We weren’t wealthy but we weren’t poor either. My mum was a teacher and my dad, Chris, was an England international cricketer. We were always taught respect when it came to money, and that stands me in good stead now. I’ve always respected my parents, and still look to them for advice when I need it.
I played the piano as a boy for six years, from the time I was six to 12 years old. My piano lessons ended when my father died because our family had no more money. I used to have a mestiza teacher. She’d come once a week to teach me piano lessons, and she’d bribe me each time with an apple; otherwise, I wouldn’t play.
Bottom line is, I didn’t return to Apple to make a fortune. I’ve been very lucky in my life and already have one. When I was 25, my net worth was $100 million or so. I decided then that I wasn’t going to let it ruin my life. There’s no way you could ever spend it all, and I don’t view wealth as something that validates my intelligence.
It’s hard to tell with these Internet startups if they’re really interested in building companies or if they’re just interested in the money. I can tell you, though: If they don’t really want to build a company, they won’t luck into it. That’s because it’s so hard that if you don’t have a passion, you’ll give up.