Steve Jobs

Who wouldn’t want to read the biography of the man who gave us Apple, iTunes, the iPod, the iPhone, the iPad, Pixar, and so much more? Regardless of Steve Job’s beliefs, you have to respect what he was able to accomplish in his lifetime. I would say he accomplished his goal of “making a dent in the universe!”

This was a great read! Although I don’t agree with a lot of Steve’s beliefs and the way he tended to treat people, I believe you can learn from anyone and after reading this book I can tell you that you can learn a ton from Steve Jobs!

My Big Takeaway: There were a lot of them, but this is the one that hit me the hardest:

“Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything—all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure—these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.”

Too often, I don’t go after what’s in my heart because of fear. Steve never had that problem! He knew what he wanted and he went for it! Steve’s life has helped me gain the courage and confidence to go after what’s in my heart.

This is a long read, but it’s an excellent one. I’d recommend it to anyone who is interested in leadership, business, or entrepreneurship.

Buy the Hard Copy

Buy the Kindle Version

Some Highlights:

  • Jobs’s father had once taught him that a drive for perfection meant caring about the craftsmanship even of the parts unseen.
  • He emphasized that you should never start a company with the goal of getting rich. Your goal should be making something you believe in and making a company that will last.”
  • “In order to do a good job of those things that we decide to do, we must eliminate all of the unimportant opportunities.”
  • “The Apple Marketing Philosophy” that stressed three points. The first was empathy, an intimate connection with the feelings of the customer: “We will truly understand their needs better than any other company.”
  • “People DO judge a book by its cover,” he wrote. “We may have the best product, the highest quality, the most useful software etc.; if we present them in a slipshod manner, they will be perceived as slipshod; if we present them in a creative, professional manner, we will impute the desired qualities.”
  • “Jobs thought of himself as an artist, and he encouraged the design team to think of ourselves that way too,” said Hertzfeld. “The goal was never to beat the competition, or to make a lot of money. It was to do the greatest thing possible, or even a little greater.”
  • “I’ve learned over the years that when you have really good people you don’t have to baby them,” Jobs later explained. “By expecting them to do great things, you can get them to do great things.
  • Apple’s design mantra would remain the one featured on its first brochure: “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.
  • “Real artists ship.”
  • But Jobs had latched onto what he believed was a key management lesson from his Macintosh experience: You have to be ruthless if you want to build a team of A players.
  • “It’s too easy, as a team grows, to put up with a few B players, and they then attract a few more B players, and soon you will even have some C players,” he recalled. “The Macintosh experience taught me that A players like to work only with other A players, which means you can’t indulge B players.”
  • Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently. They’re not fond of rules. And they have no respect for the status quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them. About the only thing you can’t do is ignore them. Because they change things. They push the human race forward. And while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones who do.
  • One of Jobs’s great strengths was knowing how to focus. “Deciding what not to do is as important as deciding what to do,” he said. “That’s true for companies, and it’s true for products.”
  • “When we took it to the engineers,” Jobs said, “they came up with thirty-eight reasons they couldn’t do it. And I said, ‘No, no, we’re doing this.’ And they said, ‘Well, why?’ And I said, ‘Because I’m the CEO, and I think it can be done.’ And so they kind of grudgingly did it.”
  • “Under Steve Jobs, there’s zero tolerance for not performing,” its CEO said.
  • Once a year Jobs took his most valuable employees on a retreat, which he called “The Top 100.” They were picked based on a simple guideline: the people you would bring if you could take only a hundred people with you on a lifeboat to your next company“What are the ten things we should be doing next?People would fight to get their suggestions on the list.After much jockeying, the group would come up with a list of ten. Then Jobs would slash the bottom seven and announce, “We can only do three.”
  • Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything—all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure—these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.
  • Some people say, “Give the customers what they want.” But that’s not my approach. Our job is to figure out what they’re going to want before they do. I think Henry Ford once said, “If I’d asked customers what they wanted, they would have told me, ‘A faster horse!’” People don’t know what they want until you show it to them.
  • “I’m about fifty-fifty on believing in God,” he said. “For most of my life, I’ve felt that there must be more to our existence than meets the eye.”
  • He fell silent for a very long time. “But on the other hand, perhaps it’s like an on-off switch,” he said. “Click! And you’re gone.” Then he paused again and smiled slightly. “Maybe that’s why I never liked to put on-off switches on Apple devices.”

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