One surprising defender of Jobs was Jean-Louis Gassee,
who had bumped elbows with Jobs when he replaced him at Apple and subsequently been ousted himself.
He wrote an article extolling the creativity of NeXT products.
"NeXT might not be Apple," Gassee argued, "but Steve is still Steve."
A few days later his wife answered a knock on the door and went running upstairs to tell him that Jobs was standing there.
He thanked Gassee for the article and invited him to an event
where Intel's Andy Grove would join Jobs in announcing that NeXTSTEP would be ported to the IBM/Intel platform.
"I sat next to Steve's father, Paul Jobs, a movingly dignified individual," Gassee recalled.
"He raised a difficult son, but he was proud and happy to see him onstage with Andy Grove."
A year later Jobs took the inevitable subsequent step: He gave up making the hardware altogether.
This was a painful decision, just as it had been when he gave up making hardware at Pixar.
He cared about all aspects of his products, but the hardware was a particular passion.
He was energized by great design, obsessed over manufacturing details,
and would spend hours watching his robots make his perfect machines.
But now he had to lay off more than half his workforce,
sell his beloved factory to Canon (which auctioned off the fancy furniture),
and satisfy himself with a company that tried to license an operating system to manufacturers of uninspired machines.