4.09.2012

Steve Jobs Biography



"It's not a faith in technology. It's faith in people."
                                                         - Steve Jobs

I know I am a little late on the bandwagon, but that is because I chose to listen to Steve Jobs' biography instead of read it. Honestly, I am glad I did. I put it on my iPad and listened on my commute. There is a lot of dialogue in the book which makes it interesting to listen to, and a lot of technical details that I think I would have been bored reading about.

I have never considered myself a technology person. My little sister was always the one who fixed the VCR, or the remote, or the computer. Listening to this book though, I realized how much I actually love technology. When used in the right ways, it can be a really beautiful medium. I appreciated Jobs and his obsession with the way design and technology intersect. Jobs saw good design in everything. He saw it in windows and house floor plans. He didn't buy a couch for seven years for his new home because he could not decide what the purpose of a couch was, and could not find one designed well enough. When in the hospital, he refused to wear his oxygen mask because he hated the design, and told the nurses to bring 7 different masks so he could choose the best design. I love that.

Reading the reviews of others, I have seen that there has been a lot of controversy about Jobs and his personal and professional life. I was not offended by it personally. I appreciated that Isaacson wasn't afraid to tell the truth. We are all so human and flawed. I think most biographies would be rife with personal issues, lack of communication and severed relationships. If anything I liked seeing his person evolve.

Yeah there were times when Isaacson drifted towards celebrity name-dropping which I found annoying. We get it, he was friends with Bill Clinton and Bono and told Obama he didn't want to meet with him at first. Although, that sort of thing might have been exactly what other people found interesting about the book, just not me.

Most of all I learned a lot about business while listening to Jobs. How he hired a team of all A-list people. How products need to come before profits - and how the goal of companies should not be to merely make money. "Anyone can make money", Jobs asserted several times, "but not everyone can make a really great product." It made me laugh since I was listening to the book through iTunes, on my iPad, with my iPhone tucked in my lap in case someone called. Learning about their creation and the attention to detail was pretty inspiring actually. I think we all want to make a "Ding in the Universe" as Jobs calls it, and the book details exactly how he managed to do that.

I can't recommend you read it, since I didn't but I do recommend you listen to it. Especially if you have a love affair going on with your iPhone and want to cultivate your inner genius, which I believe we all have inside us somewhere.

2 comments:

Hind said...

This is really interesting, I agree with you some stories are boring to read but fun to listen to. I might do the same thing.

IngridLola said...

Cool! I heard a great interview with Walter Isaacson on Radio West a few months ago when this book came out. It was fascinating to hear about Isaacson's relationship with Steve Jobs and the kind of input Jobs put into this biography... some of it was pretty funny. I tried to find a link to that interview but it's not on KUER's website. :(