have their pick of hot young women for lots of sex with no strings attached and little outlay of cash on their part, period.

Not very manly but we don't live in a society that encourages manliness.

James Kabala said...

A culutral history of attitudes toward adoption would be interesting. I have to say that although the cultural elite of today is still strongly pro-legal-abortion, I rarely see anti-adoption messages in the media. In fact, I am startled to hear it was ever true. Do you have any examples?

Peter A said...

"Even if labor and parts acquisition costs go way up by manufacturing in CA, Apple can still make a good profit and keep the retail prices unchanged."

A "good" profit is still less than a "great" profit. Which means Apple's share price would drop, probably significantly. No one has to answer to the American worker, management does have to answer to the shareholders (many of whom probably aren't American anyway).

Anonymous said...

BTW, I don't think Apple does as much outsourcing on the software side as other companies, like Microsoft or the late Sun. Sun was pushing huge swaths of its OS programming out to India, and Microsoft sends a lot out to China. I haven't heard of Apple doing the same, though I suppose they hire a lot of H1Bs.

Anonymous said...

Not sure why iSteve Augustus Maximus is so (repeatedly) offended by the Joan Baez tale, which he obviously accepts at face value.

Steve mentioned the story once. This time it was an anon commenter.

Unless the meaning of repeatedly has changed while I was out of the room your comment is without substance.

Dave said...

"The iPad is pretty reasonably priced, but I can't imagine labor makes up a lot of the cost of the $2449 base price of the 17" Macbook Pro."

A couple of years ago, iSupply estimated the manufacturing cost of an iPhone to be $6.50 per unit. Even if that estimate was off by a factor of 10, surely Apple could manufacture its high margin products profitably in the US.

Anonymous said...

One could argue that both abortion and adoption hurt the genetic interests of the White middle-class these days, given that the majority of adopted kids come from other races.
Adoption used to be positive for society, now it´s just another case of genetic cuckoldry.


Jobs's father was Arab. It was a case of genetic cuckoldry. The difference is in degree, not kind.

Maya said...

"However, due to a number of factors, including the enstupidification of the public school system and various anti-male policies, the proportion of white American-born gentile males with technological knowhow has dropped quite a bit. "

Give me a break. Our schools aren't so screwed up that a boy intelligent enough to become an engineer can't become one. Books, computers, libraries and teachers who are required to pass the subject tests are all provided. I agree that average kids suffer from the lower standards in today's schools, but they wouldn't become competent engineers in any environment. A person of average intelligence lacks the capacity to really understand algebra, let alone calculus. Same goes for the so called anti-male policies. Yes, the girl power crap is a misallocation of funds, and it hurts the fragile boys need to be constantly protected from the world in order to lead normal lives. I feel for them, and I disagree with the current trends, but the types of boys who can't handle reading Color Purple and sitting through a couple of rape assemblies won't make it in a demanding career. I spent my elementary school years in an environment that would be considered misogynistic by modern standards (and, well, it was, I guess). However, since I was actually provided with the same nourishment, books, teacher and classroom experience as the boys, the subject matter on our reading lists and the turn that our classroom discussions tended to take didn't have a significant effect on me. Mentally healthy people with access to food, exercise, medical treatment, public libraries (and now internet) and any type of school don't get broken by Ms. Smith requiring an interpretive dance to communicate the pain of an almost rape victim from an Oprah's book club's latest novel. Any boy (or girl) growing up in modern America who doesn't become an engineer can only blame his (her) own lack of drive or mental capacity.

Maya said...

"Because, if she didn't, then that means that Jobs must have bragged about it afterwards.

Which would make him a truly world-class jack-ass."

It's a funny story, but it sounds like a misunderstanding. I imagine Jobs was young and sort of awkward in an endearing geeky way. He must have been in awe of Baez since he was kind of a hippy, and he probably wasn't sure if buying her something would insult her or make him look vulgar. A man doesn't date a woman so much older than himself for mindless sex and a slap on the back from the boys, not when he is a multimillionaire and could easily land a 19 year old aspiring actress/model for those purposes. It sounds like he was trying to connect with/impress someone whom he considered to be of higher status than himself (in things that mattered to him at the time), didn't quite know how to go about it, and then situation, accidentally, turned embarrassing. Most likely, Jobs didn't even realize how it must have looked to Baez until he replayed the day in his head, or until she mentioned it to him.

I wasn't there, of course. Just my initial take on the anecdote.

I am a Cult, not a Cause. said...

More immigrants are good for food industry--more mouths, more eaties. And also for retail. More people means more consumers. So, it's bad for manufacturing but great for retail,and remember 70% of US economy is fuled by consumption.

I am a Cult, not a Cause. said...

