Steve Jobs Losing His Zen

Steve Jobs might have been a vegetarian Buddhist. But that doesn’t mean that he wasn’t capable of losing his zen. According to an upcoming biography of Jobs by Walter Isaacson—ironically already stolen by The New York Times—he reacted to the January 2010 unveiling of the HTC smartphone lineup with white fury. Calling it "a great theft," Jobs supposedly proclaimed, "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... I'm going to destroy Android, because it's a stolen product. I'm willing to go thermonuclear war on this."

And he wasn’t kidding: Apple filed a lawsuit against HTC, alleging that it violates as many as 20 patents. He also filed a parallel complaint with the International Trade Commission to block imports of devices that violated the patents. What’s more, meeting with then-Google CEO Eric Schmidt, a man who for years sat on Apple's board before Android made that no longer possible, Jobs told Schmidt that money wasn't going to make it right. "I don't want your money. If you offer me $5 billion, I won't want it," Jobs reportedly said. "I've got plenty of money. I want you to stop using our ideas in Android, that's all I want."

Jobs' tactics may or may not have been justified under Western IP law, but they were definitely uncool under Eastern Buddhist law, which considers anger and vengeance as bad karma that, in his case, might well guarantee his rebirth as a pin-striped, brief-case carrying, beef-eating company man.

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  • Cliché Bandit||

    Jobs was a man, not a god. For those of us who have been faithful fanboys since 1982 (Apple 2+, not the "popular" 2e) this is not surprising at all. "The Journey is the Reward" was the first book I read about Jobs and it was pretty scathing. The only peopl who think he was some perfect hippy are those that know nothing about him.

  • mike||

    Apple of the II+ days and Jobs of that era are not the same company nor man except in name.

  • Cliché Bandit||

    Your right, the man may have grown up but he got even more megolomaniacle.

  • ||

    You have invented a new word: megalomonocle. Definition: delusional fantasies of the awesome power of the monocle.

  • jester||

    No manacle-the S&M device

  • BakedPenguin||

    ...megalomonocle.

    Kochtopus!!

  • Cliché Bandit||

    and back off my II+. That shit ruled.

  • Paul||

    Commodore 64 was superior in every way and 1/4 the price. And that's coming from someone who cut his it teeth on the apple ii+

  • Cliché Bandit||

    Only Commodore worth talking about was the Amiga 4000. Bad ass 5 processor. Revolutionary.

  • ||

    The Apple ][ was infinately superior to the Commodore 64 if for no other reason than I was writing code on it for two years before the latter even existed.

    Also 6502>>Z80

  • Sandy Smith||

    Warren...why do you persist in being wrong? The C-64 was awesome and actually did more of what Jobs set out to do. And sadly, it was aesthetically better than the Apple ][, which might have been first, but didn't stay better.

    Jobs learned that lesson, which is why he produced new versions of things faster than Redmond, Creative, and now Samsung could copy.

  • Scruffy Nerfherder||

    The Commodore 64 was for us lowly teenagers that had to buy our own computers with summer wages. How I scrimped and saved for the 5-1/4" disk drive, anything to get rid of those damn tapes.

    And all that money I wasted on the TI99-4A. Bastards.

  • ||

    I want you to stop using our ideas..."

    Right. Because Steve Jobs never heard of Xerox PARC or any of those ideas.

  • Cliché Bandit||

    My understanding was the he orchestrated that tour as part of a deal. He was told he could look but not take. He not ony had the vision to know somthing when he saw it he had the vision to know that something was in there in the first place. He was crazy ruthless.

  • ||

    Jobs was likely full of shit on this. Patent trolling is just a popular game these days, and some of the biggest trolls are big companies.

    And, as mentioned above, Xerox PARC. I think Apple did eventually get after-the-fact permission, but that was probably an attempt to buy credibility in an action against MS over the GUI interface. Don't really remember how that all fell out anymore. Lots of misinformation out there on the topic, too.

