David's Reviews > Steve Jobs

Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson
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's review
Nov 17, 2011

really liked it
Read in November, 2011

A review in which I get to say arse. Twice. And with a hole too.

A couple of years ago, I was fascinated by just how sarcastic Fake Steve Jobs was. He was so biting. What was the reason for the harsh commentary towards Steve Jobs ? Was it earned?

I read Options: The Secret Life of Fake Steve Jobs to find out more. Wow that book was intense. He really stuck into Jobs about his eating, his zen beliefs, his out of control ego. It was so mean that I didn’t enjoy the book.

Next I read iWoz to get more background. What a lovely read. Woz is such a great and gentle character. The book is a pleasure. Interestingly there was, for me, more dirt on Steve Jobs here compared to Options. Jobs blatantly cheated Woz out of money very early on in their relationship by lying about how much money they had earned jointly.

For me that fact was far more damning than anything I read in Options.

So I read the Isaacson biography continuing to wonder whether Jobs really deserved all that negativity. Secondly I wanted to understand more about why apple fanatics were so, well fanatical, sometimes even downright arrogant and mean.

Do apple fanatics take their lead from Jobs? That would explain a lot, I think. Surely it couldn’t be that simple could it ?

Thoughts Along the Way

Jobs really did make a profession of being a jerk. The worlds best know Professional Jerk ? It seems so. Isaacson spoke to a heap of people and seems to have gotten inside all of the interesting moments of his life. But, did he find someone who actually liked Steve ? It doesn’t seem so.

Coughing on my Kindle

This quote had me almost expectorating on my Kindle.

So Jobs suggested to the interviewer that iTunes on Windows was like a drink of cool water to someone living in hell.

Everyone knows Steve lies, especially for effect right ? What about those who don’t quite get that? iTunes is simply the most horrible piece of windows software that I have used. Examining my Windows log files shows consistently one piece of software that hangs – iTunes.

For years it has made me seriously wonder about those whom tout the genius of Jobs and the apple way. How could they write something so awful and never fix it? Did they think that Windows users enjoy this sort of awful software? Puhlease.

After reading the biography I believe the correct response to Mr. Jobs on iTunes goes like – “That is shit ! Your head is up your arse !!”.

Lots of Great Detail

I really enjoyed reading how things unfolded, having missed a lot of the history with Pixar, Disney etc. Lots and lots of the politics that you don’t get to read about on your local enthusiast blog.

Finally Success

It must have been immensely gratifying for Jobs to finally land an absolute market success with iOS, the iPad and iPhone. I hadn’t really grokked just how badly the Macintosh, Macintosh XL, Lisa, NeXT Cube, G4 had sold. It surely hurt that Windows was so dominant and was deemed so inferior.

Dream up enough good ideas, execute them well, and you will get there.

Choose Your Idols Carefully

In life, choose your Idols carefully.

Would you want to have Steve as your boss? Would you want him working in a team that you were leading? No and No.

Be extra careful because you will become what you worship.

Prickly people are often tolerated in the workplace because their output is valuable to the company. Is that output worth the fallout along the way? I don’t know, I like to think that you can achieve great things without being an asshole. Now that would be genius.
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