While there were many people who influenced Steve Jobs, there were three that were pivotal. One was his 4th grade teacher, the second in this discussion was his adoptive father, Paul Jobs.
Paul and Clara Jobs of San Francisco lavished great love and care on Steve.
Paul Jobs, Steve’s adoptive father, was a Coast Guard veteran during World War 2, and was a man of exceptional mechanical and carpentry skill.
When Steve was old enough, father and son began to tinker with cars, build furniture, and repair things about the house.
He put a little workbench in the garage, and he said, “Steve, this is now your workbench.”
Steve and his father would work on electronics in the family garage, taking apart and reassembling televisions, radios and stereos.
Paul was a car machinist — he fixed broken cars and sold them for a profit.
He taught his son Steve the importance of craftsmanship, and how to get parts for a low price from dealers.
He would show Steve the curve of the designs and the interiors and the shapes … and even have pictures of the cars he liked the most in the garage.
“I wasn’t into fixing cars,” Steve said years later, “but I was eager to hang out with my dad.”
In their time together, his father planted a powerful work ethic in his son.
All work, Steve Jobs learned, was to be marked with excellence.
When they were building a fence, he said, “You have to make the back of the fence that people won’t see look just as beautiful as the front; just like a great carpenter would make the back of a chest of drawers … Even though others won’t see it, you will know it’s there, and that will make you more proud of your design.”
Jobs’ father held design and craftsmanship in high regard.
“My father loved doing things right,” Jobs reflected. “He even cared about the look of the parts you couldn’t see.”
Decades later this principle learned in boyhood would shape the development of Apple devices.
Jobs always insisted that the inner parts of anything bearing the Apple name be as perfectly designed and built as the outer parts, even though a customer would never see them.
Steve had the greatest respect for his father.
P.S. “Eager to hang out with my Dad” & “Having the greatest respect for my father”: as Dads, it just doesn’t get any better than that when our child feels & says that!