Soledad O'Brien says not enough black leaders in Silicon Valley. But if Steve Jobs had been black, do you supose he would have named his company Watermelon?

I am a Cult, not a Cause. said...

"Companies are shelling out more cash than ever before for engineers. The ROI for engineering has probably never been higher...
However, due to a number of factors, including the enstupidification of the public school system and various anti-male policies, the proportion of white American-born gentile males with technological knowhow has dropped quite a bit."

Hmmm, this means that supply-and-demand doesn't necessarily work in capitalism. You say Silly Con valley demands more computer engineers and are willing to supply higher salaries to skilled workers.
So, there's great rewards for those who wanna excel at computers.
Yet, too many people aren't motivated to master computers to reap that reward. Many would prefer to major in something else that offers no longterm benefit cuz it's just more fun. And even if they don't succeed, they can go back to their parents house and never grow up. And many don't strive at anything at all.
Could it be due to our cultural excoriation of 'geeks', the widespread availability of welfare which allows millions to live comfortabley as bums, the culture of coolness and hipness which favors rap thugs and slackers, and/or culture of radical intellectualism which makes too many high IQ person wanna write for Slate or Salon instead of learning REAL skills and bitch about 'corporatism'?

I am a Cult, not a Cause. said...

"I was watching Zuckerberg on Charlie Rose last night. That woman who left google to join him was with him. The only thing she got passionate about was how immigrants create jobs for dumb Americans who think they steal jobs and how she wants to staple visas to their college degrees."

Personally, I'm less worried by High-Tech demand for immigrants. When Silly Con valley says 'immigrants', it mostly means high-IQ people from Israel, Europe, and Asia. In the long run, those places have more to lose by brain drain. Also, these 'immigrants' don't have lots of babies who end up on welfare or commit crime.

The real problem of immigration is in agriculture, construction, and stuff like animal butchering. Those call for low-skilled and often lower-IQ labor from third world. Many such immigrants come illegally, have lots of kids, become dependent on welfare, their kids commit crime and end up taking away more than adding to society.

So, not all immigration is not the same.

I am a Cult, not a Cause. said...

OT.

I was reading the Pauline Kael bio by Kellow, and there was a mention of a fellow named Sawhill. By any chance, is he the Sawhill guy who posts here on occasion?

Whiskey said...

Oh Jobs is very Alpha Anon. It is a typical Alpha thing to deny paternity, or screw around, and so on. Alphas: Charlie Sheen, Bill Clinton, Steve Jobs, can get away with nearly anything because their social posture and dominance lead women to forgive them constantly. Women's view of morality is situational. The same thing that they'd condemn a beta or lower for doing is forgivable entirely by an Alpha. As long as he remains Alpha. That is of course entirely different from a "male Alpha" that is leader of men. Ike was definitely the latter, but women did not regard him ever as "sexy" the way Charlie Sheen (before his drug use torpedoed his sexiness) was regarded. Meanwhile Charlie Sheen could not lead any group of men. Alpha just refers in this instance to how sexy/dominant a guy is regarded by women. Of course Jobs didn't buy Baez the dress, that's what a Beta male does. An Alpha is doing a woman a favor by just being around her. It works too.

Roissy/Devlin's insight is that female preferences shifted, decisively, with higher income, to dating Steve Jobs types who don't buy dresses, and even having illegitimate kids with them with no support, to a lifetime with a beta male. As Roissy said, five minutes of Alpha beats a lifetime of beta. [Dependent of course on welfare and female income. Nothing comes for free, including greater status/wealth for women.]

As far as "manliness" is concerned, it is not rewarded. Kevin Federline has five kids, only two legitimate, with three different women. At age 20 or so, Ricky Hollywood, aka Levi Johnson, has two illegit kids. Wozniak, a man of wealth and accomplishment, has three, and Zuckerberg has none. Nationwide as Charles Murray points out, the White illegitimacy rate among the middle class is 20% and 40% among the working class. Jobs is a successful model. His approach WORKS. I don't like it. Roissy doesn't like it. It is destructive for society. But it is what women want, Twilight doesn't feature women competing for nerdy engineers, but studly Alpha males competing over some ordinary girl. The scene in the HS where the girl is guided around by a beta male she detests in the opener is priceless.

Linus Torvalds is arguably as important as Jobs or Gates, with more global impact (China uses mostly pirated windows stuff and localized Linux). But he's not "sexy" the way Jobs is (arrogant jerk with design instinct). He does not play into the eternal class war among Whites (with women and their natural desire for aristocracy being the decisive factor).

Whiskey said...

As for the situational aspect of female judgment, look at Maya's comment. Jobs is Alpha, a famous/jerk guy, so excuses are made ala Clinton. He's also on the "correct" side of the eternal class war between ordinary White guys and the elites (women side with the elites because they generally prefer aristocracy, kings, princesses, etc.)

