Steve Jobs on Gizmodo: I’d Rather Quit than Let It Slide

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Steve Jobs said he would rather quit than let the fact that Gizmodo bought Apple’s stolen iPhone 4G prototype slide. The comments came Wednesday at the D8 Conference when Mr. Jobs was asked about the incident, and what he saw himself doing ten years from now.

“When this whole thing with Gizmodo happened,” Mr. Jobs said, “I got a lot of advice from people that said. ‘You’ve gotta just let it slide. You shouldn’t go after a journalist because they bought stolen property and they tried to extort you.’”

Mr. Jobs said that he thought “deeply” about the situation and the advice and concluded that, “The worst thing that could possibly happen as we get big and we get a little more influence in the world is if we change our core values and start letting it slide. I can’t do that. I’d rather quit.”

According to him, what drives him and the other executives and employees at Apple is to try and make the best products they can, saying, “We have the same values now as we had then. Maybe [we are] a little more experienced, certainly more beat up, but the core values are the same. And we come into work wanting to do the same thing today as we did five or ten years ago, which is build the best products for people.”

The not-directly-said connection is that protecting those products is part of those core values, and that allowing the situation to slide by would, in effect, be the beginning of those core values changing.

Also in answer to Ms. Swisher’s question about Mr. Jobs’s next ten years, he said, “There’s nothing that makes my day more than getting an e-mail from some random person in the universe who just bought an iPad in the UK and tells me the story about how it’s the coolest product they’ve ever brought home in their lives. That’s what keeps me going. It’s what kept me going five years ago, and it’s what kept me going ten years ago when the doors were almost closed, and it’s what will keep me going five years from now whatever happens.”

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Comments

noworryz

Apple already had the iPhone back in their possession when they met with the police (REACT) so how was that extortion? Sounds more like revenge for stealing his thunder at WWDC…

Lee Dronick

Apple already had the iPhone back in their possession when they met with the police (REACT) so how was that extortion?

I think I remember reading that Gizmodo wanted something from Apple in exchange for returning the iPhone. If so then it was probably more like blackmail than extortion.

DCJ001

noworryz should have researched the facts before making a statement, asking a question based on what may no have been true, and drawing a conclusion on a possibly false statement.

Garion

The extortion that Jobs is referring to is likely the letter from Gizmodo editor Brian Lam, in which he demanded that Apple send them a written statement admitting that the prototype was Apple’s, and on top of that he made som very thinly veiled demands for a favoured status for Gizmodo regarding access to Apple events and review units.

Apparently Mr Jobs didn’t think that was cool.

Ref Librarian

I don’t think it was cool either. If my child took someone’s property and sold it, we’d have to have a talk about honesty and ethics and the Golden Rule. If my child bought stolen/lost property and then tried to force concessions from a company before returning their property, again we’d be having a talk about Doing the Right Thing and accepting the consequences, not to mention responsibility, for bad (as well as good) actions.

iJack

more like blackmail than extortion.

  What do you think the difference is?  Blackmail IS extortion!

Lee Dronick

What do you think the difference is?? Blackmail IS extortion!

I was thinking that extortion implies more of a physical threat than does blackmail.

Bosco (Brad Hutchings)

Welcome to the United States of Apple. Team REACT, Cupertino Police. [NSFW]

Aaa-pull, f—- yeah.
Our iPhone will save the motherf—-ing day, yeah.
Aaa-pull, f—- yeah
Curated garden is the only way.

Microsoft your game is through
Adobe and Google too.
Aaa-pull, f—- yeah.

Macintosh, F—- yeah!
OS X, F—- yeah!
MacBook Pro, F—- yeah!
iPhone, F—- yeah!
iPad, F—- yeah!
Keynote, F—- yeah!
Steve Jobs, F—- yeah!
The Woz, F—- yeah!

Gil Amelio, (one “F—- yeah!”)
Gizmodo, (crickets)
Flash, (crickets)

noworryz

Sigh. Poor DCJ001 should learn that just saying something isn’t true doesn’t make it actually not true. All the details are in the affidavit for the search warrant (link attached): Apple had the iPhone back after meeting Gizmodo’s demand that they ask for it in writing, they later contacted REACT (which doesn’t normally deal with such things but Apple is on their “Steering Commitee”) and REACT broke down journalist Jason Chen’s door and took 23 items of his stuff, including a box of his business cards, his bank ID card, his computers, and his Airport base station. So did REACT function as Apple’s private police force or not, that’s the question.

Affidavit here

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