  • Cliché Bandit||

    I think it is important to note that Xerox granted that tour because their approach was "invent and get rid of" not "invent and support". Jus tlike Bell Labs used to put out 3 patents a day, they only cared about the ones directly related to their core business (Bell Labs has patents on some weird shit too, like dental care and stuff). I will not take away from Steve the fact that he saw an idea, made it manifest, and improved upon it, and then convinced the whole world they needed it. Did he invent the PC no, but he did make it real.

  • Mo||

    If they didn't care about it, suing Apple sure is a funny way of showing indifference.

  • Invisible Finger||

    The other thing is that if he was really serious about protecting the stuff, he wouldn't have manufactured the iPhone in a country that doesn't give much of a shit about IP.

  • Scruffy Nerfherder||

    This. As an engineer I worked in China and those fuckers would steal anything given half the chance. It was bloodsport.

  • ||

    Whatever happened to honor among thieves?

  • mike||

    Apple repeatedly claims as theirs things which have existed long before or are completely obvious. Next to the cult of Apple that is the single most annoying thing about the company.

  • Jeff Bezos||

    I don't have any clue as to what you're talking about.

  • Maxxx||

    Really funny considering Jobs stole the ideas that made Apple from Xerox.

  • Joe M||

  • .||

    There is no bad karma or good karma - only karma. The true desciple understands this. :-)

  • BoscoH||

    And between January, 2010 and when he died, Android went from less than 5% of smart phone sales in a small but growing market to more than double Apple's sales in a pretty saturated market. Last dying breath indeed.

    The thing that lured me to Android from the iPhone, of all things, was the kerfuffle over the original South Park app and the Apple's blocking of Google Voice in the summer of 2009. Once I was on Android with a Google Nexus One by HTC, I knew that Apple would lose quickly in the smartphone space. Android works better because Google doesn't waste any of its cycles figuring out how to lock users in. Jobs could have saved the iPhone as dominant phone platform by copying the things that Google did right. Instead, he got level 5 pissed off.

    And BTW, ideas are not protected IP. We have a system of property right that definitely overprotects their expression, but that does not protect ideas themselves. It's a very big insight into Jobs that he felt so butt-hurt over the "theft" of something that didn't even properly belong to him.

  • Amakudari||

    Yeah, but those are just sales. Look at profits.

    I mean, Nokia was the leader for a long time in mobile sales (just as GM was the leader in auto sales) and we all know how worthless that turned out to be.

  • Mo||

    That ignores the profits that MS and Google make from the Android software. MS gets licensing fees from the handset makes, which is pure profit for them and pure cost for the handset makers, and Google makes ad revenue*. Apple is more vertically integrated, so the profit structure looks different.

    * It's estimated the MS makes about $500M from Android and Google makes over $1B (based on $6 or ad revenue per handset)

  • Amakudari||

    Which is still peanuts compared to what Apple's bringing in. I haven't done the math, but last year they had $25 billion in revenues from the iPhone (this is ex-iPad and iPod), last quarter revenues were up 40%, and Apple has a gross margin of 40%. I mean, an iPhone 4S costs $200 to manufacture and carriers are paying $600 for it. They may want more market share, but Apple's in a pretty enviable position here.

    Don't get me wrong; I have nothing against Android. But these are radically different strategies, and Apple's -- only focus on premium customers and keep as much of the product in-house as possible -- is far more profitable than sales alone would suggest. Google hands out Android as a loss-leader because smartphone users create more ad revenue and they can push them toward Google services.

  • Mo||

    That additional $1.5B mostly goes straight to the bottom-line. That's equal to 25% of Apple's profits. There are no expenses, aside from lawyers*, for Microsoft's royalties. The GP on Google's mobile advertising is immense as well.

    * Which is tiny in the grand scheme of half a billion

  • Amakudari||

    Apple makes around $7 billion profit per quarter. And Android does entail costs for R&D, marketing, licensing, etc. just as iOS does (probably more, as Google spends several times what Apple does on R&D as a % of revenues). Also, consider cannibalization: iOS users generate Google ad and licensing revenue too. Things are working out nicely for Google here, but the iPhone is an absolute mint for Apple.

