Daniel Kottke talks doing LSD with Steve Jobs

Early Apple employee Daniel Kottke recently opened up about his days doing LSD with Steve Jobs in the 70s.

A slide from the iPad introduction in January 2010 shows Steve Jobs in the early days of personal computing. Credit: IDG News Service

Though Steve Jobs espoused a healthy lifestyle for most of his adult life, the Apple co-founder, like many college-aged kids in the 70s, was no stranger to the drug culture that was pervasive across many college campuses at the time. Needless to say, this type of environment was likely magnified at Reed College, which Jobs attended for a few years.

Famously, Jobs once said that taking LSD was one of the "two or three most important things" he ever did in his life. Going into further detail, Jobs explained that the experience of tripping on LSD expanded his mind and allowed him to see the world from an entirely different perspective.

As part of a Department of Defense background check on Jobs in the 1980s, the Apple co-founder explained his relationship with LSD, which took place from 1972-1974, thusly:

Throughout that period of time I used the LSD approximately ten to fifteen times. I would ingest the LSD on a sugar cube or in a hard form of gelatin. I would usually take the LSD when I was by myself. I have no words to explain the effect the LSD had on me, although I can say it was a positive life-changing experience for me and I am glad I went through that experience.

Recently, Daniel Kottke — one of Jobs' old college friends and one of the first employees at Apple — spoke to CNN about what it was like to take LSD with Jobs.

Kottke explains that he and Jobs would typically take LSD and wander through the rose gardens at Reed College.

"We were monk-wannabes," Kottke said. They were on a quest to better understand consciousness using an LSD varietal known as Orange Sunshine as their Sherpa.

"We were ... in a meditative space," Kottke said. "But that's partly because we were reading books about chakras and psychic energy and the chi and the Kundalini serpent that was going to rise up our spine."

Jobs of course would eventually leave his experimental days behind once he started to become enamored with the potential to change the world via technology.

Somewhat comically, Jobs in his biography said that Microsoft founder Bill Gates would have benefited had he "dropped acid once or gone off to an ashram when he was younger."

As for Kottke, he played an interesting role in the early days of Apple. Officially, Kottke was Apple's 12th employee where his initial job responsibilities included assembling some of the early Apple I computers. Famously, and somewhat bizarrely, Kottke was granted no company shares when Apple went public. Later on, Steve Wozniak gave Kottke some of his own shares to right the perceived wrong.

As a final point of interest, the video below, filmed at last year's Mac@30 event, features Kottke and the Woz discussing the early years at Apple. 

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