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Steve’s FBI File

While not what I had planned to post this week, last week’s release of the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s 191-page file on Steve Jobs is too ripe for discussion to pass up! The document reveals that he was given top secret clearance between 1988 and 1990. It also reveals he was considered by President George H. W. Bush’s administration for a position on the President’s Export Council. Most of the document is a 1991 background check for that position.

The Huffington Post article on the file reads like a laundry list of excerpts from the book. The “Distortion Reality Field” even gets a mention in the file when it states that Jobs “has a tendency to distort reality in order to achieve his goals”.

The article states that one individual “believed the appointee has what it takes to assume a high level political position within the government, which in his opinion, honesty and integrity are not prerequisites to assume such a position.” Other individual describe his monastic-like existence.

There are some amusing parts of the file that read almost like a conscious effort to make negative comments about Jobs, for example, it states that some individuals cast doubt on Jobs’ technical qualifications and later also points out that Jobs had a 2.65 high school GPA.

While I think our book is a better read than the FBI file. It appears the file got much of the gist of Steve Jobs. Which got me thinking, after reading this book, how would you sum up Steve Jobs? What elements of his personality resonated with you as a reader? Has learning more about Jobs changed your perception of Apple? Let’s discuss!

Category: Steve Jobs

3 Responses to Steve’s FBI File

  1. kevin says:

    I was, at first, taken aback by his personality and the way in which he treated people. Upon reflection, though,the landscape of history is littered with greatly flawed men and women. While I certainly enjoy reading about Jobs and marvel at the impact he has had on the world, I can’t say I would have wanted him as a friend. LIke so many, I am benefitting every day from the drive, the passion, even the anger that fueled him.

    I would have to disagree with the notion that he was an ordinary man. The man was utterly relentless. When he wanted something he did not stop until he got it regardless of how he treated people along the way. Fascinating guy.

  2. Pat says:

    I guess I shouldn’t have been shocked and surprised to discover the kind of person he was…flawed. With Apple products, my inclination was to assume there was some perfect person behind that genius. I mean I marveled at each product that was released by Apple. With all his flaws, he created perfection. I guess to be able to overcome your flaws and create perfection…that is genius. Bravo to the very ordinary man who made extraordinary things.

    • Giz Womack says:

      Pat, I would even take it a step further and argue that his flaws drove him to make perfect tools. I think his flaws were a key part of his genius!

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