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Steve Jobs: The Exclusive Biography Hardcover – 24 Oct 2011
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* An extraordinary book which gives us a unique insight into the life and thinking of the man who has single-handedly transformed the way we live today
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Based on more than forty interviews with Steve Jobs conducted over two years - as well as interviews with more than a hundred family members, friends, adversaries, competitors, and colleagues - this is the acclaimed, internationally bestselling biography of the ultimate icon of inventiveness. Walter Isaacson tells the story of the rollercoaster life and searingly intense personality of creative entrepreneur whose passion for perfection and ferocious drive revolutionized six industries: personal computers, animated movies,music, phones, tablet computing, and digital publishing. Although Jobs cooperated with this book, he asked for no control over what was written, nor even the right to read it before it was published. He put nothing off limits. He encouraged the people he knew to speak honestly. And Jobs speaks candidly, sometimes brutally so, about the people he worked with and competed against. His friends, foes, and colleagues provide an unvarnished view of the passions, perfectionism, obsessions, artistry, devilry, and compulsion for control that shaped his approach to business and the innovative products that resulted.See all Product description
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Believed first and foremost in making great things before making money. Pretend to be completely in control and people will assume that you are. The goal of starting a company is to make something you believe in and that will last, not to get rich. Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication - "less but better". To be truly simple, you have to go really deep. Design must reflect a product's essence. Good execution is as important as a great idea. A-players like to work together, not tolerate B-players. You can't afford to tolerate the B-players. Even the aspects that remain hidden should be done beautifully - a great carpenter isn't going to use lousy wood for the back of a cabinet just because it isn't seen (how many CEO's behave like that as opposed to finding cost-cuts?). Don't accept "no" for an answer, even if it means adopting a "reality distortion field". Deciding what not to do is as important as deciding what to do. People who know what they're talking about don't need PowerPoint. If something isn't right, you can't just ignore it and say "we'll fix it later" - that's what other companies do! Motivations really matter - if you don't love music, don't create a music product. The best way to begin a speech is to say "let me tell you a story", because nobody wants a lecture. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way to avoid the trap of thinking that you have something to lose: memento mori. "Here's to the crazy ones".
This book gives a great insight into the life of Jobs and apple. His approach and quirks are remarkable and surprising in many ways. In addition, this book feels like it gives an unvarnished account. It mentions both the good and bad sides of Jobs personality as well as apple's. My only criticism would be that I've read better written and edited books. I've seen others write that this may be because they rushed it out to cash in on his death? But this still wouldn't cause me to give it less than five stars as it gives a great insight into one of the true legends of our time.
First of all, I think Walter Isaacson did a great job putting this together. I covers all the major aspects of Steve's life and as much as I can tell, it's a fairly objective presentation of the man as he really was. I am a big fan of Apple and have been since the mid nineties. That said, one of my great frustrations is when people in business talk about the need to be "more like Apple", as if it's a tangible choice. It's like saying to win the 100 metres at the Olympics, you just need to run like Usain Bolt - it's not untrue but it's not especially helpful. In my view the book gave some insight into what made Steve Jobs and Apple successful and it also illustrated some of the behaviors that nearly destroyed Apple, many of them manifested personally by Steve Jobs. I find myself asking if you can reach the highest heights in business without burning bridges as you go. It always takes me back to Bernard Shaw..."The reasonable man adapts himself to the conditions that surround him... The unreasonable man adapts surrounding conditions to himself... All progress depends on the unreasonable man." To be the "unreasonable man" (and Steve Jobs could clearly be unreasonable), is an easy enough strategy to take. However, success depends on so much more than choosing to be unreasonable by itself and for many of us perhaps it's a sure fire strategy to achieving less.
So if you have an interest in Apple, Steve Jobs, innovation or building business, this book will definitely have something in it for you!
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