That's the whole point of being Alpha.

Look at the comment by Maya on engineers -- "guys are not macho/dominant enough" is her reaction. Women will forgive ANYTHING as long as a man or men are sexy, NOTHING when they are not. An ugly truth that must be recognized. That does not make women the source of all evil (they lack the sadism and brutality inherent in many if not most men). But hey human nature is flawed like that apes we evolved from. That's just part of the evolutionary compromise. And yes social incentives MATTER.

Guys will avoid engineering, science, math, because it provides them with far less women than higher status occupations. In some cases it actively repels women. Look at "the Big Bang Theory" where women basically laugh at nerds, lacking testosterone fueled dominance with that high IQ and abstract focus on things not people.

You get more of what you reward, and less of what you penalize. For men, the greatest reward is sex, love, affection by an attractive woman. Engineering being overwhelmed by low-status Chinese/Indian types who are viewed by women as unattractive, along with the few White guys around, makes that a penalized choice profoundly unattractive in the most fundamental way. Its practically a vow of celibacy.

As opposed to the "engineer as hero-builder" of the 19th Century. He's now the geek no woman wants to have sex with. And for women its his fault for being born unsexy. The male equivalent would be a woman's moral failing for failure to be as beautiful as a surgically enhanced Hollywood starlet.

Paul Mendez said...

A couple of years ago, iSupply estimated the manufacturing cost of an iPhone to be $6.50 per unit. Even if that estimate was off by a factor of 10, surely Apple could manufacture its high margin products profitably in the US.

But the same link indicates materials are $172.46.

Since I'm assuming other smart phone manufacturers are paying the same for the materials, labor does become an important factor in keeping iPhones price competitive.

What do the carriers pay wholesale for an iPhone?

Anonymous said...

Whiskey said... "as "sexy" the way Charlie Sheen (before his drug use torpedoed his sexiness) was regarded. Meanwhile Charlie Sheen could not lead any group of men. Alpha just refers in this instance to how sexy/dominant a guy is regarded by women."

I never, ever thought Charlie Sheen was sexy, nor have any of my girlfriends.

What Roissy, et. al., miss out on in their analysis is that there is variation in the personalities and preference of women -- yes, there is an average, but there is still variation (otherwise Natural Selection would have nothing upon which to work, yes?) -- so, therefore, there is variation in the mating strategies of men.

Cads and dads, ya'know? There's room for them all.

Anonymous said...

jody said: "come on man. without access to big teams of technical guys, jobs didn't do anything for over a decade."

Nothing except Pixar (worth $7.4B) and Next (worth $429M + 1.5M shares AAPL).

Over in the Soledad O'Brien thread a number of readers expressed a viewpoint which I understand but I think is incorrect: that innovation (especially in SV) is all about individual technical genius.

It isn't.

Jobs was not a geek. Thank god. He told geeks what to do -- the right thing to do -- and that's why Apple is worth $149B more than Microsoft.

SV Guy

Anonymous said...

Reg Cæsar asked: "how much would an iMac, iPhone or iPad cost if Apple were still manufacturing in California? They did manufacture in California once, didn't they?"

My 1996 Mac is stamped, "Assembled in U.S.A."

It was damn expensive -- I seem to remember paying some $2,200 for it in 1996, vs. my latest Mac cost $600 in 2009.

SV Guy

Anonymous said...

Whiskey said... "I don't like it. Roissy doesn't like it. It is destructive for society. But it is what women want"

It is what some women want, perhaps a majority, but not all. That is a biological impossibility.

If you don't like it, do something about it. Refuse to mate with women like that. Make sure that there's not so much of their genes in the next generation. Do your sons and grandsons a favor.

(Don't tell me there aren't any nice girls around anymore. I'm one, and so are my four girlfriends. Sadly for you, though, we're all happily married.)

Doug1 said...

Learner--

That is likely to have made her pretty damn hot for him. Yes, this is pure alpha in action. Watch and learn. I know that I´m trying to.

Ok so learn some more with a bit more refinement.

What tends to make girls hot is for a guy with money not feeling the least OBLIGATION to buy his girlfriend expensive presents. If he does so occasionally, intermittently on a whim, it will tend to make her even crazier for him.

Nigel said...

It's really not surprising that Jobs didn't hire many Indians. Insider programmers know that Indian programmers are awful and Jobs wanted a top-notch product. Jobs may or may not have been aware that the average IQ of India is 81, but I'm sure his perfectionism told him that Indian managers and programmers would have turned Apple into a Third World sweat shop making an inferior product.




