When Jobs was looking for someone to write a manual for the Apple II in 1976, he called Raskin, who had his own little consulting firm. Raskin went to the
garage, saw Wozniak beavering away at a workbench, and was convinced by Jobs to write the manual for $50. Eventually he became the manager of Apple’s
publications department. One of Raskin’s dreams was to build an inexpensive computer for the masses, and in 1979 he convinced Mike Markkula to put him in charge
to pick him up. They immediately drove up from Los Altos. “
My head had been shaved, I was wearing Indian cotton robes,
and my skin had turned a deep, chocolate brown-red from the sun,”
he recalled. “So I’m sitting there and my parents walked past me about
five times and finally my mother came up and said ‘Steve?’ and I said ‘Hi!’”
They took him back home, where he continued trying to find himself.
It was a pursuit with many paths toward enlightenment. In the mornings
and evenings he would meditate and study Zen, and in between he would
drop in to audit physics or engineering courses at Stanford.
Jobs’s interest in Eastern spirituality, Hinduism, Zen Buddhism,
and the search for enlightenment was not merely the passing phase
of a nineteen-year-old. Throughout his life he would seek to follow
many of the basic precepts of Eastern religions, such as the emphasis
on experiential praj?ā, wisdom or cognitive understanding that is intuitively
experienced through concentration of the mind. Years later, sitting in his
Palo Alto garden, he reflected on the lasting influence of his trip to India:
Coming back to America was, for me, much more of a cultural shock than
going to India. The people in the Indian countryside don’t use their intellect
like we do, they use their intuition instead, and their intuition is far more
developed than in the rest of the world. Intuition is a very powerful thing,
than intellect, in my
opinion. That’s had
a big impact on my work.
house, but this year it is expected to have sales of $600 million. . . . As an executive, Jobs has sometimes been petulant and harsh on subordinates. Admits he: ‘I’ve got to learn to keep my feelings private.’”
Despite his new fame and fortune, he still fancied himself a child of the counterculture. On a visit to a Stanford class, he took off his Wilkes Bashford blazer and his shoes, perched on top of a table, and crossed his legs into a lotus position. The students asked questions,
sit on zafu cushions, and he would sit on a dais,” she said. “We learned how
to tune out distractions. It was a magical thing. One evening we were
meditating with Kobun when it was raining, and he taught us how to use
ambient sounds to bring us back to focus on our meditation.”
As for Jobs, his devotion was intense. “He became really serious and
self-important and just generally unbearable,” according to Kottke.
He began meeting with Kobun almost daily, and every few months they
went on retreats together to meditate. “I ended up spending as much time as
I could with him,” Jobs recalled. “He had a wife who was a nurse at Stanford
and two kids. She worked the night shift, so I would go over and hang out
with him in the evenings. She would get home about midnight and shoo me away.”
They sometimes discussed whether Jobs should devote himself fully to spiritual
pursuits, but Kobun counseled otherwise. He assured Jobs that he could keep
in touch with his spiritual side while working in a business. The relationship turned
out to be lasting and deep; seventeen years later Kobun would perform
Jobs’s wedding ceremony.
Jobs’s compulsive search for self-awareness also led him to undergo
primal scream therapy, which had recently been developed and popularized
by a Los Angeles psychotherapist named Arthur Janov. It was based on the
Freudian theory that psychological problems are caused by the repressed
pains of childhood; Janov argued that they could be resolved by re-suffering
these primal moments while fully expressing the pain—sometimes in screams.
To Jobs, this seemed preferable to talk therapy because it involved intuitive
feeling and emotional action rather than just rational analyzing.
“This was not something to think about,” he later said. “This was something to do: to
close your eyes, hold
your breath, jump in,
and come out the
other end more insightful.”
Jobs said. “They had a life they were happy with.”
Their only splurge was to take a Princess cruise each year.
The one through the Panama Canal “was the big one for my dad,”
according to Jobs, because it reminded him of when his
Coast Guard ship went through on its way to
San Francisco to be decommissioned.
Jobs confided to close friends that he was driven by the pain he was feeling
about being put up for adoption and not knowing about his birth parents.
“Steve had a very profound desire to know his physical parents so he could
better know himself,” Friedland later said. He had learned from Paul and
Clara Jobs that his birth parents had both been graduate students at a university
and that his father might be Syrian. He had even thought about hiring
a private investigator, but he decided not to do so for the time being.
