Gaurav Mathur's Reviews > Steve Jobs

Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson
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it was amazing
bookshelves: biographical, business-management, silicon-valley, 02-favorites
Read 2 times. Last read August 14, 2020 to September 2, 2020.

Review in Sep 2020:

Oh My God. What an amazing person and what an amazing book. I would rate it 10/5 stars. Almost every other paragraph is thrilling. This guy got it. He really got what great products are about.

And it's a shame that even now there are so few well-designed products.

But things are changing for sure, and changing fast. And his ideas and vision will echo for a very long time to come.

Some more scattered thoughts:

Steve Jobs was sort of a hyper-human. He was in a way, more human than you and me. He felt sensations deeply. Both pain and pleasure. Both being down in the dumps and of being a living legend. And he experienced those high and lows too. Both being abandoned and being loved. Both being pushed out of a company and being called in on his own terms.

He had so many rich experiences, and himself had the capacity to experience richness. He would hate the smallest things (buttons on the door of a plane), and love the smallest things (like rounded rectangles).

He experienced so many different worlds:
- The brutal world of business and board meetings
- The creative world of advertising
- The fulfilling world of music
- The childlike dreamworld of movie-making
- The fascinating world of cutting-edge technology and interfaces
- The enchanting world of graphic and industrial design
- The flashy world of luxury stores

He drank profusely from the fountain of life.
Most of us barely taste it, compared to him.

Walt Disney said "We don't make movies to make money, we make money to make more movies". Well Steve Jobs made profits to make products and not the other way round. And it shows.

Review in July 2016:

Yes, a 5/5.
In between the book, I was thinking of a 4/5, but having just finished it and can say its a 5.


Frankly, I was a bit intimidated by the size. Biographies are big and boring, no matter how great the personality is. That's why I never bought it, but borrowed from a friend.

But I guess it was the smartness of Steve Jobs that he even controlled (at least, by choosing the author, there are many other biographies of his) this user experience.

And what an experience it has been.

And since almost everyone knows about the man, I will write about the book. It reads like a novel. It uses very simple and clean language - which is not tough, boring, or babyish, but just-right. It maintains a very healthy pace. You want to finish at one go, yet can leave it if something else is pressing.

And it covers all the parts of Job's life with a graceful honesty. You can see in front of you a very real, if extraordinary man, with his crazy passions. And while you might not adore him (I never did), you still end up admiring him, and to some extent sympathizing with him.

The dramatic scenes are well covered, with the Macworld launches as well as the famous pitch to John Sculley about the sugared water. The characters are introduced one by one, so that you don't have to go back to remember the names (and this does happen in biographies), but the focus is always maintained on Jobs.

All in all, a very satisfying read. Strongly recommended.

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Reading Progress

March 18, 2015 – Shelved
December 31, 2015 – Shelved as: business-management
December 31, 2015 – Shelved as: biographical
December 31, 2015 – Shelved as: silicon-valley
December 31, 2015 – Shelved as: 02-favorites
Started Reading
July 19, 2016 – Finished Reading
August 14, 2020 – Started Reading
August 14, 2020 –
page 190
30.3% "Reading it the 3rd time and goddamn this is an awesome book.
Forget non-fiction, forget biographies... this can compete with any other set of stacks of paper for the thrill

This time I am enriching reading by looking at marketing material and product videos of the products mentioned.. and that makes it a whole new experience - even better"
August 17, 2020 –
page 240
August 18, 2020 –
page 330
August 18, 2020 –
page 347
55.34% "Probably the best book on Product Management"
August 30, 2020 –
page 408
August 30, 2020 –
page 418
September 1, 2020 –
page 463
September 2, 2020 –
page 512
September 2, 2020 – Finished Reading

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