Review: Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson

In one sentence – Gaze inside the life story of Steve Jobs and get to know how the world’s most valuable company started its journey.

Author – Walter Isaacson

Genre – Biography

Best quote from the book “The people who are crazy enough to think that they can change the world, are the ones who do.”

Steve Jobs

Topics we’ll be discussing:

Summary 

We all know what Steve Jobs did and what he achieved in his life. But did you know that he was kicked out of his own company at one point? Also, did you know how Steve was in his dating life? 

This book provides a thorough description of Steve Jobs in his personal as well as his professional life. 

After realizing it wasn’t worth it, Steve dropped out of college to start his entrepreneurial journey. He along with S. Wozniak founded Apple in a garage when he was only 21. It didn’t take long for Apple to be well recognized not only in the USA but all over the world. 

What separated Steve from other entrepreneurs was that he knew most of the functions of his company. He was not only a great engineer, but also a great designer, a great marketer, and a great innovator. Because of his multi-talented feature, he was able to collaborate with all the departments easily.

However, on the other side, Steve wasn’t exactly a normal person in his personal life as well. The success he was achieving professionally seemed to overshadow the failures he was facing in his personal life.

Left for adoption when he was born, Steve always felt something was missing from his life. His emotions swung back and forth most of his life. Steve hopelessly dated a lot of women early on in the hopes that at least one of them would eventually accept him as who he is. That came true when he met Laurene Powell as they remained married for more than twenty years until his death separated them. 

All in all, in his deathbed, Steve uttered “Oh wow. Oh wow. Oh wow”, before leaving this world forever.

Key takeaways

1. All the dots will connect in the end

How much have you thought about your past? Do you realize that whatever you did in the past all added to make what you are today? 

In one of the most popular commencement speeches ever, Steve Jobs stated that whatever he had done early had led to his success later on.

Soon after dropping out of college, Steve had taken a calligraphy class out of curiosity. He applied its learnings only after many years to bring in beautiful fonts for the Mac computers. During class time, he had not known what its use would be. Such a small choice had brought such a big result in the world of computer typography.

In our life, there will be a lot of opportunities that we might not know how it will turn out. So instead of saying no to them, let’s take them and see how things turn out to be. You never know what you might be inventing next. 😉

“The best way to predict the future is to invent it.”

Get this best selling book! (Currently available only in India) Steve Jobs Biography

2. Go against the crowd, even if it means going against Bill Gates

Steve Jobs and Bill Gates used to be rivals for a long time. Though both were geniuses, they had taken completely different approaches with their products.

While Microsoft was busy licensing its products, Apple resisted any such opportunities. Steve believed that it was necessary to have close control over its hardware and software. He even famously said how ‘crappy’ Microsoft was for taking that licensing approach. He stated that it was an easy way to make money for themselves, without caring much about the final user.

So do you dare enough to go against the crowd? If Steve Jobs could go against the richest person in the world and still be right, then why can’t we go against those people who are there only to demotivate us.

P.S. Bill Gates once said that despite Apple succeeded from its closed business model, it won’t be able to sustain in the long run as customers prefer the open models. Currently, Apple is almost closing in on $2 trillion market capitalization while Microsoft is around $1.6 trillion.

“Some people say, “Give the customers what they want.” But that’s not my approach. Our job is to figure out what they’re going to want before they do. I think Henry Ford once said, “If I’d asked customers what they wanted, they would have told me, ‘A faster horse!'” People don’t know what they want until you show it to them.”

3. No matter what, family comes first

When we think about rich entrepreneurs, we think about how they are unable to give time to their family. This then leads to chaos in their personal lives. But not for Steve Jobs.

Steve used to have a very hectic time in his office, yet he managed to catch up with his family. He had realized it early on that family mattered the most, irrespective of whatever comes up. He was there for his children to attend their events, such as a sporting event or a school piano recital.

In fact, he managed to take all his individual children to their respective dream destination. Since he himself was left for adoption, he didn’t want any of his children to think that he was a terrible father. 

On his deathbed, he had called all his close family members to be with him for the final moments of his life, and then they were.

“Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.”

Recommendation 

The book Steve Jobs was quite a thick one, so I thought I would finish it in around fifteen days. But I found his life story so interesting that I could not stop reading once I started to! So I finished it in just a week. I even stayed up one whole night to continue reading his fascinating life journey.

I have read a lot of biographies, and Steve Jobs has to be one of the best, if not the best. The book was easy to understand and the chapters were very interconnected with each other. 

As I enjoyed as well as learned a lot from this book, I would definitely recommend this book to you, irrespective of your interests and career background. Just go for it, I promise you will love it!

Rating: 5 out of 5.

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This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Hamish

    “All the dots will connect in the end”. We do not know the future, or how what we’re doing now will help us when we need it to. As an example I have both a Bachelor of Engineering and a Bachelor of Teaching, currently am working in a position where neither seem directly relevant. Yet, every day the communication skills gained while in the classroom help me learn new things and pass on that knowledge. In several engineering papers we learned to apply a “Process of ongoing improvement”. As long as we seek to keep doing better we can. For the weekend, and ourselves.

    Thank you for sharing.

    1. Kiran Kandel

      Thank you so much for sharing your experience. You set a perfect example about connecting dots. 🙂

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