Here is a review that I wrote about the new Steve Jobs biography by Walter Isaacson. I intend to write more about Jobs and the Apple way in the near future, but for now, I leave you with this.
Wow, what a book about an amazing individual. First, I need to separate content from container. By that I mean to separate Isaacson’s writing from the subject of his book.
Isaacson’s writing is poetic, and a wonderful narrative. However, it does have some major repetition. It also seems that the book may have been rushed to the press based on the health issues surrounding Jobs. That being said, Isaacson treats his subject honestly, while maintaining the beautiful narrative style one would expect.
Isaacson is brutally honest about Jobs. He provides the good, the bad and the ugly, and there is a lot of ugly here. The book follows both a chronological order as well as a thematic order which can make for a disjointed story. In the end, what I perceive are publisher demands are minimized as the story is truly wondrous.
The subject of this book needs to be treated differently. Jobs, with his many and major flaws, created a beautiful story not only for him self, but for millions of others. His innovative products have truly brought art and technology together.
Steve has many flaws, but few of them does he truly regret. Without his personality, many of his products would have been watered down. It is conceivable that the world we live in today would be very different if it were not for Jobs. What Jobs did revolutionized the world.
While some of Jobs’ business tactics and treatment of others are despicable, other business practices should be adopted universally. His focus on a comprehensive user experience, focus on products and not profits, and intuitively knowing the user, building great teams and a host of other strategies are near universal in application to other organizations.
In the end, I loved the book. I also love what Jobs did for the technology industry, for the country, for the world, and for all of humanity. I hope that he is correct in creating a culture in Apple that will out live him, but I fear that it will go the way of HP.
Steve, I will truly miss you. I wonder how much brighter this world could have been if you had stuck around a little bit more. I hope that some else picks of your torch and tackles some of the issues you were pondering (mainly education). Your dedication to products, art, technology and connected people have made my life a better place, and a ton easier. Thank you for boldly thinking differently. Here’s to you for being THE crazy one. Your legacy cannot be ignored. You have pushed the human race forward. You changed the world.