The Steve Jobs Book

“Becoming Steve Jobs: The Evolution of a Reckless Upstart into a Visionary Leader”

You are not Steve Jobs.

If you’re reading this book for tips, to model yourself in his image, you’re making a big mistake. Because Steve Jobs was sui generis.

And so are you.

That’s one of the things wrong with America. The conformity. Want to know one thing Steve hated? That’s it. He was about reaching into the future and bringing the unknown, what could only be imagined, into the present.

And sometimes he hit it out of the park…

And sometimes he whiffed.

Like selecting Walter Isaacson to write his biography.

This was the second time Steve’s best efforts were thwarted.

The first was when he selected John Sculley as head of Apple.

Sculley put the dagger in Steve’s back. Because what Sculley did best was play the politics.

That’s not who Steve Jobs was.

Who was Steve Jobs?

A brilliant guy who was brought up in a blue collar family.

Mmm… Do you think that’s why he was such a good businessman, such a fantastic negotiator?

I certainly do. Discomfort breeds restlessness. And aspiration.

It’s the nobodies that change the world. And that’s why our world today is stagnant. It’s peopled by the scions of the rich, the poor have very few opportunities. But when everybody gets an even, fresh start… That’s what the California educational system was about. College was cheap, everybody could go. And this is good, because you never know where revolution will come from.

My father paid for me to go to college.

Otherwise I never would have gone.

College is a joke. At least the classes are. Everything worth learning happens outside the classroom. Except maybe if you’re in math or science. But if you only learn math or science you’re an automaton. Jobs was right, the world runs on the humanities. And that’s one of the reasons Apple eclipsed Microsoft. It wasn’t only about the code, but usability, the focus on the end user was constant.

The press is calling “Becoming Steve Jobs” a rehabilitation of his image.

But the truth is Malcolm Gladwell got it right. Fifty years from now, Steve Jobs will be forgotten, just a blip on the radar screen. Whereas kids will still be singing Beatles songs. And the truth of Bob Dylan and Frank Zappa may live on. We never really know who will last, but isn’t it funny that there was a Doors revival and a Zeppelin revival and no one from the eighties or nineties has ever come back?

Because some are superior.

And some are not.

So Steve is hungry. For knowledge and success.

He lived to work.

And it’s true, Americans work too much, we need more leisure time, it recharges the batteries. But when done right, work is passion, it’s what you live for, you can’t wait to get into the office, to sit down in front of the computer. The crisis in our country is too much unfulfilling work, more than too much work.

Steve was cunning because he needed to be. It takes all your wits to live on no money.

And he soaked up knowledge. He sidled up to tech legends, cold-called them when he was nobody and they were only stars in their own backyard. It wasn’t like calling Kanye, but the engineer whom only those who read the credits know.

And then Steve got booted from his own company.

That’s what happens with geniuses. They’re not good with people. They’re intolerant, they want it their way. Which is in contrast to so many millennials, who were taught to get along, to be a member of the group. Steve Job had no group other than himself and maybe his family. His work kept him warm at night, he was lost when it wasn’t going well. He was frustrated that others didn’t see what he did and he did his best to bend their will/vision to his. Can you handle this much rejection? Most can’t.

But Steve believed.

And he had a track record.

Supposedly there are no second acts in America.

But Steve defied the odds.

But he was no match for the Big C, none of us are.

So should you read this book?

If you’re an Apple devotee. It delivers info heretofore unknown. About Steve’s illness, his time in exile. Isaacson’s book sucked because it was boring. Kind of like Stephen Hawking’s “A Brief History of Time” or Thomas Piketty’s “Capital in the Twenty-First Century,” many people bought it, few finished it.

But the problem really was Isaacson was not a member of the club, he was not a believer, he didn’t get excited by tech to the point he moved to the Valley and it changed his life. Reading Isaacson about Jobs is like reading a newspaper review of an act the writer is not a fan of. Who cares what that person thinks? The only people going are fans. What would a fan think?

Brent Schlender and Rick Tetzeli are fans.

They were there for the breakthroughs. Not only the Mac, but the internet and the iPhone.

Oh, what a different world we live in.

And is Steve Jobs a tyrant?


But he softened over the years. He changed. We all do. And those who are willing to adjust win. That’s one of the reasons we have so little confidence in our politicians, their rigid adherence to dogma. He not willing to learn and be open to changing his opinions is already dead, even if he’s walking the earth.

And reading the book you can see that Steve Jobs’s death was inevitable. Maybe if he’d gotten surgery earlier, he might have pulled through. The experts I’ve spoken with said no. But the point is we’re all vulnerable, and life is too short to follow in another person’s footsteps, you’ve got to take your own.

So, Steve Jobs, inspired by Bob Dylan and the Beatles and bitten by tech changed the world. It’s all in this book.

Now it’s your turn.

Don’t do it his way.

You can’t do it his way.

You can only do it your way.

Blow our minds, amaze us.

Steve would expect nothing less.

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