The Steve Jobs I Knew
Walt Mossberg OCTOBER 5, 2011
That Steve Jobs was a genius, a giant influence on multiple industries and billions of lives, has been written many times since he retired as Apple's CEO in August. He was a historical figure on the scale of a Thomas Edison or a Henry Ford, and set the mold for many other corporate leaders in many other industries.
He did what a CEO should: Hired and inspired great people; managed for the long term, not the quarter or the short-term stock price; made big bets and took big risks. He insisted on the highest product quality and on building things to delight and empower actual users, not intermediaries like corporate IT directors or wireless carriers. And he could sell. Man, he could sell.
As he liked to say, he lived at the intersection of technology and liberal arts.
But there was a more personal side of Steve Jobs, of course, and I was fortunate enough to see a bit of it, because I spent hours in conversation with him, over the 14 years he ran Apple. Since I am a product reviewer, and not a news reporter charged with covering the company's business, he felt a bit more comfortable talking to me about things he might not have said to most other journalists.
Even in his death, I won't violate the privacy of those conversations. But here are a few stories that illustrate the man as I knew him