Steve Jobs; Apps for Autism - Part 1
<Show: CBS 60 MINUTES>
<Date: July 15, 2012>
<Head: Steve Jobs; Apps for Autism - Part 1>
<Byline: Steve Kroft, Lesley Stahl, Morley Safer, Bob Simon, Lara Logan,
<High: When Steve Jobs handpicked Walter Isaacson to write his life story,
he had already been diagnosed with cancer. But after forty interviews, the
biography provides a vivid picture of a complicated man.>
STEVE JOBS: Thank you for coming.
STEVE JOBS: We`re going to make some history together today.
STEVE KROFT (voiceover): When Steve Jobs handpicked Walter Isaacson to write his life story, he had already been diagnosed with cancer. But after forty interviews, the biography provides a vivid picture of a complicated man.
I think it`s a tough book.
WALTER ISAACSON: It`s a book that`s fair. I mean, this is a real human being. It`s like Einstein--
STEVE KROFT (voiceover): Tonight, you will tape recordings of Jobs himself, talking about being adopted, creating Apple, and his regret over ignoring what could have been life-saving cancer surgery.
STEVE JOBS (recording): You`re born alone, you`re going to die alone. And what exactly is it that you have to lose? There`s nothing.
STEVE JOBS: It`s so much more intimate than a laptop.
LESLEY STAHL (voiceover): When Steve Jobs unveiled the iPad, there was no way he could have predicted what it would mean to people with autism.
STACIE CARROLL: Good.
LESLEY STAHL: It turns out it may be the perfect device to help unlock the isolation many with autism feel, by helping them communicate in ways they couldn`t before.
JOSHUA HOOD (through iPad): I want a drink.
NANCY HOOD: I always had said, when he was younger, it was like he was a computer, and I was computer illiterate, and I didn`t know how to press the right keys. Sorry. That was the hard part is you knew there was more in there and you didn`t know how to get it out.
STEVE KROFT: I`m Steve Kroft.
LESLEY STAHL: I`m Lesley Stahl.
MORLEY SAFER: I`m Morley Safer.
BOB SIMON: I`m Bob Simon.
LARA LOGAN: I`m Lara Logan.
SCOTT PELLEY: I`m Scott Pelley.
Those stories tonight, on 60 MINUTES.
STEVE KROFT: Eight years ago, Steve Jobs asked Walter Isaacson, a former editor of Time magazine, if he would write his biography. Isaacson, who has done books about Benjamin Franklin and Albert Einstein, thought the request presumptuous and premature since Jobs was still a young man. What Isaacson didn`t know at the time, and only a few people did, was that the Apple founder had pancreatic cancer and was feeling his mortality. It speaks to the secrecy with which Jobs conducted his life and his business, adding mystery to an already compelling figure. In 2009, with Jobs already gravely ill, Isaacson began the first of more than forty interviews with him; the last was conducted a few weeks before his death. Some of them were recorded and you will hear parts of them tonight. And as we first reported last October, Jobs told his biographer, "I have no skeletons in my closet that can`t be allowed out," the result was the bestselling book of the year.
STEVE KROFT (voiceover): When Walter Isaacson first began working on the book, which is published by Simon and Schuster, a division of CBS, Steve Jobs` wife, Laurene Powell, told him, "Be honest with his failings as well as his strengths. There are parts of his life and his personality that are extremely messy. You shouldn`t whitewash it. I`d like to see that it`s all told truthfully."
WALTER ISAACSON: He`s not warm and fuzzy, you know.
STEVE KROFT (voiceover): And to do it, Isaacson interviewed more than hundred people--Jobs` friends, family, co-workers and competitors.
STEVE KROFT: I think it`s a tough book.
WALTER ISAACSON: It`s a book that`s fair. I mean, this is a real human being.
STEVE KROFT: He had lots of flaws.
WALTER ISAACSON: He was very petulant. He was very brittle. He could be very, very mean to people at times. And whether it was to a waitress in a restaurant, or to a guy who had stayed up all night coding, he could just really just go at them and say, "You`re-- you`re doing this all wrong. It`s horrible." And you`d say, "Why did you do that? Why weren`t you nicer?" And he`d say, "I really want to be with people who demand perfection. And this is who I am."