    As for Microsoft, they're getting destroyed in the mobile space. They may get some money from Android, but the OS is doing far more damage than that. I'd be curious whether that's $1.5 billion or Google just being forced to give up half of its pie. In any case, there's nothing MS would like more than to have Windows vs OS X on mobile, but instead they're getting creamed by... Linux (oh, that that were the case on actual PCs).

  • T||

    Because the Microsoft entries in the mobile space fucking sucked in color on phones. I loved my iPaqs and Dell Axim. Then I got a Windows smartphone. They fucked up the things my PDAs did well, had an unusable browser, and in general worked like crap. I'd still be on a Windows smartphone if they hadn't made the experience so bleeding painful.

  • KDN||

    It might be time to give them another shot; I hear nothing but raves about the current Windows phone from ex-iPhone, Android, and BB users. They may end up getting pushed out of the space, but, in the experience of those around me (I can't comment personally, I'm on Android and deal with iPhones and BB's at work), it won't be for lack of correcting past mistakes.

  • Colonel_Angus||

    I had a Nokia brick that wouldn't die. I got swamped in a lake and I dried that bitch out on an air conditioner for a few days. The HTC couldn't handle one washer and dryer cycle.

  • ||

    People forget what a dick Jobs was. He said the same thing about Windows - when Gates stole the same Xerox stuff as Jobs / Wozniak.

    He was run out of Apple the first time around in part because people hated him.

    Did he really think that nobody else was going to sell smartphones?

  • sevo||

    "People forget what a dick Jobs was."
    Anyone who ever had dealings with him won't forget that.

  • Paul||

    Did he really think that nobody else was going to sell
    smartphones?

    In jobs' case, it's not inconceivable.

  • Alan Vanneman||

    Alleging more than 20 patent violations, huh? So Steve was relying on the federal government to create, define, and defend "his" private property! Interesting!

  • sevo||

    Uh, I think you're mistaken to presume he had anything to do with or any sympathy for libertarianism.

  • Warty||

    Fucking Vanneman.

  • Sudden||

    Lest we mention that the two "innovations" in his latest iPhone4S and latest iOS release are stolen from Android (drop down top menu and speech-to-text). Something tells me Google ain't bitching.

    And for the record, I won't consider a goddamned phone without swype. Seriously, once you swype you can never return to the annoying typwwriter level of sophistication texting.

  • robc||

    Im the opposite, I wont buy a phone without a real keyboard. Whether swype or otherwise, I dont want to type on a screen.

  • Arthur J. Rodriguez||

    Thanks, Grandpa! Hey I heard Rooney stepped down at that yawnfest 60 minutes - You should sign up to replace him.

    ;)

  • T||

    Steve Jobs was a dick. File under dog bites man, please.

  • Sandy||

    If we listened to Apple's word on it, Apple has a patent on square or rectangular devices with displays and touchscreens.

    I swear, it seems like Apple expects a patent on the right angle.

  • Old Mexican||

    You're beginning to understand the absurdity of IP Law, Sandy. Welcome to the Light Side of the Force.

  • Sandy||

    What? IP law is not absurd! As an amateur author, I fully expect a copyright and royalties from any book containing: spaceships, firearms, male main characters, female main characters, the English language, demons, large cities, war, politics, humor, drama, or text.

    after all, I wrote a book, and nobody has ever written this exact book before me, therefore nobody may ever use any element that resembles anything I've used, ever.

    Duh.

  • CrackertyAssCracker||

    Thats nothing. I am descended from Atok, the inventor of Fire, and all IP rights have passed down to me. Getting the patent asserted in a profitbale way in court has been tough going, but someday I'll get all those fire-thiefs out there to cough up all the royalties they rightfully owe me.

  • Apollo||

    Bullshit! Atok didn't invent Fire - he stole it from me. Him and that goddamned Prometheus fool.

  • ||

    I don't recall any prohibition on crushing your enemies in Zen Buddhism.

  • Old Mexican||

    Or hearing the lamentations of their women.

