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50 Facts You Didn't Know About Steve Jobs and Apple

He Always Parked in Handicap Zone, Worked Night Shift Because he was Smelly

Dec 31, 2013 09:38 AM EST

Steve Jobs
Steve Jobs

1. When asked why he had named his company Apple, he said: "Because it came before Atari in the phone book." Jobs worked for Atari before starting Apple and he also said that he likes apples and that they had to come up with a name by 5 o'clock that day.

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Apple (Source: Flickr/pj_vanf)

Apple (Source: Flickr/pj_vanf)

2. Why was he fired from his own company? Everyone knows that in 1985 Steve Jobs was fired from Apple. Some might even know that it had to do with a fallout between Steve and John Sculley, Apple's CEO at the time, but few know exactly in what consisted the disagreement. Well, Steve Jobs wanted to drop the price of the then underperforming Macintosh and shift large portion of the advertising budget away from Apple 2 over to the Mac. Sculley disagreed. He argued that price had no bearing into Macintosh's poor sales, but rather the unimpressive software it ran. Sculley took the matter to the Apple's Board of Directors which sided with the former Pepsi CEO, thus firing Jobs.

3. "I'd rather sell dog shit than PCs." In the mid 90s, with NEXT sinking after failing at coming up with a successful computer, Steve Jobs faced the discouraging prospect of having to sell the software they had developed. "But Steve," a friend told him, "why don't you just sell PCs?" Steve replied: "I'd rather sell dogs' shit than PCs."

4. Before starting Apple, Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak built and sold digital blue boxes, a $100 equipment that could hack telephone systems and allowed them make calls to any number in the world. One of their first calls they made using the blue box was to the Vatican with Wozniak pretending to be Henry Kissinger, they asked to talk to the pope. Without success.

Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak (Credic: Reuters)
Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak (Credic: Reuters)

5. Steve Jobs calls one of the mysteries of life how his friend and Apple's Co-founder Steve Wozniak never built a floating point BASIC for the Apple II, despite Jobs having begged him for several weeks to do it. As a result of Wozniak's refusal, Job reached out to Microsoft to license Bill Gates' BASIC.

6. In the early 80s, Steve Jobs visited Adobe Systems. Impressed with their technology, Jobs made an offer to Adobe Co-founder Charles Geschke to buy the company and integrate it into Apple. Geschke refused it. Apple and Adobe had a very good professional relationaship until Apple of Steve, by the end of the first decade of 21st century, decide to rid their very commercially successful mobile devices of Adobe's Flash.

"Anywhere But Here" movie poster

7. The movie "Anywhere But Here" starring Natalie Portman and Susan Sarandon was dedicated to him and was based on a book written by his sister Mona Simpson. The story is about a mother and daughter who are searching for success in Beverly Hills. Anywhere But Here is dedicated to "my brother Steve."

8. He took LSD in his younger days and had no regrets. In a book interview, Jobs called his experience with the drug "one of the two or three most important things I have done in my life." As Jobs himself has suggested, LSD may have contributed to the "think different" approach that still puts Apple's designs a head above the competition.

$1 dollar bill

$1 dollar bill

9. Steve Jobs kept his salary at $1 since 1997, the year he became Apple's lead executive. Of his salary, Jobs joked in 2007: "I get 50 cents a year for showing up, and the other 50 cents is based on my performance."

10. Jobs dropped out of college. After graduating from Homestead High School in Cupertino, California he went on to study at Reed College. He only took one semester of classes before dropping out. For the next 18 months, however, he continued to audit classes that interested him.

Abdulfattah Jandali (Handout)
Abdulfattah Jandali (Handout)

11. Steve Jobs was biologically half Syrian Muslim. He was adopted and his biological father's name is Abdulfattah Jandali. His biological mother was Joanne Carole Schieble, an American. Her father, however, objected to the marriage so Steve was put up for adoption.

12. His parents were two graduate students who were perhaps not ready for a child and put him up for adoption. The one requirement his biological parents had was that he be adopted by two college educated people. His adoptive parents were Clara and Paul Jobs.

Mona Simpson
Mona Simpson

13. His biological parents went on to have another child, Mona Simpson, whom he later met and connected with.

A dinner plate with fish and vegetables (Source: Pixabay)
A dinner plate with fish and vegetables (Source: Pixabay)

14. Jobs was a pescetarian which meant he ate fish but no other meat.

15. Jobs lied to Steve Wozniak. When they made Breakout for Atari, Wozniak and Jobs were going to split the pay 50-50. Atari gave Jobs $5000 to do the job. He told Wozniak he got $700 so Wozniak took home $350.

16. At the tender age of 12, Jobs asked William Hewlett, co-founder of Hewlett-Packard for some parts to complete a school project. Hewlett offered Jobs an internship at his company.

Apple co-founders Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak (Credit: Reuters)

Apple co-founders Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak (Credit: Reuters)

17. Jobs met Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak in high school when Jobs was 13 and Wozniak was 18.

18. Steve had a brief fling with Joan Boaz, the folk singer back in his hippie days. Unfortunately though, she left him for his favorite musician – Bob Dylan.

19. His Full Name is Steven Paul Jobs. 

20. "We'll lose our money, but at least we'll have had a company." It's quite easy to fall into the mistake of thinking that the at the creation of Apple, now one of the top two largest companies in the world, the founders were these amazing visionaries filled with conviction of success and their ability to change the world with the product they had created. Well, it certainly wasn't the case with Apple. In fact, both Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak were pretty certain of how improbable were their chances of success. "We won't see the money we've invested in back," said Wozniak. Jobs replied: "Yeah, we'll lose our money, but at least we will be able to say we had a company."