STEVE KROFT (voiceover): Isaacson believes that much of it can be traced to the earliest years of his life, and to the fact that Jobs was born out of wedlock, given up by his birth parents and adopted by a working-class couple from Mountain View, California.
WALTER ISAACSON: Paul Jobs was a salt-of-the-earth guy who was a great mechanic. And he taught his son Steve how to make great things. And he-- once they were building a fence, and he said, "You got to make the back of the fence that nobody will see just as good looking as the front of the fence. Even though nobody will see it, you will know, and that will show that you`re dedicated to making something perfect."
STEVE KROFT (voiceover): Jobs always knew he was adopted, but it still had a profound effect on him. He told Isaacson this story from his early childhood during one of their many taped interviews.
STEVE JOBS (recording): You know I was-- I remember right here on the lawn, telling Lisa McMoylar, who live across the street, that I was adopted. And she said, "So does that mean your real parents didn`t want you?" Oh, lightning bolts in my head.
WALTER ISAACSON (recording): Yeah.
STEVE JOBS: I remember running into the house, I think I was probably crying--
WALTER ISAACSON: Yes.
STEVE JOBS: --asking my parents. And-- and they sat me down and they said, "No, you don`t understand," and said, "we specifically picked you out."
WALTER ISAACSON: He said, "From then on, I realized that I was not just abandoned. I was chosen. I was special." And I think that`s the key to understanding Steve Jobs.
STEVE KROFT (voiceover): Another factor was geography. Jobs grew up in Northern California, not far from Palo Alto. He was a gifted child, who tested off the charts in a neighborhood populated by engineers.
WALTER ISAACSON: Yeah, he was raised in the place that was just learning how to turn silicon into gold. It had not yet been named Silicon Valley, but you had the defense industry, you had Hewlett-Packard. But you also had the counter-culture, the Bay Area. That entire brew came together in Steve Jobs. He was sort of a hippie-ish rebel kid, loved listening to Dylan music, dropped acid, but also he loved electronics.
STEVE KROFT (voiceover): Jobs would eventually cross paths with a computer wizard at Berkeley, five years his senior, named Steve Wozniak. They became fast friends, sharing a love of high-tech pranks and a disdain for authority. One of the things they did was to copy and improve an illicit device called a blue box, which reproduced the tones that the phone company used and allowed users to make free, long distance phone calls.
WALTER ISAACSON: Wozniak loves the blue box. He`s doing it as a prank. Steve says, "We can sell them. We can market them." And they sold about a hundred of them, and Jobs said to me, "That`s the beginning of Apple. When we started doing that blue box, I knew that with Wozniak`s brilliant designs and my marketing skills, we could sell anything."
STEVE KROFT (voiceover): That was still a few years off. Jobs enrolled at Reed College in Oregon at a time when Timothy Leary was telling students across the country to turn on, tune in and drop out. Jobs did after one semester.
STEVE JOBS (recording): The time we grew up in was a magical time. It was also a very, you know, spiritual time in my life. Definitely, taking LSD was one of the most important things in my life, and not the most important. But-- but right up there.
STEVE KROFT (voiceover): He eventually drifted back to his parents` house and became one of the first fifty employees to work for the videogame maker Atari. But he was not a big hit with his co-workers.
He never wore shoes.
WALTER ISAACSON: Right.
STEVE KROFT: Had very long hair.
WALTER ISAACSON: Mm-Hm.
STEVE KROFT: Never bathed.
WALTER ISAACSON: Mm-Hm.
STEVE KROFT: In fact, when he went to work for Atari they put him on the night shifts because people said he smelled so bad that they didn`t want to work with him.
WALTER ISAACSON: You know, he believed that his vegan diet, and-- the way he lived made it so he didn`t have to use deodorant or shower that often. It was an incorrect theory as people kept pointing out to him at Atari. You know, he was a pretty abrasive and in some ways, you know, cantankerous character. But these people at Atari, they kind of get him. And they say, well, we don`t want you to leave, but how about working the night shift.
