Having been able to practically grow my career in Mac as a Software Engineer, I have always been a fan of Steve Jobs. I love his passion and his keen for perfection. I have watched his failures and successes by reading through several news and opinions about him. I have never read anything from him about his life story. This book by Sir Walter Isaacson is a narration of how Steve views the events of his life. I definitely would recommend you to read it.
I gathered some mantra from Steve Jobs too. Here are some of my notes:
- When making a product, make the design intuitively obvious. There should be no need of user manuals.
- People do judge a book by its cover, so it is important that the packaging is attractive. Choose a full-color design and invest in making it look better.
- "When you're a carpenter making a beautiful chest of drawers, you're not going to use a piece of plywood on the back, even though it faces the wall and no one will see it. You'll know it's there, so you're going to use a beautiful piece of wood on the back. For you to sleep well at night the aesthetic, the quality, has to be carried all the way through."
- Customers are not always right, "because customers don't know what they want until we've shown them. Did Alexander Graham Bell do any market research before he invented the telephone?"
- Emotional connection to the product is important. Don't sell a product but a lifestyle and an optimistic outlook.
- Innovation sprouts from an idea and from a free creative mind. Putting system to innovation is like an uncool person acting all cool. It does not work that way.
- Whenever Steve Jobs needs talk to a colleague or prospect, he always does it by taking a walk. It's his preferred way of a serious talk. He did it with Walter Isaacson, Bill Gates, Bob Belleville (head of Mac engineering team at that time), Sculley, Markkula, and many others. Come to think of it, walking and talking outside the confinement of 4 walls give an open perspective. It's the same mantra as when your desk is cluttered, your mind is also cluttered. So when you need to have an open mind, go to an open space. Be open-minded. Allow your guest to be open-minded too.
On Steve's views about death, here's an excerpt from the book: