My Take On Steve Jobs By Walter Issacson
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Having read a lot about Steve Job’s Biography I pre-ordered the copy of “Steve Jobs" by Walter Isaacson, 2 months before its launch. As any journalist would agree, there was always a mystery surrounding Steve Jobs- the man, who revolutionized six industries: personal computers, animated movies, music, phones, tablet computing, and digital publishing. And I too was waiting and hoping that those mysteries will unfold itself in this book. After all, the book they say was based on more than forty interviews with Jobs conducted over two years—as well as interviews with more than a hundred family members, friends, adversaries, competitors, and colleagues. Even as I finished the book and sat with my cup of coffee, I wondered –Did the mystery really get unraveled?

Though Walter Isaacson has successfully brought out every shade of this icon, throwing light on the roller-coaster life and piercing personality of a creative genius who was the mastermind behind Macs, iPods, iPhones and now the iPads, you realize towards the end that Jobs still keeps certain part of his personality still mysterious. But beyond all these thoughts, the book is one of the most inspiring books I have read in the recent times.

Issacson has built Job’s character from his early days describing his sense of abandonment which came from his knowledge of the fact that he was adopted and how it went on form his personality which had extremities in equal abundance. From this melancholy beginning, Issacson takes you to another level of gripping excitement as he describes Jobs’ relentless pursuit, his product vision and his intensity of focus. And when Issacson winds up the book, he portrays a much matured Jobs who had believed in blending creativity and technology, turning philosophical and even intriguing into the intricacies of life and death.

As Issacson describes Jobs working on the marketing campaigns at Apple, we can see a reflection of Jobs himself in the words which went to become the campaign of Apple.  "Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently. They’re not fond of rules. And they have no respect for the status quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them. About the only thing you can’t do is ignore them. Because they change things. They push the human race forward. While some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people, who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.”

Jobs  through this books leave us with lot to think over and lot of inspiration for anyone who has the power to dream big. Some of them which interested me are as below:-

Follow your gut - For an entrepreneur, it is always necessary to follow his gut. Jobs believed in following the intuition which according to him is more powerful than intellect. That has had a big impact on his work too. "Don't be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people's thinking. Don't let the noise of others' opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become."

Never let failure overcome you -Jobs was fired by the company he co-founded and by the CEO whom he appointed. But that never let him down. He was frustrated for a while about his failure but soon he realized that he was still in love with what he was doing. That is building great products. Hence he went on to build another company by name NeXt and later build Pixar Animation Studios, which is today one of the best companies in the world for producing animation. It is his ability to rise out of his failure which made him come out with double vigour. “The heaviness of being successful was replaced by the lightness of being a beginner again, less sure about everything. It freed me to enter one of the most creative periods of my life”, says Jobs

Live for the day - When you get into a state of mind where you can live every day exactly how you would if it were your last day to live, you will find you are living your life exactly how you want to. Jobs was diagnosed with Pancreatic Cancer in 2004 when he still believed that he had much more to do with life. So he decided to ask himself everyday if he is living for the day and when he found the answer is no for a few days then he would think about redirecting himself. He says all entrepreneurs should do this.

Work with passion -One of his main passions was to build a great company making great products.For him everything else was secondary. He always believed that entrepreneurs should always work for the passion of building products. If you make a great product with lot of passion then money will flow in. For him products and not money was the motivation.

Find the most talented people to surround yourself with - If you believe that Apple is all about Steve Jobs, then you are wrong. In reality, Jobs has surrounded himself with talent: Phil Schiller, Jony Ive, Peter Oppenheimer, Tim Cook, the former head of stores Ron Johnson are a few examples. He always believed in building a team of lieutenants he can count on. In order to build a big team you might have to let go the B level players and only retain the A+ plus level players.  This was perhaps one reason why Apple stocks never dipped much as analyst expected after Jobs’ death. He left a legacy of leaders who can take Apple forward.

Marketing matters -You might have the best product in the world with world class features, which none of the competitors have. But if you are not able to put them across to your consumers properly it is a failure. No wonder Jobs took personal interest in every marketing campaign which Apple did. The idea is to make it stand out and create an impact. Jobs believed that marketing should reflect what is distinct about the product.

Market research is not an option -We always hear in the business circle-Give customers what they want. But Jobs disagrees to this belief. He believes that doing market survey and research in building a product will not help you build a great product. “Our job is to figure out before they do. Like Henry Ford once said-If I had ask customers what they wanted, they would have told me, ‘A faster horse’. He believed that people don’t know what they want and the entrepreneurs should figure out things which are not in their list yet, but which they would love to have.


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