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 April 17, 2014
For some inexplicable reason, I've never visited a Dogg Haus location until today. Well, I've learned my lesson.
Published April 10, 2014
Whether you support the e-cigarette industry or not, one thing is indisputable: it's a phenomenon that's growing rapidly. And while the companies that produce cigarette alternatives are based all over the world, one exists right in Milwaukee's own backyard. Hartland's Johnson Creek Enterprises, which makes Johnson Creek Smoke Juice, has quietly grown to an $8 million business and is expanding rapidly.
Published April 8, 2014
It's hard to believe that the classic baseball comedy, "Major League," is 25 years old. Filmed largely in Milwaukee, everyone here of a "certain age" seems to have a story to tell about the making of the movie.
Published April 7, 2014
Jason Gorman, the chef most Milwaukeeans know from his time at Dream Dance and Iron Horse Hotel, is returning to Wisconsin to Kenosha's newly remodeled Mangia Wine Bar.
Published April 5, 2014
I wanted to see the hubbub first-hand, so I joined the throngs of crowds checking out the brand new Mayfair Collection today. The parking lot was packed, but the two stores I visited weren't too chaotic. And once things settle down a bit, I'm sure I'll be back.
Published March 31, 2014
Opening Day has always been a special day for me. It was 16 years ago, on April 7, 1998 that I celebrated my first day of self employment (and the birth of OnMilwaukee.com) at County Stadium. I haven't missed many since then.
Published March 24, 2014
In an industry where positioning a brand as retro vintage is suddenly new and trendy, Milwaukee's Lucky Tiger doesn't even need to even try. Trademarked in Kansas City in 1935, the iconic men's brand actually stretches back to a barber shop from the 1920s, when it was a very large line of tonics and hair products.
Published March 18, 2014
And just like that, the trip is over. The one that I spend 360 days a year daydreaming about. The one that almost didn't happen. On one hand, it feels like we just got here. On the other hand, when I look at myself in the mirror right now, it feels like I've been here for a month.
Published March 17, 2014
When I last left off, it was Saturday night in the desert and we were starving. After a little pool time at the Camelback Inn, we headed to Old Town Scottsdale to see what awaited us.
Published March 15, 2014
When I left off last night, we were heading out to dinner, our first actual meal of this year's spring training trip. It's really been a great 24 hours in the Valley of the Sun, and we're all now in full-on Cactus League mode.