We all know that Steve Jobs had a reputation of getting caught in controversies, both in his personal as well as professional life. Yet, this controversy’s child never shied away from speaking his mind when it came to taking decisions in the best interests of his company or those matters in which he believed he was 100 percent right, be it firing employees without notice or denying paternity to his daughter Lisa. Nothing stood in the way. Read on to find out about these most talked about controversies:
Jobs fired people without notice
Not one to serve fools gladly, Jobs fired people without providing severance pay when Pixar had to make budget cuts. Pamela Kerwin, an early Pixar employee, argued that workers should at least be given two weeks' notice. Pamela Kerwin was witnessed stating "Okay," he said, "but the notice is retroactive from two weeks ago."
Jobs slammed The New York Times' Joe Nocera over the phone for writing about his health
Joe Nocera was writing a post about Steve Jobs' health in 2008, criticising Apple and Jobs for keeping investors in the dark about it. Before the column was published, Jobs called Nocera and had an argument with him on the phone. Jobs told Nocera, “You think I’m an arrogant asshole who thinks he’s above the law, and I think you’re a slime bucket who gets most of his facts wrong.”
Jobs and his ad team got into a heated argument over the concept of the iPad commercials
The iPad ad campaign was an opportunity for Jobs to make a big impact. He didn't like the first round of promo videos, so he argued with James Vincent, the man in charge of the ads. Having trouble deciding what he wanted, Jobs wanted Vincent to come up with something fresh and exciting. After a lot of back and forth, "Revolution" began. This incident created controversy targeting Jobs for his behaviour with his colleagues and employees.
Steve Jobs berated his good friend and ad partner Lee Clow
Jobs is said to have berated his friend Lee Clow as Apple prepared to reveal the ‘Bondi Blue’ iMac. Jobs said that Clow's team misjudged the hue for the print advertisements. Eventually Clow sat Jobs down and made him look at the original photos versus the print ads. In the end, Clow was right so Jobs had to retract. Again, it was an incident which created controversy regarding Jobs’ behaviour with his friend and colleague.
Steve Jobs denied paternity of his daughter Lisa
His daughter Lisa was denied paternity by Steve Jobs for several years. She and her mother ended up on state welfare. However, Jobs eventually rectified the situation when he started paying child support and reimbursed the state for years of back child support. As a result of his connection with Lisa, she became part of his family. However, this does not take away from the sad truth.
Be it personal or professional Jobs never cut corners when it came to being who he was - demanding and direct and logical. While some put up with it because he was a genius, others spoke their mind because they found him temperamental. You could love Steve Jobs or hate him but you couldn’t possibly ignore him.
Are genius always temperamental and unpredictable, yet logical and successful
While this has no clear answers, yet evidence (whatever little we have over centuries), seems to suggest so. Elon Musk, world’s richest man and regarded by many as a genius, also has stories about his temperament at the workplace. He clearly can afford an agency to manage his twitter handle, yet from his tweets, it appears that he is the one tweeting them. Following him on twitter is a roller coaster of ideas and emotions. Both Steve Jobs and Elon Musk have achieved unprecedented success in whatever they set out to do, yet this debate continues. What do you think? Is being temperamental a prerequisite for success?