Shashwat Singh's Reviews > Steve Jobs

Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson
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it was amazing

This is a well written, well-researched biography of one of the most influential people to have lived in recent history.

While I've never been a huge fan of Apple or it's products, I greatly enjoyed this book and learned a ton. We get to see the entire history of Steve's life and really get to learn a ton about his personality and way of thinking.

For one, the biggest lesson I took away is that success comes in many forms. Self-dev books may make you think that successful people are a certain type. However, Steve Jobs was in many ways extremely harsh, mean, and could be incredibly petty and immature. It was illuminating to see how despite the fact that Steve Jobs had so many "personality flaws", he still ended up accomplishing a massive amount. He pushed his team incredibly hard, and his charisma enabled him to inspire a very strong following among his employees. His "reality-distortion" field (which was incredible and sometimes delusion belief) influenced people and got them to move the Earth.

Steve Jobs had incredible vision which was able to inspire his whole team. This was something I notice that great leaders often have, their vision is so large that people will follow them to the end of the Earth (Elon Musk inspires a similar level of devotion from his employees). Steve Jobs could be very difficult to work with, but people stuck with him despite his frequent verbal abuse and the insane work hours (very similar to Musk and the effect he inspires).

The book focused a decent amount on the relationship between Bill Gates and Steve Jobs. They were both completely opposites in personality and beliefs, but they were both giants of the tech and computing industry. Microsoft and Apple had completely different strategies as well (Apple believed in closed systems and owning and controlling its products, while Microsoft licensed out their OS to many many hardware manufacturers).

It goes to show, that completely opposite strategies can both work.

Steve Job's was also perfectionist, and extremely designed oriented. This obsession with great design is one of the reasons why Apple is so popular. Steve constantly put design first, as well as user experience, which resulted in incredibly well made products. He focused heavily on the intersection of the humanities and technology. It goes to show that bringing two disparate fields together often creates amazing results. I definitely have a far greater respect for good design after reading this book.

I loved reading about Steve's younger days, because you saw exactly how crazy he was and the influences that made him who he was. He popped LSD, traveled to India, and embraced Eastern philosophy and Zen, which heavily influenced his design aesthetic with its minimalism.

Awesome book, I highly recommend you read it.

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Reading Progress

Started Reading
January 30, 2016 – Finished Reading
February 7, 2016 – Shelved

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