Steve Jobs, Walter Isaacson - Book Summary

This book chronicles the daring and adventurous life of Steve Jobs, an innovative businessman and eccentric founder of Apple. Drawing on Jobs' early experiences with the spirit and aspiration to reach the pinnacle of becoming a worldwide technology icon, Steve Jobs describes his successful business journey as well as his battles. that he had to confront on his journey.

This book is for:  

  • Anyone curious about the interesting life of Steve Jobs;
  • Anyone curious as to how Apple managed to achieve the enormous success it is now;
  • Anyone inspired by the man who made Apple's tech giant today.

About the author:

Walter Isaacson is an American writer and biographer. He was one of the original editors of TIME magazine and is also the president and CEO of the CNN news network. Isaacson has written two best-selling biographies of Albert Einstein and Benjamin Franklin, and he is also the author of American Sketches (2003) .

What does this book have for you? Find out why Steve Jobs' Apple became an icon of technology around the world.    

There's absolutely no denying the role Steve Jobs played in shaping our tech world today.  

A minded perfectionist, Steve Jobs had a vision of changing the world through technology.

In this best-selling biography, you'll learn that while perfectionism and desire drove Jobs to achieve greatness, it was his personality that was the cause of discord and conflict. In his relationships with employees and co-workers, Jobs' behavior was often viewed as highly offensive, although he frequently argued that he was simply trying to motivate his employees to achieve success. get what's best.

The summary pages that follow detail the enchanting life of one of the most influential tech entrepreneurs of our time, while also telling the delightful story of the childish prank brought partnership that later built one of the most valuable technology companies in the world.

Also in these summary pages you will learn:

  • How LSD led to the formation of today's technology;
  • Why Woody and Buzz Lightyear wouldn't exist without Steve Jobs;
  • Why Jobs believes he can cure his cancer with acupuncture and eating fruit.

A skillful father and a naughty best friend made Jobs bring with him a passion for engineering and design.

On February 24, 1955, a boy was born to Abdulfattah Jandali and Joanne Schieble.

However, they did not raise the child. The reason is because Schieble comes from a very strict Catholic family, they did not accept her having a child with a Muslim man and they were forced to take the child away for adoption.

And so, the child grew up in the arms of Paul and Clara Jobs, a couple living in Silicon Valley. They named the baby Steven.

Paul Jobs was a mechanical engineer specializing in cars and it was he who opened the door that brought Steve into the world of engineering.

From an early age, Paul tried to instill his love of mechanics with Steve. Steve once said that he was impressed by his father's focus on the profession. If the family needed a cabin, Paul could easily make it and he let Steve help with the work.

In addition, the family's smart yet very affordable Eichler home - a modern home with floor-to-ceiling glass walls and expansive floors - ignited Steve's passion for clean design. will and luxury.

Then, in high school, Steve Jobs met Steve Wozniak, the two quickly became close friends.

Wozniak is 5 years older than Jobs and is a genius computer engineer, from which Jobs learned a lot about computers.

In many ways, Jobs and Wozniak were both kids and both loved to be naughty. But they also love the world of electronics and want to be able to create something.

Combining the two personalities, in 1971, they released their first product: the "Blue Box", a device that allowed users to make calls from long distances and completely free.

Wozniak provided the design and Jobs brought it to business, each investing $40 and selling the device for $150.

The pair sold nearly 100 units, showing them what they could do with Wozniak's mechanical engineering and Jobs' vision, and it was also the beginning of the path to creating Apple.

Spirituality, LSD, and the arts shaped Jobs' taste and intense focus.

By the late 1960s, cultural interest and curiosity among computer geeks and "hippie" lifestyles had begun to overlap.

So perhaps, in addition to his fascination with math, science, and electronics, Jobs immersed himself in cross-culturalism and started taking LSD (strong hallucinogens).

Jobs later demonstrated a refined aesthetic sense and intense focus on experiences with hallucinogenic drugs.

In 1972, Jobs enrolled at Reed College, a libertarian private school in Oregon, and since then both thinking and using LSD with friends has become serious.