STEVE KROFT (voiceover): Jobs took a leave from Atari and spent seven months wandering across India looking for spiritual enlightenment. And it turned out not to be a waste of time.
WALTER ISAACSON: And when he comes back he says, the main thing I`ve learned is intuition, that the people in India are not just pure rational thinkers, that the great spiritual ones also have an intuition. Likewise, the simplicities of Zen Buddhism, really informed his design sense, that notion that simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.
STEVE KROFT (voiceover): When he returned from his trek, Jobs and Wozniak started building and peddling a primitive computer for hobbyists. With a thirteen-hundred-dollar investment, they founded Apple computer in his parents` garage.
Explain to me how somebody who was a hippie, a college dropout, somebody who drops LSD and marijuana goes off to India and comes back deciding he wants to be a businessman?
WALTER ISAACSON: Jobs has within him sort of this conflict, but he doesn`t quite see it as a conflict between being hippie-ish and anti-materialistic but wanting to sell things like Wozniak`s board. Wanting to create a business. And I think that`s exactly what Silicon Valley was all about in those days. Let`s do a startup in our parents` garage and try to create a business so--
STEVE KROFT: So we don`t have to work for somebody else?
WALTER ISAACSON: Right. And Steve Jobs wasn`t all that eager to be an employee at Hewlett-Packard.
STEVE KROFT (voiceover): He was never much of an engineer. Isaacson said he didn`t know how to write code or program a computer. That was Wozniak`s department. But Jobs understood their importance and their future. He was obsessed with making an attractive, simple, inexpensive computer--the Apple II, marketed as the first home computer. It really didn`t do much, but tech-savvy people snapped them up along with school systems. And as he tells Isaacson on tape, he was soon worth millions of dollars.
STEVE JOBS (recording): It wasn`t very many years before on paper we were worth a lot of money. And I was like twenty-five when, you know, we were worth maybe fifty million dollars. I knew I never had to worry about money again. And so I went from not worrying about money because I was pretty poor to not worrying about money because I had a lot of money.
STEVE KROFT: Jobs becomes rich.
WALTER ISAACSON: Jobs becomes wildly rich, makes about a hundred people millionaires when Apple goes public. One of the things he does, though, that, you know, still caused a little ill will. There were old friends who used to be with him in the garage, his parents` garage, and they were working at Apple. But they hadn`t quite gotten to the level of chief engineer. So they got no stock options. Wozniak, being incredibly generous is giving away his stock options, trying to make everybody a millionaire. And Steve Jobs is like very strict on who can get the stock option.
STEVE KROFT (voiceover): One of the people who didn`t get them was Daniel Kottke, who had been with Jobs at Reed College, in India, and in the garage where Apple was founded.
WALTER ISAACSON: And at one point, tries to go to Steve and just starts crying. But Steve can be very cold about these things. Finally, one of the engineers at Apple said, you know, we have to take care of your bud-- buddy Daniel. I`ll give him some stock, if-- if you match it or whatever. And Jobs says, "Yeah, I`ll match it. I`ll give zero, you give zero."
STEVE KROFT: It was not the only instance of his callous behavior during that time period. Just before Apple went public, his longtime girlfriend became pregnant, producing a daughter, Lisa. Jobs who had himself been born out of wedlock and abandoned, denied paternity and refused to pay support until the courts intervened. His behavior was typical of a phenomenon that Apple employees openly referred to as Steve`s "reality distortion field," a term out of Star Trek, the ability to convince himself and others to believe almost anything using his indomitable will and charisma to bend any fact to suit his purpose.
WALTER ISAACSON: When he was creating the original Macintosh, Steve Jobs would come in and he would say, "We need to have this done by next month." And people would say, "No, no. You can`t actually write this much code by next month." And he would say, "Yes, you can do it." And in the end, he would not take no for an answer. And he would sort of make the dent in the universe he wanted to. He would bend reality, and they would accomplish it.
STEVE KROFT: The reality distortion field. It seems like sometimes you use that-- that phrase to speak to which you see as sort of a self-delusion.
WALTER ISAACSON: He could drive himself by magical thinking. By believing something that the rest of us couldn`t possibly believe, and sometimes it worked, sometimes it didn`t.
