The forty-mile Santa Clara Valley, which stretches from South San Francisco through Palo Alto to San Jose,
has as its commercial backbone El Camino Real, the royal road that once connected California’s twenty-one mission churches and is now a bustling avenue that connects companies and startups accounting for a third of the venture capital investment in the United States each year.
贯穿其中的是该地区的商业主干道国王大道” (El CaminoReal),这条道路曾经连接着加州的21所教会，而现在，这条繁忙的道路所连接的企业和新兴公司每年吸引着全美1/3的风险投资。
“Growing up, I got inspired by the history of the place,” Jobs said. “That made me want to be a part of it.”
Like most kids, he became infused with the passions of the grown-ups around him.
“Most of the dads in the neighborhood did really neat stuff, like photovoltaics and batteries and radar,” Jobs recalled.
“I grew up in awe of that stuff and asking people about it.”
The most important of these neighbors, Larry Lang, lived seven doors away.
“He was my model of what an HP engineer was supposed to be: a big ham radio operator, hard-core electronics guy,” Jobs recalled.
“He would bring me stuff to play with.” As we walked up to Lang’s old house, Jobs pointed to the driveway.
“He took a carbon microphone and a battery and a speaker, and he put it on this driveway. He had me talk into the carbon mike and it amplified out of the speaker.”
Jobs had been taught by his father that microphones always required an electronic amplifier.
“So I raced home, and I told my dad that he was wrong.” “No, it needs an amplifier,” his father assured him.
When Steve protested otherwise, his father said he was crazy.
“It can’t work without an amplifier. There’s some trick.”
“I kept saying no to my dad, telling him he had to see it, and finally he actually walked down with me and saw it.
And he said, ‘Well I’ll be a bat out of hell.’”
Jobs recalled the incident vividly because it was his first realization that his father did not know everything.
Then a more disconcerting discovery began to dawn on him: He was smarter than his parents.
He had always admired his father’s competence and savvy.
“He was not an educated man, but I had always thought he was pretty damn smart. He didn’t read much, but he could do a lot.
Almost everything mechanical, he could figure it out.” Yet the carbon microphone incident, Jobs said, began a jarring process of realizing that he was in fact more clever and quick than his parents.
“It was a very big moment that’s burned into my mind.
When I realized that I was smarter than my parents, I felt tremendous shame for having thought that. I will never forget that moment.”
This discovery, he later told friends, along with the fact that he was adopted, made him feel apart—detached and separate—from both his family and the world.
Another layer of awareness occurred soon after. Not only did he discover that he was brighter than his parents, but he discovered that they knew this.
Paul and Clara Jobs were loving parents, and they were willing to adapt their lives to suit a son who was very smart—and also willful.
They would go to great lengths to accommodate him. And soon Steve discovered this fact as well.
“Both my parents got me. They felt a lot of responsibility once they sensed that I was special.
They found ways to keep feeding me stuff and putting me in better schools. They were willing to defer to my needs.”
So he grew up not only with a sense of having once been abandoned, but also with a sense that he was special.