Saturday, December 31, 2011
Saturday, December 24, 2011
Tuesday, December 20, 2011
My one word review of this book: awesome.
Agreed, the author had an interesting subject. An adopted child, a Silicon Valley whiz-kid, an entrepreneur who over the span of two and half decades revolutionized not just the computer industry but also the music, retail and animation industries.
What makes Isaacson's effort spectacular is that after reading the book, you feel you've been witnessing Steve Jobs' life unravel right in front of your eyes. The creation of magical products, the frustration at doing things wrong, the fights and the celebrations... all come alive.
The book does not intend to be a publicity gimmick for the hero who has passed away (it would've been had they stuck to the title 'iSteve: The Book of Jobs') but an honest narration of one of the most amazing CEOs of the modern era. Jobs was no saint and he knew it. He threw tantrums and hurled abuses at people. But all of this stemmed from the fact that he was a perfectionist. The same passion for excellence that led him to sometimes delay product launches also led him one time to take eight weeks to decide which washing machine to buy. There is no doubt about it: the man was a genius. Albeit, slightly flawed, but genius nonetheless.
Another great feature about Isaacson's book is that it is honest. Not only are there conversations with people who revered Jobs' but also from his troubled past. Mona Simpson, his biological sister; Lisa Brennan-Jobs, his illegitimate daughter; Tina Redse, his one-time girlfriend; and of course, Bill Gates, the man who grudgingly accepted that Steve Jobs had a habit of pulling off the impossible.
This book is a great read not only for those who wish to read the biography of one of the best CEOs but also who want to find out more about a fascinating man who had an incredible passion for excellence in business, just as in his personal life.
(image courtesy: Little, Brown book group)
Sunday, December 18, 2011
It is at moments like these when you need to step back, take a deep breath and analyse which direction your life is headed in. Maybe you need a break. Maybe you need a cup of tea. Maybe you need a hot shower. Maybe... all you need is a clear head.
Sometimes, all you need to do is throw your past out of the window. The past got you to where you are now. Great! But what next? The destination you choose to achieve tomorrow is decided by the path you decide to take today.
My mind has been pretty occupied with similar thoughts this past one week. Its as if the mind decides to numb the body and instruct it to go through the daily activities, all the while trying hard not to focus on the past and peer into the future.
Interestingly, today I came across something which appealed to me on similar lines.
I'm currently reading Steve Jobs' biography by Walter Isaacson. Here's an excerpt from an interview that Jobs gave in February 1985 around his 30th birthday (Bear in mind, his 30th birthday was a milestone for him as it signalled that he had grown older. Also, it was around this time that Apple started facing real trouble on a grand scale and Jobs began having major difference of opinion with the CEO, John Sculley. Soon after this, Jobs had to quit Apple and start over at NeXT):
"If you want to live your life in a creative way, as an artist, you have to not look back too much. You have to be willing to take whatever you've done and and whoever you were and throw them away.
The more the outside world tries to reinforce an image of you, the harder it is to continue to be an artist, which is why a lot of times, artists have to say, "Bye. I have to go. I'm going crazy and I'm getting out of here." And they go and hibernate somewhere. Maybe later they re-emerge a little differently."
Friday, December 16, 2011
Thursday, December 15, 2011
Wednesday, December 14, 2011
Brilliance need not always jump to the rooftops and shout in order to draw attention to itself. Sometimes, and as in this instance, long after the creative minds have left the world of mortals, it peeks out from the surrounding clutter to remind us of the sheer magic of simplicity.