Fascinating insight into the negotiating psyche of Steve Jobs in Friday’s Financial Times (article here). According to his biographer, Walter Isaacson, he was apparently so incensed by Google’s creation of the Android platform that he threatened he would “destroy” it. “I am willing to go to thermo-nuclear war'” he is reported to have said.

Jobs’ fanatical approach to preserving Apple’s “walled garden” of technology devices and platforms is well documented. The patent wars that commenced with suits against Samsung and HTC have their roots in this hostility.

This kind of omnipotent aggression can be detected even in relation to Steve Jobs attitude to his own difficult illness. He refused an operation for 9 months that might have saved his life. Apparently his view was “I didn’t want my body to be opened. I didn’t want my body to be violated in that way”. This stubborn refusal to co-operate, and to remain within the “walled garden” of his own body may have been costly indeed.

Apple’s habitually aggressive attitude to negotiations with competitors can be traced to this hostile approach to the outside world – “push” hard, no quarter given. It will be interesting to see whether this attitude continues in the days ahead as Apple comes to terms with Jobs’ demise. Will they continue to play negotiating hardball, or will a more collaborative approach develop in which Apple gets what it wants by considering the needs of others as well as its own expectations? Will it come to realise that it can get more of what it wants by being less protective of what it has?