“I didn’t want to hurt my parents,” he recalled, referring to Paul and Clara.
“He was struggling with the fact that he had been adopted,” according to
Elizabeth Holmes. “He felt that it was an issue that he needed to get hold
of emotionally.” Jobs admitted as much to her. “This is something that is
bothering me, and I need to focus on it,” he said. He was even more open with
Greg Calhoun. “He was doing a lot of soul-searching about being adopted, and
he talked about it with me a lot,” Calhoun recalled. “The primal scream and the
mucusless diets, he was trying to cleanse himself and get deeper into his
frustration about his birth. He told me he was deeply angry about the
fact that he had been given up.”
John Lennon had undergone the same primal scream therapy in 1970,
and in December of that year he released the song “Mother” with the
Plastic Ono Band. It dealt with Lennon’s own feelings about a father who
had abandoned him and a mother who had been killed when he was a teenager.
The refrain includes
the haunting chant “
Mama don’t go, Daddy come
home.” Jobs used to
play the song often.
He was not particularly philanthropic. He briefly
set up a foundation, but he discovered that it was
annoying to have to deal with the person he had hired
to run it, who kept talking about “venture” philanthropy
and how to “leverage” giving. Jobs became contemptuous
of people who made a display of philanthropy or thinking
they could reinvent it. Earlier he had quietly sent in a
$5,000 check to help launch Larry Brilliant’s Seva
Foundation to fight diseases of poverty,
for a while. His confidence improved and his feelings of inadequacy were reduced.”
Jobs came to believe that he could impart that feeling of confidence
to others and thus push them to do things they hadn’t thought possible.
Holmes had broken up with Kottke and joined a religious cult in San
Francisco that expected her to sever ties with all past friends. But Jobs
rejected that injunction. He arrived at the cult house in his Ford Ranchero
one day and announced that he was driving up to Friedland’s apple farm
and she was to come. Even more brazenly, he said she would have to drive
part of the way, even though she didn’t know how to use the stick shift.
“Once we got on the open road, he made me get behind the wheel, and he
shifted the car until we got up to 55 miles per hour,” she recalled.
“Then he puts on a tape of Dylan’s Blood on the Tracks, lays his head
in my lap, and goes to sleep. He had the attitude that he could do anything,
and therefore so can you. He put his life in my hands. So that made me
do something I didn’t think I could do.”
It was the brighter side of what would become known as his reality
distortion field. “If you trust him, you can do things,” Holmes said.
“If he’s decided that something should happen,
then he’s just going to make it happen.”
One day in early 1975 Al Alcorn was sitting in his office at Atari when Ron Wayne burst in.
“Hey, Stevie is back!”
“Wow, bring him on in,”
Jobs was not na?ve. He had made sure his deal with
Chrisann Brennan was signed before the IPO occurred.
Jobs was the public face of the IPO, and he helped choose
the two investment banks handling it: the traditional Wall
Street firm Morgan Stanley and the untraditional boutique
firm Hambrecht & Quist in San Francisco. “Steve was very
irreverent toward the guys from Morgan Stanley, which was
a pretty uptight firm in those days,” recalled Bill Hambrecht.
Morgan Stanley planned to price the offering at $18, even
though it was obvious the shares would quickly shoot up.
“Tell me what happens to this stock that we priced at eighteen?”
Jobs asked the bankers. “Don’t you sell it to your good customers?
If so, how can you charge me a 7% commission?” Hambrecht recognized
that there was a basic unfairness in the system, and he later went on to
formulate the idea of a reverse auction to price shares before an IPO.
Fernandez, Wigginton, and Espinosa. Everyone loved Wozniak,
all the more so after his generosity, but many also agreed with
Jobs that he was “awfully na?ve and childlike.” A few months later
a United Way poster showing a destitute man went up on a company
bulletin board. Someone scrawled on it “Woz in 1990.”
Wozniak, who was living in an apartment nearby and working at
HP, would come by after dinner to hang out and play the video games.
He had become addicted to Pong at a Sunnyvale bowling alley,
and he was able to build a version that he hooked up to his home TV set.