Jobs felt that taking these drugs reinforced his sense of the important things in life, by showing "there is no flip side of the coin". For Jobs, creating great things was more important than anything else.

Eager to explore the spiritual culture of the East, Jobs even went to India, where he stayed for seven months. Buddhism in particular became an important part of his personality, influencing his minimalist aesthetic and exposing him to the power of intuition.

Both interests - LSD and spirituality - helped develop a steady focus, what has come to be known as Jobs's reality-distorting expertise: What if he had decided what should have happened? , then he made it happen simply by bending reality with his will.

Another factor that shaped Jobs' minimalist aesthetic was his devotion to art. Throughout his career, Jobs emphasized many times that Apple products should be neat and simple.

This idea was formed during my college years. Despite dropping out of his studies, Jobs was allowed to continue taking classes, which he did solely for the purpose of enriching himself. One of them was a calligraphy class, his skill in which later became a key element of the Apple Mac's graphical user interface.  

A visit to the apple farm gave them a name; A reverse vision and hard work made a company.

It seems like a strange combination: a spiritual person, fond of LSD and a background in the computer industry. In the early 1970s, many people began to see computers as symbols of personal expression.

When Jobs was hooked on ecstasy and Zen, he dreamed of starting his own business. And around the same time, his friend Steve Wozniak got the idea for the modern personal computer.

In the early days of Silicon Valley's technological revolution, Steve Wozniak joined the Homebrew computer club, a place where computer geeks meet to exchange ideas and where opposites go Tradition, combined with technology becomes the perfect thing.

It was also here that Steve Wozniak got his idea. Computers at that time needed many separate hardware devices to operate, making management and use extremely complicated. Wozniak envisions a device as a self-contained package with an all-in-one keyboard, computer, and monitor.

At first, Wozniak hesitated to make his design available to everyone for free, which is also a Homebrew tradition. However, Jobs insisted that they should profit from Wozniak's invention.

So in 1976, with just $1,300 starting a business, Jobs and Wozniak founded the Apple computer company.

On the day they came up with the name, Jobs visited an apple farm; and because it's so simple, fun, and relatable – the name Apple was born.

Jobs and Wozniak worked extremely hard for a month to build 100 computers by hand. Half of it was sold to a local computer dealer, and the other half went to friends and other customers.

After just 30 days, Apple's first computer, the Apple I, turned a profit.

Jobs and Wozniak made a very strong team – Wozniak was a tech wizard and Jobs was a visionary who saw the world-changing potential of the personal computer.

Jobs was a controlling and capricious boss, driven by perfection.

Those who know Jobs will agree that he is a dominant and exceptionally capricious personality. If the work does not meet the standards, he will get angry and may scold others.

But why did Jobs have such a bad temper?

In short, he is a very perfectionist. Jobs wanted the Apple II to be the perfect design, fully equipped and integrated with everything. But when the Apple II team made it a success when it was released in 1977, it also drained people of energy and spirit.

If Jobs felt that an employee's job was bad, he would tell them it was a pile of rubbish and that things would become extremely serious if he found even a small mistake.

As Apple grew stronger, Jobs became increasingly erratic. Mike Scott was even appointed as Apple's director, with the main task of curbing that temper of Jobs.

Scott essentially confronts Jobs about issues other employees don't have the energy to do. This often led to disagreements, sometimes even bringing Jobs to tears because he felt that giving up control of Apple was really difficult.

Jobs felt extremely frustrated when Scott tried to put limits on his perfectionism. For his part, Scott didn't want Jobs' perfectionism to rise above pragmatism.

For example, Scott intervened when Jobs thought that none of the nearly 2,000 shades of gray were good enough for the Apple II, and similarly when Jobs spent days just deciding how the computer's corners should be rounded. Anyway, Scott just focused on making and selling them.

However, because the company is still running smoothly, these personalities are still manageable. But as you will see later, this is not the end.

The Macintosh made Jobs a technology icon, but Jobs' temperament brought him down.

The Apple II, with about 6 million copies sold, is seen as the spark that led to the birth of the personal computer industry.

But for Jobs, it was not a complete success because the Apple II was Wozniak's masterpiece, not his.

