View More by This Author. Journalist Isaacson Albert Einstein had his subject's intimate cooperation but doesn't shy away from Jobs's off-putting traits: Isaacson also sees the constructive flip-side of Jobs's flaws, arguing that his crazed perfectionism and sublime sense of design he wanted even his computers' circuit boards to be visually elegant begat brilliant innovations, from the Mac to the iPad, that blended "poetry and processors.
Gates's acerbic commentary on Jobs's romanticism often steals the page. Still, Isaacson's exhaustively researched but well-paced, candid and gripping narrative gives us a great warts-and-all portrait of an entrepreneurial spirit and one of the best accounts yet of the human side of the computer biz.
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Oct 24, Read a free sample or buy Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson. You can read this book with Apple Books on your iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, This book can be downloaded and read in Apple Books on your Mac or iOS device. Oct 25, Read a free sample or buy Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson. You can read this book with Apple Books on your iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, or Mac.
The Innovators. Benjamin Franklin. He attributed his ability to focus and his love of simplicity to his Zen training. It honed his appreciation for intuition, showed him how to filter out anything that was distracting or unnecessary, and nurtured in him an aesthetic based on minimalism. Unfortunately his Zen training never quite produced in him a Zen-like calm or inner serenity, and that too is part of his legacy. He was often tightly coiled and impatient, traits he made no effort to hide.
Most people have a regulator between their mind and mouth that modulates their brutish sentiments and spikiest impulses. Not Jobs. He made a point of being brutally honest.
For his thesis he designed a microphone and earpiece—in purest white plastic—to communicate with hearing-impaired kids. June 8, at 3: It clearly reiterates one of Steve Jobs' most famous quotes. Steve Jobs: October 24, at 2: He encouraged the people he knew to speak honestly. And he understands that Apple is a product company.
This made him charismatic and inspiring, yet also, to use the technical term, an asshole at times. Jobs claimed it was the former. But I think he actually could have controlled himself, if he had wanted. When he hurt people, it was not because he was lacking in emotional awareness. Quite the contrary: He could size people up, understand their inner thoughts, and know how to relate to them, cajole them, or hurt them at will. The nasty edge to his personality was not necessary.
It hindered him more than it helped him. But it did, at times, serve a purpose. Polite and velvety leaders, who take care to avoid bruising others, are generally not as effective at forcing change. Dozens of the colleagues whom Jobs most abused ended their litany of horror stories by saying that he got them to do things they never dreamed possible.
He designed the Mac after appreciating the power of graphical interfaces in a way that Xerox was unable to do, and he created the iPod after grasping the joy of having a thousand songs in your pocket in a way that Sony, which had all the assets and heritage, never could accomplish. Some leaders push innovations by being good at the big picture. Others do so by mastering details. Jobs did both, relentlessly. As a result he launched a series of products over three decades that transformed whole industries.
Was he smart?
No, not exceptionally. Instead, he was a genius. His imaginative leaps were instinctive, unexpected, and at times magical. He was, indeed, an example of what the mathematician Mark Kac called a magician genius, someone whose insights come out of the blue and require intuition more than mere mental processing power. Like a pathfinder, he could absorb information, sniff the winds, and sense what lay ahead.
Steve Jobs thus became the greatest business executive of our era, the one most certain to be remembered a century from now. History will place him in the pantheon right next to Edison and Ford. More than anyone else of his time, he made products that were completely innovative, combining the power of poetry and processors.
And he was able to infuse into its DNA the design sensibilities, perfectionism, and imagination that make it likely to be, even decades from now, the company that thrives best at the intersection of artistry and technology. Excerpt 4 The difference that Jony has made, not only at Apple but in the world, is huge. He is a wickedly intelligent person in all ways. He understands business concepts, marketing concepts. He picks stuff up just like that, click. He understands what we do at our core better than anyone. And he understands that Apple is a product company.
He has more operational power than anyone else at Apple except me. Jonathan Ive, known to all as Jony, was planning to quit. Ive grew up in Chingford, a town on the northeast edge of London. His father was a silversmith who taught at the local college. I came to realize that what was really important was the care that was put into it. What I really despise is when I sense some carelessness in a product. One of his creations was a pen with a little ball on top that was fun to fiddle with. It helped give the owner a playful emotional connection to the pen.
For his thesis he designed a microphone and earpiece—in purest white plastic—to communicate with hearing-impaired kids. His flat was filled with foam models he had made to help him perfect the design. He had an epiphany in college when he was able to design on a Macintosh. Courtesy of The Aspen Institute. Walter Isaacson.
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