Steve Jobs had an inspired, unique ability to understand how technology could be combined with artistic aesthetics to produce revolutionary products. His many achievements include the Apple computer, Pixar animation studios and their wonderful movies, music players such as iPod, tablet computers, music distribution, and a number of other successful concepts.
I was surprised to learn how closely Apple worked with Microsoft throughout its history. For example, Microsoft created the Excel spreadsheet for Apple computers and agreed not to release it for PCs until several years after its introduction by Apple. Eventually Microsoft purchased a significant portion of the Apple Computer.
Jobs demanded total control of the user experience, and to this end he required a totally closed computer system. His company controlled the hardware, operating system, and application software to insure a consistent user environment. However this approach significantly limited the acceptance of the Apple computer (in 2014 they reached a record high of 6% of the global market and 13% of the US market).
Jobs’ personality was mean, abrasive, and self-centered. He saw things as either perfect or as shit (his words), and frequently tore down those around him. He threw temper tantrums, yelled, cried, and bullied to get his way. He had what some referred to a “reality distortion field”, meaning he had an uncanny ability to convince others that his view of the facts was correct, regardless of what the actual truth might be. For instance, he frequently pursued weird diets intensively, and his eating disorders eventually affected how long he lived; and his belief that his cancer could be treated by changing what he ate allowed the cancer to grow significantly before treatment began.
I found the book highly detailed, and it could have been shorter. But it provides a thorough insight into the life of a highly creative man.