Jobs wanted to create a machine that could, in his words, “create a pattern in the universe.” Driven by this ambition, Jobs began working on the Macintosh – a successor to the Apple II that would change the look of the personal computer and make him a technology icon.

However, the Macintosh was not Jobs's invention, because Jobs actually stole the Macintosh project from its creator, Jef Raskin, a computer interface expert. Jobs took this idea and built a machine that ran on a microprocessor powerful enough to accommodate sophisticated graphics, and could be controlled with a mouse.

The Macintosh became an unprecedented achievement, thanks in part to a lavish promotional campaign that included a sensational TV commercial – now known as the “1984 commercial” – directed by Mr. Hollywood filmmaker Ridley Scott. Attached to the popularity of commerce, the Macintosh set off a chain reaction in the community with Jobs as well as with the product.

With inherent ingenuity, Jobs succeeded in giving high-profile interviews to a number of prominent magazines, by manipulating journalists into thinking that he was giving them "exclusive" interviews.

His strategy worked, and the Macintosh made Jobs rich and famous. He became such a celebrity that he was able to invite singer Ella Fitzgerald to perform at his splendid 30th birthday party.

However, the same personality that helped Jobs create success for the Macintosh also got him fired.

Jobs' perfectionism and repressive attitude toward Apple employees did not diminish. He would constantly call people "assholes" if they weren't focused on perfection.

Those attitudes and expressions of Jobs drained the patience of the company's leadership. And in 1985, they decided to fire Jobs.

Jobs failed with NeXT and then succeeded with Pixar, an animation company.

After recovering from being fired from Apple, Jobs realized he could be exactly what he wanted—with his good points and bad points.

He first started a company focused on the education market, a computer company called NeXT.

With the NeXT project, Jobs brought his passion to design. He paid $100,000 to design the logo, and insisted that NeXT would be a perfection.

But Jobs' perfectionism made engineering and production extremely difficult. For example, the two sides of the block must be manufactured individually, using molds costing up to $650,000.

Jobs' determination became the death knell for NeXT. The project was almost financially exhausted, the product was delayed for years, and in the end, the machine was too expensive for consumers. And because of its high price tag and small software library, NeXT barely made its mark in the computer industry.

During the same period, Jobs bought a large amount of shares from the company Pixar. As chairman, Jobs invested in a business—a perfect blend of technology and art.

By 1988, Jobs had invested $50 million in Pixar while still losing money on NeXT.

But after years of tough financial times, the studio released Tin Toy , a film that showcased Pixar's unique vision for computer animation. Tin Toy won the Best Animated Feature category at the 1988 Academy Awards.

So Jobs felt that he should shift his focus from hardware and software production, which he lost a lot of money to, to Pixar, an advanced and potential animation company.

And finally, Pixar teamed up with Disney to produce its first movie, Toy Story . Released in 1996, Toy Story reached the top of the highest-grossing films of the year. When Pixar went public, Jobs' shares (80% of the company) were worth 20 times what he had invested: $1.2 billion.

Away from Apple, Jobs improved his personal life, reconnecting with his biological family.  

Besides learning during his 12 years away from Apple, Jobs has also developed his personal life.

In 1986, after the death of his adoptive mother, Jobs was curious about his origins and decided to find his biological mother.

When he found Joanne Schieble, she was very emotional and regretted giving Jobs to someone else to raise.

Jobs was also surprised to learn that he also had a younger sister, Mona Simpson. Both people with strong passion for art and strong will, the two have become close to each other.

In 1996, Simpson published a novel with the title A Regular Guy . The main character is based on Jobs and shares many aspects of Jobs' personality. However, because he didn't want any conflict with his newly found sister, Jobs never read the novel.

Around the same time, Jobs met Laurene Powell. The couple married in 1991, with prayers from Jobs' former patriarch. Powell was previously pregnant with their first child, Reed Paul Jobs. They also had two more children, Erin and Eve.

With encouragement from Powell, Jobs also tried to spend more time with Lisa Brennan, the daughter he had with his first relationship, who had become estranged from him.

