Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson | Book Review

Every book has a different rhythm to it. Some are fast paced and get you running, some are slow and engulfs you in their flame, often slowly revealing their secrets. Every book has its own beauty, a charm that is captivating. The book on Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson is fast paced and gets you in the energy of Steve Jobs himself.

The thing about all the people who became insanely famous is their single-minded focus, a need for perfection and their power of imagination. Steve Jobs is an epitome o f the power of imagination. To him, the box never existed. He had always come up with solutions that were always extraordinary. He was often a believer of the below quote by his father and obsessively implemented it in all the products he created.

A great carpenter isn’t going to use lousy wood for the back of a cabinet, even though nobody’s going to see it – Paul Jobs

That was the thing about Steve Jobs. He was single minded about perfection and this Steve jobs book by Walter Isaacson was nothing short of perfection.

Steve jobs wanted everything to be as perfect as possible with no compromises. He was the man who believed that God Lies in Detail. What was really admirable about Jobs was his need for perfection. He was never satisfied with the mundane. He was focused on doing the best. His obsession with details was really admirable.

Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson: A Book Summary

This book takes an unapologetic and an honest view of Steve Jobs’ life. I liked the honest language and the subsequent uncovering the facets of jobs’ life that sometimes came as downright shocking. Steve Jobs was an icon himself and this book did justice to him.

Walter Isaacson has written an honest account about Steve jobs, certainly, there were no skeletons in the closet. He portrayed him the way he was, including the best parts and the worst parts. Walter Isaacson has portrayed the instances of extreme behavior by Jobs that with such uprightness that I was astonished.

Through this book, you get a complete picture of who Steve Jobs was. Perhaps, making the point that no matter how influential or famous someone is, they have flaws that are undesirable. The honesty which with everything is told is absolutely raw. You get to see that Steve Jobs you never envisioned.

Steve Jobs was an adopted child who found a loving environment in Paul & Clara Jobs home. He grew up in a caring environment and the influence of Paul Jobs was somehow responsible in shaping perfectionist tendencies. Paul Jobs was a car lover who was quite obsessed over designs and transferred this love for aesthetic and perfection to Steve Jobs. He was the one who also instilled in Jobs that products should be beautiful from both inside or outside.

Jobs was erratic by nature and often indulged in extreme dietary habits often believed in crazy notions such as that if one eats sattvic food, their body won’t smell, and hence, they wouldn’t have to take bath. He also indulged in spirituality and visited India in search of enlightenment. However, Steve Jobs India’s experience was a bitter one. He traveled to  India in 1974 with his Reed college friends to visit Neem karoli baba.

The turning point in Steve Job’s life came when he met and became friends with Steve Wozniak. Both the Steves had a mutual inclination towards forward looking technology. Steve met Wozniak in the class of McCollums and together they created Blue Box, through which one can engage in long distance phone calls free; and with various other trial and error, they created what is now known as Apple. Another turning point came when Steve Jobs was ousted from Apple.

Walter Isaacson elaborately covered the period of Steve Jobs ouster from Apple, the betrayal he felt and his inability at finding a creative outlet. After his ouster from Apple, Steve Jobs started Next Computers (another fact that came as a surprise to me) and there he blindly indulged in his creative and innovative instincts. However, this venture turned out to be a fiasco in the long term.

After his stint with Next Computers, Steve Jobs bought Pixar from Lucas Film in 1986. However, he did not envision it as something that would create animated movies. When Steve jobs started at Pixar, it brought out the best in him. It brought out the focus, passions, and the compulsion for perfection. Steve Jobs at Pixar got enamoured with animation and the curious mixture of creativity and technology that he spent his maximum time there. He later went on to create movies such as Toy Story, Monster Inc, A Bug’s Life with Pixar (another thing that came out as a shock to me.).

Coming back to Apple

Steve Jobs came back to Apple as an interim CEO. He removed all the unnecessary products; he created what Apple is today. When he came back to Apple as interim CEO, he changed the course of action to what it is now, brought about the innovative products such as iPhone, iPod, iPad, and created it as one of the most important technology companies in the world.

Steve Jobs Cancer: Steve Jobs was diagnosed with a rare form of pancreatic cancer in 2003. However, cancer never dulled his passion and enthusiasm for innovative products and marketing. When his cancer went into remission, he came back with the same temperamental  energy to lead Apple. However, his cancer would go into remission twice more before claiming Steve Jobs’ life in 2011.

