Swaroop C H

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The Second coming of Steve Jobs

10 Jun 2005

I had been to the library to look for a copy of Lee Iacocca's autobiography, but all the copies had gone out. Then, I chanced upon this book called The Second coming of Steve Jobs in the same section. Honestly, how could I resist that? The timing couldn't have been better since I was impressed after watching this year's SteveNote.

The book was quite a revelation. There have been many "Whoa, really?!" moments when reading that book. Most of all, the book reveals how much of a maniac Steve really is (and I mean that in a nice way).

I remember watching the Toy Story movie a long time ago, but reading the history behind it was incredible. Yes, Pixar company is owned by Steve Jobs (if you didn't know already).

Some interesting passages:

About Steve's attitude:

Steve's executives knew that there were only two ways to deal with him: either submit entirely to his will or have the intelligence and courage to survive his brutal confrontations. "Steve tests you, challengs you, frightens you," explains Todd Rulon-Miller, who worked closely with Steve for six years. "He uses this as a tactic to get to the truth. Behind the profanity, it's his way of asking: 'Do you believe what you're saying?' If you wither or blather, you're lost. I thought those were character-building moments for me."

Love for his creation:

His perfectionism raged. He was obsessed with minute details that no one else in the computer business was even slightly concerned about. Even the hidden electronic guts of the Next computer - the "motherboard" - had to have a clever, visually appealing design. "Who's ever going to see the inside?" one of the Next designers asked. "I will," Steve said.

Double dating with BillG:

Heidi, who was single and had a crush on Steve, realized that she could exploit his fascination with Bill Gates as a way of drawing Steve into accompanying her on social occasions. At the time, Bill was in a long-distance romance with one of Heidi's closest friends, Ann Winblad, a brilliant self-made software entrepreneur who had sold her startup company for $15 million. When Bill was in town, the foursome - Bill and Ann, Steve and Heidi - would meet in the city and go out for what Ann thought of as "double dates."

The right people:

Steve was fanatical about hiring the best people. He said that they would interview one hundred people for every one whom they finally chose. And he would fill positions with people who were massively overqualified. The example that everyone talked about was a reputedly brilliant guy named Alex, a young hipster who had made it to the middle ranks at Apple. He had an undergraduate degree from Harvard. He was an art collector. His colleagues found him fascinating. He came to Next. Maybe he would become a marketing executive? A project manager? Steve made him the receptionist. The offer was something of an insult, but he took the job just to get in the door.

Apple of his eye:

His Pixar shares remained the sole source of Steve's wealth. By turning down the board's repeated offers of large blocks of Apple stock, Steve Jobs forfeited a paper profit of upward of $1 billion. He still worked at Apple for $1 a year, saying that he only took that dollar so his family would qualify for the company's health plan. his old friends said that Steve was intent on making a statement, showing that he was saving Apple because of love, not money.

They're actually many more passages that I liked, but I think I'll stop here.

If you're even remotely interested in Apple/Steve Jobs or simply have an iPod, then this book is definitely worth a read. It'll make you appreciate your Macs and iPods that much more :)

Comments

Bharat says:

Hi,

May I know which library is that. It could help me since I am getting Bangalored and getting books on weekend is on my agenda.

Gavri Fernandez says:

@Bharat: If you were Banaglored, doesn't it mean you lost your job to someone in Bangalore...or India?

Bharat says:

@ gavri: I think "Bangalored" is a term for people relocating to Bangalore. Am I correct or wrong.

Kapil Karekar says:

I am not so fascinated with jobs. Rather I look up to Steve Wozniak 'The Woz'.

I am not in favor of apple moving out from the PowerPC platform. How am I going to face those with whowm I debated the virtues of PPC architecture and defeated their notions of x86. It's embarassing! Plus I think Job's decission to disclose the shift to intel so early was purely bad business. People who would have bought PPC based Apples in the coming one year would now postpone their purchase plans. Apple doesnt have enough market share to digest a major slump in sales for a year.

I am going to cherish my PPC based powerbook. If possible I will try to buy one more from the last line of PPCs that apple rolls out. A mint condition PPC powerbook from the last batch of PPCs would fetch huge moolah 10 years down the line ;-)

Kapil Karekar says:

BTW 'Bangalored' is a term used to denote that your job was outsourced to India.

Usage: "I am bangalored. They outsourced the entire project to India"

Bharat says:

@kapil : Oh is it , I realised it now. I wanted to emphasis that I am shifting to Bangalore from mysore for my job ;)

Forget the earlier comment people ;)

Swaroop says:

@Bharat: It's the Eloor library, behind Safina plaza, near to Commercial Street.

@Kapil: I am reading about [the Woz](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steve_Wozniak) right now... Yeah, I've heard many people say that Apple lost its cool because it's moving away from PowerPC to a 30-year compatibility stricken architecture like x86.. but you have to admit, they have been bold enough to go ahead and try to pull off the transition. They believe that they can make better laptops with Intel chips in future than with PowerPC. I don't know if that's a right step or not, but that's Apple being Apple, they're not afraid to do what they feel is the right direction.

Kapil Karekar says:

I understand that it may make technical and financial sense for apple to go in for Intel Chipset.

But how different would it be than buying a Sony Vaio and installing a pirated copy of Mac OS X/XI/XII on it. Apple is giving up its natural defence.

In his presentation Jobs mentioned that transition of PPC based apps to the Intel architecture is going to be very easy. It's supposedly a 2 hour job. If that is the case then apple had no true reason to declare the shift a year in advance. Only fools will buy PPC based Apple computers in the coming year. It just pains me to see the company, which I love so much, making losses.

Adarsh Bhat says:

I remember spotting a copy of Lee Iacocca's autobiography at Book Paradise (Jayanagar 4th blk) recently.

Bharat says:

@swaroop: membership fees ? I hope i can afford that ;)

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