Three months ago, I snatched this book off the "new arrivals" shelf at the local library, more out of impulse than infatuation. I had heard many different opinions about Steve Jobs since his death, some good and some bad and was interested in knowing the truth. On the other hand, I was pretty sure that it would be filled with sleep-inducing details about computer components. Because, seriously...500+ pages?
It didn't take me long though to realize that Walter Issacson is a genius. I was correct in assuming that there would be tons of detail about computers, but absolutely none of it put me to sleep. And not only was it interesting, it was also engaging. I found myself remembering the first time I was introduced to a computer, a tan all-in-one Apple mammoth with a bright green cursor. Growing up in the 90's, I don't think I had any clue the importance of what was happening in the computer world, so it was fun to look back on it with more of an adult perspective and tie little snippits of memories to fact. I was also very intrigued with Steve Jobs style of management and his reasoning behind it. The book provides a real eye into Jobs personal life, but also into the Apple Corporation and its management, product development, advertising, etc. The business information was just as interesting as the personal, if not more so.
Even though it took me three months, it's easy to get through and definitely worth your time. Issacson pulls you in right away and while he holds your attention until the end, it's very easy to stop and start, making it a perfect nighttime read.
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. That's why I never rely on market research. Our task is to read things that are not yet on the page. - Steve Jobs