STEVE KROFT (voiceover): And at the root of this reality distortion theory, Isaacson says was Jobs` belief that he was special and chosen, and that the rules didn`t apply to him.
WALTER ISAACSON: He had a great Mercedes Sports Coupe with no license plate on it. That was his affectation.
STEVE KROFT: No license plate?
WALTER ISAACSON: He always believed-- I said, "Why don`t you have a license plate?" At one point he said, "Well, I don`t want people following me." I don`t want people-- and I said, "Well, having no license plate is actually more noticeable." He said, "Yeah, you`re probably right. You know why I don`t have a license plate?" I said, "Why?" He said, "Because I don`t have a license plate." And I think he felt the normal rules just shouldn`t apply to-- and he had his little everyday acts of rebellion that were showing, hey, I`m a little bit different.
STEVE KROFT: Parking in handicap spots?
WALTER ISAACSON: Yeah. I mean, he always kind of felt, I don`t succumb to authority. So, you know, that`s just who he is.
STEVE KROFT (voiceover): That disregard for the establishment helped him achieve some of his biggest successes, allowing him to see products and applications that no one else imagined. So in 1984, Apple introduced a truly revolutionary product, the Macintosh. It used graphics, icons, a mouse and the point-and-click technology that is still standard. It was innovative and influential, but sales were disappointing. And Jobs` confrontational management style became even more brittle. He would try and rationalize it in this taped interview with Isaacson.
STEVE JOBS (recording): I feel totally comfortable going in front of everybody else. You know, God we really (EXPLETIVE DELETED) up the engineering on this, didn`t we? That`s the ante for being in the room. So we`re brutally honest with each other and all of them can tell me they think I`m full of (EXPLETIVE DELETED), and I can tell anyone I think they`re full of (EXPLETIVE DELETED). And we`ve had some rip-roaring arguments--
WALTER ISAACSON: Mm-Hm.
STEVE JOBS: --where we`re yelling at each other.
STEVE KROFT (voiceover): Jobs loved the arguments, but not everybody else did. And Isaacson writes that some of his top people began defecting.
WALTER ISAACSON: He was not the world`s greatest manager. In fact, he could`ve been one of the world`s worst managers, you know? He was always, you know, upending things. And, you know, throwing things into turmoil. This made great products, but it didn`t make for a great management style.
STEVE KROFT (voiceover): Jobs would eventually provoke a boardroom showdown with Apple president John Sculley over who would lead the company. The board chose Sculley.
So he was out of his own company?
WALTER ISAACSON: Kicked out of his own company. And, you know, he always had that feeling of abandonment. There was nothing worse than being abandoned by Apple.
STEVE KROFT (voiceover): He sold his stock and used the company to start a new venture called NeXT Computer, which made great products that no one bought. But Jobs would be saved by a tiny company that he acquired from George Lucas for five million dollars. Pixar Studios would eventually revolutionize movie animation and make Jobs a multi-billionaire. Apple hadn`t done so well. And a decade after Jobs left, it decided to buy NeXT Computer and the services of Jobs as a consultant. But he would soon take over as CEO.
And when he goes back, it`s almost bankrupt?
WALTER ISAACSON: It`s like ninety days away from bankruptcy. They`re totally out of money. And it`s lost its way totally. So he says, here`s the twenty-seven, thirty things you`re making, printers or whatever. And he draws a chart that just has four squares. And he says, professional, home consumer. Laptop, desktop. We`re going to make four computers.
STEVE KROFT (voiceover): He retrenched, firing three thousand people, and launched a new advertising campaign.
(Excerpt from Think Different ad)
WALTER ISAACSON: Steve Jobs helped write that himself. He edited it under-- he put in, they changed the world. By the end, Jobs, along with four or five other people, have written this not as ad copy, but as a manifesto.
(Excerpt from Think Different ad)
STEVE KROFT: The campaign announced what would become the biggest comeback in business history, and it did change the world. That, Steve Jobs` search for his birth parents and his battle with cancer when 60 MINUTES returns.
