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 â€“ 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 â€“ 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 June 28, 2016
In college, I had a reoccurring nightmare that I was trapped on a crazy elevator. Lately, that's been replaced by what I call the "fat finger" dream. I've talked to a few people, including co-worker Molly Synder, who has had it, too.
Published June 27, 2016
OnMilwaukee publisher Andy Tarnoff is very impressed with this year's Summerfest lineup, but he thinks the strongest day for the Big Gig is on July 9. For his money, he's especially excited about Howard Jones and, obviously, Sir Paul McCartney. Here are his picks.
Published June 11, 2016
"It's good to be king." Mel Brooks actually said that, quoting himself, to a sold-out show Saturday night at the Riverside. Based on the remarkable stories, the adoring reception and the super-human energy from this soon-to-be 90-year-old film legend, I believe him.
Published May 7, 2016
I won't lie to you: I know nothing about the current state of professional wrestling. But from 1983 to 1989, from about age 9 to 15, I was a huge fan. So big, in fact, that I wrote a fan letter to WWF announcer "Mean" Gene Okerlund.
Published April 28, 2016
Angry readers, self-righteous writers and surly social media speculators are in a tizzy about an uptick in "clickbait," and in many respects, they have every right to be. In lots of cases, it's a bogus attempt to lure gullible readers, and ultimately, it won't and doesn't work.
Published April 25, 2016
I've known about Mel Brooks' upcoming June 11 visit to Milwaukee for a little while now. Make no mistake, this is a "bucket list" show for me: Brooks is one of my all-time favorites in Hollywood, and "Blazing Saddles" has sat atop my favorite movie list forever.
Published April 15, 2016
For the many dozens of times I've visited the historic Pfister Hotel - for meetings, meals, weddings and drinks - until prepping for OnMilwaukee Hotel Week, I never spent an overnight at this Victorian masterpiece. Cross that off my bucket list - and I didn't even have to meet a ghost to do it.
Published April 14, 2016
As today's the wonderfully-made up "414 Day," or "Milwaukee Day," depending on who you talk to - it's a sexy day to look back at this excellent video from 2014 by the Five Card Studs.
Published April 11, 2016
I've been binge-watching HBO's "Vinyl." During a scene at an L.A. beach party, the camera panned to a sideburned record executive, smoking a joint and talking about Elvis. Even 25 years since I saw him last, I knew immediately that was my friend from high school, Dave Shalansky. I'd recognize that guy anywhere.
Published April 4, 2016
I'm sitting here on Opening Day, in the first row of the press box at Miller Park, and it's quiet. Too quiet. I mean, I can hear the fans in the ventilation over the sound of stands in this not-sold-out stadium. Apparently, other people here are either rolling their eyes in the fifth inning (or they're passed out).