Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson

I picked up this book for a couple of reasons. One, it's #1 on the NY Times Bestseller list and I like to keep up with what America is reading. Two, I went to the same high school as Steve Jobs. I had a government teacher who also taught Steve Jobs, and this teacher pointed out more than once, "If I had invested in Apple back in the day, I would not be here teaching you now." Hum, someone was not happy with his job.

When I was in the first hundred pages of this book and friends asked me what I thought, I answered that I wasn't really liking Steve Jobs as a person.

The reading was slow going (or not going) for awhile until I had 500 pages left (out of 600) and a week left to finish it before it was due at the library. So I told myself to read 50 pages a day (always a bad sign when a book is supposed to be for fun). But then the book picked up and I finished it ahead of schedule.

After finishing, I can't say that I like Steve Jobs any better as a person. I am not convinced that it is necessary to be so rude, arrogant, and demeaning in order to succeed or to motivate your employees. I can write that there are several things that I respected - 1) the book includes a letter he wrote to his wife for their 20th anniversary that is very sweet and 2) he had very high standards of excellence and wouldn't settle for anything less and 3) he gave Isaacson free reign over what he wrote in this biography and didn't try to censor or control the content.

A pretty interesting book. Not recommended if you're looking for something to curl up with on a winter's day, but recommended if you're curious about how Apple and Pixar developed and who this Steve Jobs guy was.

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