Steve Jobs is widely recognized as one of the prominent figures in the world of technology and innovation thanks to his unparalleled contributions. However, he was also famous for his reputation as a difficult person. While his uncompromising nature and abrasive behavior helped in driving the development of groundbreaking products, it also led to conflicts with not only his colleagues and employees but also those related to him. In a 2018 memoir on Steve Jobs named Small Fry, Lisa Brennan-Jobs, who the Apple founder had denied was his daughter, wrote about the troubling relationship she shared with her famous father. An excerpt from the memoir was also published by Vanity Fair, which chronicled several incidents that took place right till the passing of Steve Jobs. It includes the story when the billionaire told his daughter “you’re getting nothing” when she asked for the inheritance of his prized Porsche.
Remembering the incident, Lisa writes that by the age of seven her father started “dropping by sometimes, about once a month.” The Apple founder would arrive in his black Porsche convertible and the pair would go roller-skating together through the local neighborhood. However, one night, Lisa overheard her mother tell her then-boyfriend that Steve bought a new Porsche every time it got a scratch. Hearing this, Lisa one day mustered the courage to ask her father if she could have his Porsche when he was done with it. “‘Absolutely not,’ he said in such a sour, biting way that I knew I’d made a mistake,” she writes. “I understood that perhaps it wasn’t true, the myth of the scratch: maybe he didn’t buy new ones. By that time I knew he was not generous with money, or food, or words; the idea of the Porsches had seemed like one glorious exception.”
“‘You’re not getting anything,’” he said. “‘You understand? Nothing. You’re getting nothing.’ Did he mean about the car, something else, bigger? I didn’t know. His voice hurt—sharp, in my chest.” While the Apple founder might have been trying to teach his young daughter an important life lesson, the details of the incident and many others chronicled in the memoir show Jobs being cruel in his behavior.
While he denied his daughter inheriting his Porsche, the tech genius once gifted a 23-year-old a brand-new Porsche for being a stellar salesman. The story dates back to 1984 when Craig Elliott, cofounder and CEO of Pertino, was working at the local computer retailer after taking a year off college. He ended up selling more Macintosh PCs than anyone in the United States, which earned him an invite to come to Cupertino, Apple’s HQ. Not only did he get to have dinner with Steve Jobs but also handed over the keys to a Porsche sports car.
While the story of Steve Jobs changing his Porsche convertible every time it got a scratch might be nothing more than a rumor, it’s true that he kept replacing his black Porsche 911 with another black Porsche 911. There are many such stories that go on to shine a light on the Apple founder’s eccentric behavior. After many years spent loving his Porsche sports car, Steve eventually got himself a Mercedes-Benz SL55.
However, he swapped the car every six months with another Mercedes-Benz SL55 in the same color. While many people were puzzled by this behavior, the tech mogul did it just to drive his carwithout a license plate – one of his eccentricities. Back then, California allowed for the first six months of car ownership to drive without a license plate. Jobs worked out a deal with a leasing company to replace his SL55 every 180 days just to drive without plates. Crazy, right? That’s Steve Jobs for you.