Computer Business Review

10 strange facts about Steve Jobs

by Jimmy Nicholls| 29 April 2014

The Apple founder's life was every bit as innovative as his products.

1. He shares a birthday with the first King of Spain

Both Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor and King of Spain, and Steve Jobs were born on February 24, albeit a few centuries apart. While Charles accrued territories in present day Germany, Italy and Spain, Jobs would later acquire shares in Apple, Disney and NeXT. It's a little early to say who was more important.

2. He was once a Zen Buddhist, and took his countercultural roots seriously

In mid 1974 Jobs travelled to India to visit Neeb Karori Baba, a Hindu guru, with his friend and later Apple employee Daniel Kottke. Returning after seven months he had shaved his head and taken to wearing Indian clothing. He would later retreat for long periods to America's first Zen monastery, Tassajara in California. The name is derived from indigenous Esselen Indian, meaning "the place where meat is hung to dry".

Buddhists with brollies

3. He occupied a "reality distortion field"

Bud Tribble, current VP at Apple, complained that Jobs often laid down unrealistic schedules.

"In his presence, reality is malleable. He can convince anyone of practically anything. It wears off when he's not around, but it makes it hard to have realistic schedules," he said.

Andy Hertzfield, another member of the Macintosh development team, corroborated this view, adding that Jobs would oppose others' ideas before claiming them as his own "without acknowledging that he had ever thought differently". So the famous advert wasn't the only thing the company took from 1984.

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