Book Review: Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson

Today I completed the book Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson, chairman and CEO of Cable News Network (CNN) and the Managing Editor of Time.

It was really awesome to get to know about the person who changed the world.

Steve Jobs in his early days during his meetings at Apple always used a phrase where he emphasize on making a dent in the universe, people around him were not used to this kind of words but if we see from now he indeed made a dent in the universe and really a big one.

The book has all the aspects of Steve Jobs including his darkest sides. The book starts from the very beginning, where he was adopted by his parents. It was really exciting to know how his love for electronics came into existence and was nurtured by his father.

stevejobsTheir parents told him about the adoption and the realization of being discarded at the birth scarred him and he was very disturbed since the beginning due to this, it was also one of the reasons of his erratic behavior throughout his life.

I was waiting for the moment how Steve Wozniak and Steve Jobs’s friendship came into existence because this was one of those moments where Apple was conceived. I truly enjoyed reading about their friendship and the connection between them.

 

Being special was one of the things that was engraved in Steve’s mind since the very beginning, it was a story which he believed into and it was told by his parents. It was one of the reasons why he thought he was above the law and also showed many other traits like this in later point of his life.

He was deeply touched by the idea of enlightenment and wanted it badly since the beginning and to achieve enlightenment he tried many drugs including marijuana and LSD, and he was also very public about it.

His journey to India in search of the guru was really motivating, he was so into enlightenment that he came to India to meet guru  Neem Karoli Baba, but unfortunately he died earlier and Steve could not meet him and returned empty handed,  lastly he found peace in Zen Buddhism.

Steve’s real journey started after he was ousted from his own company Apple in 1985, where he made a series of failures in his next venture called NEXT (pretty  neat huh). It was very astonishing to know the series of events that led Pixar to create an animation movie, and how that turned the table all the way to success, as it was eventually was one of the reasons why we know Steve Jobs now.
He resurrected Apple from its soon to be bankruptcy status when he returned in 1997,  and made a series of changes, many people hated him for that and he ultimately saved the day.

I got to know about the famous “Reality Distortion Field” , it’s a phenomenon which many people use to experience at Apple. Steve had a way to making people think in his way of thinking, he could make people believe into doing the impossible, and many hated him for this. The other side of coin was that Steve so much believed into the things that he talked about that people around him starts believing him, which eventually was the reason we have so many great Apple products.

I was fortunate enough to know about all the challenges behind Apple products i.e. MacBook, iPod, iPhone, iTunes, iCloud, iPad, etc. and i have found a deep respect of Apple products after getting to know about the challenges behind them and the problems they had to go through in creating the Apple products.

 

Steve Jobs had come across a book called Autobiography of a YOGI, by Paramhansa Yogananda, which he found while visiting India, since then he read that book every year. Well that’s not it, at his funeral he made such arrangements that each visitors got a copy of Autobiography of a YOGI, that was his gift to all the people who attended his funeral. If you know me you must have guessed my next book,  that’s right i have already started reading it.

It was really awesome book altogether, if you want to know about a person who has changed almost everything about how we spend our time here, you should have a look at this book, it’s incredible to know about such a person. Indeed there is so much wisdom in books.

Thank you,

Faisal

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Book Learning: Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson: Why We Should Focus

I am learning so much from the book Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson, chairman and CEO of Cable News Network (CNN) and the Managing Editor of Time. In the book Walter has mentioned that Steve’s biggest strength was knowing how to focus.

Upon his return to Apple in 1997 he did so many revolutionary changes that we could not comprehend. Some of them are: completely changing all the board members of the company, shutting down 90% of the projects that was going on at that time and many other changes like that.

stevejobsIt’s true that Apple was on the verge of bankruptcy, and everything somehow look Okay if we see from now. But it was real chaos  at that time, he fired almost 3000 employees and that too with 2 weeks notice only. In the book it has been mentioned very well on how the things were at that time, and it was really horrible.

While everyone was happy to see Steve return to Apple but, a very few people liked Steve as a person because of his nature and personality. Doing these unholy things in the company and that too with a very little support from the people around you is pretty big. It’s like you know people are going to hate you for doing that and you still have to do it because of a bigger purpose.

I remember many times I have been demoralized by my close ones as not to do something and I have not considered it for the sake of them.

We get demoralized by people around us and we feel sad if not supported by our close ones, we should learn this virtue from Steve. It’s not about right or wrong, because being right or wrong is just a matter of perspective and it’s more about what we believe into. It was because he was able to see a picture which other people around him could not see and he didn’t care and he went ahead with his decisions anyways.

Steve was so focused on what he believed in that nobody could shake him, he was in deep trouble because of many other traits that he had, but this was one those which helped him to rise to the top again.

In one of the meetings Steve mentioned “Deciding what not to do is as important as deciding what to do”.

Thank you,

Faisal