See:

"Indian H-1B Workers Incompetent Cheats and Frauds"

http://www.vdare.com/letters/a-silicon-valley-executive-calls-indian-h-1b-workers-incompetent-cheats-and-frauds



India burns through shallow end of right side of its Bell Curve

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703515504576142092863219826.html

I am a Cult, not a Cause. said...

Alpha-beta dynamics changes according to environment and rules.
In a black community where fists routinely fly, Steve Jobs would have gotten his ass whupped in no time if he'd talked to black toughies that way. He would have been relegated to beta status in no time.
But if you change the rules, you change the results. Suppose a big tough black guy is working in a computer firm, and he does shitty work. His boss is gonna give him hell, BUT the rules-of-this-world says you can't physically threaten people or punch them out. The black guy is helpless.

In rough and tough society, all women have be 'womanly' cuz men will openly act like cavemen to any woman who gives them lip.
But in a modern firm where much of the competitive violence is verbal or wit-oriented(and where violence against women is a serious no-no), a smart sassy woman can castrate even the biggest strongest man.
If Dorothy Parker got into a room with Brock Lesnar, and the rules were 'words only', she would kick his ass worse than Cain Velasquez did.

It's like a fish-out-of-water thing. By the 'rules' of the watery environment, the great white shark is the king. But out on land where 'rules' are different, even an old lady can kick its ass.

Doug1 said...

Maya--

It's a funny story, but it sounds like a misunderstanding. I imagine Jobs was young and sort of awkward in an endearing geeky way. He must have been in awe of Baez since he was kind of a hippy, and he probably wasn't sure if buying her something would insult her or make him look vulgar. A man doesn't date a woman so much older than himself for mindless sex and a slap on the back from the boys, not when he is a multimillionaire and could easily land a 19 year old aspiring actress/model for those purposes. It sounds like he was trying to connect with/impress someone whom he considered to be of higher status than himself (in things that mattered to him at the time), didn't quite know how to go about it, and then situation, accidentally, turned embarrassing. Most likely, Jobs didn't even realize how it must have looked to Baez until he replayed the day in his head, or until she mentioned it to him.

Quite insightful Maya. I think you're probably at least partly right. But only partly.

I imagine Jobs thought Baez had more money than she did. She also very possibly had more than Steve Sailer is making it sound - she sold a lot of record and gave a lot of concerts in the 60s and 70s.

As well though yeah I think he did have an alpha asshole kind of personality that would lead him to feel no obligation to spread his money around -- she should like him for him and demo that to him.

bruce banner said...

Jobs's father was Arab. It was a case of genetic cuckoldry. The difference is in degree, not kind.
I have to agree with you, sir.

Anonymous said...

I don't have such a big problem with her buying the dress for herself [it would only prove that Jobs was a cad].

But I have a HUGE problem with the idea of him BRAGGING about it afterwards ["Hey, did I tell you about the time that I made Joan Baez look like a fool..."] - bragging about it would transcend caddishness and get well out towards monstrousness.

Anonymous said...

Over in the Soledad O'Brien thread a number of readers expressed a viewpoint which I understand but I think is incorrect: that innovation (especially in SV) is all about individual technical genius.

It isn't.


Sure it is, if you're talking about technical innovation.

If you're talking about marketing innovation, or business success, then it isn't.

Jobs and Apple didn't make fundamental technical innovations or breakthroughs. They successfully packaged and marketed technical products.

Anonymous said...

Jobs was alpha in the computer industry environment. He may not have been in a different environment. In the computer industry environment he was able to win the zero-sum status game and stay atop the hierarchy through social dominance, manipulation, political savvy, etc. He didn't have any technical ability (he couldn't program or understand computer technically) but had social and political ability.

Anonymous said...

"It is what some women want, perhaps a majority, but not all. That is a biological impossibility."

Nah, not a majority, judging from the men with whom they reproduce - betas, betas, betas.

Maybe Whiskey is a Roissy alpha and is wondering where he went wrong, while his friends (like Roissy's family members) go on reproducing by being nice.

Poor, dumb bastard.

Anonymous said...

To the "substance" Anonymous back yonder: try Google, with the site: param. Even before Jobs croaked Sailer liked in passim name-checks of Mexifornian g-loaded exotic Baez. (Jobs, in contrast, obviously hated Mexicans)
BTW the story seemed to be hers, for that other anon who asked, but that was only how the Independent (UK) put it.

The rest of you sound like some coterie of unionized Apple Geniuses. Jobs wasn't taking food out of your mouth. The book makes him out to be a jerk, probably because he was, under the prevailing notions of solidarity. Do you think it would've helped if he'd been more indulgent of the "Aspergy" (Sailer's term) underlings? I'm sure that would have been a knock-out American biz success story. A bunch of tech fetishists who've been patted on the head their whole lives and he's their mean old boss... Welcome to adulthood. Every competent boss is a tyrant--some just conceal it better. If you've got one who apparently isn't trying to depress your wages, keep the resume freshened.

