Steve had a certain swagger about him and was often accused of being very brash about his views of the future. But in fact he was a very shy person and this brashness was his way of expressing his commitment to his vision for the future.
In accompanying Steve to CEO meetings in Silicon Valley and to Stanford, I discovered that his swagger, his sense of self-assurance, when talking about the future of technology was almost overwhelming. Students loved it, but a lot of CEOs were not that happy.
Steve and I were once at a CEO luncheon in Palo Alto that the leaders of Intel were also attending. At one point, Steve commented, “The big problem with Silicon Valley and developing new products is old thinkers.” As for his own outlook, “I never trust anyone over 40 years old.” (Though around Apple he used to say, “Never trust anyone over 40, except Jay”—which of course pleased me as a huge compliment, but it also was a challenge, a reminder of what I needed to live up to.) Andy Grove took great exception to Steve’s remark, particularly since everyone in the room, except Steve, was over 40! Steve may have been one of the wealthiest people in the room but that did not alter his opinion of the future. And he always brought an entrepreneur’s energy with him.
Sometimes it’s not what you say but how you say it. Steve’s swagger was never more apparent than at product launches, where he would hold the audience spellbound. But his swagger was about the product, not himself, and that’s where ...