Steve Jobs, the biography, by Walter Isaacson
Walter Isaacson’s book, Steve Jobs
, is an intimate study of a visionary and possibly a treatise on the rise and fall of one the world’s most successful companies. Even when Jobs was away from Apple, his life centered on his achievements and failings while at the company. Regardless of your expectations, either way, you will be fulfilled by the book — especially if you are a fan of Jobs and Apple.
One will find aspects of Steve Jobs’s life disturbing and others, impressive. It’s not difficult to understand that Jobs’s dark side, at times, overwhelms his good side. His notorious “reality distortion field” protected Jobs from the depths of this darkness, but not those around him.
Job’s denials in his family life can be disturbing. Fatherhood, especially, required him to accept things he would normally successfully deflect, if only subtitle. Jobs’ unguarded emotional reaction in the workplace may surprise some. It is amazing it did not undermine his credibility and leadership.
Steve Jobs grew up in what became the Silicon Valley. Clearly, the access he had to companies such as Hewlett Packard and the technology-nerd culture defined his career and future. If Steve Jobs was raised anywhere else – at that time in American history — it is doubtful he would have had the opportunities and connections to start a computer hardware company. Even today, 2012, Silicon Valley is a special place. Computers, software, Internet services is the region’s basketball and football. No other place in the world can truly mimic the magic that occurs here. It must be in the water, LOL.
Apple, the company Jobs founded, floundered in his absence after he was elevated from management and the board. One can question if it was his absence or lack of ability of his successors which caused the company’s plight.
Clearly his successors did not know how to market the unique attributes of Apple’s products. Simply, Apple is a hardware company first. To sell it any other way is without understanding this basic truth. Apple’s OS and software help make its hardware unparalleled next to companies such as IBM, DELL, Gateway, etc. Apple’s leadership in the nineties had no idea how to sell an object of desire foretells their eventual failure to sell Apple’s magic lamp filled with circuitry.
“Think Different.” Steve Jobs said he wanted to convey his belief that the ones who are crazy enough to think they might change the world are the ones who end up doing so. Jobs, Wozniak, among remarkable others have clearly changed the world. The mere act of buying an Apple product change the world by revealing the consumer’s desire fore a product that was uncomplicated yet sophisticated, and stylish.
If you have no idea what to expect from Isaacson’s “Steve Jobs,” and do not normally read biographies, you’ll find this book accessible and studiously chronicles Steve Jobs’ triumphs and defeats both in is professional life and personal life. Isaacson’s book is definitely about the man and not company.