Although he’s arguably one of the most influential geniuses of our time, he had a shockingly repulsive go-to routine to relieve his stress.
Film critics and media outlets aren’t very impressed with the new Steve Jobs movie that hit theatres over the weekend. According to Engadget, it only raked in about $7.3 million at the box office and will likely struggle to turn a profit. However, all flashy movie dramas aside, Steve Jobs is one of the most influential humans of our time. He probably doesn’t cross your mind everyday, but that little device that’s glued to your hand is his legacy.
Steve Jobs was, like most geniuses, incredibly complex. His personality and life story is peppered with bizzarities and truths that you probably wouldn’t expect of the man behind Apple.
1. He refused Apple CEO Tim Cook’s offer for a liver transplant.
It’s no surprise that Steve Jobs had a close friendship with Apple CEO Tim Cook. So close, in fact, that when Steve Jobs was sick, Cook offered to donate a portion of his liver to him. The authors of Becoming Steve Jobs, Brent Schlender and Rick Tetzeli, report that Jobs didn’t even entertain the thought, immediately and angrily turning down the offer. He never went on to have a liver transplant.
2. He soaked his feet in toilet water as a stress-reliever.
This is probably the strangest one on the list. According to his authorized biography written by Walter Isaacson (Steve Jobs), one of the tech guru’s go-to stress relievers during the early days of Apple was to head to the company toilets and soak his bare feet in the toilet water. In fact, the guy had a little bit of a hygiene problem — Isaacson also revealed how Jobs was put on the night shift while he worked at game-maker Atari because he rarely bathed and would walk around the office in his bare feet.
3. He was an LSD advocate.
Most extremely influential people in the public eye tend to shy away from associating themselves with illegal drugs. Jobs, on the other hand, made his endorsement of the hallucinogenic drug acid open. In fact, he said his LSD experience was, “one of the two or three most important things I have done in my life.” Plus, considering Apple’s slogan was “Think Different,” it seems as though his psychedelic experience helped Jobs tap into the innovative and creative parts of his brain. Dreaming up the technological empire that would become Apple certainly required some thinking outside the box.
4. His business methods were inspired by The Beatles.
The Beatles are timeless icons for the virtues of peace, love, and equality… things that aren’t typically associated with business. Nonetheless, the hippie dreamers inspired Steve Jobs’ ideas in the business world. “My model for business is The Beatles. They were four guys who kept each other’s kind of negative tendencies in check,” he said. “They balanced each other and the total was greater than the sum of the parts. That’s how I see business: great things in business are never done by one person, they’re done by a team of people.”
5. Having kids made him more empathetic when it came to firing people.
According to Schlender and Tetzeli’s book, Steve Jobs found it much harder to fire people after he had kids. Jobs is notorious for his ruthless leadership in the workforce (he’s fired people on the spot in front of crowds), but he also was a big family guy. He said after having kids, he could imagine others as being 5 years old. “And I think that that could be me coming home to tell my wife and kids that I just got laid off. Or that it could be one of my kids in 20 years. I never took it so personally before,” Jobs confessed.
Even if the new Steve Jobs movie flopped at the box office, we still love him for all of the things he’s done for the field of technology — and for all of his quirky attributes that made him human. He was a college dropout, a little hygienically-challenged, and had a short temper, but his ambition and innovative spirit persevered onwards to transform the world.