Steve Jobs proves himself to be a huge hypocrite 6

In the 1994 interview clip below where he discusses the Macintosh, Steve Jobs quotes the line from Picasso where he says "Good artists copy, great artists steal." Jobs then goes on to say, that "we have always been shameless about stealing great ideas."

As I said in a previous post about Jobs being one of the great leaders of our time, virtually none of the great products of his career were done first by Apple or Pixar or Next. Jobs just applied his sense of style to edit and refine.

Apparently Jobs only believed that permission to steal ideas applied to him. In a widely reported quote from the authorized Walter Isaacson biography that will be released on Monday, Jobs lays into Android

"“I will spend my last dying breath if I need to, and I will spend every penny of Apple’s $40 billion in the bank, to right this wrong. I’m going to destroy Android, because it’s a stolen product. I’m willing to go thermonuclear war on this.”

The iPhone is a great product but it's not perfect and Jobs attitude toward Android is deplorable. We can only hope that Tim Cook sees the stupidity in this approach and finally backs down on this ridiculous patent war.

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6 thoughts on “Steve Jobs proves himself to be a huge hypocrite

  • Nicholas Boterf

    Context, folks, context. We have all these quotes bouncing around, without the inside story. Let's wait for the biography to come out before making ex cathedra judgements, OK? There were twenty years difference between the invention of the Mac and the Android "theft." That's alot of time, and the context was likely different.

  • Sam Abuelsamid

    I should also add that Jobs' attitude here is analogous to freedom of speech. It's easy to support the idea when you agree with what is being said. However, the real test is to support freedom when someone says something deplorable. I don't agree with Nazis but I support their freedom to say what they believe.

    Similarly, it's easy to endorse stealing ideas when you are taking from the innovators. However, if you are willing to take concepts from others, you must also be willing to share and Jobs was not.

  • Nicholas Boterf

    Again, I am not sure why people are moralizing without all the facts. In fact, in the recent Levy book on Google, he stresses how Steve Jobs felt betrayed by Google because he was taking on a mentor role. That likely had something to do with Job's indignation with Android, more than any stealing itself. But this is to speculate also: this is a complex matter of personal and the business.

    And Apple has done plenty of "sharing" of its ideas over the years, with Windows, Android, Zune, Android tablets, etc. Just because he specifically blasts Android doesn't make him a hypocrite.