Today’s Must-Read Explains Steve Jobs

Narcos Lessons

I couldn’t help thinking about Steve Jobs while reading that. And the next two quotes from it.


If you don’t have the chutzpah to ask for the unthinkable, you’re not dreaming big enough.

Here is the young Steve Jobs, possibly just thirteen, a member of the HP Explorers Club, from Walter Isaacson’s biography:

The kids in the Explorers Club were encouraged to do projects, and Jobs decided to build a frequency counter, which measures the number of pulses per second in an electronic signal. He needed some parts that HP made, so he picked up the phone and called the CEO. “Back then, people didn’t have unlisted numbers. So I looked up Bill Hewlett in Palo Alto and called him at home. And he answered and chatted With me for twenty minutes. He got me the parts, but he also got me a job in the plant where they made frequency counters.”

Boldfaced emphasis added by me.

And wait. There’s more:

His work mainly consisted of “just putting nuts and bolts on things” on an assembly line. There was some resentment among his fellow line workers toward the pushy kid who had talked his way in by calling the CEO. “I remember telling one of the supervisors, ‘I love this stuff, I love this stuff,” and then asked him What he liked to do best. And he said, ‘To fuck, to fuck.” Jobs had an easier time ingratiating himself with the engineers who worked one floor above. “They served doughnuts and coffee every morning at ten. So I’d go upstairs and hang out with them.

Boldfaced emphasis added by me.

And people think the primary lesson Steve Jobs learned from his father was doing quality work.

Oh hell no.

I found the one sentence that explains Jobs.

First, Lefsetz again:


Not only in drugs, but tech and music too. Bill Gates and Steve Jobs are not lovable teddy bears. Same deal with label heads. They need to make choices to stay in power and win, choices that you might think are illegal or abhor. You can quit, but if you won’t do these same things you’re never going to win. That’s what they don’t tell you about life… School teaches you to conform but rules are for suckers. If you don’t believe everything is up for grabs, you’re a loser.

Boldfaced emphasis added by me.

And the other lesson Jobs learned from his father:

My college fund came from my Dad paying $50 for a Ford Falcon or some other beat-up car that didn’t run, working on it for few weeks, and selling it for $250 — and not telling the IRS.

Boldfaced emphasis added by me.

So despite taking Steve to a church every Sunday as a child, his adoptive father didn’t believe in any of that “Render unto Caesar” shit.

I haven’t seen Narcos yet, so I can’t speak to the validity of what Lefsetz has extracted from it. But what he’s written is otherwise so damned true of those who “make it to the top.”



Filed under Reference

3 responses to “Today’s Must-Read Explains Steve Jobs

  1. bobb

    How true…
    Steve Jobs was just one thief among other thieves.
    There would be no apple if microsoft had not saved them with a huge cash injection.
    You don’t get to the top without crushing other people along the way and stealing their ideas…
    Morals only apply to us workers.

  2. I finally had a few minutes to read the Lefsetz piece. I knew you’d make that connection. Hope I’ll get a chance to see Narcos.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s