Last week while on vacation I read Walter Isaacson’s biography on Steve Jobs. There is no arguing Steve Jobs was one of the best businessmen of the modern era and he may just be the best one ever having started Apple in his garage and then leading it to become the most valuable company in the world. However, one thing he did was very strange and that was never putting a license plate on his cars. Yes, especially weird for a car guy of which he was to some degree. For years, Steve Jobs had the following routine which he got away with legally thanks to a California loophole.
He would trade his current ride of the day, most often a Mercedes coupe for a similar car on the sixth month of his lease. Under California’s temporary license plate law drivers are allowed to have a temporary license plate for six months. Nobody really knows the reason Steve Jobs did this, but obviously he had his reasons. One key observation about this scenario is he must have had a very accommodating leasing company. The whole thing is extraordinary for someone who was worth $11 billion at the time of his death.