updated 10:50 am EDT, Mon August 17, 2009
Apple media control effort
Apple tried twice to interfere with the publication of a profile of Steve Jobs in the UK's Sunday Times newspaper, says the article's author, Bryan Appleyard. One PR representative from the company is said to have spoken with Appleyard directly, insisting that Apple wants to "discourage profiles." The company then contacted the editor of the Times, asking to have the article withheld entirely.
The profile cites a number of people to provide both positive and negative views of Jobs. One of the strongest criticisms is directed towards a strict internal security policy, which is described as creating a Mafia-like code of silence at Apple in which people can be fired for leaks or simply careless discussion. Appleyard also reiterates the claim that company executives deliberately seed misinformation, hoping to expose people who might theoretically leak real data.
Jobs is also described as being sometimes temperamental during interviews -- despite being a Zen Buddhist -- and a narcissist, a trait which is at least partly reflected in Apple's insistence on using internal design ideas rather than those demanded by the public. The company does benefit from Jobs' perfectionism, Appleyard notes, as well as his celebrity status, and his understanding of the end user. In a post-Jobs world, it is suggested that Apple could try to merge with Google, in keeping with the corporations' growing ties.