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My Take on Steve Jobs by Walter Issacson

School finally ended for the semester, which means instead of reading what was assigned to me, I got to choose something I actually wanted to read. I chose to read Steve Jobs by Walter Issacson, and let me say, it was great.

I always admired Jobs, yet I had little understanding of who he was, as did most people. I found out a lot more about him after reading his biography, obviously. After reading the first couple chapters I realized Jobs was, to put it lightly, an asshole. Almost everything he does is rude, mean, self-centered, etc. Why was he like this?

There’s two reasons. First, it was just who he was. Second, he was very particular about who worked for Apple. His main “thing” was to only hire “A-players,” and it worked. He hired the best people, who only wanted to work with the best people.

Jobs also knew he could push people to do their best work. Most of the time when he was rude and/or mean, he was trying to get his employees to do their best work. This ultimately didn’t work out in the beginning, and lead to him being ousted from the company he created.

So how did someone like this make Apple into what it is today?

Passion for products and striving to be the best. That is how he did it. While other companies, Microsoft eh hem, focused primarily on software licensing, Apple focused on end-to-end integration of hardware and software.

These, coupled with the creation of the iPod and “A-players,” saved Apple, and turned it into the company it is today (which is trading at over $400).

I am still amazed with what Jobs accomplished in his life, and if you want to know more about it I would highly recommend reading this book.

After finishing this book, one quote stuck out to me. “The reward is in the journey.” Is it? Think about some big event in your life. I’m thinking about graduating college. Yes I graduated college, and yes I got a degree, which will get me a job. Great.

Looking back on my 4-5 years prior to graduating I realize all the things I have been a part of leading to graduation. I made life-long friends, I learned skills that will help me later in life, I was taken out of my comfort zone, etc. All of these things are a greater reward for me than Purdue University actually giving me my diploma. Obviously, I would say, “Yes, the reward is in the journey.”

 

I am a life-long learner, adventure seeker, and front-end developer for @ExactTarget