His personal philosophy helped shape the company he founded — and not in ways that were entirely positive. “I think Jobs was incontestably Great, but I doubt you could call him Good,” is how Rod Dreher described Steve Jobs, admiring his achievement but noting that a fair assessment of his life and legacy has to include his dark side. CNN has more:
The name of Jobs’ company is said to be inspired by the Beatles’ Apple Corps, which repeatedly sued the electronics maker for trademark infringement until signing an exclusive digital distribution deal with iTunes. Like the Beatles, Jobs took a spiritual retreat to India and regularly walked around his neighborhood and the office barefoot.
Traversing India sparked Jobs’ conversion to Buddhism. Kobun Chino, a monk, presided over his wedding to Laurene Powell, a Stanford University MBA.
Rebirth is a precept of Buddhism, and Apple experienced rebirth of sorts when Jobs returned, after he was fired, to remake a company that had fallen the verge of bankruptcy.
“I believe life is an intelligent thing, that things aren’t random,” Jobs said in a 1997 interview with Time, providing a glimpse into his complicated belief system that extends well beyond the Buddhist teachings.
Karma is another principle of the religion, but it didn’t appear to be a system Jobs lived by. If he feared karma coming back to bite him, the sentiment wasn’t evident in his public statements about competitors and former colleagues, calling them “bozos” lacking taste. Those who worked for Jobs described him as a tyrant they feared meeting in an elevator.
“You’d be surprised how hard people work around here,” Jobs said in a 2004 interview with Businessweek. “They work nights and weekends, sometimes not seeing their families for a while. Sometimes people work through Christmas to make sure the tooling is just right at some factory in some corner of the world so our product comes out the best it can be.”
Some engineers who worked tirelessly on the original Mac emerged from the project estranged from their spouses and children. Jobs’ relentless work ethic may have been shaped by some of his dysfunctional family affairs as well.
There’s another interesting perspective — finding similarities between Steve Jobs and St. Ignatius — right here.