Small Fry

The long-estranged daughter of Steve Jobs, Lisa Brennan-Jobs, has written a memoir called Small Fry.

She was interviewed by The New York times and a few ironic nuggets caught my eye:

Ms. Brennan-Jobs has a husband, Bill, a longtime Microsoft employee now launching a software start-up. He has two daughters, aged 10 and 12, and he and Ms. Brennan-Jobs have a 4-month-old son. As she drinks her juice, Bill is nearby with the children, and there’s an easygoing energy in the house.

A husband who worked for Microsoft for many years. How cute.

Ultimately, Mr. Jobs left his daughter an inheritance in the millions — the same amount as his other children — and she is not involved in the allocation of his financial legacy. If she was in charge of his billions, she says, she would give it away to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation — a curious twist given her father’s epic rivalry with Apple’s archnemesis.

Such a rebel.

It was another uncomfortable reminder that even though “Small Fry” is Ms. Brennan-Jobs’s story — one written in a precise, literary style — her father’s myth looms so large that she cannot control how her words are received. When choosing a narrator for the audio version, she nixed the ones who spoke his lines too harshly or without humor.

So much of Ms. Brennan-Jobs’s effort with the memoir seems to be to show how brutal Steve Jobs could be — and, in doing so, to reclaim that brutality for herself. And how she wants to reclaim it is to love it.

Lisa shouldn’t feel any guilt if Steve comes across as a prick in her book.

I’ve read Walter Isaacson’s biography of Steve Jobs, numerous personal anecdotes of people who worked with him, and watched many videos of him both on and off stage. He was an eccentric asshole, to say the least.

Of course that’s just one dimension of him. An important dimension, but one of many.