FINALLY! I finished his biography. It took longer than usual to get really engrossed in it as I’m not used to this genre. Nonetheless I completed it, all the while writing notes and dissecting it, trying to figure out the angle in which I would approach writing this post. To be honest, I’m not quite sure I can really pick just one angle as his life was so multifaceted. Therefore I have only included the parts that really stood out to me.
What I noticed about his life was his attention to detail, his pathological perfection in everything he did. His aesthetic was minimalism with an intense focus directed towards the details, right down to the packaging. I know what you all must be thinking, it’s just packaging that will be ripped apart and thrown out in a matter of seconds. But let me tell you something, when I bought my macbook and opened the case in which it was safely nestled inside, I had the most euphoric feeling. You must think I’m crazy, but I’m sure I am not the only one out there who had an awe inspiring reaction to the simple act of unearthing an Apple product.
He was a prickly character who believed in being brutally honest: “It is my job to be honest. I know what I’m talking about, and I usually turn out to be right. That’s the culture I tried to create. We are brutally honest with each other, and anyone can tell me they think I am full of shit and I can tell them the same thing.” (© Isaacson: pg. 569). Take for example his goal of being surrounded with A players, firing who he thought were B or C players. His philosophy was that once B players were thrown into the mix, C players would eventually crop up, thus diluting the creative and productive spirit of his company. Furthermore, a lot of companies will instil in its employees that it is all about what the customer wants, but Steve Jobs challenged that notion: “Our job is to figure out what they’re going to want before they do.” (© Isaacson: pg. 567). He was definitely successful as he created the undeniable need of his iPad, a product that was never needed before.
I have barely just skimmed the surface of this rather insightful biography, so it is up to you, the readers, to determine whether or not this is a good read for you. The one significant question that swirled around in my mind was what it took to create an exceptional product. Therefore, I want to leave on this note. Ask yourselves what kind of personality it takes to create and nurture such a successful company. Is it the kind and understanding CEO, or is it the prickly and difficult one?