An avid reader during childhood, I have seen a huge shift in my reading habits since long. The detective novels and random non-fiction books have largely been replaced by posts from Facebook, Twitter, Quora and other random places on the internet. So when I began reading the Walter Isaacson biography of Steve Jobs, a gift from a close friend who said the book might help me make sense of my entrepreneurial thoughts, I wasn’t too excited. However, now that I have read the entire thing, I have begun to appreciate what the world lost when Jobs died a couple of years ago.
Being a well-researched project, with inputs from the man himself, the book is an authentic account of Jobs’ life. The two aspects of the latter, that impacted me the most, follow:
A tremendous drive to get things done and an obsession with perfection: Some of the most iconic products that Jobs created were, in fact, already there in the market before. They, however, distinguished themselves from the competition because of their innate simplicity and user-friendliness. Jobs introduced features which, though pushed engineering to its limit, eventually gave a beautiful experience to the end user.
For example, Mac copied the GUI from a Xerox machine, but it implemented it in a much better way. Sony was already in the digital music player business before the iPod, but the latter swept the music industry off its feet with a sleek look and a much simpler user interface. Jobs introduced a touch phone, and later a tablet, without a stylus at a time when every smartphone carried one. Moreover, the swipe-controls so common in smartphones today were actually a very cool thing back when Jobs introduced them in iPhone: if you don’t believe me, just search for the first iPhone launch video on YouTube and hear the crowd erupt in amazement when he first swipes through a list of music!
A rebellious nature and a don’t-care attitude towards insecurity and dogma: When ousted from Apple, Jobs said he wanted to start another company because he was thirty and he had nothing better to do in life. For someone raised in a society which insists on having a job for financial security, this story was thought-provoking.
Grab a copy if you can. And maybe you’ll like it as much as I did!
P.S.- If you’ve already read about Steve Jobs, you’ll definitely love, and more importantly, understand, this!