How Psychedelics Helped Steve Jobs Create Apple

Johnny Dee Mar 23, 2022
How Psychedelics Helped Steve Jobs Create Apple

When Steve Jobs passed away, the world lost a true mastermind. As the world mourned his death, the New York Times posted a quote that summed up Jobs’ legacy by stating he touched the ugly world of tech and made it beautiful. And as you’re reading this on your iPhone, you can see why. 

Though there’s always going to be a dichotomy among smartphone holders who swear Android’s superiority, there’s no denying the iPhone’s impact on both modern technology and the world. 

It’s with that same sophistication, sleek design that Jobs, via Apple, pushed technological boundaries, single-handedly creating the most well-known, not to mention valuable, brand in history — a company with $18 billion in profit, to be exact. 

But truth be told, Jobs’ keen eye for design didn’t come from being a Harvard graduate. Oh no, my friend, he attributes his genius to his fondness of dabbling in psychedelics. 

Back in the 70s, Jobs set out to find the meaning of life. So, like most other 20-somethings from Cali would do, he dropped acid, learned how to meditate, and took a spiritually awakening tour of India. He just didn’t have an IG account to document the whole thing in real-time. 

Jobs admits the counterculture of the 60s and 70s shaped him into the man he became. He proudly stated, more than once, that taking LSD was one of the most important things he ever did in life. 

As profound as that statement is, one question still remains: Do psychedelics make you more creative? 

While some nonbelievers may vehemently say no, psychonauts would say otherwise. There’s been a lot of research done over the years. One of the world’s leading hospitals even has an entire research center dedicated to exploring the potential benefits of psychedelics. 

While methodology has vastly differed over the years, studies suggest that creatives who took LSD experienced greater imaginative output, though the quality of their work sometimes diminished (at least from a snooty critic’s POV). 

Additional research has found that 0.17mg of psilocybin can have a strong effect on creative thinking, though it may diminish task- based creativity. What’s interesting is that even a week after taking a microdose of magic mushrooms’ primary extract, researchers noted that participants reported a continuous stream of more novel ideas. 

Brain imagining found that the increase in creative cognition stemmed from the default mode network, the part of the brain that handles information when a person isn’t focused on the external world. 

Perhaps all of this could touch upon why Steve Jobs experienced prolonged innovation after his psychedelic experiences. 

Jobs was quoted that he knew he would never be the same. He went on to describe how LSD showed him the flip side of the coin; something he couldn’t remember but felt with certainty. It solidified his need to create, but not for money. Jobs wanted to expand society’s consciousness in a more tangible way. 

Should We Thank Psychedelics for Modern Society?

What’s our take on Steve Jobs, LSD and the evolution of Apple? Whether Jobs attributes his brilliance to acid is something only he will ever know. However, we do believe his experience was so profound, so deep, he needed to share his experience with the world any way he could. 

And just like a young musical prodigy feels compelled to express himself and connect with his audience, Apple and the iPhone were supposed synonymous, if you will, to what Jobs experienced on psychedelics. 

Jobs was also adamant about the role of zen meditation when tripping, and how it gave him better clarity. While we can’t comment on whether it enhanced his already genius super powers, we do know it had to play some kind of role.

I mean, take a moment to admire Apple’s insanely minimal, yet luxurious aesthetic. It seems to be something handed down, placed right into the palm of our hands. Maybe it took a good trip for Jobs to realize exactly what the next step in human technological evolution needed to be. 

Scientifically Speaking 

While multiple studies have shown promise in psychedelic-assisted therapy for depression and dealing with terminal illness, studies about LSD and creativity are still ramping up. 

In a 1989 study, artists who took LSD and subsequently painted a portrait, demonstrated a more expressive approach when under the influence. 

Even as far back as 1954, researchers have tried to piece together the psilocybin-creativity puzzle. One such researcher is Oscar Janiger. It’s said he too gave participants several doses of LSD, in addition to crayons and paper, so they could draw their trippy experiences. Although most of the findings have been lost, his study was huge. I

It took Janiger seven years to conclude his study, which involved more than 100 participants. He had participants create two different paintings, one before and one after their trip. After the study was completed, Janiger had an expert art historian review the finished paintings. 

The acid-influenced differences included more abstract shapes and more symbolic-appearing strokes than when the participants weren’t comfortably numb.

The Saga Continues

We remember Jobs as the guy who created Apple. In fact, there’s probably not a day that goes by that even the most fanatic Android users don’t see or interact with an Apple product somehow.

After his demise, most of us were shocked to find out he not only used drugs, but also boosted about their part in his success in life. But even with his admission to drug use, specifically LSD and cannabis, it definitely doesn’t appear that he was hooked.

To the contrary, it appears Jobs indulged to help open his mind to new ideas, which probably helped him create the technology we all hold so dear.

Interestingly, Jobs was always open about his drug use, and though recreational LSD and acid are illegal, he didn’t have any qualms sharing his experiences. 

For all you history buffs who really like to know the facts, Network World reports that Jobs used LSD from 1972 until 1974. His favorite means of ingestion was to take it with a sugar cube. 

Who knew Steve had a sweet tooth, too

Jobs stated that during those formative years, he dropped acid approximately 10 to 15 times before calling it quits.

The tech titan even openly shared his past trips when securing his Department of Defense clearance in 1988. 

Pretty impressive, wouldn’t you say?

But during those years Jobs was experimenting, he shared his LSD trips with a friend who turned out to be Apple’s very first employee, Daniel Kottke. Kottke agreed that their trips were enlightening, meditative experiences that ultimately led to the birth of Apple. 

Kottke fondly reminisced how he and Steve Jobs would stroll through Reed College’s rose garden and hike while tripping. And while most of Kottke’s other memories are pretty fuzzy, he does remember Steve, and their trips. 

On a side note, which may or may not have any bearing, Jobs preferred to be around people who dabbled in drugs. Not hard-core addicts, but people who weren’t afraid to experiment every now and again. 

We don’t vibe with anyone who requires their friends to take any kind of substance to hang, but we can still get Jobs’ perspective, too. He likely wanted to be around other people who shared his interest in untapping human potential, asking questions that weren’t easy to answer, all while possibly sitting nice and cozy around a retro bong. 

Jobs represents only a small fraction of geniuses who used psychedelics to change the world. It’s interesting to know that even with a diploma from Harvard, Jobs still attributes his success to LSD, and his past mind-altering experiences. 

It really comes as no surprise that he felt that way. Apparently, it’s a trend amongst brilliant innovators to use psychedelics to expand their minds. Heck, even Bill Gates admitted he dropped acid in the past, albeit during what he referenced as his “errant youth.” 

And we get it. No one is dropping acid like they used to, and that’s great. They can take magic mushrooms instead, get the same effects, and not risk major brain damage or drug addiction. 

Here at Schedule35, we believe in microdosing to help fuel our creativity, boost our moods, and help us live life to the fullest. Have questions about shrooms, creativity, or microdosing in general? We’re your people.

Shoot us a message, browse our wares, and let us know how we can help you move toward a happier, calmer you. 

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