An apple a day keeps the doctor away-an old saying
(Listening to) an apple( ipod) a day drives your worries away-new saying
iCon-Steve Jobs by Jeffery.S.Young and William.L.Simon comes with a taglineThe greatest second act in the history of business. The book traces the rise of one of the most famous and cherished icons in the world of computer technology who also went on to stamp his mark in movie business(Pixar) and the music industry(ipods, iTunes)-Steven.P.Jobs or Steve Jobs.
This is a remarkable book. For it not only traces the history of an innovative company like Apple, but also traces the character of its eccentric co-founder Steve Jobs, the prince, who is a mixture of contradictions.
As we enter the world of Steve Jobs and Apple simultaneously, we learn of Steve Jobs’ roots and his adoption by Paul and Clara Jobs. His early years, his quirky character, bullying manners, his intense questioning of everything, his love for the hardware and how he hung out at electronic stores to learn about computers, his headstrong character which made everyone to believe in his vision everything. We get to know the early influences that shaped the man who Steve Jobs is today-admired by all, feared by his friends for his maniac demanding, his intense drive, et al.
It is interesting to note how Steve gets to know the other Steve-Steve Wozniak and the friendship that bloomed between these like-minded eccentrics fascinated about computers. We learn how Steve and Woz formed Apple Computers, the early computer expos, Apple’s IPO, Steve’s acumen at making deals out of thin air, the creation of Apple I and II, Macintosh, the growth of the company at its earlier stages, his attraction to Zen, Steve’s contradictory character-his encouragement and demand for complete loyalty to only himself and no one else-the way he sidelines friends and employees alike makes you gasp. The white board incident is one example of Jobs’ childish streak we will smile at. There are many such anecdotes which makes us wonder and remark that great people are indeed eccentric.
The later years as Steve battles with Microsoft and his efforts to bring in people who accepted his word without question-Jobs is a silver-tongued guy and is a speaker who can enthrall the audience for a stretch of two hours without tiring down and is a persuasive seller of ideas. His bringing in John Scully from Pepsi to run the business(they are told by Scully in his book-Odyssey from Pepsi to Apple co-authored with John.A.Byrne, Harper Collins) in the 70’s and 80’s. We learn how Steve Jobs got kicked out of his own company for the very meddlesome qualities which made him a star.
A person like Steve Jobs never gives up, and we journey again as Jobs finds NeXT, his aggressive efforts in attracting the best talents from Apple as a revenge to his company, his pioneering spirits as he starts Pixar-the animation studio(remember Toy Story 1 & 2, The Incredibles, A Bug’s Life, Finding Nemo?) the deals with Disney(the place where Jobs goes for negotiation with Disney and intuitively turns a losing deal in his favour is a must read) speak volumes of Jobs’ enterprising spirit.
The later years as Jobs gets back into Apple and makes his mark in the music industry with the ipod and iTunes, the vision of how Jobs sees the industry and Apple itself in the future are brought out well in the later part of the book and are a treat to read.
The way Jobs turns each difficulty into an opportunity for himself and how his aggressive, brash qualities made him the prince in silicon valley albeit the most admired and hated man at once.
This is not only a business story but an interesting biography as it delves on the qualities that made Jobs what he is today and teaches us a plethora of lessons in each and every page. Reads like a fine novel, only that you will never put down the book till you have finished it.