Bhakta Jim's Reviews > Steve Jobs

Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson
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Apr 18, 12


According to this excellent biography Steve Jobs and I have something in common. He used to visit his local Hare Krishna temple for the free Sunday feasts. I can't help thinking that if he had met the girl on his first visit that I met on my first visit we'd all be living in a very different world today.

This biography shows Jobs warts and all, and the man had a lot of warts. Before reading this I was more inclined to give Steve Wozniak credit for the early success of Apple than Steve Jobs, although I did admire the NeXT computer and its operating system and gave him credit for leading the company that produced it (and also blamed him for the business decisions he made that made it a failure). This book made me want to give Jobs a lot more credit. He had a lot of ideas and many of them failed, but the ones that worked changed our world. iTunes, the iPod, Pixar, the Apple Store and of course the Macintosh: you could build a whole career on one idea as good as those were.

With all his faults and personal habits I could identify with Jobs. If you took Bhakta Jim's talents, flaws, etc. and cranked them up to 11 (from whatever much lower value they have now) you might end up with something like Bhakta Steve.

The book made me want to work for someone like Steve. He could be hell to work for and often was, but there are different kinds of hell. There is the hell of mission statements, team building exercises, beginning with the end in mind, and other soul killing crap (or if you believe that the soul cannot die, stuff that makes the soul want to die). And midpoints, whatever the hell they are. Compared to that being asked on a job interview if you'd ever tried LSD (and being criticized because you hadn't) isn't so bad. Maybe I could have made up for that by telling him I joined an ashram. I might actually have gotten points for that.

While I admire the man, until recently I had no use for his products. I'm a Linux guy and I considered Steve's products (other than the NeXT) to be appliances, not real computers. Even the latest Macintosh seems lackluster as a programming environment. (I write programs for them at work). But the world needs appliances too, I guess. My wife loves her iPhone.
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