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Welcome to the News Feed! Here I regularly post news about Steve Jobs, which are automatically cross-posted on the Facebook page and Twitter account. Follow us on your favorite platform!

18 Jul 2011 | in Updates

@cathicks: Whoa. Pixar Image Computer Panel on eBay.…” Reminds me something…

10 Jul 2011 | in Updates

according to French magazine @LePoint Steve Jobs almost bought this €25m property in Southern France…

10 Jul 2011 | in Updates

How would you react if you met Steve Jobs in a sushi bar?…

10 Jul 2011 | in Updates

Steve Jobs’ response to FCPX’s disappointed users by @scoopertino… 🙂

6 Jul 2011 | in Updates

Steve Jobs’ bio gets a new title: “iSteve: The Book of Jobs” becomes “Steve Jobs: A Biography” via @philiped

Steve Jobs’ new official profile page updated

5 Jul 2011 | in Steve Jobs news, Steve Jobs personality

As Apple is slowly updating all parts of its website to complete its late 2010 design refresh, the turn of the Executive Profiles finally came. Including Steve Jobs’ page.

And it’s cool. See for yourself:

Old design

New design

(expert eyes will recognize Albert Watson’s portrait of Steve from 2006).

This is the kind of decision in which, although it has zero importance in the grander scheme of things, I’m 100% confident Steve Jobs has a say. It explains why it’s the first time we’re seeing this picture in color… And why, just like last time, Steve’s portrait is quite dated (the one before was a picture from 1998 on which Steve posed with a 1st-generation iMac).

One thing that hasn’t changed though is the mention of one Steve’s pet peeves, the “apricot orchards” of Silicon Valley that he misses so much:

Steve grew up in the apricot orchards which later became known as Silicon Valley, and still lives there with his family.

There are countless examples of his using these exact words, e.g. this 1995 interview where he said:

My parents moved from San Francisco to Mountain View when I was five. My dad got transferred and that was right in the heart of Silicon Valley so there were engineers all around. Silicon Valley for the most part at that time was still orchards —apricot orchards and prune orchards— and it was really paradise. I remember the air being crystal clear, where you could see from one end of the valley to the other.

or even the recent presentation he gave to the Cupertino city council when he announced Apple’s plans for its next campus — during which he actually insisted that the campus would host actual apricot orchards in its park!

As a side note, it’s also actually quite telling that the bio is much shorter than some of the other executives’ ones, although of course they have achieved much less than their boss….

Excerpts from an interview with Apple’s first CEO

4 Jul 2011 | in Steve Jobs history

As you well know if you’ve read my Steve Jobs biography thoroughly, Steve Jobs was not CEO of Apple until January 2000. Apple’s first CEO was in fact Michael Scott, more famously known as Scotty. Scotty notoriously didn’t get along well with Steve in the early days (as most employees, to be honest), and his eventual departure of the company in 1981 gave Steve Jobs the necessary power to take over the Macintosh project.

In a fashion that was probably launched by John Sculley, BusinessInsider published an interview of Scotty last month, which is worth a read if you are interested in Apple history and have 15 minutes to spare. The piece is honest, though pretty light on the real reasons of Mike Scott’s departure, namely the lay-offs of Black Wednesday.

For those with severe time-constraints, here are the parts that were the most interesting to me:

BI: What were your impressions on meeting [Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak]?
MS: I never got to see the garage, I just saw it at Markkula’s place up on a hill. Jobs did the talking, and Woz was the quiet one, although more lately Woz has found his voice more. In the early days, we were all so busy, that it was well partitioned over who did what. Woz was doing circuit board itself, Jobs was handling rest of Apple II, Markkula was working on marketing, and I was working on getting us into the manufacturing and all the rest of the business parts.

BI: Was [Steve Jobs] as particular then as he is said to be now, or in the early days was he learning and acting differently?
MS: No, he was maybe more particular. The Apple II case came, it had a beige and a green, so for all the standard colors of beige available in the world, of which there are thousands, none was exactly proper for him. So we actually had to create “Apple beige” and get that registered. I stayed out of it but for weeks, maybe almost six weeks, the original Apple II case, Jobs wanted a rounded edge on it so it didn’t have a hard feel. They spent weeks and weeks arguing exactly how rounded it would be. So that attention to detail is what Steve is known for, but it also is his weakness because he pays attention to the detail of the product, but not to the people.
BI: Can you explain that? So was that your job to make sure you brought in all the right people and he wasn’t very attuned to that?
MS: I don’t know how much he’s changed being a manager, but he would not, for instance! he was never allowed to have much of a staff while he was there because he would not supervise them. He wouldn’t make sure they got their reviews on time or that they got their raises, or that they got the health they need.You have to take care of the people as well as the product. As they say he yells at people, at times you have to yell, but at times you have to be supportive too, and I would say that that’s still what makes Steve, Steve.

That was a dispute you get into — who gets number 1? One of the first things was that of course, each Steve wanted number 1. I know I didn’t give it to Jobs because I thought that would be too much. I don’t remember if it was Woz or Marrkula that got number 1, but it didn’t go to Jobs because I had enough problems anyway.

(Romain’s note: Steve Jobs actually managed to become Apple Employee Number 0)

The other argument at the meetings was would Steve take his dirty feet and sandals off the table, because he sat at one end of the conference table, and Markkula sat at the other end chain smoking. So we had to have special filters in the attic in the ceiling to keep the room filter. I had the smokers on one side and the people with dirty feet on the other.

That’s still the way it works, it’s still in the culture, you want to do things right, not just “good enough.” The alternative business model is like Microsoft, where something’s “good enough” to ship, instead of wanting it “just right.” It’s always been Apple’s goal to ship something we were proud of and something people would be proud to own, and I think that’s still true from thirty years ago.

A little side story that he and I would fight over. If we were negotiating price for parts, we could negotiate a price with a vendor and at the last minute, Steve would come in and bang on the table and demand to get one more penny off. And of course they would give him one more penny off. Then he’d crow “well I see you didn’t do as good a job as you could’ve getting the price down.” And I’m saying, “Yeah but that one more penny might’ve cost us a bit more ill will for times when parts are in short supply.”

BI: Was there tension with you being brought in as, what we call now, “adult supervision.” Did you get the sense that he wanted to be in charge of the company and resented you or anything?
MS: Steve just wants to be Steve. Steve’s never shy about telling you what he wants and where he stands. He’s very straightforward to deal with. Unlike other people that don’t tell you what they mean.

4 Jul 2011 | in Updates

In case you missed it, check out Steve Jobs’ über-cool new profile page on…

Steve Jobs trivia from June

30 Jun 2011 | in Steve Jobs trivia

As June ends, here are the news items (or should I say pieces of trivia) that caught my attention in the past two weeks:

30 Jun 2011 | in Updates

Steve Jobs will read letter about a girl with vision problems “saved” by an iPad at the Top 100 retreat… via @cultofmac