Reading Steve Jobs

I couldn’t believe my luck when I found this laying on the library chair on the most wanted section. “Most Wanted” books can not be reserved, can only be borrowed for 7 days and is a first come first served basis. After making sure that nobody else has a claim to it, I immediately checked it out.The only problem with reading this Steve Jobs official biography meant going through almost 600 pages. The last time I’ve read a book that thick was “Obama: The Promise” by Jonathan Alter, a year ago. But the Steve Jobs book was just as engaging as the Obama book and a page turner just like the The Girl With The Dragon Tatoo et. al. trilogy.

While reading the book I vacillated between being appalled by Jobs extreme rudeness to his employees and being awestruck by his brilliance. As someone who just recently started playing with the iLife apps, as someone who has been impressed at the ease of use of these together with other apple gadgets, the connectivity I enjoyed the back story of how it was developed and how Jobs was really, despite being the CEO, had a large role in all these, in the tiniest details (e.g. no power buttons). I have also been frustrated with the hassle it involved if mixed with none Apple products e.g. iTunes on my PC and how you can only view photos in Quicktime if iTunes is installed but the book made me understand how it was important for Jobs that hardware and software should be tightly meshed together to be more user friendly.

It’s funny how the frontrunners of the computer giants do not have normal personalities. It has been theorised that Steve Jobs is schizophrenic (he is either extremely nice to people when he needs something or extremely insulting to others) while Bill Gates has some type of Asperger’s. I think Apple wouldn’t be where it is now without Steve Jobs brutality because dispensing with niceness or compassion for other people’s feelings have made him keep only the best people who was as motivated as he was, there was no room for politics between departments (which was the downfall of Sony who could have pioneered their own iTunes store and iPods) and fighting with powerful board members who most of the time would rather play it safe and put profits first.

No doubt Steve Jobs was a creative and marketing genius, I would have given an arm for the opportunity to witness him work but it also made me ask would I have worked for him granting I had the talent and skill to be on his creative team? Sadly no. I have low tolerance for rudeness and insensitivity. And I also treasure time with my family. Steve Jobs tried his best to be a good father and husband but reading the book I came to the conclusion that Apple and its products were his first priorities and love.

I was very surprised how much I enjoyed reading this book, even the history about the computing world and all it’s players considering I am not a very techy person, but the writer did a marvelous job at putting it all together. However, when I was at Walmart and saw Steve Job’s book displayed, I couldn’t help but wonder what Jobs would have thought of that considering image was so important to him when it comes to his products.

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4 Responses to Reading Steve Jobs

  1. Ed says:

    I have a love hate relationship with Steve Jobs. I think the guy was brilliant and some of the hardware he kicked out is genius. We have an iPod, iPad and two iPhones and they are all easy to use and timeless in appearance. What I hate it the mandate that I have to go through iTunes to use them. I find iTunes cumbersome and not user friendly at all. I just want to click, drag and paste like I do on everything else. Perhaps if I had a Mac my opinion would be different but unfortunately in my world, none of the software is compatible on them.

  2. Kittymama says:

    I was never in awe of the guy. Sure, he was a genius and he was a visionary when it came to the future technology but after having read a piece about him claiming he was infertile just to avoid owning up to paternal responsibilities to his first child, I realized he was just as flawed as we are. Sometimes, a jerk, sometimes a hero. We all have our dumb moments, just as he had his.

    I have this book on Kindle and I’ve been putting it off. But now that you’ve read it, I’ll take my cue from you and start on it tonight. :-)

  3. Loraine says:

    Thanks for the review. I am still waiting for this book in my local library. Anyway, I was tempted to buy this book in Sam’s Club. Regarding your last paragraph, I don’t think he minds selling his product in WalMart which has the best deal for Apple Products. FYI, I never own an Apple product. I am too cheap. I should.. I need to work more for that, ha.ha.

  4. geri says:

    Ed, yeah I agree that using Apple software with the PC is definitely cumbersome. Just like when I try to open my photo file, since I have to install iTunes, Quick Player is now the default – which is annoying because it usually gives me an error message. Do you think you are going to read the book? It’s really interesting how the leaders in the computing industry come to play.

    Kittymama, you know, I never had any plans of reading this book because I only have one apple product and I thought that the kind of mourning his “fans” did for him was kind of OA. He wasn’t the most lovable character nor the most generous – although I do admire his ascetic lifestyle although it does conflict with the business he was in. It wasn’t only when I read this yahoo article about him being adopted, being a drop out etc. that I thought it would be very interesting to read about his life. But me having been in the design business, the process of his building a product turned out to be the most fascinating for me most of all.

    Loraine, I didn’t know that they sell Apple products in Walmart II didn’t notice) – I am very surprised because in the book he talked about how important it was for his products not to be sold in big box stores. In fact, the chapter about them building the Apple Store was, again fascinating, that they had to build a “mock” store for them to walk around and feel comfortable in it. Btw, get an iTouch, bought mine (my only Apple product) 3 years ago, loved it and worth it every penny. There are educational apps that you can download for free or little money for Benj to play with while you are in a restaurant, a grocery store or doing errands. He can also watch movies or read stories from it. Evan also listens to audio books while in the stroller whenever I am running. Totally worth it!

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