He’s Watching You


I’m burning through the Steve Jobs biography. It’s a great read for all the reasons you have probably already heard about.

What’s fascinating about it to me is the missing story it reveals between Steve Jobs the husband, brother and father – and the company and products he helped create.

No CEO has such a personal fingerprint on the products they create. His touch is evident in every Apple product. Take the “home” button on the iPhone, for example — the way it makes that satisfying little “pop” sound when you click it. Likewise the iPad’s rounded edges and the way the screen “thumps” when you tap it. These are the little details you know Steve Jobs himself spent days obsessing over, making sure they felt just right. He is personified in the things we use everyday; he is larger than life.

As CEO and co-founder of the world’s most profitable tech company, you see a man with an intuitive business sense, and an talent to figure out what people want before they know they want it (to paraphrase a famous passage from the book). He generated an enormous amount of wealth, but he lived a simple life and rejected superfluous displays of riches.

What I find most inspiring about the book is finding out what made him tick and how he approached his work and life. He was a genuinely curious, passionate guy, who was often hard to get along with but who seemed to have a good heart deep down somewhere. He made things not for money foremost, but out of passion and the belief that technology could improve human creativity and our lives.

While taking a break from reading the book today I watched a neat documentary with some interviews with him and other folks: One Last Thing {pbs}.