Adding a sequence of odd numbers yields a sequence of perfect squares (eg, 1+3=4, 1+3+5=9). This is something very fascinating that Bill Atkinson on the original Apple Mac team observed when endeavoring to create circular images with limited processing power (source: the biograpy of Steve Jobs), and which could help soften the edges on Jobs’ reputation as a difficult team player.
To wit, it could be seen as a particularly nice math metaphor for how companies can build perfect teams from less than perfect people (or perhaps for tailoring or spinning perfect solutions from less than perfect events, as an application for those in the PR and reputation management business).
In retrospect, then, reexamining Steve Jobs’ actions according to the broader rubric of Atkinson’s mathematical insight may change his reputation to that of a person who was more of a diamond in the rough and someone who, after accounting for all his imperfections, a lot of companies would be lucky to have on their teams.
Kudos to Mr. Atkinson for being so brilliant about applying such information and laughter about Jobs apparently not getting it, but having been one of its great exemplars nonetheless.