Summary of Steve Jobs

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Steve Jobs book summary
Steve Jobs astounded the world with his creativity and confounded people with his mercurial, often volatile ways.


8 Overall

8 Importance

7 Innovation

9 Style


Walter Isaacson, the biographer of Benjamin Franklin, Albert Einstein and Henry Kissinger, wrote this extensively researched biography at Steve Jobs’s request (but not under Jobs’s control) soon after Jobs received his fatal cancer diagnosis. Isaacson explains how Jobs’s idiosyncratic interests related to one another and contributed to his success. He illuminates his subject’s personality as he shows how Jobs revolutionized several industries. Jobs’s perfectionism started in his childhood. His confident sense of himself became apparent at age 13 when he called Bill Hewlett – co-founder of Hewlett-Packard – for free electronic parts for a school project. Jobs met his future partner Steve Wozniak in high school. Wozniak provided technical expertise and Jobs gave their collaboration its spirit and market savvy. His Apple II – a self-contained unit – was unique for its time. Jobs’s extreme moods and emotional manipulation combined to ensure that his dream got realized, but not without collateral damage. Jobs had an uncanny ability to cajole others to follow his vision. He generated a “reality distorting field” that convinced them that the impossible was possible and that they should help bring it about. Isaacson shows Jobs’s love of computers as part of his more comprehensive quest to realize his vision. His impact on others makes him sound like a guru and even Isaacson seems, at times, in awe of Jobs. Jobs studied Buddhism and Eastern philosophy, spent seven months in India, believed in intuition and claimed that his life had a special meaning. He may have been right. These beliefs affected his approach to design as part of a product’s essence. The processes he applied at Apple elucidated his design approach. The manufacturing, design, marketing and distribution departments simultaneously reviewed products under development. getAbstract finds that Jobs’s complex array of qualities emerge compelling both in Isaacson’s biography and in Jobs’s signature creations: the iMac, iPhone and iPad, all of which reshaped Apple and the international market.

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    Alexey Miroshnichenko 4 years ago
    great reading!
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    Patrick Brigger 4 years ago
    He was a genius. He also treated his employees as merchandise. I wonder if this type of leadership is needed to be successful, that without tough and sometimes ruthless leadership you can't navigate the boat to where it is supposed to go. Or is a more "human" and emotional type of leadership also possible to achieve the same results? How does he compare to a Larry Ellison and a Bill Gates?
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    Virnalisi Velez 4 years ago
    Steve Jobs... An imperfect mortal genius. Thank you!

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