One day in the late summer of 1975, Nolan Bushnell, defying the
prevailing wisdom that paddle games were over, decided to develop
a single-player version of Pong; instead of competing against an
opponent, the player would volley the ball into a wall that lost a brick
whenever it was hit. He called Jobs into his office, sketched it out
on his little blackboard, and asked him to design it. There would be
a bonus, Bushnell told him, for every chip fewer than fifty that he used.
Bushnell knew that Jobs was not a great engineer, but he assumed, correctly,
that he would recruit Wozniak, who was always hanging around.
“I looked at it as a two-for-one thing,” Bushnell recalled. “Woz was a better engineer.”
Wozniak was thrilled when Jobs asked him to help and proposed splitting the fee.
“This was the most wonderful offer in my life, to actually design a game
that people would use,” he recalled. Jobs said it had to be done in four days
and with the fewest chips possible. What he hid from Wozniak was that the
deadline was one that Jobs had imposed, because he needed to get to the
All One Farm to help prepare for the apple harvest. He also didn’t
mention that there
was a bonus tied to
the number of chips.
hatever the truth, Wozniak later insisted that it
was not worth rehashing. Jobs is a complex person,
he said, and being manipulative is just the darke
facet of the traits that make him successful. Wozniak
would never have been that way, but as he points out,
he also could never have built Apple.
“I would rather let it pass,” he said when I pressed the point.
“It’s not something I want to judge Steve by.”
He confirmed his memory with Nolan
Bushnell and Al Alcorn. “I remember
talking about the bonus money to Woz,
and he was upset,” Bushnell said. “I said yes,
there was a bonus for each chip they saved,
and he just shook his head and
then clucked his tongue.”
In addition to their interest in computers,
they shared a passion for music.
“It was an incredible time for music,”
Jobs recalled. “It was like living at a time when
Beethoven and Mozart were alive. Really. People
will look back on it that way. And Woz and I were
deeply into it.” In particular, Wozniak turned Jobs
on to the glories of Bob Dylan.
“We tracked down this guy in Santa Cruz who put
out this newsletter on Dylan,” Jobs said. “Dylan
taped all of his concerts, and some of the people
around him were not scrupulous, because soon
there were tapes all around. Bootlegs of everything.
And this guy had them all.”
Hunting down Dylan tapes soon became a joint
venture. “The two of us would go tramping through
San Jose and Berkeley and ask about Dylan bootlegs
and collect them,” said Wozniak. “We’d buy brochures
of Dylan lyrics and stay up late interpreting them.
Dylan’s words struck chords of creative thinking.”
Added Jobs, “I had more than a hundred hours,
including every concert on the ’65 and ’66 tour,”
the one where Dylan went electric. Both of them
bought high-end TEAC reel-to-reel tape decks.
“I would use mine at a low speed to record many
concerts on one tape,” said Wozniak.
Jobs matched his obsession:
“Instead of big speakers I bought a pair
of awesome headphones and would just
lie in my bed and listen to that stuff for hours.”
Jobs had formed a club at Homestead High to
put on music-and-light shows and also play
pranks. (They once glued a gold-painted toilet
seat onto a flower planter.) It was called the
Buck Fry Club, a play on the name of the principal.
Even though they had already graduated, Wozniak
and his friend Allen Baum joined forces with Jobs,
at the end of his junior year, to produce a farewell
gesture for the departing seniors. Showing off the
Homestead campus four decades later, Jobs paused
at the scene of the escapade and pointed. “See that
balcony? That’s where we did the banner prank that
sealed our friendship.” On a big bedsheet Baum had
tie-dyed with the school’s green and white colors,
they painted a huge hand flipping the middle-finger
salute. Baum’s nice Jewish mother helped them draw
it and showed them how to do the shading and
shadows to make it look more real.
“I know what that is,” she snickered. They devised a
system of ropes and pulleys so that it could be
dramatically lowered as the graduating class
marched past the balcony, and they signed it
“SWAB JOB,” the initials of Wozniak and Baum
combined with part of Jobs’
s name. The prank
became part of school
lore—and got Jobs
suspended one more time.
of the Western world as well as its capacity for rational thought.If you just sit and observe, you will see how restless your mind is.
