Becoming Steve Jobs by Brent Schlender & Rick Tetzeli

BecomingSteveJobsDiscussion of Steve Jobs’s persona is a shambolic affair. People carry varied view about him and there are different layers to his disposition which we unearth only when we read progressively more about him. This book chronicles his journey from the angle of his friend and journalist Brent Schlender who comprehended Steve from various inclines

This book apparently sells on the premise that everywhere Steve is portrayed to be a half asshole and half genius. An earlier book on the subject (Jobs official biography) written by Walter Icasson paints a very crude picture of him. This book attempts to dispel that image of Steve and it succeeds to an extent. It dwells on Steve’s past and his humble beginnings – how he went from a next door boy to being a multi-millionaire by age 30. His brazen ways of running businesses has him fired from the company that he shaped. Steve Jobs is a very arduous personality to dissect – his myriad ways of interacting with his team were the subject of discussion not just in his company but entire Silicon Valley. This book, one way or the other, downplays his reckless side but concentrates on more human part. There are numerous millionaire brat and staid billionaires in the valley who are grounded. Steve Jobs is neither of them – instead, he is a part of Silicon Valley folklore that will be talked about for decades to come. Steve’s resolve to get Apple Inc. out of its worst period on that fateful day in 1997 when he took over and compare that to current cult status of Apple with cash reserves of Apple matched to US’s fed reserves.

Steve was devoid of this fact that an obscure investment in Pixar animation studios of US$ 5 million would be most profitable investment of his life. Brent takes readers through this part real slow and shows them the side of Steve which is learning and evolving through intricate labyrinth of handling teams and getting the best out of them. Steve ascertains about his philosophy of ‘immensely great products’ from him overseeing Pixar. Steve, through this unceasing process of learning and evolving, smears this principles to Apple when he is back in the company and uses these knowledge to take it to dizzying heights to where it is today. For people in the corporate bandwagon, there are a lot of critical management lessons here. Not only Steve’s capability was discerned by many outsiders in getting all music labels to stream their music using iTunes but also his ability in getting Disney to buy out Pixar was a masterstroke. His adeptness in envisioning products that did not exist was one of his other strengths – he created a prototype of product design first and engineering use to follow later.


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