Porsche Panamera Sport Turismo Concept
Porsche Panamera Sport Turismo Concept

21."Let's hide our porsches." When an investor was coming to visit NEXT one day in the early 90s, Steve Job ran off to the parking lot to take his Porsche out of sight and had his employee Randy Adams do the same with his porsche. "He's gonna think we've got money if he sees the Porsche's," Jobs said.

22. When he returned to Apple in the mid 90s, Steve Jobs donated Apple's first computers, machines, blueprints to Stanford University. Clearing up the old to make space for the new. That was his way of letting go of the past and embracing the future of then seriously troubled company.

23. Following the success of Apple II and subsequent IPO, one of Apple's engineers went to Steve Jobs and told him he would give stock to another employee if Jobs matched it. Jobs replied: "Yeah, I'll match it. I'll give zero and you give zero."

Buddhism (Source: Pizabay)
Buddhism (Source: Pizabay)

24. His Religion is Zen Buddhism. He went to India to meditate and learn about a simpler way of life. 

25. He was very private about his marriage. His wife was Laurene Powell Jobs and they got married in Yosemite national park on March 18, 1991.

Laurene Powell Jobs (Source: Reuters)
Laurene Powell Jobs (Source: Reuters)

26. His wife is an MBA graduate of Stanford and was appointed by President Obama to be a member of the White House Council for Community Solutions due to her active involvement in the non-profit community.

27. Despite his wife's work in the non-profit sector, Jobs was not known for his charitable works. In the early days of Apple, Jobs cut back on all of their philanthropic programs saying they would “wait until [they] are profitable.” Although they never restarted their programs, they may have donated anonymously.

28. He denied paternity on his first child, claiming he was sterile. The mother had to initially raise the kid using welfare checks. The child did turn out to be his daughter who was named Lisa.

Apple III
Apple III "Lisa" computer (Source: Wikipedia)

29. As an ode to his daughter, he named the "Apple III" computer Lisa after his first born. The mother is Chris-Ann Brennan.

30. The excitement you feel when opening up a new Apple product is not by accident. Jobs was passionate about packaging and a group in the company obsessively open boxes in an attempt to get the right emotional response.

31. Apple had three founders, not two. The company was founded in 1976 by Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak and Ronald Wayne.

The first Apple logo (Source: Wikipedia)
The first Apple logo (Source: Wikipedia)

32. The first Apple logo was drawn by Ronald Wayne who also wrote the original partnership agreement and the Apple I computer manual. Unfortunately, he sold his 10% stake two weeks into the partnership for just $800.

Jonathan
Jonathan "Jony" Ive (Source: Flickr/ marcopako)

33. Jobs did not want to offer products in white. However, after designer Jonathan Ive showed him the shade “moon grey”, he was convinced.

34. Steve Wozniak ended his full-time employment in 1987. However, he is still an official Apple employee and receives a stipend estimated to be worth $120,000 a year.

Pixar logo
Pixar logo

35. Jobs purchased Pixar Animation Studios from George Lucas in 1986.

 

Reed College photo handout
Reed College photo handout

36. Jobs attended Reed College in Portland, Oregon in 1972.

 

37. While working at Atari, Jobs was actually put on the night shift because of his hygiene or lack thereof. It is said that he never bathed, and would walk around the office in his bare feet.

38. Jobs never used license plates on the silver Mercedes SL55 AMG he always drove.

Disabled parking sign (Source: Flickr/ bobosh_t)
Disabled parking sign (Source: Flickr/ bobosh_t)

39. He would always park in the handicap parking zone.

40. Steve Jobs GPA was 2.65 / 4 which is considered pretty mediocre. Jobs never thought of himself a good student and instead preferred to learn in different ways and didn't enjoy much for the structure of schools.

41. Steve Jobs' signature was inside every original Macintosh. Jobs would get the team to sign a piece of paper which would become the model for a metal plate that would go inside every Macintosh computer.

42. His attention to detail was unlike anyone had ever seen. He frantically called a Google Engineer on a Sunday with an emergency: the gradient on their O was slightly off.

Larry Page and Sergey Brin (Google handout)
Larry Page and Sergey Brin (Google handout)

43. Jobs acted as a mentor to Google founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page after seeing the potential in the company.

44. Jobs took on Eric Schmidt, the company’s eventual CEO choice, as one of his board members at Apple.

Android Vs Apple wallpaper
Android Vs Apple wallpaper

45. Jobs felt betrayed by his former apprentices from Google after the company entered the phone market with its Android devices.He said “Apple didn’t enter the search business, so why did Google get into the phone business?”

Apple iPhone (Apple handout)
Apple iPhone (Apple handout)

46. Jobs believed Google had stolen some of the features of the iPhone and decided to keep the development of the iPad a secret from Schmidt.

47. Older Apple laptops used to have the logo upside down. It wasn't a mistake, but a user-friendliness decision.

48. Apple I was the company's first computer and was priced at $666.66. Steve Wozniak priced it without realising the devilish connotations, instead pricing the machine one-third over the wholesale price of $500 and preferring one repeating digit as it was easier to type.

Apple with Love Steve written on it (Source: Kimberly White / Reuters)
Apple with Love Steve written on it (Source: Kimberly White / Reuters)

49. The Apple Macintosh computer was named after an actual apple, the McIntosh, because this was Jef Raskin's (an Apple employee working on the Macintosh project) favourite variety.

Steve Jobs (Source: Flickr/ marcopako)
Steve Jobs (Source: Flickr/ marcopako)

50. After ending a long battle with pancreatic cancer, Jobs' last words were "Oh wow. Oh wow. Oh wow" while looking over the shoulders of his family. Mona Simpson, revealed this in her eulogy which was published in the New York Times.

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