STEVE KROFT: When Steve Jobs retuned to Apple in 1997, the company had just five percent of the computer market and was almost broke. When Jobs died of cancer fourteen years later, Apple was the second most valuable corporation in the world, just slightly behind Exxon-Mobil. In his bestselling biography of Jobs, Walter Isaacson writes that he revolutionized or re- imagined seven industries--personal computers, animated movies, music, telephones, tablet computing, digital publishing and retail stores. He did it, Isaacson says, by standing at the crossroads of science and the humanities, connecting creativity with technology and combining leaps of imagination with feats of engineering to produce new devices that consumers hadn`t even thought of.
STEVE JOBS: Thank you for coming.
STEVE JOBS: We`re going to make some history together today.
STEVE KROFT (voiceover): If you had to pick the day where it all came together January 9, 2007 is not a bad one. Jobs is in San Francisco at the Macworld Conference in full pitchman mode as he unveils his latest product to the faithful.
STEVE JOBS: These are not three separate devices.
STEVE JOBS: This is one device.
STEVE JOBS: And we are calling it iPhone.
STEVE KROFT (voiceover): It is not only a remarkable achievement, but a validation of everything that Jobs believed in. If you made and controlled all of your own hardware and all of your own software, you could integrate all of your products and all of your content seamlessly into one digital hub. And no one but Steve Jobs had thought of it.
WALTER ISAACSON: This is something Microsoft couldn`t do because it made software, but not the hardware. It`s something Sony couldn`t do, because it made a lot of devices, but it didn`t really make software operating system. And so the only company that had end-to-end control was Apple.
STEVE KROFT (voiceover): Biographer Walter Isaacson writes that Jobs had created a walled garden. If you wanted to use any of his products, it was easier to buy into the whole Apple ecosystem. It was something only a complete control freak could`ve pulled off. His personality, passions, products and private life were all intertwined and closely guarded. The more of it that Walter Isaacson got to see, the more he learned.
What was his house like?
WALTER ISAACSON: His house in Palo Alto is a house on a normal street with a normal sidewalk. No big winding driveway. No big security fences.
STEVE KROFT: You can drive in the driveway?
WALTER ISAACSON: You could walk into the garden in the back gate, and open the back door to the kitchen, which used to not be locked. It was a normal family home. And he said, "I wanted to live in a normal place where the kids could walk, the kids could go over to other people`s houses. And I did not want to live that nutso lavish lifestyle that so many people do when they get rich."
STEVE KROFT (voiceover): There was no live-in help and no entourage. He was worth seven billion dollars, but not materialistic. And he told Isaacson in a taped interview that he had learned early on what money could do to people.
STEVE JOBS (recording): I saw a lot of other people at Apple, and especially after we went public, how it changed them. And a lot of people thought they had to start being rich, so they-- they would-- I mean, a few people went out and bought Rolls Royces and they bought homes, and they-- and their wives got plastic surgery, and they-- and these-- I saw these people who were really nice, simple people turn into these bizarro people. And I made a promise to myself. I said, "I`m not going to let this money ruin my life."
STEVE KROFT: Do you have a picture of the family?
WALTER ISAACSON: Oh, sure. Look.
STEVE KROFT (voiceover): Isaacson showed us some personal family pictures that Jobs had given him for his book, shortly before he died. It was a look into a part of Jobs` life that few people had seen.
WALTER ISAACSON: This is Laurene, and that`s Erin, Reed, Eve. And this is on their family vacation.
STEVE KROFT (voiceover): Jobs married Laurene Powell twenty years ago, a former investment banker who could hold her own with her mercurial husband.
WALTER ISAACSON: And she`s a great balance. He knows to pick strong people to be around him. And she-- he sure did when he married Laurene.
STEVE KROFT: Now this is--
WALTER ISAACSON: Reed.
STEVE KROFT: Reed.
WALTER ISAACSON: His son. Reed is very much like his father, except for he has his mother`s kindness. Eve is a great horseback rider. Eve, I think might some day by in the Olympics with horseback riding.
STEVE KROFT: Mm-Hm.
WALTER ISAACSON: Erin has a great sense of design, is a really cool kid.
