Jobs later said that Janov’s teachings did not prove very useful.
“He offered a ready-made, buttoned-down answer which turned
out to be far too oversimplistic. It became obvious that it was
not going to yield any great insight.” But Holmes contended
that it made him more confident: “After he did it, he was in a different place.
He had a very abrasive personality, but there was a peace about him
for a while. His confidence improved and his feelings of inadequacy were reduced.”
Jobs came to believe that he could impart that feeling of confidence
to others and thus push them to do things they hadn’t thought possible.
Holmes had broken up with Kottke and joined a religious cult in San
Francisco that expected her to sever ties with all past friends. But Jobs
rejected that injunction. He arrived at the cult house in his Ford Ranchero
one day and announced that he was driving up to Friedland’s apple farm
and she was to come. Even more brazenly, he said she would have to drive
part of the way, even though she didn’t know how to use the stick shift.
“Once we got on the open road, he made me get behind the wheel, and he
shifted the car until we got up to 55 miles per hour,” she recalled.
“Then he puts on a tape of Dylan’s Blood on the Tracks, lays his head
in my lap, and goes to sleep. He had the attitude that he could do anything,
and therefore so can you. He put his life in my hands. So that made me
do something I didn’t think I could do.”
It was the brighter side of what would become known as his reality
distortion field. “If you trust him, you can do things,” Holmes said.
“If he’s decided that something should happen,
then he’s just going to make it happen.”
One day in early 1975 Al Alcorn was sitting in his office at Atari when Ron Wayne burst in.