  • ||

    Take them to the tree of woe.

  • Cliché Bandit||

    What about seeing them driven before you?

  • Jeff P||

    There's an app for that.

  • ||

    I don't recall any prohibition on crushing your enemies in Zen Buddhism.

    Tokugawa Ieyasu agrees with you.

  • Colonel_Angus||

    Doesn't the stupidass ifone just take ideas from ordinary computers? God damn.

  • ||

    Steve Jobs was a dick to his daughter (filing in court that he was sterile so she couldn't be his) and to Woz (stealing the first bonus from the first project that they did.)

  • Coeus||

    While I agree with you on the Woz issue, the daughter thing is really the mother's fault, isn't it? Or is he really not sterile?

  • ||

    He is now.

  • Apatheist||

    I muted a chuckle.

  • Mo||

    He later acknowledged that he was the father.

  • DRM||

    He went on to father three more kids later, so you know, probably not.

  • GSL||

    It's little surprise that Android has gained market share so rapidly from the iPhone. The reason is simple, even if it evaded Jobs: Android doesn't try to lock you into a single (and very expensive) hardware platform and carrier. I ended up going the Android route because there was no way I would sign a 2-year contract with a shitty carrier like AT&T. And not everyone wants to pay $200 for their phone. With Android, you can buy a nice phone that isn't an Evo or a Bionic; with Apple, it's either a pricy iPhone 4 or the now-dated 3.

  • Cliché Bandit||

    Apple is not a software company. It is a hardware company. All their market share is theirs. Android on the other hand is spread across a half dozen manufacuterers.

  • ||

    I'll say again- no matter what else you say about Jobs and Apple, he played a large role in an astonishing leap in productivity.

    and- They should have invited John Sculley to Jobs' wake just in order to douse him in alcohol and set him on fire.

  • ||

    I agree. Except that Sculley should be doused in Pepsi.

  • ||

    It's always been my experience that the the more people talk about being Buddhists- the less Buddhistic they are. In my old age I'm increasingly moving toward the conclusion that Buddhism is like being tall- either you are or you aren't; there is no book or class or process for "becoming tall"- even at Reed in Portland- home of many of the most self-deluded "Buddhists" I know.

  • Sudden||

    The problem is too many Westerners have picked up on Buddhism as the cliche way to be different from the Western God personification.

    Truth is, Taoism is a much more coherent, sensible, and attractive overall philosophy. The problem with Taoism is that it's very libertarian in nature, and ergo, will have limited market appeal.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    It's always been my experience that the the more people talk about being Buddhists- the less Buddhistic they are

    .

    As a Buddhist myself, I agree. A proverb in Buddhist culture is "The more you talk, the less you know."

  • Canman||

    Jobs got his start making blue boxes for make illeagle long distance phone calls.

  • Jeff Bezos||

    Didn't know he was a phreaker. That's interesting.

  • KPres||

    Jobs the businessman is correct. Jobs the Buddhist is an idiot. The war between Apple and Android is a win for consumers. If Jobs had gone the quiet pacifist route and said "well, I'll just let them win...turn the other cheek and all...", he would have been making people's lives worse.

  • ||

    Uh, that "other cheek and all" think is Christian, not Bhuddist. Of course most Christians recommend it for their enemies and not themselves, but still...

  • ||

    I agree regarding the competitive war; I disagree with the degree that the war has been taken to the courtroom. Design patents? Really?! Go die in a fire.

  • Banana||

    I don't see how an IP war does anything for consumers. Does something for lawyers. If Jobs response to the Android was, "I'm gonna make an even better product and for less!" That would be a win for consumers. instead we get, "I'm gonna sue them in an attempt to make their product worse".

  • ||

    This is precisely correct. Patent battles, by and large, serve patent lawyers.

  • ||

    I have a friend who worked down the hall from Jobs at One Infinity Way. He always knew when Jobs was back on site, because he would hear the screaming invectives.

  • ||

    Pepsi doesn't burn.

    Unless perhaps if you mix it with 151 rum.

  • BakedPenguin||

    Why else would you drink it?