STEVE KROFT (voiceover): His fourth child is Lisa Brennan-Jobs, the daughter Jobs had with his girlfriend, thirty-three years ago and neglected for more than a decade until she moved in with the family as a teenager. Isaacson said their reconciliation was important to Jobs, because his own birth parents had abandoned him.
WALTER ISAACSON: He felt there was a hole. He felt something was missing.
STEVE KROFT (voiceover): In 1986, he began searching for his biological mother, and found Joanne Schieble Simpson living in Los Angeles.
Did she know that-- that her son, the son that she gave up was Steve Jobs?
WALTER ISAACSON: No. But she says to him, "There`s one thing I have to tell you, you have a sister. And the sister, I raised. We did not put up for adoption. And I must tell her, because I`ve never told this." And the sister turns out to be Mona Simpson, the novelist. And Mona Simpson and Steve Jobs totally bond. Separated at birth, as they say. And then they go on a quest, a journey to find the birthfather. Especially Mona wants to find what she calls "the lost father."
STEVE KROFT (voiceover): Eventually they locate Abdulfattah "John" Jandali, a Syrian-American with a PhD in political science, who was managing a restaurant in Sacramento. But as Jobs tells Isaacson on tape, he decides to let Mona go meet him alone.
STEVE JOBS (recording): When I was looking for my biological mother--
WALTER ISAACSON: Mm-Hm.
STEVE JOBS: --obviously, you know, I was looking for my biological father at the same time. And I learned a little bit about him and I didn`t like what I learned. And I asked her to not tell him--
WALTER ISAACSON: Mm-Hm.
STEVE JOBS: --that we ever met and not tell him anything about me.
WALTER ISAACSON: So, Mona goes to the coffee shop, meets this guy, Mister Jandali, who`s running it, who says, among other things, when she asks, you know, how sorry he is, but then, he says, that he had had another child. And Mona said, "What happened to him?" He says, "Oh, I don`t know. We`ll never hear from him again." And then he says, "I wish you could`ve seen me when I was running a bigger restaurant. I used to run one of the best restaurants in Silicon Valley. Everybody used to come there, even Steve Jobs used to eat there." And Mona`s sort of taken aback and bites her tongue and then say, "Steve Jobs is your son." But she looks shocked. And he says, "Yeah, he was a great tipper."
STEVE JOBS: And I was in that restaurant once or twice and I remember meeting the owner who was from Syria. And it was most certainly him. And I shook his hand and he shook my hand. And that`s all.
WALTER ISAACSON: And Jobs never spoke to him, never talked to him, never got in touch with him. Never wanted to see him.
STEVE KROFT (voiceover): Not even when Jobs was on his death bed. The cancer that eventually killed him was discovered accidentally while he was being checked for kidney stones back in 2004. A CAT scan showed a shadow on his pancreas that turned out to be a malignant tumor.
WALTER ISAACSON: And then they do a biopsy, and they`re very emotional. They say this is good. It`s one of these very slow-growing five percent of pancreatic cancers that can actually be cured. But Steve Jobs doesn`t get operated on right away. He tries to treat it with diet. He goes to a spiritualist. He goes through various ways of-- of-- of doing it macrobiotically, and he doesn`t get an operation.
STEVE KROFT: Why doesn`t he get it operated on immediately?
WALTER ISAACSON: You know, I`ve asked him that, and he said, "I didn`t want my body to be opened." And soon everybody is telling him, "Quit trying to treat it with all these roots and vegetables and things. Just get operated on." But he does it nine months later.
STEVE KROFT: Too late.
WALTER ISAACSON: Well, one assumes it`s too late because by the time they operate on him, they notice that it has spread to the tissues around the pancreas.
STEVE KROFT: How could such a smart man do such a stupid thing?
WALTER ISAACSON: Yeah, I think that he kind of felt that if you ignore something, if you don`t want something to exist, you can have magical thinking. And it had worked for him in the past. He regretted, you know, some of the decisions he made and certainly, I think he felt he should`ve been operated on sooner.
STEVE KROFT (voiceover): Jobs acknowledged his surgery, but soft-pedaled the seriousness of the situation. Isaacson writes he continued to receive secret cancer treatments even though he was telling everyone he had been cured. And that is what people believed until 2008.