Jobs tried to be a better father to Lisa; and eventually, she moved in with him and Powell until she attended Harvard.

Lisa grew up with the same temperament as Jobs and both are not very good at reaching out and correcting, they can be apart for months without saying a word to each other.

In a broader sense, the way he treats people around him is similar to the way he works. Jobs' approach: either very passionate or very cold.

Apple was on the verge of decline, Jobs returned as a child and led the company as CEO.

After years of firing Jobs, Apple gradually went downhill and was in danger of bankruptcy.

To prevent this, Gil Amelio was named CEO in 1996. Amelio knew that to get Apple back on track, it needed to merge with a company with new ideas.

And for that reason, in 1997, Amelio chose NeXT and Jobs became an advisor to Apple.

Once back at Apple, Jobs gathered as much power as he could. He has quietly built a power base by placing his favorite employees at Next in high positions within Apple.

During this period, Apple's management realized that Amelio would not be able to become Apple's savior, but perhaps the company would have a chance again with Jobs.

So the board asked Jobs to return to the position of CEO. However, the unexpected happened, Jobs declined the offer. Instead, Jobs wanted to stay on as an advisor and help find a new CEO.

Jobs as a consultant increased his influence inside Apple. He forced the board to resign—the board that had offered him the CEO position—because he felt they were too slow to change the company.

As a consultant, Jobs also succeeded in partnering with rival Microsoft, prompting them to make a new version of Microsoft Office for Mac, thus ending a decade of competition and dramatically accelerating the pace. sell Apple products.

And finally, after much hesitation, Jobs became CEO and suggested the company make fewer products.  

Jobs terminated the licensing agreements Apple had with a few other manufacturers and decided to focus the company on making just four great computers: A desktop computer and a laptop for both. professional market and consumer market.

In 1997, Apple lost $1.04 billion. But in 1998, Jobs' first year as CEO, the company made $309 million in profits. Jobs really saved Apple.

Bold ideas and forward-thinking designs made the first iMac and Apple Store hugely successful.

When Jobs saw Jony Ive's design talent, he made Ive the second most powerful person in Apple - just behind him. From there began a collaboration that became the most important combination in the design industry of this era.

The first product that Jobs and Ive designed together was the iMac, a desktop computer that cost about $1,200 and was designed for everyone.

With the iMac, Jobs and Ive challenged conventional ideas about what a desktop computer should look like. In choosing a blue, matte frame, the pair reflected their obsession with creating the perfect computer, inside and out. This design also gives the computer a playful look.

Released in May 1998, the iMac became the best-selling product in Apple's history.

However, Jobs began to worry that Apple's unique products would become out of place among the electronics in the vast technology market. His solution was to create an Apple Store as a way for the company to manage the entire retail process.

Gateway Computer Company suffered financial losses after opening retail stores, so management opposed Jobs' idea. However, convinced that they were right, management agreed to test four Apple Store stores.

Jobs started by building a prototype store, equipping it to perfection, and paying attention to every detail of the service and overall aesthetic. He emphasizes minimalism throughout the entire process, from the moment customers enter the store to the moment they leave.

In May 2001, the first Apple Store opened. It was a resounding success, as Jobs' careful design pushed retail and the brand's image to the next level.

In fact, the Manhattan store went on to become the highest-earning of all New York stores, including established brands like Saks Fifth Avenue and Bloomingdale's.

Desperate for total digital control, Jobs created the iPod, iPhone, and iPad.

Following the success of the Apple Store and iMac, Jobs came up with a completely new strategy. His vision is a personal computer at the heart of a new digital lifestyle.

He calls it a digital-centric strategy.

This strategy envisions the personal computer as a control center comprising devices ranging from music players to cameras.

As a first step in shaping this idea, Jobs decided that a music player would be Apple's next product.

In 2001, Apple released the iPod, a streamlined device with the one button that has become famous today, a small screen, and a new hard disk technology.

Critics questioned whether consumers would shell out $399 for a music player, but Apple succeeded, by 2007 sales of iPods accounted for half of Apple's sales. Apple.

The next step was to design a cell phone for Apple, because Jobs had this in mind before, a cell phone with a built-in music player would make the iPod superfluous.