  • BakedPenguin||

    Ah, shit. Joke Fail.

  • .||

    Rum and Pepsi? How gauche!

  • A fan||

    Time to Fuck Jobs in the eye socket. Where are they burying him? Dig up the corpse and drag it around Cupertino behind a pickup.

  • ||

    Make a really shaky video of it with an Android.

  • MWG||

    FTW!

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    Jobs' tactics may or may not have been justified under Western IP law, but they were definitely uncool under Eastern Buddhist law, which considers anger and vengeance as bad karma that, in his case, might well guarantee his rebirth as a pin-striped, brief-case carrying, beef-eating company man.

    It is true that the Dharmic religions view "anger and vengeance" negatively. However, the 5th precept of Buddhism is "not to take anything that is not freely given." So, if it is true that HTC did steal from Apple, then Buddhist thought would agree that Jobs was justified in taking action against those who stole from him.

  • Libertarian Dogma||

    All "property" exists only through government-granted monopoly, therefore all "property" is theft, because government has the exclusive use of force, which is contrary to the non-aggression axiom and is therefore bogus.

  • Warty||

    GAMBOLGAMBOLGAMBOLGAMBOLGAMBOLGAMBOLGAMBOLGAMBO
    LGAMBOLGAMBOLGAMBOLGAMBOLGAMBOLGAMBO
    LGAMBOLGAMBOLGAMBOLGAMBOLGAMBOLGAMBOLGAMBO
    LGAMBOLGAMBOLGAMBOLGAMBOLGAMBOLGAMBOLGAMBOLGAMBOLGAMBOLGAMBOLGAMBOLGAMBOLGA
    MBOLGAMBOLGAMBOLGAMBOLGAMBOLGAMBOLGAMB
    OLGAMBOL

  • sevo||

    Warty,
    Food, vermin, etc.

  • .||

    therefore all "property" is theft,

    Except for one little glitch: In order to have the concept theft one must first have the concept of legitimate ownership - ie., property.

  • z||

    What a hypocrite, Apple pretty much stole the ideas for every product it's ever had. They took an existing idea, made it slicker and run a little better, and charged a whole bunch more money for it. That's it, no original ideas ever.

  • Lucas||

    Anyone who knows anything more than 'turtlenecks and iPods' about Steve Jobs new he had a temper years ago. He always did. This is the least surprising thing I've heard yet from that book.

  • doug||

    I really don't think Steve Jobs was a practicing Buddhist anyway...("I wouldn't say Steve Jobs was a practicing Buddhist," said Robert Thurman, a professor of Buddhist studies at Columbia University, who met Jobs and his "Tibetan buddies" in the 1980s in San Francisco." - http://abcnews.go.com/Health/s.....d=14682458)

  • Cliché Bandit||

    How about the Obama lambasting that Jobs supposedly gave. In the book i hear. Something to the effect of "you don't know shit about business" or some such. I want to actually read that.

  • Cliché Bandit||

  • NotSure||

    Funny, because I have had more than one heated argument with Apple fans who say how much better the IPhone is and that the Android is nothing at all like their superior product. Since the words of Jobs are invioble, I wonder how they explain Jobs fear for the android.

    Speaking of the patents, one of them is "Object-Oriented Graphic System", which anyone who develops software should know have been around far longer than the IPhone ever has.

  • rather||

    He was an American Eastern Buddhist AKA as Cafeteria fill in the blank religion

  • galthran||

    ATM machine!

  • .||

    Jobs was a Buddhist? Well then I'd guess he's finally achieved Nirvana, hasn't he?

  • Eric||

    "Good artist copy. Great artist steal." Steve Jobs
    The greatest risk of developing aps for apple has been getting popular dozens of companies have been put out of business when Mr. Jobs would decide to copy popular programs and insert them by default into OS-X. The main points of android actually existed before iOS came out but it took the Backing of Google to make it big.

  • chiangshih||

    iSorry, But Steve Jobs Was a Jerk

    http://www.pointsincase.com/co.....s-was-dick

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