Steve Jobs has numerous articles written on him. The man who led the revolution of the personal computers in the 70s and 80s is famous for his path breaking ideas and being a hard taskmaster. His greatest highs and lows are well-documented. This article is going to tread the line in between and show you the smaller aspects of his life. Those parts which make Steve Jobs truly unique.
As a disclaimer this article will involve a lot of flattery and a bit of criticism as well and hopefully by the end of this write-up you will be able to find the Steve Jobs in you.
Don’t try to be the first guy.
How many ideas do we throw right into the bin because it already exists on Google? If Steve Jobs had done the same (although Google didn’t exist back then) neither would there be a dent in the universe and nor would this article exist.
Steve Jobs (and his team at Apple) weren’t always the first ones to figure something out. In fact Jobs himself has quoted Picasso in an interview – ‘good artists copy, great artists steal’. But he knew the missing links and how something could be applied to the masses.
Neither was the iPhone the first ever smartphone nor was their revolutionary Macintosh with the GUI. In fact, a team of Engineers at Xerox PARC developed the latter.
Give a damn about everything.
A peek into Jobs life and there would not be even a single chapter without him emphasizing on the word “Experience”. Ranging from how the phone felt on the hand to his obsession with slim products he couldn’t get over the fact that great products need to start with a great design.
In fact, he along with Jony Ive (Chief designer at Apple) would go about finalizing the design of their product first and then allow the engineers to work around it. They often worked on the design of parts which a customer would never even see because they believed that design was more than just what you see with our eyes.
You are an artist.
The day you get up believing you’re an artist will change the way you look at life. You figure out your own unique style to live even the most monotonous parts of life. The emails you write become your canvas and your work will suddenly start standing apart.
Steve Jobs always believed that the people he worked would have definitely become artists and poets if they belonged to another generation. From housing his computer on a perfect cube to his obsession with rounded rectangles his artistry was the culmination of technology and humanities.
Living in the binaries.
How often do we go to a restaurant and resort to “Something” and “Anything” after going through the menu card?
Jobs knew exactly what he wanted. From the food on the table to the Font of the “GS” on the iPhone 3GS. He lived the life in black or white. In his world, you were either a genius or a dud. Perfect or “Piece of shit”.
He never did something until it felt perfect and this was why you will find a variety of photos of him sitting on his floor. He could never make up his mind on furniture. Like everything else in his life he just didn’t want adequate, he wanted great.
Jobs was famously, or infamously(among his employees), known for speaking his mind. Very often he would clearly come across as a jerk. But he was of the opinion that it is selfish to try to please people rather than care about the work at hand. On meeting Obama he once even went ahead and told him that he was going in for a one term presidency. He just didn’t know how to sugar coat things.
Don’t give yourself labels.
One of the biggest accomplishments of Jobs life would be the fact that there were no labels attached to him.
He wasn’t just the pioneer of the Personal computers. He didn’t just work on the iPhone. He didn’t just design the manufacturing plant of Apple in China. He didn’t just speak to the Music artists to get them on iTunes. He didn’t just spend months on the design of his own yacht. Last, but not the least, he didn’t just design the packaging for the iPhone.
Steve jobs just went after what interested him. Nowhere else would there exist a CEO of a Technology based company have 2 patent applications on staircases. While his co-founder Steve Wozniak strongly believed he was just an engineer, Jobs didn’t allow any labels to hold him back.
Steve Jobs was drawn the word “Enlightenment”. He even traveled to India to find a guru although it is a common perception that people from the spectrum of Technology would never believe in spirituality. He believed that life had a greater meaning and like everything he did in life he was intensely drawn to meditation and its effects on the mind. ‘The Autobiography of a Yogi’ was his only e-book (in his Ipad) which he read several times every year.
Money doesn’t matter.
On his return in 1997 Jobs worked as the CEO for just $ 1 for a long time. This was despite the fact that he was often the poster child for greedy CEO’s. It was probably for this reason that Jobs was ranked at #140 in the list of the wealthiest even when Apple turned the most valuable company in 2012. Although he could have licensed Macintosh and Apple ios he just didn’t want to go down that lane.
The Journey of Steve Jobs is one of his kind. You can’t help but marvel at one of the lives truly lived and how you can live without the cliches. He was a rebel and lived life on his terms.
PS: This article is hugely inspired by the book “Steve Jobs” by Walter Isaacson. (Read more: Why should you read a biography?)
One of the must-read for anyone who has managed to get to this end of the article. A Truly inspirational piece of work. Thank me later.