Many people might mistake this book for a mere biography of the man that made Apple a household name and its products coveted by millions around the world. It’s not.
This book is actually three books in one. It’s a business book on how to (and not to) run a company using Apple, NeXT and Pixar as case studies. It’s also a history book on the ascent and the drama behind the consumer electronics evolution. And as its title suggests, it’s the fascinating story of one of the most gifted people of our time.
As a business book, Isaacson writes about three distinct business practices. The first is how to really create a company from scratch. The passion exuded by Jobs and Wozniak is detailed with infectious enthusiasm in the first half of the book.
The second practice (and one often not talked about in business books) is how to drive a company to the ground. The book is rife with examples of internal politics, lack of leadership and the absence of focus that truly illustrate how companies fail.
The last practice is how to build and operate a creative company that endures. For me, this is the most fascinating narrative of all. But to fully appreciate it, one must truly understand the first two, which almost always precede this one.
The book offers a great case study of three companies: Apple, NeXT and Pixar. One fascinating vignette in the book draws a contrast between Apple and Sony and why Apple was successful in conquering the consumer-end of the music business while Sony, who was in a favorable position to do exactly that, failed to do so. This story draws attention to the importance of inter-departmental cohesion that Apple possessed and Sony didn’t, to the success of innovation in a company.
Business leaders reading this book will learn a lot about the power of “focus” in business. Steve Jobs’s most doled out advice was “focus.” Throughout the book, we learn how Jobs followed his own advice to a deadly fault.
As a business book, it is amongst the best.
It’s also an even better history book. It details the ascent of personal computing from the perspective of the very people that were (and still are) at its helm. The book doesn’t only cover Apple’s evolution, but Full Article