Why iCon

I read the iCon
book

recently and have been wondering what makes people (like me) so
fascinated about Steve Jobs?

  • He didn’t create any great technology or product, it was people who
    worked with him who did all that, for example, Steve Wozniak and
    John Lasseter.
  • He was a leader, a manager, that was his role. He’s an inspiring
    leader, is that why he’s admired?
  • Or is it because he’s ruthless in executing his visions and ideas?
  • Or is it because he gives such enrapturing keynote speeches that
    they are now called “Stevenotes”?

I guess it just goes to show that he’s a man of many contradictions.

The best example that I’ve come across of how he can inspire people is
his commencement
speech

at Stanford University in 2005 (the official video is available for
download using
iTunes
).
This speech was so powerful that I know of one friend who quit his job
after hearing that speech and decided to go chase his dreams. That was
a huge risk but guess what, he’s doing much better than before now.

The book has some interesting accounts of how Steve came to India in
search of “truth”, wore a lungi, went travelling in cities and
deserts, and even meeting a baba in the Himalayas (which itself is
quite a story). Another story was how he hung out with his New Age
buddies at an apple farm in Oregon, which is eventually how the
company was named Apple. Then there are the accounts of how Steve
demanded absolute loyalty from his friends to accounts of his taste in
the kind of ads that Apple made
and so on. It was a good read.

The bottom line is that he led Apple and Pixar and collectively
changed three major industries for the better – the computer industry,
the animated movies industry and the music industry. And he has
battled cancer and survived. All this in a single lifetime. And he’s
only fifty. That’s why I admire him so much.

5 Comments

  1. @Umang: Oh yes, definitely. I was thinking about that when I wrote “stevenote” but didn’t explicitly write about his marketing skills.

    @Vishal: Let’s hope so, I think the overhype around iPhone has made me little skeptical about it.

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