This was an insanely well-written biography for Steve Jobs that covered everything from the history of his adoptive parents, his early days at school to the eventual success he had with the companies he built. Walter Isaacson did a great job to recreate the past events and more importantly the emotions and struggles of the person – Steve Jobs.
I was extremely impressed with the detail and the openness that Steve gave to Isaacson, knowing he was an extremely private person. However, as the cancer complications became fatal, I guess Steve wanted to passed on his true legacy to his kids and the rest of the world. He was no longer the private and maybe a bit selfish person he once was.
In addition to the stories, there were never before seen photos of his family; interviews from his friends, former colleagues and even enemies. What surprised me the most was the never before told flaws of the great person we all came to love.
Steve was perhaps the worst manager to work for!
He showed no remorse for anything, often coldly and bluntly insulted his fellow colleagues to the point where they were scared to work with him or be in the same elevator as him. John Sculley was probably right to have Steve Jobs fired at that point.
Steve Jobs was a man that can be lionized, loved, respected and also hated, feared and antagonized. He was a man that had all the flaws of an ordinary human being, but he was still special.
I think that special factor is determination and confidence. Even after he was left out of Apple, he never once gave up on the work he believed in so much. He was determined to change the future of computing, with or without Apple. However, it was perhaps that very same determination and self-confidence that led him to delay his cancer surgery in 2004 when it was first diagnosed. Steve waited almost 9 months to finally undergo surgery and by that time the cancer had already spread. He later regretted this decision; regretted not listening to family and friends… but he was Steve Jobs. He told Isaacson that he didn’t wanted to be opened and violated in that way, so instead he tried dietary methods to treat the cancer.
Steve knew his life is nearing its end in 2009 when the cancer came back again. What surprised me was that this news of death did not make him falter. It did not change him one bit, but gave him more reasons to work harder and give the products out of the pipeline. He spoke objectively about death. He didn’t lose hope that he could still be cured, it just didn’t stop him from pushing the boundaries a little more should his life be cut short.
This book gave us a real detailed insight into the life of Steve Jobs and how an ordinary man with flaws like you and I can accomplish the unimaginable. Also, how a smart man can make fatal mistakes that will alter the course of his life forever. The life story of Steve Jobs teaches us all how to live, how to treat the others around us and more importantly learn to stand behind your own ideas and imagination.
“No one wants to die. Even people who want to go to heaven don’t want to die to get there. And yet death is the destination we all share. No one has ever escaped it. And that is as it should be, because Death is very likely the single best invention of Life. It is Life’s change agent. It clears out the old to make way for the new.” – Steve Jobs at Stanford 2005 Commencement