Two Degrees of Separation from Steve Jobs through Eric Heiden

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I read an article yesterday about Steve Jobs, mastermind behind Apple, whose ex-girlfriend is writing a memoir about her relationship with Mr. Jobs. I guess she doesn’t have a bunch of nice things to say about her ex.

I never had the pleasure to meet Steve Jobs. I don’t think we would have hung in the same circles. But, I do have one Steve Jobs story. Actually, I’m repeating a Steve Jobs story that Eric Heiden told. This isn’t verbatim, so I hope I don’t muck it up too much.

Anyway, Eric Heiden lived up above Palo Alto on Skyline Drive. He went to Stanford Medical School. One day, Eric was home and a woman came walking down his driveway pushing a bicycle. There was a guy with her. It seems like the woman had mis-shifted or something and had screwed up her rear derailluer. For some reason, I think she must have been riding a nice bike because I envisioned it with a screwed up Campy derailluer. Anyway, Eric said something like you just happened upon the perfect place to rip off your rear derailluer because I have a box full of them in my garage. He then introduced himself to the couple. When the guy introduced himself to Eric he said, Steve Jobs.

I don’t exactly remember Eric saying his thoughts were when meeting Steve Jobs. Back then he (Steve Jobs) wasn’t the crazy famous Steve Jobs of today, but he was Steve Jobs of Apple still. Anyway, Eric puts a new Campagnolo rear derailluer and sent them off. Then I thought that Eric was going to say that a couple days later, a new Macitosh showed up at his house or something. But, no, he said he never heard a peep from either of them again.

I thought, wow, a free Campy rear derailluer, installed by a five time Olympic gold medalist and no nothing? What nerve. But, from all I hear, Steve Jobs wasn’t the nicest guy in the world. He did help make some world changing electronics though.


11 thoughts on “Two Degrees of Separation from Steve Jobs through Eric Heiden

  1. IAn

    Being a gold medalist doesn’t make you a nice guy either. But those that have met Heiden always say ….”what a nice guy”.

  2. Jeff

    I know a girl who works for Microsoft, and was picked by her co-workers to be the one in her department to get to meet Bill Gates on a visit to the office in N.C. she works at. As it happened, the times were mixed up and she went to the conference room 15 minutes earlier than everyone else. Same with Bill Gates. She said she sat in there for 15 minutes alone with him talking until the others showed up. I once saw what a dollar value of 1 sec of his tiime was worth theoretically. She probably would rather have taken the cash for the 15 minutes.

  3. channel_zero

    Rude doesn’t go nearly far enough to describe what a royal @ss the guy was. He was legendary for his tantrums, singling out, then treating people in meetings like sh!t and then conveniently forget it ever happened. Stole from his “friends” on the way up.

    He’s of the legendary bad guys of the industry second only to Gates and a couple of other Microsoft principals. Right now he’s rolling in his grave because he wasn’t “the best” when ranked against Gates and Co.

    Today, it’s not the greatest place to write code. That is putting it kindly.

  4. Euro

    Steve Jobs was a first class dick. Got what he deserved. Part of the reason I will never use an Apple product of any kind.

    Heiden, on the other hand, is a first class gentleman and a good guy.

  5. H Luce

    I’ve been using Apples since 1989, and I’ve despised the company since then, too. It’s weird, they have HCI engineering down cold, but they’re a bunch of greedheads and pricks. If Linux worked as well, I’d be gone in a heartbeat.

  6. Wildcat

    There are two things we don’t let into our house.

    #1 = Anything red. Being a third generation kstater we despise anything that is red because it reminds us of Nebraska/Sooners/TxTech/KU/etc.

    #2 = Any Apple product. I think it’s bad enough my wife is required to use a Mac at her work place.

    I ask her to wash her hands when she’s finished computing at work before she comes home.

    Just kidding about that last part.


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