Jobs's prickly behavior was partly driven by his perfectionism
and his impatience with those who made compromises in order to get a product out on time and on budget.
"He could not make trade-offs well," said Atkinson.
"If someone didn't care to make their product perfect, they were a bozo."
At the West Coast Computer Faire in April 1981, for example,
Adam Osborne released the first truly portable personal computer.
It was not great—it had a five-inch screen and not much memory—but it worked well enough.
As Osborne famously declared, "Adequacy is sufficient. All else is superfluous."
Jobs found that approach to be morally appalling, and he spent days making fun of Osborne.
"This guy just doesn't get it," Jobs repeatedly railed as he wandered the Apple corridors.
"He's not making art, he's making shit."
One day Jobs came into the cubicle of Larry Kenyon, an engineer who was working on the Macintosh operating system,
and complained that it was taking too long to boot up.
Kenyon started to explain, but Jobs cut him off.
"If it could save a person's life, would you find a way to shave ten seconds off the boot time?" he asked.
Kenyon allowed that he probably could.
Jobs went to a whiteboard and showed that if there were five million people using the Mac,
and it took ten seconds extra to turn it on every day,
that added up to three hundred million or so hours per year that people would save,
which was the equivalent of at least one hundred lifetimes saved per year.
"Larry was suitably impressed, and a few weeks later he came back and it booted up twenty-eight seconds faster," Atkinson recalled.
"Steve had a way of motivating by looking at the bigger picture."