Never been a bookworm. Literary classics, poetry, novels and fiction just never interested me. My preferences were always newspapers, biographies, historical events and conservative opinion books.
For Christmas I was the recipient of the Steve Jobs biography by Walter Isaacson. Smart gifters, excellent choice. Thanks kids.
I am not an Apple ‘fanboy’. Saying that would be an understatement. I have been an Apple Evangelist and what they called a dedicated power user since 1988. As a graphic designer it was my business to be out front and the Mac was the best career enhancer I could ever imagine.
Having met and shook hands with Mr. Jobs in person is one tiny part of my life I’ll never forget. Getting a personal tour of the Cupertino HQ in 1998 was an indescribable experience.
This bio is 570 pages of nonstop wheeling and dealing, real life conflicts, successes and failures along with the vast amounts of wealth so many individuals earned. Hippie capitalists. That’s what they was.
It’s about the life of one individual so driven its no wonder Jobs died so young, even if he did eat the most healthy organic vegan food his entire life. According to the author, Jobs blamed his pancreatic cancer on not taking care of his medical health after suffering from kidney stones a few years earlier. His ‘reality distortion field’ is well documented in business as well as his life.
The book begins by recounting his early life and goes into great detail about the inner conflict he had by being adopted. The author may have spent too many pages on Jobs early (pre-Apple) years. He seemed to be setting up a platform in which to judge his later behavior and unequaled determination to succeed as what I consider an excellent example of a visionary entrepreneur.
Following the development of Apple products in print reflected my own life and career. The stories behind these astounding developments are fascinating.
His mid career failures are what made Mr. Jobs the pinnacle of success he became. Having been in many corporate environments myself so many of the accounts of corporate chicanery made me feel right at home.
The difference is Jobs was in total control of his destiny. Me? Not quite so much.
What many PC devotees will never understand is that a closed and completely integrated system such as Apple, while it may cost more, is a reliable, stable platform that ‘just works’ and is far more valuable than all the other cheap tech junk that has been and continues to be produced. This book explains the how’s and why’s of this elegantly closed technology better than I ever could. There were many quotes in the book from Bill Gates where he admitted many times and in so many words that Jobs ate his lunch.
An odd thing happened to me when it comes to technology. I was on the bleeding edge decades ago. I lusted for it and could not wait to beta test what was on the Adobe horizon and I did.
Today I still do not own an iPhone and so far refuse to. Bought my wife an iPad and it suits her computing needs so much she cannot put it down. And that’s why I refuse to be tethered to a device. For me, pads pods and phones are distractions to living a social life and to enjoy what the real world has to offer. So I own the cheapest mobile phone possible (free) with no bells, whistles or 'apps'. I choose to run away from being connected to everything all the time.
If you hate Jobs and Apple this book may give you plenty of reason to hate them even more. But given the chance it could change a few minds. Getting a behind the scenes look at one of the most successful businessmen in history was worthy of my reading time.
It’s been said that truth is stranger than fiction. This book is proof.