Steve Jobs Biography
I recently read Steve Jobs biography by Walter Isaacson. I usually read fiction, and I actually don't own or use many Apple products besides my iPhone, but I decided to read it anyway. And I'm very happy I did, because I have a new found appreciation of him. There have been many articles written on Jobs throughout his illustrious career, so I see no need to go into an in-depth analysis on his life. Instead, I want to record what stood out most to me personally while reading his biography.
In an odd way, I kind of like the fact that Steve Jobs was a mercurial man. He was so brilliant in so many ways–marketing, architecture, technology, his vision of anything he was passionate about–that I think he wouldn't seem as real/human if he was also a kind, gentle leader. In fact, I think many of his flaws can be attributed to his success. As big of a prick as he often was according his employees, many of them did admit that under his leadership, they were able to accomplish things they would have deemed impossible to do or complete under such a tight deadline (aka Jobs' “reality distortion field”).
I liked that he wasn't (entirely) driven by money (besides in the very beginning of his career when he wanted to not just sell, but make a profit off the computer he and Steve Wozniak had created against Wozniak's wishes). Once his company became successful, he could have let money drive things, but it says so much more about him that his main goal was to create products to not only change individuals' lives but the whole world. I think most people in his position would have taken a back seat and have been not as involved while the money came pouring in. I love the
fact that Jobs had his hands in every department from working with Jony Ive on the design of Apple products to working with TBWA with advertising and marketing initiatives (like my personal favorite, the buy zithromax online uk
ank”>Think Different Campaign for which Jobs even wrote most of the text).
There are many little things I appreciate or found interesting about Jobs: the fact that he was a vegan and went through weird fasting and fruit only diets; that even though he was adopted, he loved his parents and always considered them his real parents; that he often cried and knew how to play the company politics game quite well; that sometimes he'd have no filter and call people stupid shitheads, yet he also had the ability to lead people to believe that he thought they were great even if he really thought they were stupid and wanted to kick them out of the
company (like former CEO John Sculley); that he openly talked about his experiences taking LSD and almost endorsed it in a way; that he dropped out of Reed College but still dropped in on courses like yoga/meditation and calligraphy (which actually was the knowledge that influenced the Mac's fonts.)
If I could take only one thing away from the biography, it would be that it pays off to be a perfectionist and to pay attention to every little detail. I liked Jobs' minimalist approach. His dedication to Apple products lead to the creation of new technology that is appealing, friendly to consumers, and encourages/inspires creativity, yet gives an aura of sophistication. There is no other like Steve Jobs, and I think the world realizes this, and that's part of the reason his bad behavior was mostly tolerated. One might argue that yes, Jobs did take credit for a lot of things he didn't originally think of, but he was an executor and he made sure things got done right. That's part of the reason why, even though there were dozens of key players making Apple into the innovative company it is today, most people think of it only as Steve Job's company.
Even if you don't own any
Apple products or consider yourself artistic or an innovator, reading the Steve Jobs biography is inspirational, and I highly recommend giving it a shot. I think there is something everyone can take away from it.
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