Monday, February 19, 2018

Book Review: Steve Jobs (2013) by Walter Isaacson

Steve Jobs (2013) by Walter Isaacson

Listened to almost all of Walter Isaacson’s Interviews on YouTube. Before he wrote the biography on Steve Jobs, he already wrote few international best-seller biographies such as Benjamin Franklin, Henry Kissinger, Albert Einstein, and his most recent book on Leonardo da Vinci (will get this one at Kinokuniya KLCC bookstore this month!). I hope he will write about Isaac Newton and Nikola Tesla too in the future.

This book is VERY thick, 650+ pages. It took me an interval of 3 months, to finish it. First, if it’s not obvious yet, I admire Steven Paul Jobs a.k.a. Steve Jobs very much. First thing first, this book will shatter all your prejudices about the man—the legend—Steve Jobs. Walter Isaacson does a phenomenal job chronicling the life of Steve Jobs as told by Jobs and those that knew him best (“My mentor always told me, write biography chronologically,” said Isaacson repeatedly throughout his interviews). Throughout this book, I learned more about Steve's days at Reed College, his fascination with diet and spirituality, and his "distortion reality" that infected anyone that allowed themselves to get caught up in it. Many credit Steve as being the great innovator, but after I read this book, I think he was a genius no doubt and super creative but innovative-parts were mostly done by other people, not him. Jony Ive, I found out, was really the innovator for the iPhone, iPod, and iPad, etc. Yet, Steve's infectious distorted reality allowed Apple to become one of the world's greatest companies. Even after he’s gone, his legacy still rings inside Apple.

I read at least 3-4 books about Steve already, but it was a surprise to me when I learned how often he cried when he didn't get his way. I laughed, I pondered, and I often amazed by Steve’s personalities when I read this book (some of his characters I can easily identify with. A bit rude, straight to the point, jerk… maybe I like him because he’s like me… minus the success). Beautifully written. A bit longwinded, but worth the read. Like I said, I speed read… and honestly skipped some of the boring parts. This book is brutally honest. I bet, if you read this book, you’ll gain a deeper respect and understanding of the man that helped change the world… technologically. I’m not an Apple product fan, but I’m a fan of Steve Jobs. One wonder: What would Steve Jobs be doing if he were still alive today? I don’t know. No one knows. For sure, he will have combined arts and technology even more effectively (its rhyme). Just see the book cover, it was Steve who suggested it… simple, elegant, rich.

There are 42 not-so-small-chapters in all:

Ch. 1. Childhood: abandoned and chosen
Ch. 2. Odd couple: the two Steves
Ch. 3. The dropout: turn on, tune in
Ch. 4. Atari and India: Zen and the art of game design
Ch. 5. The Apple I: turn on, boot up, jack in
Ch. 6. The Apple II: dawn of a new age
Ch. 7. Chrisann and Lisa: he who is abandoned
Ch. 8. Xerox and Lisa: graphical user interfaces
Ch. 9. Going public: a man of wealth and fame
Ch. 10. The Mac is born: you say you want a revolution
Ch. 11. The reality distortion field: playing by his own set of rules
Ch. 12. The design: real artists simplify
Ch. 13. Building the Mac: the journey is the reward
Ch. 14. Enter Sculley: the Pepsi challenge
Ch. 15. The launch: a dent in the universe
Ch. 16. Gates and Jobs: when orbits intersect
Ch. 17. Icarus: what goes up
Ch. 18. NeXT: Prometheus unbound
Ch. 19. Pixar: technology meets art
Ch. 20. A regular guy: love is just a four-letter word
Ch. 21. Family man: at home with the Jobs clan
Ch. 22. ToyStoryy: Buzz and Woody to the rescue
Ch. 23. The second coming: what rough beast, its hour come around at last
Ch. 24. The restoration: the loser now Will be later to win
Ch. 25. Think different: Jobs as CEO
Ch. 26. Design principles: the studio of Jobs andI'vee
Ch. 27. The iMac: hello (again)
Ch. 28. CEO: still crazy after all these years
Ch. 29. Apple stores: genius bars and Siena sandstone
Ch. 30. The digital hub: from iTunes to the iPod
Ch. 31. The iTunes Store: I'm the Pied Piper
Ch. 32. Music man: the soundtrack of his life
Ch. 33. Pixar's friends and foes
Ch. 34. Twenty-first-century Macs: setting Apple apart
Ch. 35. Round one: Memento mori
Ch. 36. The iPhone: three revolutionary products in one
Ch. 37. Round two: cancer recurs
Ch. 38. The iPad: into the post-PC era
Ch. 39. New battles: and echoes of old ones
Ch. 40. To infinity: the cloud, the spaceship, and beyond
Ch. 41. Round three: the twilight struggle
Ch. 42. Legacy: the brightest heaven of invention...


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