Steve Jobs

Just finished reading this biography by Walter Isaacson. It was a difficult read at times because Steve Jobs was very nasty at times – ignoring his family especially his first child Lisa and calling people xxxholes and firing them in front of other staff.

But I stuck with it, all 570 pages. In the end I came to admire the man. He had the uncanny ability to vision what people wanted before they knew it themselves.  He had multiple successes – the Macintosh, Ipod, Iphone, IPad and Icloud which made Apple the most successful technology company in the world.  His Zen Buddhism interest and background no doubt influenced  his approach to people and products.

He believed in brutal honesty in the workplace – he said “That’s xxxt” hundreds of times to people when shown their ideas or prototypes. One of his key roles at Apple apart from product design, was to ensure Apple had only “A” players on it’s staff.  “It’s not easy, but someone has to do it.” quips Jobs.  His focus he says, was always on making the best product possible, not making money. He played at the confluence of product design and manufacture with liberal arts and humanities.  He got people to do the impossible.  He had weird eating habits.

He was such a perfectionist that he lived in his first house for years with no furniture because he could not make up his mind what to buy. Another thing he is famous for is locking up Apple products so tightly that the user cannot get into them.  Otherwise, “they would screw it up” he believed.

It is perhaps for this latter reason that I have never felt compelled to purchase an Apple product. Call me nerdy but I like to know I can open the back and fiddle if need be.

In closing, I highly recommend this book for an honest look into one of the most enigmatic personalities in recent history. Jobs died of cancer in 2011 at the age of 56.

I learned a lot in reading this book, not just about Jobs.  Book 4.5 of 5 stars.  Steve Jobs documentary movie on Netflix 2 of 5 stars



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