Reading Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson explained to me why I was so passionate about any Apple products and tried to convince perfect strangers in Best Buy that the Apple was the computer they wanted. Sales people loved me. I learned from the book that when Steve Jobs unveiled a new product, he would flash an image on the screen of two streets coming together. One of the streets was named Humanities and the other Technology. The streets were named for the beauty of design and simplicity of operation that always left me speechless. I don’t know where you live, but I happen to live at that intersection.
I remember the first blog that caught my eye when I began this journey of blogging was one called Taylor Made Design. A graphic artist named Kristine Yarington wrote it. I love her product, her Etsy store, and her grasp of all things technology. Two of the things we had in common were our new Apple Computers and our love of art. I would love to give you the number and name of that Apple but Steve Jobs, being the purist that he was, did not allow anything that would distract from the design to be put on the outside. Not even a screw. I have kept this computer updated, and it is now more than six years old.
But Steve Jobs was not as refined as his products. It turns out that Jobs was a very flawed genius who had no filter for his thoughts. His world ran on black and white. He either loved something or it “really sucked.” He never settled for any product until he had tested those around him to be better than perfect and he had a hand in every part of the process. He believed in end-to-end integration of hardware and software. All of our Apple devices became one piece of technology on our desks. Best of all, he knew that technology was not enough nor was beauty. The whole package had to be “crazy” great and beautiful or he would not allow Apple to put it on the market.
His career brought him both success and failure. He was released from Apple, and his replacement almost killed the company. But Jobs also failed when he tried to create a more intellectual computer for colleges. That product, Next, was finally bought by Apple but was scuttled later.
He revolutionized the animated movie industry during the years he was not at Apple and upon his return reinvented the music industry, cell phones, tablet devices, and desktop publishing. He was the first to use “gorilla glass” as the glass on our iPhones back in 2007. This is the glass we see being touted as new on Razor phones in 2012. The thing is we all know these things. That is not the story. The story is how he made the impossible happen and, as Bill Gates was quoted as saying, “left Microsoft flat footed.”
Isaacson interviewed 100 friends, family members, and colleagues. He interviewed Jobs 40 times. It is not a flattering image of him or of those that competed or worked with him. Yet Jobs, in this single instance, did not control nor did he read any of the content.
My time spent reading this book was a total pleasure. That is not something I can say about most books of this nature. But it is over. Like the life of Jobs, even after 571 pages, I wished there was so much more.