Book Review: Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson

I'm sure I'm a bit late reading this and I'll admit I didn't know hardly a thing about Steve Jobs before coming into this book. The only reason I decided to give it a shot was that it was so well recommended by the tech community online, especially after the Ashton Kutcher movie went out in theaters. "Why not?", I figured. "I like biographies and it'll give me some more background of the man himself as well as to how he ran Apple." So I went straight to my library to get a copy.

 

It was definitely a great read. It felt more like a novel than just a biography which makes it an easy read and helps it get read that much faster. It still took a couple of weeks to get through it, though I believe I'm a bit of a slower reader than many as I think it helps understand more of what I'm reading.

The main things that became instantly interesting was how much of a visionary Steve Jobs apparently was at Apple as well as how much business sense he instantly had. True Steve Wozniak basically did the engineering for the Apple I and II. However, if it wasn't for Jobs then I doubt the company exist at all. Truly, his drive to create a company definitely came to fruition.

 

There were many things the biography helped to learn about why certain events occurred, such as how and why he was ousted from Apple in the mid 80s, how Microsoft helped the company when he was brought back to Apple, how he was involved with Pixar, and the beginnings of what became the the iPod and iPhone. Interestingly, the way they came about is just the other products out there, as Jobs would say, sucked.

Steve Jobs' love of technology and design is a rare combination even in these days. How many developers do you know are actually good designers? I'm definitely not one of them (though, I am trying to learn) . I used to think that the closed ecosystem of Apple creating their own hardware, software, and services was a bad idea, but like Wozniak I'm beginning to understand how it helps the end user experience as a whole.

The biography even helped with a bit of understanding of the business culture as a whole since it repeatedly went to how meetings went with Jobs and the Apple board. Even as a CEO Jobs tended to be different than others by taking hours or days to make a decision on something instead of months to do research how the decision could affect the company. That tells you how passionate he was about his products and what his company could do for people.

If you haven't read it yet, I definitely recommend it. Of course, you can always just wait for the movie. I have high hopes it'll be better than the aforementioned one.

As for myself, I think I'll be test driving more Apple products in the future.

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