In 2007, Apple released the first generation of iPhone. Two seemingly impossible technologies have been applied: a touch screen, which can run multiple applications at the same time, and a solid glass cover, called Gorilla glass.

Once again, critics cast doubt on Apple's strategy, arguing that no one would shell out $500 for a cell phone — and again Jobs proved them wrong. By the end of 2010, profits from iPhone sales accounted for more than half of all mobile profits worldwide.

The final step in Jobs' strategy was the iPad tablet.

Apple officially started building the iPad in January 2010. However, Jobs revealed the product before it was made public, the press underestimated it when they hadn't tried it yet.  

And when the iPad was officially launched, it became a resounding success. In fact, Apple sold more than a million units in the first month and 15 million in the next nine months.

With the release of the iPod, iPhone, and iPad, it became clear that Jobs' bold ideas succeeded in changing the electronics industry.

Jobs' insistence on perfect and closed systems reflects his obsession with control.

Throughout his career, Jobs maintained that a closed, tightly integrated system would give customers the best experience. This idea reflects Jobs' desire for control, since he launched his system, preventing users from modifying it.

The obsession with control has caused major conflicts – especially with Microsoft and Google.

Bill Gates has many different ideas about business and technology, in which he is always willing to license his company's systems and software to partners. In fact, Bill Gates wrote software for the Macintosh.

However, the friendly business relationship between Jobs and Gates turned into a lifelong rivalry.

When Gates released the Windows operating system, Jobs accused him of copying the Macintosh's interface. In fact, both systems "borrow" ideas from another tech company, called Xerox.

Towards the end of his career, Jobs also attacked Google. In the company's design of the Android system, Jobs argued that Google copied a lot from Apple.

While both Microsoft and Google believed that the expansion of the computer system and natural competition would determine which technology was superior, Jobs maintained that in the end both companies stole the ideas. idea from Apple.

But Jobs' goal wasn't just competition between companies. Jobs also fought relentlessly for perfection within Apple, resulting in employees who didn't resign themselves and were fired. Under Jobs, there was no tolerance for undermining Apple's quality.

Whenever he thinks someone isn't an "A" and doesn't work 90 hours a week, he doesn't remind them to strive. Instead, he fired them immediately.

And when a company had problems getting its chips on time, Jobs became furious and cursed them ferociously. This reaction was a sign of Jobs's terrible perfectionism.

Jobs ignored all treatments for his cancer and died in 2011.

Jobs first found out he had cancer during a checkup in October 2003.

Unfortunately, Jobs tackled cancer the same way he did with his designs: ignoring all the conventional wisdom and deciding to fight his own battles.

He refused an operation for 9 months, instead receiving acupuncture and a vegetarian diet. As time went on, the tumor grew and eventually, Jobs had to undergo surgery so it could be removed.

Then cancer returned in 2008, once again Jobs insisted on eating fruits and vegetables to cure the disease, causing him to lose 40 pounds.

Finally, Jobs was persuaded to have a liver transplant; but after that, his health deteriorated seriously and could not be restored to the original.

Jobs died in 2011. He left behind a legacy of being one of the biggest technology companies in the world.

Everything Jobs did in life was the product of unbelievable strength, and before he died, Jobs said, “I've had a blessed life, a wonderful career. I did everything I could.”

Unlike other individuals, Jobs' personality is fully portrayed in his inventions as all Apple products are a tightly closed system and integrate both hardware and software.

And while Microsoft's expansion strategy – allowing its Windows operating system to be licensed – led them to dominate the operating system industry for years, Jobs' sample proved advantageous in long-term use, as it ensures a seamless user experience from start to finish.

Shortly before his death, Jobs was able to see Apple surpass Microsoft as the most valuable technology company in the world.


The main message of this book is:

Steve Jobs grew up in Silicon Valley at the intersection of art and technology, ecstasy and computer tech enthusiasts. Here, Jobs had a friendship that led to the birth of Apple as well as the change of world technology. During his lifetime, Jobs succeeded in transforming our relationship with technology, inventing digital devices with streamlined designs and user-friendly interfaces.