The Story Of Steve Jobs And Gizmodo

This is a really sad day. I sort of can't explain it. I feel helpless and wistful and overwhelmingly sad. These days, Gizmodo is an unspoken name at Apple HQ. A publication pariah. But it wasn't always that way. Here's what happened behind the scenes.

More: Gizmodo's Steve Jobs Obituary. We’re going to miss him.

According to a just-posted touching read from former editor of Gizmodo US, Brian Lam — Steve used to be a fan, he used to read the site three to four times a day.

I don't ever think I was comfortable with the idea that Jobs or anyone at Apple, like Jon Ive, was reading our work. [Gizmodo is]scrappy, sloppy, inspired, mainstream-ish, and in general, experimental in nature. It was, frankly, embarrassing to have people who were obsessed with perfection reading something that was designed to be imperfect but alive and flowing. It was also firmly anti-establishment, like Apple used to be.

That was before we got our hands on his phone, of course. An hour after the story went live, Brian received a call from Steve:

He wasn't demanding. He was asking. And he was charming and he was funny. I was half-naked, just getting back from surfing, but I managed to keep my shit together.

"I appreciate you had your fun with our phone and I'm not mad at you, I'm mad at the sales guy who lost it. But we need the phone back because we can't let it fall into the wrong hands."

You should really read Brian's piece on his history with Jobs. It's the most interesting thing you'll read about Steve Jobs this week. [The Wirecutter]


Comments

    I'm not an Apple fan because, as Brian Lam writes, "Apple was winning and was starting to become the Establishment" which is why I'm very much in the Android camp. However, while I dislike Apple I cannot say the same of Steve Jobs, the man was an innovator and a visionary and has left behind an extraordinary legacy. I am definitely a fan of Steve.

      Funny, I'm kind of the opposite. I like the fact that he was the only man in tech who had both the power and balls to try something truly revolutionary with the iPhone. I still remember seeing it for the first time and my jaw dropped. No buttons! All screen!

      But Jobs screwed over more people on his way to the top than Zuckerberg, as Michael mentioned below, everyone should check out Pirates of Silicon Valley. Saying the man was divisive is an understatement and he's the closest thing we had to a modern day Ebenezer Scrooge.

        No buttons really? what do you call the home button, or the volume buttons? the thing was different yeah it wasn't aimed at business/IT people. it was regular joe consumer that wanted something fancy. I thought it was radically different when it came out but not so much that my jaw dropped.

          I knew some troll would have to say "uhh der der it does have a button der der"

            well it does idiot

              Your post should read:
              Well, it does, idiot.
              You missed a capital, a comma and a full stop.

              See? I can be a pedant as well. he was only making a point about the general concept.

          Pirates of Silicon Valley is an entertaining film... but not very accurate. Not a good source to get your opinion or facts from. There's a difference between screwing people over and being a passionate/perfectionist/visionary etc.

          The only way Apple/Pixar/NexT etc were ever successful was because of his determination and drive for perfection.

          If it weren't for Steve and his passion, I'd hate to think what kind of mess the technology industry would be in today and what kind of crappy products we'd be having to use.

    That picture makes him look a little like cave johnson

    Steve in his younger days is the spitting image of Ashton Kutcher...I can see him playing him if they ever do a film about his life...

      Noah Wyle beat him to it: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0168122/

    I'm waiting for the anti-jobs blow back from all this sentimentalism pap.

    The guy made computers that look pretty for godsake. He didn't cure cancer (oh the irony) and nor did he better the world for the vast majority. Just the middle class and rich prospered.

    From what I hear he didn't really invent much in the later years. He just was a hard ass human that knew what he wanted and demand absolute quality from those he paid.

    There is nothing special about those qualities. He is no Gahhdi or Martin Luther King yet for the obituaries, eulogies that are flooding the net you would be excused in thinking that humanity had somehow lost there fucking soul.

      Actually Jobs touched on something that companies like HP and Intel never did; people ARE prepared to pay more for better quality if you show them the quality of your product.

      There are people that don't care how it looks as long as it works; those people will be happy with bargain basement prices on their tech and will be happy to just upgrade if it dies early. Then there are people that want it to look good as well as work well, and they're prepared to pay extra for things like an anodized metal case and magic mice and things like that. For them, they want the looks to please them while they use the product.

      Other companies have adopted this over time, such as Dell with Alienware and Logitech with their high-end and low-end device range but that sort of marketing strategy definitely came from Apple.

      I've never owned an Apple product aside from the iPhone 4 I got given as a work phone - I've always been a staunch linux user and Nokia fangirl, but I can't help but admire the guy for the way he stood up and said "no, I'm confident that if we do it this way, people WILL buy it because no one else is doing it this way".

        Apple was not the company that proved that people are willing to pay more for a product if you show them the quality. If we are talking specifically about post-industrial age technology, that would belong to companies like: Aston Martin, Rolex, and insert any other luxury or high end company brand here. Apple copied off an existing premise that had been in place since the advent of marketing and manufacture.

        As a side note, Dell bought Alienware because they couldn't compete with them on high end products, and they picked them up for a good price at the time. Dell's XPS line never touched "elite" status with gamers, even though it was recognised as better value. Apple's strategy didn't have a thing to do with Dell's decision. Though, after Dell bought it, gamers dropped it. Which was also pretty much the story of Jaguar and Ford, even if Jag was floundering prior to the purchase.

