Guardian profile of Steve Jobs looks for Apple CEO’s ‘fatal flaw’

“Jobs is a co-founder of Apple, the man behind the astonishing success of the computer animation firm Pixar – of Toy Story and Finding Nemo fame – a billionaire regarded as a visionary in the industry. Yet compared with Bill Gates he is practically unknown,” Duncan Campbell writes for The Guardian.

“‘Partly it’s because Bill Gates has a lot more money,’ says Alan Deutschman, the author of The Second Coming of Steve Jobs, a book that recorded Jobs’ triumphal return to success after being ousted from the company he formed. ‘There’s an aura to being the richest person in the world that a mere billionaire like Steve Jobs doesn’t have,’ Deutschman says. ‘Also, Microsoft has extraordinary reach as a company and far more people know its products than Apple’s: 400 million people use Microsoft Office, for instance. Gates’s position in both business and philanthropy makes him something vaguely like a chief of state when he visits places like India or China,'” Campbell writes.

“Journalists who have followed Jobs’ career have also seen the mercurial side of his personality when he has walked out of interviews, irritated at the line of questioning and refusing intrusions into his personal life. The patience of Jobs is not legendary,” Campbell writes. “‘We can’t have a heroic figure without a fatal flaw,’ was the assessment of David Plotnikoff, writing a profile earlier this year in Jobs’ local paper, the San Jos


  1. personally – i find it quite humorous.

    i had a contact at Apple a couple years ago offer me a position. i pondered about it for awhile. i would love to work there – i hear the energy is amazing, but i also know the Steve can be an arse. thus i did not take the offer.

    i love Apple and SJ is an amazing visionary, but i would not survive that environment. i don’t view it as meida bias, it is a well known fact. it just adds to mystique of Apple and SJ.

    Gates could never get away with the some of the crap Jobs pulls – and that is fine with me.

  2. Good article as the press is wont to do.

    “This will go down in history as the turning point for the music industry,” he told Fortune magazine at the launch of iTunes in the US last year, when the company was proudly debuting unreleased material from Dylan and such bands as the Eagles, who had never previously allowed their songs to be used in this way. “This is landmark stuff. I can’t overestimate it.”

    Jobs will own more than a footnote in the history of the music industry.

    And just in case anyone is thinking of doing battle with his iTMS, go watch the video of the iTMS Europe presentation. How can anyone compete with that?

  3. 1) So the fact that Jobs is merely a billionaire and not the richest guy next to God, is a reason to slight him?

    2) So the fact that he has strong convictions and is not a geek leading a pack of lemmings makes him less important in this society?

    3) In history, Gates will be a footnote (okay, maybe a paragraph), Jobs will be a chapter due to his depth of creation (market share has only momentary importance).

  4. Good for Jobs, The guy can’t be perfect.
    I learned something about him in this article, didn’t know he was half Egyptian. To me, this factor adds more spices and flavour to his personality.
    I do admire fellows like Jobs who don’t get carried away by money.

  5. Erbody knows Bill Gates because of his money, not because of his “innovation” in technology! Average Joes don’t care about true innovation; they are only superficially interested in who is the richest guy in the world, even if the guy sells pig feed to get rich!!

  6. I think that Apple needs a personality like Jobs. He is not a geek, but a man with hard convictions that does not digress from the objective, his objective. Bill Atkinson et. al. can talk about him at the time they created the Mac from a dream of be the best computer in the entire world. SJ protected them because they could make his dreams a reallity (remember Bill’s accident). One day he exult you and the other he can demoralize you because you cannot reach his expectatives.
    However, thanks to SJ Apple is what it is today after the dark ages.

    Go Steve! Go Apple! Go Innovation!

  7. “Gates could never get away with the some of the crap Jobs pulls – and that is fine with me.” – webbyswim

    Maybe it’s because Gates has no vision. It is amazing to read interviews from the old Mac/Lisa teams. Even thogh they agreed Jobs could be an ass, they all put up with him since he let them and push them to create great things and wouldn’t settle for the second best.

    Gates, OTOH, has no vision and when he pulls craps like that, he is no different than any PHB. Gates excels on the business side (all questionable tactics aside). Microsoft used to produce great softwares and Gates’ insistence to rule the world ruined that. Who can remember Word 4 (or 5.1)? It was fast, stable, and fit on one floppy disk.

  8. I am saying again and again.. This is a company that sees genius in what people otherwise term as “eccentric”.

    Steve Jobs is one in that list too. His is highly ambitious, highly opinionated. Such people do see some failures, but they move on to do more great things in their life.

  9. I think having a fatal flaw is a good thing right? Like Superman and kryptonite. Sooo

    Steve Jobs’ fatal flaw is his mercurial temper.
    Bill Gates fatal flaw is that he is a dork.

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