Steve Jobs is one of the most fascinating individuals of our time, therefore, this is one of the best books I have ever read. Walter Isaacson does it Pulitzer Prize style in delivering the true colors of Jobs. You know the saying, “the truth hurts”, absolutely, but the truth is what made Apple what it is today.
From his very first beginnings to his final breath it’s truly an inspiring and fascinating tale. I’ll leave the guts for you to read. Here are just a few highlights to dissect.
Apple is Steve Jobs.
The DNA of Steve Jobs poured into everything Apple – from employees to product design to the architecture of Apple properties to running and leading a business to advertising. He simply was Apple and he could con anyone into becoming a believer in his vision. He had a way with words and people.
Seeing the light with LSD.
Jobs credits taking psychedelic drugs for making him more enlightened. “Taking LSD was a profound experience. One of the most important things in my life”. It allowed him to gather a sense of what was truly important in life. It was ultimately a catalyst for his deep passion in changing the world. It wasn’t about getting rich, it was about making great products that would put a ripple through a lot of industries. It was about making something you believe in and creating a company that will last. There’s an admiration for those whose drive is to change people’s lives for the better – and not to mislead by just wanting to cash in. The green will follow.
A perfectionist to the Nth degree.
At a very young age Jobs’ father taught him that a drive for perfection meant that caring about the craftsmanship of the parts unseen. Jobs instilled this into everything he could put his hands on. From Apple to his living room – Jobs went with no furniture in his home for months because nothing suited his perfectionists drive. But it’s fairly easy (but mostly extremely difficult for a lot of people) – simplicity. “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.” This shows from Apple hardware to software. The amazement that non-techies (young children!) can pick up an iPad and fully comprehend how to use it. It’s a matter of instincts and it’s path from simplicity.
Reality distortion field.
Jobs would stare at his employees (or anyone for that matter) without blinking until they basically took a sip of his kool-aid. This notion of his reality distortion field is essentially summed up like this: “you did the impossible, because you didn’t realize it was impossible.” People found it empowering as Jobs believed it truly inspired and motivated his team. He would change the course of computer history with a fraction of resources Apple’s competitors were working with. Why? Because of this notion of belief. He would slash a 3 month ship date to 2 with his employees working tirelessly. In the end – they did the impossible and shipped in 2. In addition to this inspiration for his employees, he believed that the rules simply didn’t apply to him. He had this sense that there are few people who are truly special, that are the chosen ones, the enlightened ones. He believed he was one of them.
Jobs had a way with words and a way of luring people into this distortion field. During board meetings the others had signals for when someone was being caught up in Steve’s world and needed to be tugged back to reality.
A true knack for business
One of Jobs greatest strengths was his ability to focus. “Deciding what not to do is as important as deciding what to do.” When he was invited back to Apple he simply came in and slashed 70% of the products Apple was creating at that time. Apple simply lost focus on the core product and was competing too much with its own self. It’s amazing the vision this man had and his intuition for operating a successful business, but yet, he had to sell himself (and his vision) during each one of these episodes.
Even to this day you see companies changing their model, features, systems, spending millions on market research to meet consumer demands. Jobs didn’t believe in market research because he knew that customers don’t know what they want until they’re shown. By having “A” employees and those with a real drive and passion for what they’re doing, they built products they wanted to use.
Apple products are truly revolutionary – they are the intersection of technology and creativity. Apple will go down in history as one of the greatest companies and brands of all time – turning many industries upside down.
1.) He definitely was the chosen one and 2.) read the book for yourself. You’ll be in awe. Enjoy!