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 :)