If you try to calm it, it only makes it worse, but over time it does calm,and when it does, there’s room to hear more subtle things—that’s when
your intuition starts to blossom and you start to see things more clearlyand be in the present more. Your mind just slows down, and you see
Bruce Horn was one of the programmers at Xerox PARC. When some of his friends, such as Larry Tesler, decided to join the
Macintosh group, Horn considered going there as well. But he got a good offer, and a $15,000 signing bonus, to join another
company. Jobs called him on a Friday night. “You have to come into Apple tomorrow morning,” he said.
a tremendous expanse in the moment. You see so much more than
you could see before. It’s a discipline; you have to practice it.
Zen has been a deep influence in my life ever since. At one point
I was thinking about going to Japan and trying to get into the
Eihei-ji monastery, but my spiritual advisor urged me to stay here.
He said there is nothing over there that isn’t here, and he was correct.
I learned the truth of the Zen saying that if you are willing to travel around
the world to meet a teacher, one will appear next door.
Jobs did in fact find a teacher right in his own neighborhood. Shunryu Suzuki,
who wrote Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind and ran the San Francisco Zen Center,
used to come to Los Altos every Wednesday evening to lecture and meditate
with a small group of followers. After a while he asked his assistant,
Kobun Chino Otogawa, to open a full-time center there. Jobs became
a faithful follower, along with his occasional girlfriend, Chrisann Brennan,
and Daniel Kottke and Elizabeth Holmes. He also began to go by himself on
retreats to the
Tassajara Zen Center,
a monastery near
Kobun also taught.
Getting shocked was a badge of honor for Woz.
He prided himself on being a hardware engineer, which meant that random shocks were routine. He once devised a roulette game where four people put their thumbs in a slot; when the ball landed, one would get shocked. “Hardware guys will play this game, but software guys are too chicken,” he noted.
During his senior year he got a part-time job at Sylvania and had the
chance to work on a computer for the first time. He learned FORTRAN from a book and read the manuals for most of the systems of the day, starting with the Digital Equipment PDP-8. Then he studied the specs for the latest microchips and tried
Xu Huang sat a long time pondering over the offer.
then he said, with a sigh, “I know my masters are doomed to failure, but I have followed their fortunes a long time and do not like to leave them.”
“But you know the prudent bird selects its tree, and the wise servant chooses his master. When one meets a worthy master and lets him go, one is very reckless.”
“I am willing to do what you say,” said Xu Huang, rising.
“Why not put these two to death as an introductory gift？” said Man Chong.
“It is very wrong for a servant to slay his master. I will not do that.”
“True； you are really a good man.”
then Xu Huang, taking only a few horsemen of his own men with him, left that night and deserted to Cao Cao. Soon someone took the news to Yang Feng, who at the head of a thousand strong horsemen, set out to capture the deserter.
As they drew close, Yang Feng called out, “Betrayer！ Stop there！”
That night Man Chong, duly disguised, got over to the other side and made his way to the tent of Xu Huang, who sat there by the light of a candle. Xu Huang was still wearing his coat of mail.
Suddenly Man Chong ran out in front and saluted, saying, “You have been well since we parted, old friend？”
Xu Huang jumped up in surprise, gazed into the face of the speaker a long time, and presently said, “What！ You are Man Chong of Shanyang？ What are you doing here？”
“I am an officer in General Cao Cao’s army. Seeing my old friend out in front of the army today, I wanted to say a word to him. So I took the risk of stealing in this evening and here I am.”
Xu Huang invited Man Chong in, and they sat down.
then said Man Chong, “There are very few as bold as you on the earth. Why then do you serve such as your present chiefs, Yang Feng and Han Xian？ My master is the most prominent man in the world——a man who delights in wise people and appreciates soldiers as everyone knows. Your valor today won his entire admiration, and so he took care that the attack was not vigorous enough to sacrifice you. Now he has sent me to invite you to join him. Will you not leave darkness for light and help him in his magnificent task？”
On Thanksgiving weekend of his senior year, Wozniak visited the University of Colorado. It was closed for the holiday, but he found an engineering student who took him on a tour of the labs.
He begged his father to let him go there, even though the out-of-state tuition was more than the family could easily afford. They struck a deal:
He would be allowed to go for one year, but then he would transfer to De Anza Community College back home. After arriving at Colorado in the fall of 1969, he spent so much time playing pranks (such as producing reams of printouts saying “Fuck Nixon”) that he failed a couple of his courses and was put on probation.
