Monday, July 16, 2012

Steve Jobs' Biography

I have finally managed to read Steve Jobs' biography by Walter Isaacson and I highly recommend it to everyone. Here are some thoughts that came to my mind:

i) How geniuses often have nasty personalities. Maybe there is some reversion-to-mean going on here: we all have qualities and flaws, but those with extraordinary abilities often have extraordinary flaws. I think that being a perfectionist also made Jobs highly critical of everything (both people and objects) and is personal life seems to have suffered a lot because of it.

ii) Most of us can actually own a masterpiece made by a reputed genius (at least in terms of design and innovation at the time. I guess this is a first in the history of mankind.

iii) On a corporate strategy level, the book highlights how dividing firms by divisions can really hamper innovation and cooperation. One of the reasons that Apple is what it is arises because all products are developed and marketed by the company as a whole. Focusing on creating just a few excellent products also helps. I guess that if you are good enough to concentrate your bets on a few products can give you a big advantage over competitors.
Ah, and one more thing...

iv) How luck plays a huge part in anything we succeed in life. Humans are very good at rationalizing successes and failures but many things turn out the way they do by pure chance (or fate if you are religious). Given his peculiar personality Jobs could easily have put himself into a deep hole that he wouldn't be able to get out of.



  1. though I am a believer in hard work and will power but surprisingly these days I am reading more and more about the luck factor being more important. I always thought your work and determination could out play luck but as "Luck would have it"..... Last I read an interview about Amazon's Founder and he mentioned that at the start of your venture you need to have your stars aligned and once your venture takes off, then hard work comes into play... however I would still like to stick to work and will power idea... gives some motivation to try out new things in life :)

  2. hi..Im student from Informatics engineering, this article is very informative, thanks for sharing :)

  3. The book is very well written and is a quick read, even though it's fairly voluminous. This book reduces Steve down in stature to a mere human, while at the same elevating his legacy to the top of the list of all-time great business builders, innovators and leaders. I really wish I could have read this book while Steve was still alive - I would have certainly appreciated and mourned his passing more than I did.

    Read this book, you won't be disappointed.