Book review – Steve Jobs’ biography by Walter Isaacson

Steve…Steve Jobs…at an intersection of humanity and Technology…

The moment you start reading the new biography of Steve Jobs’ by Walter Isaacson, you bound to think one thing for sure…What a Man! What an iCon! What an iDea…

This book is with massive pages…656…phew! So it is going to take some time for me to complete it…so far I have gone through 4 chapters…and I must say there is one more reason why I don’t want to complete this book in one go…This book spins such a ‘Reality Distortion’ and an ‘Aura’ around you… that you are forced to say…let the ‘Aura’ be…

Isaacson’s book is studded with moments that make you go “wow.” There’s the Apple flotation, which made the 25-year-old Jobs US$256 million in the days when that was a lot of money. There’s his turnaround of the company after he returned as CEO in 1997: In the previous fiscal year the company lost US$1.04 billion, but he returned it to profit in his first quarter. There’s the launch of the iTunes store: Expected to sell a million songs in six months, it sold a million songs in six days.

Walter makes it very clear that Jobs wasn’t a visionary or even a particularly talented electronic engineer. But he was a businessman of astonishing flair and focus, a marketing genius, and — when he was getting it right, which wasn’t always — had an intuitive sense of what the customer would want before the customer had any idea. He was obsessed with the products, rather than with the money: Happily, as he found, if you get the products right, the money will come.

But with all this there remains a question which if you are reading this must like to know

Why read this book?

Because I want to be a GREAT problem solver…

Because I want to learn to become a better problem solver from one of the best problem solvers’ of this century

I am a HUGE fan of ‘Sir’ Steve Jobs…he ‘is’ a phenomenon…I have been following him from past few years very very closely…going through every keynotes…his way of presentation….his way os talking…everything…I admire in him. He is my idol…my ‘Mentor’…but having known so much about Steve, I still would like to know more…no as if I want to know what happened with Steve and his childhood…but because I want to learn as to whatever happened with him…how that made him the person he was….

So far book has been a great read…and I would love to go over this book…and will write more and more as I get to know…


10 Golden Lessons From Steve Jobs – Part I

My Name is Steve…Steve Jobs…and I don’t care who you are…for me Customer is King, and I owe them… – though these are not Steve’s word, but this has always been evident from Steve and his products that he does care about one thing, and that one thing is Products…

Here are few of his excellent lines, which in turn are the gold mine for  any budding Product Manager:

I think we’re having fun. I think our customers really like our products. And we’re always trying to do better.” – Steve Jobs

His accomplishments and character helped define a generation and change the world. He was co-founder of the fairytale company we now know as Apple Computers. And he was the visionary of the personal computers world that led the entire computer hardware and software industry to restructure itself. This man with boundless energy and charisma is also a master of hype, hyperbole and the catchy phrase. And even when he’s trying to talk normally, brilliant verbiage comes tumbling out.

1. Steve Jobs said: “Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower.”

Innovation has no limits. The only limit is your imagination. It’s time for you to begin thinking out of the box. If you are involved in a growing industry, think of ways to become more efficient; more customer friendly; and easier to do business with. If you are involved in a shrinking industry – get out of it quick and change before you become obsolete; out of work; or out of business. And remember that procrastination is not an option here. Start innovating now!!!

2. Steve Jobs said: “Be a yardstick of quality. Some people aren’t used to an environment where excellence is expected.”

There is no shortcut to excellence. You will have to make the commitment to make excellence your priority. Use your talents, abilities, and skills in the best way possible and get ahead of others by giving that little extra. Live by a higher standard and pay attention to the details that really do make the difference. Excellence is not difficult – simply decide right now to give it your best shot – and you will be amazed with what life gives you back.

3. Steve Jobs said: “The only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it.”

I’ve got it down to four words: “Do what you love.” Seek out an occupation that  gives you a sense of meaning, direction and satisfaction in life. Having a sense of purpose and striving towards goals gives life meaning, direction and satisfaction. It not only contributes to health and longevity, but also makes you feel better in difficult times. Do you jump out of bed on Monday mornings and look forward to the work week? If the answer is ‘no’ keep looking, you’ll know when you find it.

4. Steve Jobs said: “You know, we don’t grow most of the food we eat. We wear clothes other people make. We speak a language that other people developed. We use a mathematics that other people evolved… I mean, we’re constantly taking things. It’s a wonderful, ecstatic feeling to create something that puts it back in the pool of human experience and knowledge.”

Live in a way that is ethically responsible. Try to make a difference in this world and contribute to the higher good. You’ll find it gives more meaning to your life and it’s a great antidote to boredom. There is always so much to be done. And talk to others about what you are doing. Don’t preach or be self-righteous, or fanatical about it, that just puts people off, but at the same time, don’t be shy about setting an example, and use opportunities that arise to let others know what you are doing.

5. Steve Jobs said: “There’s a phrase in Buddhism, ‘Beginner’s mind.’ It’s wonderful to have a beginner’s mind.”

It is the kind of mind that can see things as they are, which step by step and in a flash can realize the original nature of everything. Beginner’s mind is the mind that is innocent of preconceptions and expectations, judgements and prejudices. Think of beginner’s mind as the mind that faces life like a small child, full of curiosity and wonder and amazement.