Not What I Thought
When Steve Jobs passed away I silently praised him as the founder of Apple. The company that is at the forefront of modern communication technology, the company that brought us the Iphone, a modern marvel of new age technology, the Ipad (as Steve Jobs once quoted “a computer in a book”) and the ever present Ipod, a constant musical companion for most of us. That’s it. However his book tells a different story.
A friend of mine recently bought his biography by Walter Isaacson which is a definite must read. Don’t be daunted by the size, the words are not too small and the montage of pictures in the middle of the book give a welcome break when it all gets a bit too much.
To put it plainly he was terrible to work with. He had NO social skills, had a reality distortion, believed people had to be pushed, cajoled and bullied into things and this brought out their brilliance. In fact it actually pushed most people away. He would not submit and had to be involved everywhere at once. He frequently shot down idea’s one day to loving them the next day. A word he used to describe himself in a speech demonstrating the abilities of a Macintosh was simply mercurial. He had dubious personal hygiene habits and subscribed to the Zen idea’s of minimalism and rising above the conflict.
In spite of all of this he was a visionary. He first had the vision that one day every household in America would have a computer. He wanted a “computer in a book” and wanted computers to be white, with clean lines, a powerful look and amazing capabilities. He didn’t know that much about the actual technology but had the marketing ability to make almost anything sound good and sell. He invested in one of the first companies that started inventing touch screen technology.
He wasn’t just the founder of Apple. He helped make the first animation films helping to form the alliance between Pixar and Disney. He was involved in the hit movie “Toy Story” which recouped its costs in the first week alone. He had dealings with LucasArts as well as NeXt.
He was brilliant and the more I read (I am only half way through) the more I realize that he had more of an effect on the world that most people know.