Sunday, January 22, 2012

Steve Jobs's Biography

I finished reading the Steve Jobs's biography, and following are some of the impressions.


  1. He is an *^%^&@^&! : IMO Author does a nice job of presenting SJ's life without much sugar coating. His was a complex life and sometimes he has been unbelievably mean and irrational. For example, after he was being a millioner there was a time his daughter and her mother lived on welfare. Another was that at early time a company he worked for gave him a contract to do a circuit board design. It carries a bonus for each item saved less than 60 parts. He did it with Steve Wozniak and shared the main fee, but never mention the bonus to Steve. There are enough examples in the book on his manipulations of people. Book gave impressions thing got better with time, but not conclusively. 
  2. I am impressed by the SJ's ability to build amazing products without understanding the inner working or technology. May be his lack of technical knowledge enables him to look at problems differently. 
  3. He builds great product using instincts that "something is not quote right" Basically he often says this is wrong (in colorful language of course), but did not really knew to say how to fix it. However, in his case doing that was enough to build great products. My takeaway is that when we work with great teams, we should point out problems and demand better even when we do not exactly know how to fix it. 
  4. Focus on few items: SJ strongly believed that his company should work on few things, but do them better by focusing and repeatedly evaluating and changing. He was always ready to go back and redo stuff, and as per the book, he has done that at least once with each of his major successes. 
  5. Willingness to go back and redo stuff: As described in #4, his principle was focus on few and redo it until you get it right. 
  6. Reality distortion fields: Book (term has been used before) uses SJ's ability to convince both himself and people around him that what seemingly impossible is possible. It has it's good and bad sides, where when goal is really possible, people end up doing it vs. when goal is impossible, people end up with failures. Regardless, to me this shows power of charisma. 
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