Steve Jobs Book to be a Best-Seller
The biography, Steve Jobs, by Walter Isaacson, hit bookstores on Monday but released a bit early on Apple’s iBooks online store and Amazon’s Kindle late Sunday. Amazon spokeswoman, Brittany Tuner, states, “The way things are trending, it could very likely be our top-selling book of the year.” I was lucky enough to catch television show “60 Minutes” last night which profiled s Steve Jobs’s life and highlighted snippets from the Issacsons’ book.
The truth about Jobs’ biography is that he asked former Time Magazine editor, Isaacson, to write the book seven years ago, but Isaacson thought it would be too soon. What Isaacson didn’t know was that Jobs was about to undergo surgery for pancreatic cancer and was feeling his mortality. However, in 2009, when Jobs was gravely ill, Issacson started his first of over 40 interviews with him. Now, two and a half weeks after Jobs’ death, the book published by Simon & Schuster has released.
Jobs’ wife asked him to be honest with his weaknesses as much as his strengths in the interview; she wanted the truth about Jobs to be told. However, no matter what Jobs was to say, the truth would come out, considering that over 150 people (including co-workers, family, friends and even competitors) were interviewed for the story. Jobs, often labeled as a perfectionist was known to be mean at times. Jobs was given up by his birth parents and adopted by a working class couple, Paul and Clara Jobs, from Mountain View, California. Paul was a mechanic who, while making a fence told Steve to “make the back of the fence that nobody will see just as good looking as the front of the fence.” He explained that even though nobody will see it, you’ll know about it and it will show how dedicated you are in making something perfect.
It didn’t necessarily hurt Jobs that he was adopted and given up at birth; in fact, some may say that it helped him more than it hurt him. Once, when crying to his parents and then being told by them that they, “specifically picked him out” made him feel chosen and special rather than just abandoned. He was a hippie-ish, rebel that dropped acid and loved Bob Dylan’s music and electronics. “Jobs has within him sort of this conflict, but he doesn’t quite see it as a conflict,” says Isaacson on 60 Minutes. The conflict was, “Between being hippie-ish and anti-materialistic but wanting to sell things at the same time,” he continues. Soon, he was to meet Steve Wozniack, a nerdy Berkely student who also had a disregard for authority. They improved a device called the Blue Box, which Jobs says marked the beginning of Apple.
However, Apple still had some months before it was to begin. First, Jobs enrolled in Reed College in Oregon for a semester before he decided that one semester was enough. During his time in school Jobs tried LSD, which according to him, “was one of the most important things in my life.” Soon, he was to move back into his parents house and begin working at Atari. Unfortunately, Jobs didn’t receive much love at Atari being that no one could take his scent. That’s right, Steve Jobs smelled bad. Apparently, he though that since he was a vegan, he didn’t think he had to do everyday things like bathe and use deodorant because his diet would keep him from smelling. Either way, It didn’t matter whether people there liked him or his smell because he was to leave soon anyway.
“I knew I never had to worry about money again. And so, I went from not worrying about money because I was pretty poor to not worrying about money because I had a lot of money”
When Jobs left Atari, he decided he wanted to spend some time in India where he stayed for 7 months searching for spiritual enlightenment. He came back saying that the main thing he learned was institution. Upon his return, he and Wozniak began building and peddling a primitive computer for hobbyists with a $1300 investment in his parents basement. They soon came out with the Apple 2, which was marketed as the first home computer. Many sales later, Jobs was a millionaire. He explained,”I knew I never had to worry about money again. And so, I went from not worrying about money because I was pretty poor to not worrying about money because I had a lot of money.” Over 100 million employees became millionaires when Apple went public.
However, Jobs gets his ill-will tag because he had a lot of friends that worked with him in his parents garage that never received stock options. Wozniak was handing them out trying to make everyone rich, yet Jobs pretended they didn’t exist. One of his friends, Daniel Kottke, Apple employee No. 12, was one of them. Even when one of Jobs engineers at Apple came to Jobs and said, “We have to take care of your friend Daniel. I’ll give him some stock if you match it.” Jobs said, “Yeah I’ll match it, I’ll give 0 and you’ll give 0.” Another harsh action by Jobs happened when his long-time girlfriend became pregnant producing their daughter, Lisa. Jobs denied paternity and refused to pay support until courts got involved. Employees referred to these actions of Jobs as his ‘reality distortion field,’ a term describing his ability to convince himself and others to believe that essentially any fact is bendable to suit his purpose.
Jobs believed he was special and that certain rules didn’t apply to him. If he was told that his deadlines were impossible to fulfill, he’d tell his employees that they better be made. He would park in handicap spots and when asked why he didn’t have a license plate, he’d respond, “I don’t have a license plate because I don’t have a license plate.” Some may say that his disdain for establishment helped him achieve some of his biggest successes. Some of his habits may be the reason he had been termed by Isaacson as, “the world’s worst manager.” Jobs wanted to be in an office where one co-worker could tell another, “you really ****ed up,” relating this idea to one of his favorite bands, The Beatles, who told each other such things all of the time.
“because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones who do”
In fact, Jobs actually provoked a boardroom showdown with Apple President John Sculy where employees had to decide who would be president. Sculy was chosen and Jobs was booted from his own company. He began a new venture called Next Computer, where he made amazing products that didn’t sell well. He then acquired Pixar from George Lucas for 5 million dollars, which revolutionized movie animation and made Jobs a multi-billionaire. In the meantime, Apple wasn’t doing so well and decided to buy Next Computer and the services of Jobs as a consultant; little did they know, he would soon take over as CEO. This was at a time when Apple was nearly bankrupt and out of money. Jobs took their 30 or so products and narrowed them down to 4. He launched a new advertising campaign (below) around his slogan, “Think Different” where he stated, “because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones who do.” The campaign announced what would be the biggest comeback in business history and almost anyone today will tell you that Steve Jobs changed the world.