          That's the dumbest comparison I've seen - those examples aren't just a bit more expensive, they're VERY expensive. Few people can afford them, but Apple gave the option of a good looking, solidly made home computer/music player/smartphone that came at a higher price point but wasn't sky high.

          Now if people were paying $10k per macbook pro, then you might have a vague point.

            En fuego.

      Agreed.

        (Agreed with chugs that is).

      Chuggs...what a pointless bitter post. So Jobs contributed nothing and deserves no praise...how does your life stack up then?! Back to your rock little man.

        I don't think Chugs is implying he's a better person or done more then Steve Jobs, so his life is irrelevant to the argument.

          I have an iPhone, my family use Apple products on a professional level (video editing) and have made a lot of money from their benefits. I am not saying that Apple hasn't touched my life, nor am I stating that I have not prospored as a result of Apple products. Far from it.

          However for the 6 billion people on this planet Apple have only touched a small porpotion. Yet from the media coverage you would be excused in believing JFK has died again.

          Like my microwave, oven, heater and television I have a house full of devices that are well designed, functional, in some cases even beautiful. Yet I do not worship the designers who created their form factor. I don't weep when they die and I don't celebrate their success. What about Fumio Ohtsubo, the president of panasonic and his contribution to the world of digital photography. Just because he doesn't jump around a stage and sell his image as part of the parcel does that make his contribution any less important? I am sure most people even in Gizmodo don't even know his name and when he departs this earth will never know his contribution.

          What about myself. I'm at the leading edge of my industry, in the sub-sub-sub field (ask Danny). I have created beautiful processes and systems and yet for the most part my customers will die without ever thinking about how those systems saved hundreds of hours of their lives. Should I be celebrated for doing a good job? Well my organisation does that. they pay me a very good wage and give a few movie tickets and gift certificates every now and then.

          Jobs on the other hand was well rewarded for his efforts. We don't need to add the wails of a billion people to it.

          So am I bitter? Yes bitter that there is no balance in the reporting that is going on in Gizmodo and other sites. Bitter because its disgusting and sickening to watch adults over the cult of the personality when there are far more important things to be wailing about.

          Back to my rock it is.

            Again, extremely well said.

            Jobs did a lot for middle and upper class
            people in the developed world.

            That's about where it ends.

            I agree. These "articles" are crossing the line way, way into maudlin sentimentalism.

            I like these tech news sites because they're generally filled with interesting, technical, somewhat opinionated, but mainly logical and verifiable info that generally AVOIDS the ignorant hyperbole and celebrity based pap of more generalised mainstream media sources. But all this sentimental, exaggerated garbage associated with this dead tech business celeb makes dour reading.

            RIP Jobs and leave it at that.

        Maybe chugs' achievements will never match up to Jobs (Sorry mate) but i'm sure he doesnt expect the media coverage Jobs is receiving when he eventually goes. The day prior to Jobs' passing, Rev. Fred Shuttlesworth passed away. I think their impact on the world should at least be considered equal.

      MLK was a plagiarist, and Gandhi was a very savvy ex-lawyer - so Jobs might be slightly more related to them than you'd like to admit. PS. You're a fool.

    Chuggs, I'm still in "speak well of the dead" mode, but hopefully the evangalising won't progress too much further. He was inspired and produced some great work. But for all of that he was also compensated extraordinarily well for it, so I don't think he needs to be sainted. He got sainted with cash. Our cash. In the end it will turn out that he was just a bloke, who loved tinkering with technology, and also loved making money, and found a very comfortable simpatico between the two. I think the world would be a little different had he not been around, but probably not that much different. Guys like Jobs are nothing without the Wozniaks and thousands of other inspired and brilliant people who surround them. I am not criticising him, but lets just keep things in perspective.

    Rest in peace Steve. You were good. And the brilliant things you made that I wanted, I paid you well for.

    Fred Hollows on the other hand, there's a guy who wasn't "compensated" in his ordinary life for the extraordinary things he did. He deserves all the fuss that was made of him, and probably still a bit more.

      Beep Beep Boop. ID: 97242YSw

      Last edited 16/08/14 8:39 pm

    Steve was among the greatest of American innovators – brave enough to think differently. He is the sole reason for my love for gadgets. He'll live in my heart forever. I dedicate a special space to him - http://liveoncampus.com/wire/for/Steve-Jobs?utm_source=Blog&utm_medium=Seeding&utm_campaign=Ritu

    They took our jobs!

      Best thing i have read all day... even read it to myself in that voice.

    I think Steve Jobs and Apple have touched many more peoples lives than Chugs and co believe. Only, that is, if you live in a developed country, which I do, and are interested in technology and the way we interact with it everyday, which I am. If these 'eulogies' were on a website that isn't devoted entirely to technology then I could understand where you're coming from, but they aren't.

    And another thing; you reap what you sow.

    I have to say, the Iphone 4/Gizmodo incident makes me side with Apple, receiving (and paying for) clearly stolen (or at the very least inappropriately acquired) property and pulling it apart deserves a big response, and it sounds like Apple and Jobs dealt with it graciously.

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