Steve Jobs

Favorite quote from the author:

Have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow know what you truly want to become. - Steve Jobs

To many people, Steve Jobs was a hero. To others, he was a controlling tyrant who stopped at nothing to get what he wanted. Whatever you believe about him and his life, one thing is certain: his vision and ability to innovate left a dent in the universe. Leaving a dent in the universe is what he set out to do when he and Steve Wozniak launched Apple Computers from their garage in Palo Alto.

Steve Jobs was a man of contradictions - the products he produced are considered to be the most elegantly designed and fashionable products on the market – but famously he wore black turtleneck t-shirts, Levis jeans and running shoes every single day. On the day you could find him to be on both ends of that spectrum - he heaped praise on employees who he felt were worthy of his time and was brutal at others.

Few unique things to learn from his autobiography:

Focus: When Steve Jobs returned back for his second tenure, he found Apple had lost its way completely. They had 350 product lines and the first thing he did was to curtail this product line. He cut 340 products in total, bringing Apple’s focus down to a just 10 core products. Jobs said “People think focus means saying YES to the thing you’ve got to focus on. But that’s not enough, it means saying NO to the hundred other good ideas in order to remain focused. True innovation is saying “NO” to 1,000 things”.

This type of thinking made him bring products like iMac, iPod, iTunes, iPhone, and iPad. Only by cutting out the good ideas can the great ideas get space to shot to success.

Passion: Jobs carried his passion for creating great products throughout his life and career. One of the incidents of childhood played a very important role towards perfection and passion for the product. “When he was a kid, his father told him to paint house fence and Jobs did it perfectly on the front portion - his father told him one important lesson that how important it is to craft the backs of the things - like cabinets/fences - even though these things are always hidden from view.”

He has obsessed over things perfection that in his mansion contained no furniture because he wouldn’t buy anything that wasn't perfectly designed.

Experience: Jobs had a fanatical attention to detail and a product that he believed was superior to the competition, he was wary of loosing control of the customer experience in any way. In computer terms, this drove him to` create “closed system” where Apple controlled everything from beginning to end. That’s how the birth of “Apple Store” happened.

This was direct competition to “open” platforms that allow for much more flexibility than “Apple Store”. Committed to delivering delightful customer experience, he argued with stakeholders within to set up Apple’s personalized stores; through which passionate and knowledgeable sales representatives would deliver unmatched product experience. It turned out that he was right.