Steve Jobs’s Biography is more like a book of revelations and rightly so considering the extent the man interaction, the ups and downs he faced and the lives he touched. His opinions of the world of technology and the people running the technology giants were the most interesting elements and many which have emerged in the news. The comments have been crisp, clear and spoken right from the heart. He open criticism of Android shows how closely the book is associated with his life and clearly reflects the man’s anger and frustration. The Biography strongly portrays one of his comments “It’s my job to be honest”.
On Bill Gates: “Bill is basically unimaginative and has never invented anything, which is why I think he’s more comfortable now in philanthropy than technology,” Jobs said. Isaacson called this comment unfair. “He just shamelessly ripped off other people’s ideas,” Jobs said.
On Microsoft :Jobs also said, “The only problem with Microsoft is they just have no taste, they have absolutely no taste.
“I don’t mean that in a small way. I mean that in a big way, in the sense that they don’t think of original ideas and they don’t bring much culture into their product.”
On Steve Ballmer: “When the sales guys run the company, the product guys don’t matter so much, and a lot of them just turn off. It happened at Apple when Sculley came in, which was my fault, and it happened when Ballmer took over at Microsoft. Apple was lucky and it rebounded, but I don’t think anything will change at Microsoft as long as Ballmer is running it,” Jobs said.
On Larry Page: When Page took over as Google’s CEO from Eric Schmidt, he reached out to Jobs for advice on how to be a good chief executive, the book said. At first Jobs balked — still upset over Android — but then “thought about it and realized that everybody helped me when I was young, from Bill Hewlett to the guy down the block who worked for HP.”
Jobs told Page he has to “[figure] out what Google wants to be when it grows up. It’s now all over the map. What are the five products you want to focus on? Get rid of the rest, because they’re dragging you down. They’re turning you into Microsoft. They’re causing you to turn out products that are adequate but not great.”
On Mark Zuckerberg: Jobs doesn’t say much about Facebook’s young co-founder and CEO, but mentions that he’s taken Zuckerberg under his wing as an opportunity to pay back for the guidance he received as a young man. “I will continue to do that with people like Mark Zuckerberg too. That’s how I’m going to spend part of the time I have left. I can help the next generation remember the lineage of great companies here and how to continue the tradition. The Valley has been very supportive of me. I should do my best to repay,” Jobs said.
Jobs did tell Isaacson that he admired Zuckerberg for not “selling out,” the author revealed in an interview he conducted with 60 Minutes.
On Hewlett-Packard: Isaacson said there was some celebration at Apple when HP discontinued the TouchPad, but Jobs took a very serious lesson from the product’s failure.
“Hewlett and Packard built a great company, and they thought they had left it in good hands,” he told some of his top executives at Apple. “But now it’s being dismembered and destroyed. It’s tragic. I hope I’ve left a stronger legacy so that will never happen at Apple.”
On Steve Jobs: “I don’t think I run roughshod over people, but if something sucks, I tell people to their face. It’s my job to be honest. I know what I’m talking about, and I usually turn out to be right. That’s the culture I tried to create.”
On Monica Lewinsky scandal: Steve Jobs ‘received a late night phone call from Bill Clinton asking how to handle the Monica Lewinsky scandal’ Jobs reportedly replied: ‘I don’t know if you did it, but if so, you’ve got to tell the country.’
On intense obsession with Bob Dylan: Jobs and Steve Wozniak initially bonded over their mutual obsession with Bob Dylan. “The two of us would go tramping through San Jose and Berkeley and ask about Dylan bootlegs and collect them,” said Wozniak. “We’d buy brochures of Dylan lyrics and stay up late interpreting them. Dylan’s words struck chords of creative thinking.” The Dylan bootlegs they acquired were mainly on reel-to-reel tapes. “I had more than a hundred hours, including every concert on the ’65 and ’66 tour,” said Jobs. “Instead of big speakers I bought a pair of awesome headphones and would just lie in my bed and listen to that stuff for hours.”
On Bono & U2 : Bono personally negotiated the deal to have Apple feature U2’s “Vertigo” in one of their iPod commercials. Jobs was resistant because the iPod commercials only feature silhouettes, and never recognizable people. “You have silhouettes of fans,” Bono said to him. “So couldn’t the next phase by silhouettes of artists?” Jobs relented, but in 2009 they were unable to come to a deal to feature “Get On Your Boots” in another commercial. Jobs also refused to print (APPLE) Red on the U2 iPod because he didn’t want Apple in parentheses. “But Steve, that’s how we show unity for our cause,” said Bono. The argument got heated – to the “F-you stage” – until they compromised on (Product) Red.
Book Summary of Steve Jobs: The Exclusive Biography
In the early summer of 2004, I got a phone call from Steve Jobs. It turned out that he wanted me to write a biography of him. This is a book about the rollercoaster life and searingly intense personality of a creative entrepreneur whose passion for perfection and ferocious drive revolutionized six industries: personal computers, animated movies, music, phones, tablet computing, and digital publishing. You might even add a seventh: retail stores, which Jobs did not quite revolutionize, but he did reimagine. Plus, he opened the way for a new market for digital content based on apps. This is also, I hope, a book about innovation. Jobs stands as the ultimate icon of inventiveness, imagination, and sustained innovation. He knew that the best way to create value in the 21st century was to connect creativity with technology, so he built a company where leaps of the imagination were combined with remarkable feats of engineering – Walter Isaacson, from the Introduction of Steve Jobs.
About the Author
Walter Isaacson, the CEO of the Aspen Institute, has been chairman of CNN and the managing editor of Time magazine. He is the author of Benjamin Franklin: An American Life and of Kissinger: A Biography, and the coauthor of The Wise Men: Six Friends and the World They Made. He lives in Washington, D.C., with his wife and daughter.
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