Monday, November 19, 2012

Regarding Steve Jobs' Bio by Isaacson

As a very young man I worked for a time for a company that was located in Grass Valley and San Mateo and I heard stories about Jobs and Wozniak.  Being a good engineer I grunted along with the other engineers and thought Woz was a hero and Jobs was a bully.

After reading the bio I still hold this view.

However, my appreciation of Steve Jobs has grown in many ways.  Probably the most growth in my appreciation came from the fact that he was a father and husband, and he approached this task with the best of his abilities.  Knowing this makes him an "ok" guy in my book. At least I hope his kids and wife thought he was a good dad - i can't judge.

Even with this, it is accurate to call him a bully.  When we see kids in school yards terrorize others with force or harsh words to get control over them, we call it bullying.  Although bullying may have many reasons, it is highly-prized in companies.  It's all about getting the best from your employees, and building tough hard employees who can handle the stress ... blah blah blah.

Being a bully is bullshit.

I suspect when someone bullies they want fear to be the instilling emotion in the victim rather than something else like a desire for happiness.  That's probably why being a bully is so effective.  You are immediately afraid of someone, but you have to visualize the happiness you may achieve the other way so it's a two step process.  It is effective in the short term - very effective.  But like my mom used to say, "Bullies end up getting cancer".  So maybe in the long-run bullying doesn't work so well.

So does the alternative to bullying work?  And what is the alternative to bullying?

I'm totally onside on telling the truth and cutting through the crap, but empathizing with others is an skill we learn early in our childhood.  I've been trying to learn stuff from everything I read, and there's no way I can pull off a Steve Jobs rant on someone.  These rants have always been associated by the clique-ee super-intelligent (and usually immature) kids in the elite clubs at high-schools.  I hated them and don't feel right using their tactics.  I can definitely send something back to the drawing board because it doesn't fulfill the what is required - but if my people can't guess what I want, I'm not going to yell at them.

Do me a favor and look up "mental illness LSD lack of empathy" or "cluster B personality disorder" on Google.  Maybe Jobs actually "fu**ed" himself by doing drugs - but the book seems to say that his oldest daughter Lisa shared some of these empathy issues, so maybe it was genetic or a product of an image of abandonment.  Who knows?

I just wanted to learn something in bringing my ideas into reality, and Steve Jobs' story didn't help much - although I had a good laugh at the red dress and Joan Baez (Guy Kawasaki's joke press release was pretty funny too).


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