Anonymous said...

Sheen has aged quite a bit from his hard living lifestyle. I don't know if I'd call him sexy compared to where he was in the 1980s/1990s. These days he comes across as the strange old guy who hangs out at night clubs and still thinks he's 25. The point of Two and a Half Men was that in spite of his money and womanizing, Charlie Harper was still a sad and nihilistic alcoholic. Really Sheen is a poster child for the excesses of Hollywood living and what it can do to a man's personality.

Some, such as George Clooney, handle their celebrity a little bit better, but they're exceptions. For the great majority, Hollywood is a roller coaster with a rapid rise and abrupt fall. Living with overnight fame, huge sums of money, no constraints on your behavior, and throngs of parasites trying to get a piece of you isn't healthy.

Anonymous said...

There are different types of alphas. Steve Jobs is an alpha among the SWPLs and hippies because of his his aesthetic sophistication, but would be a huge beta/omega anywhere else. His skinny frame and granola lifestyle would not be endearing to people in surfer dude Los Angeles, roughneck Texas, or guidoville Brooklyn.

Fortunately for Jobs, he grew up in an area where his talents and personality got nurtured and where there were lots of nerds looking for his brand of leadership. If he had grown up in another environment, he probably would've gotten beaten up a lot in school and then been mildly disdained as an adult. Perhaps ending up as a free lance graphics art designer. There's also no way his type of leadership would've endeared him to people in Wall Street or an industrial firm or really anywhere else but Silicon Valley. Could you imagine GM autoworkers or Goldman bankers following him?

Anonymous said...

Living with overnight fame, huge sums of money, no constraints on your behavior, and throngs of parasites trying to get a piece of you isn't healthy.

Have you seen the story about Lindsay Lohan going all lesbo-chic with her very own mother?

I. KID. YOU. NOT.

I don't know that Caligula himself had much on us in the way of degeneracy.

Anonymous said...

Jobs's genius was in marketing.

I am a Cult, not a Cause. said...

"Jobs's genius was in marketing."


More like tarketing, or target-marketing. He understood and identified the sort of people--the 'creative class' boomers and their kids--that would become his ideal customers. He knew that if those cool people liked something, then soon everyone else would want it too.
Though lots of Apple products are useful, I think many people buy them as status icons, like Rolex watches. Jobs understood 'cool'.
Microsoft is a giant, but it gained advantage by monopolism. There's nothing connected to Microsoft that people associate with cool. If Gates hadn't cleverly rigged the computer industry so that most computers ran on Windows, he would have gone nowhere.

Mondragon said...

So is Jobs' biological dad SY? For that matter, is Carlos Slim?

Anonymous said...

Nah, not a majority, judging from the men with whom they reproduce - betas, betas, betas.

Aren't beta males reproducing less these days?

It's hard to get data on this kind of thing.

Marriage rates have been declining, and beta males tend to only reproduce through marriage.

Anonymous said...

A few of you asked about Joan Baez's story about Jobs not buying her a dress. It is in the Jobs biography and I'm not going to re-read it for the exact details.

But, Jobs and Baez were together for some time - more than just a few cheap dates. The story was told from Baez' point of view, with long quotes from her. Joan said she couldn't really afford the dress, and they left after Jobs picked up a few shirts for himself.

I don't know if the Polo store is still around at the Stanford mall, but when I lived in the SF peninsula 5-10 years ago I bought a few shirts and sweaters there myself.

I never went into the women's section, but I doubt that any dress there would cost 5 figures. I mean, it was just an off-the-rack store in a mall.

Anonymous said...

My recollection (from a recent mainstream business story) is that Apple sells its latest iPhone to ATT for low $600's, at a 40-50% profit.

Anonymous said...

"Aren't beta males reproducing less these days?"

The Duggars would like to have a word with you.

Anonymous said...

"Jobs's genius was in marketing."

No, the Macintosh was a real advance. It took a lot of ideas that were academia or think tanks and brought them to the mass market. Without Jobs it would have been another 5-10 years before the ideas gained widespread use, and even then they probably would have been executed badly from the human factors standpoint. See X Windows. As Jobs' joke of the era went, "nothing filled a vacuum so quickly and still sucked."

Ancestral Spirit said...

"The Duggars would like to have a word with you."

I'm gonna ask them if they'll give me their two least favorite offspring. ;0)

Anonymous said...

"Apple sells its latest iPhone to ATT for low $600's, at a 40-50% profit."

