I'm about one third of the way through Steve Jobs' authorized biography by Walter Isacsson, and while I might write a complete review whenever I finish it, I already have a few things to get off my chest.
Even though I consider myself an early adopter and bought the first iPad the day it came out (and have already owned four different iPhones), I've never read a book digitally until now. It seemed fitting to give my first trial with iBooks on the iPad to Jobs' biography, and honestly, it's no less pleasant than reading a hard copy. Even reading pages on the tiny iPhone isn't too bad – what's cool is the the "cloud" knows where you left off, from device to device. It's extremely convenient.
But beyond the delivery method, I'm mostly taken aback by the subject of the book and Jobs stood for. I'm not a stockholder, but I've used Macs exclusively since my parents bought first one in 1985. Before that, I learned BASIC on the Commodore 64, but at school, we all used Apple IIs. Jobs' imprint has been with me since third grade.
As of today, I'm at the point in the book when Jobs and his team launched the first Mac. It takes me back to a time when I would fiddle with MacPaint, learn about fonts and teach myself how computers worked. In many ways, it's not so different today, and I've lost count how many Apple computers I've owned, but it's well into the double digits. I've grudgingly used PCs running Windows and Linux and Blackberry phones, but at this point, there's virtually no chance I will ever buy a computer or mobile device that doesn't run the Apple OS du jour. I'm a customer for life.
The man behind Apple, though was clearly an insane genius, and at least up until 1985 (and probably beyond) was an insufferable bastard. He motivated alternately out of fear and grandiose predictions about changing the universe. He was fickle, stubborn and weird. Naturally, as an entrepreneur, myself, I am drawing some comparisons between us.
Yes, Jobs was smarter, more driven, more visionary and more successful than me, but I still see some parallels about how we manage our teams (and most aren't so good). I realize that as I read this book, I'm rooting for him to straighten himself out and grow up. Because he was such a private person, I honestly don't know if and when that happened, but I can barely put the book down. I can relate to more than I want to admit.
It's not because Jobs was my business hero, though his products and his legacy are interwoven into every hour of my waking life. It's because his unlikely story, and now, the platforms upon which I learn about it, have me obsessing about "The Steve."
Oddly, in life, he was just that quirky guy who ran the company I loved to hate. Only in his death am I beginning to understand what this cocky, insane, complex and brilliant man meant to the world – and how I interact with it.
The man was a visionary...and a very good marketing person, but I can't imagine working for a person who would scream at his employees...belittle them, stand behind them and micro-manage every project at the company...and fire people as fast as the company could hire new ones...the guy was a strange guy, but I sure do love my imac. Rest in Peace Steve (he believed there was a 50/50 chance of an after-life)
1 comment about this article.
Post your comment/review now
Disclaimer: Please note that Facebook comments are posted through Facebook and cannot be approved, edited or declined by OnMilwaukee.com. The opinions expressed in Facebook comments do not necessarily reflect those of OnMilwaukee.com or its staff.
Recent Articles & Blogs by Andy Tarnoff
Published Nov. 18, 2014
Take it for what its worth, but Playboy Magazine has Blue's Egg as one of its 101 best breakfasts in America (don't worry, the link is reasonably safe for work). The restaurant at 317 N. 76th St. came in 21st place out of 23 Midwest selections, just behind Mickie's Dairy Bar in Madison.
Published Nov. 11, 2014
Can you imagine how social media would've melted down exactly 101 years ago? Nov. 11, 2013 was the end of the "Big Blow," the "Freshwater Fury" or the "White Hurricane," a hurricane-force blizzard that killed more than 250 people and and destroyed 19 ships.
Published Oct. 28, 2014
I really didn't have any hope left after 25 days. As we entered the fourth week without our sweet, kind, missing cat, Jabie, I was beginning to come to peace with the reality that I'd never see her again. Then, yesterday, less than four blocks from home, a woman called my wife and said she had cajoled a black cat into her basement. My wife bolted home from work and immediately recognized Jabie coming up the stairs. Just to be sure, she took her to the closest vet to scan her microchip. And it came back as a match from Elmbrook Humane Society.
Published Oct. 22, 2014
Apple's new killer app, Apple Pay, may indeed someday change global commerce for good. That day isn't here yet, however. Three days after launch, my experiences with the NFC-based payment / tap to pay system show that Apple Pay is still very, very beta. At this point, you may find yourself using it barely at all.
Published Oct. 21, 2014
Mazen Muna, the owner of the Dogg Haus group of restaurants, shared his plans today to launch PhantomBar this spring at 780 N. Jefferson St. in Cathedral Square. The bar is under the umbrella of his new 12AM Management Group, which Muna says he founded to house "the new wave of businesses being added to the portfolio."
Published Oct. 16, 2014
Well before the Chinese eCommerce company Alibaba began making IPO rumblings in America, I was familiar with its offerings. I'd never bought anything from it ... until this month.
Published Oct. 8, 2014
Once upon a time, I figured that the magnificent, serene and beautiful Door County is a place only to be enjoyed by adults. Maybe my priorities have changed, though, because even after 20 years of visits, only recently did I come to the conclusion that kids could fall in love with this magical retreat, too. Turns out I was right. After the summer rush died down, we took our daughter up to Door County for the first time this weekend. It was a wonderful journey.
Published Oct. 7, 2014
Just about a week ago, our sweet little cat, Jabie, disappeared from our Bay View home. Maybe one of us left the patio door open a bit, I'm not sure. But after hours upon hours of walking the neighborhood, taping up posters and talking to every stranger we see, she's still nowhere to be found.
Published Sept. 27, 2014
I've been lucky enough to see the Dandy Warhols live several times over the last few years. But each time, I've had to travel to Chicago or Madison to hear them, which is a small sacrifice for one of my favorite bands over the last 15-plus years. So the opportunity to see the Dandys at Turner Hall was a welcome one, and as usual, provided for a great venue to see the Portland-based band Saturday night.
Published Sept. 23, 2014
Sunday morning, we headed to Mequon to pick apples, although not to Barthel's. On a friend's tip, we visit R-Apples (Roesch Farm), right next door at 12422 Farmdale Rd. What a wonderful, low-key experience. Not only was it peaceful and quiet, we picked apples and pears of many different varieties. Then we headed to their vegetable garden, and picked peppers and raspberries.