Steve Jobs Stanford Speech: Jobs was a private person. After battling cancer, he was asked to give a speech at Stanford. The speech that he gave was very simple, intimate, and heartfelt. He chose to describe his battle with cancer with a heartfelt sincerity.

As is often reiterated in the book:

‘Steve Jobs has a way of getting his way with things. He was persuasive and his passion was contagious.’

And this biography of Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson covered every facet of Steve’s life quite thoroughly.

Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson: Book Review

Walter Isaacson has written an honest and quite elaborate biography of Steve Jobs. Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson is one of the best biographies that I have read so far. However, I found this book to be quite haphazardly written at times, often skipping back and forth between various vicissitudes or phases of life. Perhaps, the author wanted to take on the theme of Steve Jobs’ life, which was all about people marching in and out, and only few were staying for long.

This haphazard manner of writing the Steve Jobs biography, Walter Isaacson also managed to project Jobs’ manner of turning around on his own decisions and views. I do believe this to be the reason that book was so haphazardly written.

The language and vibes of this Jobs biography are honest and blunt just like Steve Jobs himself. Walter Isaacson has told both the personal and professional life of Steve Jobs with so much honesty that you do get to see the complete picture. That is what I found terrific about the book and Walter Isaacson that he often moulded the language of the book to match Steve Jobs’ personality i.e. blunt and honest.

Walter Isaacson has written Steve Jobs in that same straightforward manner and language that was idiosyncratic to Steve Jobs. It carries the forthright attitude that marked the personality of Steve Jobs.

When I began reading this biography, I was shocked to find certain things about him. Even though he was the co-founder of Apple, he was often manipulative, temperamental, and selfish that he often destroyed and offended people. He was so wilful by default that people had to bend to his will.

When reading this book, I started to admire the perfectionist tendencies of Steve Jobs, he was the man with a controlling personality and often wanted to have a complete hold on whatever he was creating. He wanted to direct everything from designing to marketing. Steve Jobs was futuristic and had an intuitive inclination to foresee what the people may require in the future. Due to his proclivity, he created various futuristic things such as animation, touch screen and laptops, etc.

Another most admirable thing about Steve Jobs was his ability to focus on things, which Walter Isaacson managed to present very beautifully in Steve Jobs biography. He had this uncanny capacity to remove all the background clutter and focus on things that truly matter. All these personality traits and habits helped shape Apple and made it what it is today.

This book got me into a different mindset and way of being. While I was reading, I was motivated in manner that brought out the best in me in terms of work. The credit for this goes to the language used and the way the energy of Steve Jobs is projected in the book. It just gets to you in a way that is motivating.

What I truly admired was Steve Jobs’ level of focus, it was downright otherworldly. Steve Jobs had a way of diving into things with a single-minded focus, and because of this compulsion to focus on things that mattered; he often came up with products that are innovative and profitable. With this single-minded focus, he created what we now know as Apple.

Steve Jobs also had a controlling personality and due to this facet, his company and products became an extension of him. He could never compromise on the quality. He believed in controlling the entire user experience. Due to such inclinations he managed to create a seamless user experience that later became synonymous to Apple.

Another thing that I ended up admiring is his manner of speaking, he was persuasive. He had a way of bending people to his will. People famously referred to the aura, confidence, and vibes exuded by him as the ‘Reality Distortion Field’. It really amazed me when I first read the concept of ‘reality distortion field’ and the way Steve Jobs was able to pull it off. He had a capacity of simply making others believe in his viewpoint. His charm was so powerful that people literally ended up doing what he proposed. No one was immune to his contagious enthusiasm & confidence.

People simply were so influenced by this that they actually worked on the things they earlier believed to be absolutely unrealistic. I mean, I really admire this about Steve Jobs. Although his leadership style was not always praise worthy, it, nonetheless, worked for Apple and made it a giant that it is today.

Should You Read Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson? 

Yes, by all means. Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson is a well-written book and everyone should read it. Reading this book is a different experience, and it will carry you on a different path. You could not help but be involved in the roller coaster ride of this Steve Jobs book.

This book will provide you all the dose of inspiration that you need. Perhaps, you will learn a thing or two about the business strategies and the marketing campaigns that are innovative and impactful.

This book is a worthy read. This book will motivate you to work hard and focus on things that you know matter. The way the Jobs carried himself had a way of bringing about the best in you.

This Steve Jobs biography that will teach you what great marketing is supposed to be, the art of persuasion and the beauty of speaking skills. It will make you understand that everything is within reach once you start believing in it and working on it.