That's Cost of Goods Sold, at best. They also pay a bunch of clever programmers, run a lot of stores, keep the lights on at One Infinite Loop, and so on.

Maya said...

"Aren't beta males reproducing less these days?"

If by "beta" you mean the men who value their own seed enough to be invested in their own children...

Seventy-seven percent of non-Hispanic white children are born within marriage. Fifty-seven percent of all Hispanic children are born within marriage, but I believe that number to be skewed. From my experience, a lot of Hispanics tend to form stable family units where the couple lives together with the kids, and the father goes to work every day and hands the cash to his wife without bothering to sign the papers. Also, I've met quite a few SWPL parents who follow the Swedish model. They "don't believe" in marriage, yet they've been in a monogamous relationship for years, live together and helicopter like crazy around little Seth or Harper. It goes without saying that the Asian birthrates within marriages are even higher than those of whites: eighty-five percent. So those hot, slender, oh so feminine Asian chicks seem to prefer the type of men who value their own genes enough to take pride in their own kids. I think there is only one community in America where it pays off to be a barely coherent violent thug who isn't sure whether his new young, emotionally disturbed girlfriend is also one of his daughters.

Anonymous said...

The Duggars would like to have a word with you.

Well then I can just point to someone like Shawn Kemp.

The question is, are beta males overall reproducing more or less than before?

Anonymous said...

"No, the Macintosh was a real advance. It took a lot of ideas that were academia or think tanks and brought them to the mass market. "

True. On the other hand, the original Mac was pretty bad at getting anything done, since the hardware of the day was just not capable of bitmapped screens, mouse controls, etc.

IFAIK, Jobs was forced out because the Mac project was sucking bad (plus he was a screaming, unreasonable egomaniac.)

Anonymous said...

No, the Macintosh was a real advance. It took a lot of ideas that were academia or think tanks and brought them to the mass market. Without Jobs it would have been another 5-10 years before the ideas gained widespread use, and even then they probably would have been executed badly from the human factors standpoint.

That's what marketing is. Packaging a good and bringing it to market.

And no, they weren't just "ideas" in "academia or think tanks". Actual physical copies and examples of the mouse and GUI had been developed and built at Xerox PARC. Jobs went to Xerox PARC to see what they had developed. Apple basically packaged and marketed the technical advance that Xerox PARC had pioneered.

Anonymous said...

If by "beta" you mean the men who value their own seed enough to be invested in their own children...

By "reproducing less", I mean just that, "reproducing less" than before.

You don't seem to have the answer to that question.

Anonymous said...

Steve Jobs “never had any designs. He has not designed a single project”

http://reprog.wordpress.com/2010/09/06/steve-jobs-never-had-any-designs-he-has-not-designed-a-single-project/

“What I proposed was a computer [the Macintosh] that would be easy to use, mix text and graphics, and sell for about $1,000. Steve Jobs said that it was a crazy idea, that it would never sell, and we didn’t want anything like it. He tried to shoot the project down.

So I kept out of Jobs’ way and went the then-chairman Mike Markkula and talked over every detail of my idea. Fortunately, both Markkula and then-president Mike Scott told Jobs to leave me alone.

We went off to a different building and built prototypes of the Macintosh and its software, and got it up and running [...] We were trying to keep the project away from Jobs’ meddling. For the first two years, Jobs wanted to kill the project because he didn’t understand what it was really about.

If Jobs would only take credit for what he really did for the industry, that would be more than enough. But he also insists on taking credit away from everyone else for what they did, which I think is very unfortunate.

I was very much amused by the recent Newsweek article where he said, “I have a few good designs in me still”. He never had any designs. He has not designed a single product. Woz (Steve Wozniak) designed the Apple II. Ken Rothmuller and others designed Lisa. My team and I designed the Macintosh. Wendell Sanders designed the Apple III. What did Jobs design? Nothing.

In short, Jobs’ only contribution to the Macintosh project was to try unsuccessfully to cancel it.”

Maya said...

Whiskey sobbed:
"Look at the comment by Maya on engineers -- "guys are not macho/dominant enough" is her reaction... The male equivalent would be a woman's moral failing for failure to be as beautiful as a surgically enhanced Hollywood starlet."

Whiskey... Are you hallucinating? Where did I EVER say that engineers are not macho/dominant enough? I find machismo to be a laughable trait indicative of an insecure, damaged ego. As for dominance, a man must dominate me intellectually and be comfortable with that which is why I love engineers. I also need the man to be physically stronger than me and prefer it when the man drives. Engineers are quite capable of both. My father is an engineer and a physics/math geek, and he could wipe the floor with just about anyone when it comes to being a real man. As a side note, I don't think my father has ever been in a fight after reaching puberty, and, judging by grandma's stories, he's never won a fight as a boy. Guess what? He still married the prettiest girl in his class, the one with natural blond ringlets, huge eyes with long lashes and a 23 inch waist. He went on to have more kids than any of his friends, neighbors or classmates. A real man doesn't need to lower himself to the level of some degenerate thug. He can ensure the safety of his family without baring knuckles. He also has the confidence to go after what he wants and can manage to bounce back after experiencing hardship and rejection in every area of his life.