By fourth grade Wozniak became, as he put it, one of the “electronics kids.” He had
an easier time making eye contact with a transistor than with a girl, and he developed the
chunky and stooped look of a guy who spends most of his time hunched over circuit boards.
At the same age when Jobs was puzzling over a carbon microphone that his dad couldn’t explain,
Wozniak was using transistors to build an intercom system featuring amplifiers, relays, lights,
and buzzers that connected the kids’ bedrooms of six houses in the neighborhood. And at an age when
Jobs was building Heathkits, Wozniak was assembling a transmitter and receiver from Hallicrafters,
the most sophisticated radios available.
Woz spent a lot of time at home reading his father’s electronics journals, and he became enthralled
by stories about new computers, such as the powerful ENIAC. Because Boolean algebra came naturally
to him, he marveled at how simple, rather than complex, the computers were. In eighth grade he built
a calculator that included one hundred transistors, two hundred diodes, and two hundred resistors on ten
circuit boards. It won top prize in a local contest run by the Air Force, even though the competitors
included students through twelfth grade.
Woz became more of a loner when the boys his age began going out with girls and partying,
endeavors that he found far more complex than designing circuits. “Where before I was popular
and riding bikes and everything, suddenly I was socially shut out,” he recalled. “It seemed
like nobody spoke to me for the longest time.” He found an outlet by playing juvenile pranks.
In twelfth grade he built an electronic metronome—one of those tick-tick-tick devices that keep
time in music class—and realized it sounded like a bomb. So he took the labels off some big batteries,
taped them together, and put it in a school locker; he rigged it to start ticking faster when the locker
opened. Later that day he got called to the principal’s office. He thought it was because he had won, yet again,
the school’s top math prize. Instead he was confronted by the police. The principal had been summoned when the device was
found, bravely ran onto the football field clutching it to his chest, and pulled the wires off. Woz tried and
failed to suppress his laughter. He actually got sent to the juvenile detention center, where he spent the
night. It was a memorable experience. He taught the other prisoners how to disconnect the wires leading to
the ceiling fans and
connect them to the bars
so people got shocked
when touching them.
While a student in McCollum’s class, Jobs became friends with a graduate who was the teacher’s
all-time favorite and a school legend for his wizardry in the class. Stephen Wozniak, whose younger
brother had been on a swim team with Jobs, was almost five years older than Jobs and far more
knowledgeable about electronics. But emotionally and socially he was still a high school geek.
Like Jobs, Wozniak learned a lot at his father’s knee. But their lessons were different.
Paul Jobs was a high school dropout who, when fixing up cars, knew how to turn a tidy
profit by striking the right deal on parts. Francis Wozniak, known as Jerry,
was a brilliant
engineering graduate from Cal Tech, where he had quarterbacked the football team, who became
a rocket scientist at Lockheed. He exalted engineering and looked down on those in business,
marketing, and sales. “I remember him telling me that engineering was the highest level of
importance you could reach in the world,” Steve Wozniak later recalled. “It takes society to a new level.”
One of Steve Wozniak’s first memories was going to his father’s workplace on a weekend
and being shown electronic parts, with his dad “putting them on a table with me so I got to play with them.” He watched with fascination as his father tried to get a waveform line on a video screen to stay flat so he could show that one of his circuit designs was working properly. “I could see that whatever my dad was doing, it was important and good.” Woz, as he was known even then, would ask about the resistors and transistors lying around the house, and his father would pull out a blackboard to illustrate what they did. “He would explain what a resistor was by going all the way back to atoms and electrons. He explained how resistors worked when I was in second grade, not by equations but by having me picture it.”
Woz’s father taught him something else that became ingrained in his childlike, socially awkward personality: Never lie. “My dad believed in honesty. Extreme honesty. That’s the biggest thing he taught me. I never lie, even to this day.” (The only partial exception was in the service of a good practical joke.) In addition, he imbued his son with an aversion to extreme ambition, which set Woz apart from Jobs. At an Apple product launch event in 2010, forty years after they met, Woz reflected on their differences. “My father told me, ‘You always want to be in the middle,’” he said. “I didn’t want to be up with the high-level people like Steve. My dad was an engineer,
and that’s what
I wanted to be. I was way
too shy ever to be a
business leader like Steve.”