An intimate glimpse at Steve Jobs’ intense humanity

“You’re in a room with Steve Jobs, the smartest product mind in the history of business, and, lucky you, you’re showing him a product you designed,” Marcus Wohlsen reports for Wired. “He doesn’t like it. Instead, he says, ‘Tell me how you’d make it different.'”

“Here, most of us would get to wake up from this Silicon Valley version of the naked-on-stage nightmare,” Wohlsen reports. “Not Don Melton. Face time with Jobs was Melton’s real life. He was the guy who oversaw the creation of Safari, Apple’s first web browser, back at the turn of the century.”

“Melton opened the door on this and other encounters with the late Apple co-founder in a recent blog post, ‘Memories of Steve,’ that reveals Jobs the leader, thinker, and colleague in vivid first-person detail,” Wohlsen reports. “Jobs’ reputation as a brilliant but difficult person to work for is well known, but Melton’s you-are-there accounts paint a more nuanced picture of a man consumed by the intensity of his vision.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: For a taste of what you wanted, but didn’t get from Walter Isaacson’s bland, stale Steve Jobs endurance test, read Melton’s full blog post here.

Related article:
Apple’s former Safari chief Don Melton reflects on time spent with Steve Jobs – April 11, 2014


  1. Like you, I read Isaacson’s biography of Steve Jobs. I came away sorely disappointed. I could care less that he was difficult or that he impregnated his girlfriend, or that he was a hippie. That might be sensational tabloid fare, but told me nothing about what made Steve Jobs a genius.

    Instead, Isaacson’s went to lengths to state that Jobs was not a genius, or the most intelliectual of subjects. That tells me nothing. Steve Jobs is an historical figure because he could see what we could not. In business ess terms, he was the greatest surfer in history, blessed with the sense of knowing which tiny ripple of water would become a gigantic wave and had the innate sense to both grab and ride that wave before anyone else knew what it would be.

    Isaacson had months of one-on-one time with Jobs, yet failed to sense that, much less convey it to his readers. That is why I am so interested in Melton’s thoughts. Perhaps Melton had real-world experience with Jobs’ incisive thinking. Geniuses are often impatient, unwilling to suffer fools. Jobs was certainly that way. We are better for his aesthetic passion, standards and impatience. To settle for less is to accept mediocrity. Sadly, Isaacson missed this essential point.

    1. > Geniuses are often impatient, unwilling to suffer fools. Jobs was certainly that way. <

      I had a boss who could reduce high-level research scientists to a 'only fit for media studies' level of humiliation with just a few well-chosen words. He was a (scientific) genius, and still is at age 83!

  2. The Melton piece is heartfelt and has the ring of truth I never felt reading excerpts from Isaacson’s bio. This is one case where a clutch of anecdotes and reminiscences scattered across the Net can portray a man more clearly than a writer with an agenda.

  3. “but told me nothing about what made Steve Jobs a genius.”

    Exactly. Absolutely nothing. I kept plodding through, thinking, “Any page now, there’ll be some kind of insight.” Eventually just gave up. What an awful book. Hardly more than, “He went over here. He ate a sandwich. Then he had a meeting. Then he watched some tv.”

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