The must-read summary of Walter Isaacson's book “Steve Jobs”.This complete summary of "Steve Jobs" by Walter Isaacson, a renowned American journalist and writer, presents the author's account of Steve Jobs's career, which is a tale filled with lessons about innovation, character, leadership and being true to one’s own values.Added-value of this summary:• Save time• Understand Steve Jobs's life, career and motivations• Expand your knowledge of an important figure in American and global societyTo learn more, read "Steve Jobs" and discover the story of one of the world's most prominent and influential businessmen.
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STEVE JOBS (1955 - 2011) was one of the modern era’s most creative and passionate entrepreneurs. His passion for perfection and his ferocious drive completely revolutionized at least six industries: personal computers, animated movies, music, mobile phones, tablet computing and digital publishing. When it comes to inventiveness and applied imagination, Steve Jobs is the ultimate icon and benchmark.
More than anyone else, Jobs demonstrated the best way to create value in the twenty-first-century is to develop products which are in the sweet spot at the intersection of art and technology. Jobs built one company (Apple) and owned another (Pixar) where leaps of imagination were combined with stunning feats of engineering and an uncompromising emphasis on design excellence to make state-of-the-art products which sold.
Steve Jobs never claimed to be easy to work with and he always managed to drive those who worked with him closely to fury and despair but often that pressure generated levels of performance they didn’t think they were capable of. His personality and his products were tightly interrelated in just the same way as Apple’s hardware and software are a closed system by design. Jobs always developed his products in deliberate ways which would deliver the customer experience he felt they deserved. And most of the time, he had an uncanny knack for anticipating what customers wanted and delivering them products that were in his own words “insanely great.”
Jobs always aspired to “make a dent in the universe.” Many people would argue he did precisely that in his career which was tragically cut short by cancer. The story of that career is however an instructive tale which is filled with lessons about innovation, character, leadership and being true to one’s own values.
Walter Isaacson is CEO of the Aspen Institute. He is a former chairman of CNN and managing editor of TIME magazine as well as a former Rhodes Scholar. Mr. Isaacson is an acknowledged historian and biographer.
Steven Paul Jobs was born on February 24, 1955 in San Francisco. His birth mother, Joanne Schieble and his birth father Abdulfattah “John” Jandali were not married so Jobs was put up for adoption. Paul and Clara Jobs adopted him and raised him as their own although they were always open about the fact he was adopted. Joanne Schieble refused to sign the adoption papers until Paul and Clara signed a pledge they would fund a savings account to pay for Steve’s college education.
Steve grew up in Mountain View, a less expensive town just to the south of Palo Alto, the legendary birthplace of Silicon Valley. When Jobs was growing up, David Packard and Bill Hewlett had grown HP to nine thousand employee sand lots of other high tech companies were well established including Fairchild Semiconductor and Intel. Jobs’s father was into restoring old cars so Steve dabbled abit in that as well while growing up but he was more passionate about electronics.
Jobs managed to skip a few grades in elementary school because his teachers understood he was intelligent and needed to be challenged. The fact his mother had taught him how to read before he started school also meant he was way ahead of the rest of the kids. As he made the transition to high school, Jobs discovered computers. He saw his first computer while on a tour of Hewlett-Packard’s holography lab.
“I saw my first desktop computer there. It was called the 9100A, and it was a glorified calculator but also really the first desktop computer. It was huge, maybe 40 pounds, but it was a beauty of a thing. I fell in love with it.”
– Steve Jobs
When he was working on a project and needed some parts, Jobs picked up the phone and called Bill Hewlett’s home in Palo Alto. He chatted with Jobs for twenty minutes and not only supplied him the parts he needed but also offered Jobs a job in the H-P plant for the summer. Jobs worked there on the assembly line the summer after his freshman year at Homestead High.
One of the classes at high school was the electronics class taught by John McCollum. He was a former Navy pilot who was a big believer in discipline so naturally Jobs clashed with him almost immediately. While in that class, Steve Jobs became friends with Stephen Wozniak who was a graduate student about five years older than Jobs. Wozniak was a school legend for his wizardry in electronics who still liked to hang around with high school students. Wozniak had taught himself computer programming while working in a part-time job during his senior year and was working in his spare time to design his own home computer. He was a genuine geek and shunned publicity.
“My father told me, ‘You always want to be in the middle.’ I didn’t want to be up with the highest-level people like Steve. My dad was an engineer, and that’s what I wanted to be. I was way too shy to ever be a business leader like Steve.”
– Stephen Wozniak
One thing Jobs and Wozniak shared was a love of pranks. Jobs was suspended from high school on a number of occasions, more often than not with help from Woz. They built devices which could block broadcast TV signals. They devised a rope and pulley system which raised a huge bed sheet on which was painted a huge hand flipping the middle-finger salute as the school’s graduating class marched past the balcony. Probably their proudest achievement, however, was their “Blue Box” which allowed them to make free long distance calls.
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