He ultimately was one of the main reasons why my kids don't have to
watch rubbish Disney movies like Treasure Planet, and can instead
enjoy Toy Story 1,2 and 3 over and over (and over).
You can also hold him responsible for getting rid of the horrible
world of Windows Mobile smart phones that I once endured, and gave us
the beautiful iPhone and iPad. Even if you prefer Android devices, you
have Steve Jobs to thank for showing the way.
And if you go further back in time, you will find he was the reason we
stopped using computers with black screens and green text, and instead
use a mouse and a pretty interface with windows and buttons.
Sadly, he is dead. He died last year, and it was a sad day for
everyone who knew him or knew of him well.
His official biography was released shortly thereafter, and I obtained
the audio book version with great expectations of getting insight into
Mr Jobs' psyche and perhaps emulating some of his secrets.
Boy did I get a shock.
I knew of all the stories that he was difficult to work with, but I
had no idea of the depths of his insensitivity. Strangely, though, it
seemed that the very traits that made him so successful were the same
things that would cause lots of people to despise him.
But it sure got me thinking...
1. Do the ends justify the means?
Is crushing a few spirits, offending a bunch of people, stealing
credit for others' ideas, mocking anyone who disagrees with you,
alienating people that genuinely love you and generally being a pain
in the butt... worth it to change the world?
2. Are people successful IN SPITE of their behavior, not because of it?
Had Steve adopted a more acceptable approach to managing people and
relationships, could he have had EVEN MORE influence?
3. Is it all meaningless speculation?
To really measure the ingredients for success, you need to study
failures too. It may be true to say that Steve Jobs demanded his own
way and was ultimately very successful, but that might be as useful a
statement as saying "Mrs Jones wore a blue hat every day and won the
Either way, the book is very much worth the read. Don't buy the hard
copy though, it's massive and looks like it took 6 trees to make it.
Get the ebook from iBooks or Amazon, or audio book from iTunes.