Microsoft cofounder Paul Allen has a new book out titled Idea Man: A Memoir by the Cofounder of Microsoft. In it you can find all sorts of muckraking publishers love to have in a biography they paid too large of an advance on. The book has already generated a lot of Internet talk based on the fact that it has supposedly created a rift between Allen and Bill Gates. But besides Microsoft drama, the book also reveals a few interesting tidbits about Steve Jobs.
In the book Allen remembers an incident between Steve Jobs and an employee, which demonstrates what a jerk Jobs is, according to Allen. In Allen’s retelling, both he and Bill Gates drove down to meet with Steve Jobs and Apple developer Andy Hertzfeld for a demo of the first Mac. But when the four sat down around the Mac and it promptly froze Jobs was quick to unleash his anger and belittlement on Hertzfeld:
“What the fuck is going on?” [Jobs] snarled at Hertzfeld, who’d probably been up all night getting things ready and was now trying to shrink under the table. “These guys came all the way down here to see this thing and this is the best we can do? This is the best we can do? We get thirty seconds and a frozen screen? What the fuck is wrong with you?”
Allen goes on to say that he had forgotten about the incident until he saw it portrayed in Pirates of Silicon Valley years later. Allen says that the movie, where Jobs was played by Noah Wyle, portrayed Jobs as a “mean-spirited jerk,” something Jobs apparently had no problem with. Next time Allen saw Jobs, he asked him if he liked the movie. Jobs’ response: “I thought the guy who played me did a fantastic job.”