I didn't "forgive" Jobs anything. I don't know him. Informed by my own experiences, I think my interpretation of the funny story with Baez is closer to the truth than Jobs being some sort of a prehistoric Roissy fanboy. Oh, and it's very telling that you think that Jobs's faux pas was not buying the dress rather than creating the awkward situation in the first place.

Okay, I felt compelled to respond to the parts that involved my name directly. I will not respond to the rest because, well, I am not a trained therapist. Here's a starting point, though: You feel attracted to damaged low quality women because you are a rather damaged man who refuses to improve his own quality. This can't end well for you because, while healthy, high quality people engage in relationships easily and have a good chance of making each other happy, damaged people have trouble forming relationships and tend to make each other miserable when they do manage to pair up. Only low quality women fall for thugs who belittle them. Only low quality men consider an obsession with Twilight (and other indicators of a young teenager's mentality) to be a mark of true womanhood and strive to cater to it.

Dude, I honestly hope things will just click for you one day, and you'll break free of whatever it is that's got a hold on you. No sarcasm. Really.

Maya said...

"By "reproducing less", I mean just that, "reproducing less" than before."

I don't know if they reproduce less than before, but the statistics I shared proved that they reproduce a lot more than the men who are not invested in raising their families.

"You don't seem to have the answer to that question."

I don't see a question.

Anonymous said...

Jef Raskin wildly overstates his role in the Macintosh. He started a program named "Macintosh" and it was supposed to be easy to use and inexpensive computer, but after Jobs took over the project about all that remained was the name. Andy Hertzeld, one of the key programmers on the project, discusses Raskin and Job's roles in the Macintosh project here:

http://tinyurl.com/cqx46xg

Hertzfeld gives primary credit to...Jobs.

Hertzfeld's site has a lot of amusing details about the personalities involved in the project.

It's undeniable that lightning kept striking everywhere Jobs was working. The number of breakthrough products he was involved with is nothing short of astonishing. When he demo'd the iPhone at a keynote the RIM/Blackberry engineers watching were convinced it was a rigged demo with a phony device. They didn't think what they were seeing could be done with a mobile device of that size and power consumption.

Anonymous said...

Maya is not Anonymous.

You can tell by the different names.

Another Anonymous said...

Anonymous said... "In short, Jobs’ only contribution to the Macintosh project was to try unsuccessfully to cancel it."

In other words he successfully marketed/branded himself as well as Apple products.

candid observer said...

In many ways, Apple strikes me as a microcosm of the American economy.

Here we have Steve Jobs, who takes credit for all the inventions of Apple employees -- many, if not most, of whom are paid an utter pittance compared to Jobs.

But to the outside world, it is Steve Jobs who is adding essentially all the value, and who, therefore, deserves the lion's share of the market cap available to those who work at Apple.

But even granting that Jobs' taste and selection of products added something of genuine value, who, understanding the actual dynamics of what went on at Apple, would say that Jobs deserves so stupendously larger a share of Apple's value than do those employees, even when taken in aggregate?

That is, even if one grants that both Jobs' contributions and those of the employees are necessary conditions of the Apple product and market cap, why should it be the CEO who can make off with so much of economic value?

candid observer said...

And with regard to Hertzfeld's apologia for Jobs, it's rather striking that he didn't actually contradict Jef Raskin as to the opposition Jobs put up in the crucial early years of the Mac's development.

Yes, Raskin himself was wrong to oppose the use of the mouse. But he seems to have been the true visionary -- at least at Apple -- seeking an easy to use computer, as well as the designer of many of its important features.

Anonymous said...

I don't know if they reproduce less than before, but the statistics I shared proved that they reproduce a lot more than the men who are not invested in raising their families.

The issue was if they reproduce less than before, and as you admit here, you don't have the answer to that question.

The statistics you put forth don't "prove" anything you think they do. If you're defining "invested in raising their families" as children being born within marriage, then men "invested in raising their families" is declining.

"Out-of-Wedlock Birthrates Are Soaring, U.S. Reports"

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/05/13/health/13mothers.html

"Unmarried mothers gave birth to 4 out of every 10 babies born in the United States in 2007, a share that is increasing rapidly both here and abroad, according to government figures released Wednesday."

