I first published this article in 2012. But it was time to publish it again to address an unfortunate trend. Lately I have had several CEOs tell me that they had read the Steve Jobs book and, frankly, they are using his jerkedness to justify exercising, as a friend said to me recently, "their inner jerk."
This is not the message we should get from Steve Jobs' life and legacy. It is not his jerkedness that we should be emulating, but his incredible ability to give customers the experience that they wanted, via "insanely great" products and superb customer support. Without these talents, Steve Jobs would have been just another jerk, and nothing more.
One scene, described in Isaacson’s book Steve Jobs, sums it up perfectly:
"As usual Jobs focused on making the product as simple as possible for the user, and this was the key to its success. Mike Evangelist, who worked at Apple on software design, recalled demonstrating to Jobs an early version of the interface. After looking at a bunch of screenshots, Jobs jumped up, grabbed a marker, and drew a simple rectangle on the whiteboard.