That was the extent of my knowledge until I received his biography as a Christmas gift. As a seasoned Windows user, I wasn’t sure how interesting I’d find it, but I figured I could probably learn some good business strategies, so I set out to read it. And wow – am I ever glad I did!
For starters, it was a very interesting retrospective of the development of the personal computer over the last few decades. It brought back a lot of memories of technology I’d heard about and, in some cases, actually used.
It was also a fascinating story about the amazing man who was personally responsible for the design and development of many of those products. He was an eccentric, emotionally unstable perfectionist with very high expectations of everyone who worked for him, but it was those very traits that allowed him to grow Apple to one of the largest publicly traded companies in the world.
Now I understand why my iPhone has rounded corners, and why the box it came in is too nice to throw away. I also understand why Mac computers cost more than PCs, why there are no Mac clones on the market, and why Mac users are such a devoted bunch.
Perhaps the biggest surprise of all was learning about Jobs’ career outside of Apple. I may have known at one time that he was co-founder of Pixar, but if so, I’d forgotten. That explains why Pixar movies are so superior to other animated films!
And yes, I learned a few things about business as well.
I particularly enjoyed Walter Isaacson’s writing style, which had me just as engrossed as if I were reading a suspenseful novel.
When Jobs’ biography hit the bookstore shelves only weeks after his death, I was put off that someone was trying to cash in, and so quickly. I wasn’t aware that the book had been written on Jobs’ request and that its release had actually been delayed due to his poor health. Now it all makes perfect sense.
Bottom line – you do not have to be a Mac devotee to enjoy this book. If you have used a computer, downloaded music (legally or otherwise), or watched a movie in the past 40 years, there will be something here to capture your attention.