If you consider not divorcing to be an indication of being more "invested in raising their families", then the proportion so "invested" declines even more since so many marriages end up in divorce these days.

Anonymous said...

You can criticize and be suspicious of Hertzfeld's testimony just as you can be of Raskin's.

Anonymous said...

Yes, Raskin himself was wrong to oppose the use of the mouse.

Some say he opposed the mouse altogether. Others say that he wanted and promoted the single click mouse (that Apple still uses today) against the 3 button mouse that Xerox PARC had developed.

Maya said...

Doug1 said:
"As well though yeah I think he did have an alpha asshole kind of personality that would lead him to feel no obligation to spread his money around -- she should like him for him and demo that to him."

Does feeling no obligation to buy gifts and expecting the woman to like him for the pleasure of his company make a man an asshole? If a man deliberately ignores his woman's birthday or even, possibly, Valentine's Day just to put her in her place, he is a douche, but a rich man has every right to expect his girlfriend to enjoy him without extra financial benefits, if he didn't buy her affection in the first place. The story is awkward because Jobs specifically brought Baez to the store to show her an expensive dress, not because he didn't buy her a luxury gift she might have wanted. The punch line is funny because it doesn't match the set up. It's like asking a girl if she is free next Friday night, and when she answers "Yes" asking her why doesn't she find herself a date.

candid observer said...

"Some say he opposed the mouse altogether. Others say that he wanted and promoted the single click mouse (that Apple still uses today) against the 3 button mouse that Xerox PARC had developed."

Yeah, I'd like to get some idea what he allegedly might have proposed instead of a mouse if he was thinking to do away with it altogether. It's really hard to think of how one might navigate a GUI without something akin to a mouse (arrow keys? tabbing?).

Anonymous said...

"the R&D capital of the military-industrial complex"

Almost but not quite, I think it should read

the R&D capital of the military-industrial complex during the post viet nam demobilization.

If the war was still going on it is likely Jobs and Woz would have been in it or working in the military industrial complex.

candid observer said...

OK, this is probably proof of more than anything else that I don't seem to have much of a life, but I found this interesting quote from an interview with Jef Raskin:

"No. I designed [the Mac] to be graphical from the ground up. But the text portions of the interface, which I also cared about, would have been cleaner. People have put together my dislike of the mouse (confusing dislike for a particular input device with dislike for graphic input devices in general; I personally prefer trackballs and tablets) and my careful attention to text handling to a false legend of my wanting a text-based machine. Andy [Hertzfeld, a major developer on the early Mac team], unfortunately, has not generally gone back to the original documents, and he's interviewed lots of people about the history of the Mac, but not me. His website is, as a result, full of errors."

http://lowendmac.com/b4mac/raskin.html

Anonymous said...

Raskin ideas about UI were further developed in the Canon Cat, circa 1987. It sold 20K copies and flopped.

Also from the Folklore site, a story by Burrell Smith, who did the Mac hardware:

"Whatever idea that you came up with, Jef Raskin had a tendency to claim that he invented it at some earlier point. That trait was the basis of Burrell's impersonation of Jef.

Jef had a slight stammer, which Burrell nailed perfectly. Burrell began by folding his fingers together like Jef and then exclaiming in a soft, Jef-like voice, "Why, why, why, I invented the Macintosh!"

Then Burrell would shift to his radio announcer voice, playing the part of an imaginary interviewer. "No, I thought that Burrell invented the Macintosh", the interviewer would object.

He'd shift back to his Jef voice for the punch line.

"Why, why, why, I invented Burrell!" "

You'll note that quite a few of the people in the Mac dev team said the same about Raskin, including Bruce Horn, a PARCie and mac team member.

edgy gurl said...

I've still got the impression that Jobs is the Mac version of Bill Gates, brilliant as a business mogul but somebody else does the grunt work.

I've used Macs since I fried my last Windows laptop ~ 2004 or so. They are great for stability which caused me to lose what little PC savvy I had gained from frequent reinstallation of Windows as well as upgrades but I still yearn for the better and cheaper Windows software. I'm also amazed at my helplessness when faced with even the minor task of changing settings on the Mac.

Other drawbacks are that they deliberately designed the case so its nearly impossible to open it without special tools. Beyond the first layer of access that includes memory and the battery, its a bit of a puzzle. Upgrading hardware, at least, is not user friendly.

Though Jobs certainly deserves attention for his successful high tech management, I have to side with those who believe such characters are getting way too much of a mark-up for innovation related to marketing and quality control. Gates and Jobs were masters at hogging market share. I know one of you business brains could trot out reasons why thats better for me the consumer but I could've spent that extra money I paid in any number of delightful ways.

Come on, this guy and Bill Gates are one step away from being grifters.