"It's rare that you see an artist in his thirties or forties able to really contribute something amazing,"
Jobs declared as he was about to turn thirty.
That held true for Jobs in his thirties, during the decade that began with his ouster from Apple in 1985.
But after turning forty in 1995, he flourished.
Toy Story was released that year, and the following year Apple's purchase of NeXT offered him reentry into the company he had founded.
In returning to Apple, Jobs would show that even people over forty could be great innovators.
Having transformed personal computers in his twenties, he would now help to do the same for music players,
the recording industry's business model, mobile phones, apps, tablet computers, books, and journalism.
He had told Larry Ellison that his return strategy was to sell NeXT to Apple,
get appointed to the board, and be there ready when CEO Gil Amelio stumbled.
Ellison may have been baffled when Jobs insisted that he was not motivated by money, but it was partly true.
He had neither Ellison's conspicuous consumption needs nor Gates's philanthropic impulses
nor the competitive urge to see how high on the Forbes list he could get.
Instead his ego needs and personal drives led him to seek fulfillment by creating a legacy that would awe people.
A dual legacy, actually: building innovative products and building a lasting company.
He wanted to be in the pantheon with, indeed a notch above, people like Edwin Land, Bill Hewlett, and David Packard.
And the best way to achieve all this was to return to Apple and reclaim his kingdom.