Steve Jobs’ biography book summery


Walter Isaacson only agreed to write Steve Jobs’ biography when he learned that Jobs was already dying of cancer. Jobs, with his charismatic personality, approached Isaacson several times over the course of his life. The author only agreed in 2009 Jobs was already on his second leave from work at the time. 
Isaacson, who was the managing editor of Time magazine, met Jobs several times over the years.  Isaacson had just released his book about Benjamin Franklin and was currently working on another about Albert Einstein when he first mentioned his biography. Isaacson declined saying that it’s too early as Jobs was still on the peak of his career. 
It was Jobs’ wife Laurene Powell who finally changed Isaacson’s mind and informed him of the Apple CEO’s sickness. Jobs was undergoing a cancer operation. He still keeps his struggle secret. Isaacson was inspired to write this biography by Jobs’s generosity in writing it. He allowed the author to tell his life story as it was, without any interference. 
Steve Jobs is a great example of the value he places on his ability to both study science and humanities, just like Einstein and Franklin. His creativity and engineering genius made him a great innovator. Jobs’ work not only revolutionized the world of personal computers but also that of music, digital publishing and animated movies.  Although his life and personality are not perfect, it continues to inspire people as much as the company he founded. I look forward seeing you in the class. let’s begin.


Steve Jobs was aware from an early age that his father, Paul Jobs, was an adoptive parent. His mother Clara Hagopian and his father Paul Jobs never concealed it from him. They took care Steve right from his birth. Colleagues noted that this made Steve strong and independent. His father, a mechanic, is his first hero. 
Steve’s parents always told him that he is special. Although he was a good student in school, he discovered his intelligence through electronics. He was bored in school and would often play pranks using his talents. This carried on to college and grade school. 


Through a friend at Homestead High, Steve Wozniak met Steve Jobs. Both Steves were gifted in electronics and machines as children. While Jobs was influenced by his father to be a businessman, Woz’ dad despised marketing and encouraged him to excel on engineering. 
Although Woz is five years older than Jobs he was still very socially awkward. He grew up to become a nerd. It was in their common friend’s garage when he first met Jobs. Not only their deep understanding of electronics bind thembut also their love of Bob Dylan’s music. 

Drop out of college:

Wozniak chose to attend Berkeley University, but Jobs was very selective about where he would study college. Jobs was required to finish school when he was adopted. His adoptive parents worked hard to provide the college fund. 
Jobs did not choose to attend nearby Stanford University. He wanted to be more creative and interesting. Despite his parents’ disagreement, Jobs enrolled at Reed College in Portland Oregon. It was a very expensive school that had only a thousand students. Yet, it was famous for its hippie culture. 
Later on at Reed, Jobs thought that his course wasn’t letting him to learn stuff that he wants. He quit and began taking any class that interested him, such as calligraphy. Jobs fell in love in Reed’s hippie culture. He read so many books about Zen Buddhism and began to practice extreme vegetarianism. He refused to cut his hair, and insists on walking barefoot throughout campus. 

Apple I:

Jobs and Wozniak were involved in various small business ventures. Jobs wanted his own product and to make good money, while Wozniak was willing to share his designs. 
They needed to decide on a name. They considered boring names like Personal Computers Inc. and tetchy terms like Matrix, but Apple was the most memorable. It wasn’t only that Jobs came from a visit on a farm but the name Apple Computers is fun, unique and not intimidating. 
Woz was at the time working for HP. He tried to pitch the circuit board first. Woz was rejected for his rawness and he committed his designs to Apple 100%. Jobs believed their team-up was successful because they were opposites. Woz is talented but socially awkward. Jobs, however, is good with people. He is well-known for his ability to communicate with people and manipulate them to achieve his goals. 
Paul Terell, an owner of a computer shop, is their first client. He ordered 50 circuit board for $500 each. Jobs, Woz, Patty, Elizabeth Holmes, Daniel Kottke and Woz convinced Cramer Electronics manager to lend them $25,000 and they began to work. The birth of Apple took place in the garage at the Jobs residence in Los Altos. 


Chrisann Brennan was Jobs’ partner for 5 years. With the successful run of Apple, Jobs moved out of his parents’ house and rented a $600 ranch house in Cupertino. Brennan was soon reunited and moved in with Jobs. Both were 23 years old.
Jobs was focused and detached, but he was still a part of the company. Brennan and Jobs would often argue. Jobs denied that Jobs was the father. Brennan, however, gave birth to Lisa Nicole with the support of friends in Oregon on May 17, 1978. 
Mother and child moved to Menlo Park in a tiny house and lived on welfare. Jobs had to undergo the very recent DNA testing when Lisa was one years old. The results were 94.41%. California court ordered Jobs to pay monthly child support and to admit his paternity. Jobs was granted visitation rights though he didn’t use them. 


From selling 2,500 units in 1977, Apple’s sales rose to 210,000 by 1981. However, Jobs knew that this success wouldn’t last forever. He thought of a better product than Apple II. He also wanted a design which he could fully customize.
Jobs named the new computer Lisa, even though he denied any connection. The engineers had to come up with an acronym to go with his daughter’s name. Lisa stands for Local Integrated Systems Architecture. 
Xerox PARC offered to share its latest technology in exchange for 100,000 Apple shares. After many visits, the Apple engineers were able pirate the mouse design of Xerox computers. The Lisa was released in a new interface and graphics that were more than ever before. 

Apple went public on December 12, 1980. Morgan Stanley was one of the banks that handled Apple’s IPO. The price of Apple shares rose from $22 to $29. Steve Jobs, a hippie college dropout at 25, became a multimillionaire. He chose to live a simple life. 
His parents were able to get $750,000 worth Apple stock, which was enough to pay off their mortgage. He also started to do magazine covers. His first cover story was published by Inc. in October 1981. Time magazine followed suit in February 1982. It highlighted the story of a 26-year-old millionaire who started a company 6 years ago in his parents’ garage. 


Jobs was actually kicked off the Lisa project for his disruptive behavior. JefRaskin was an Apple engineer who was working on a computer that was affordable for all families. Raskin named his project Macintosh in honor of his favorite apple. 
However, since he lost Lisa, Jobs had his eye on Raskin’s project. Raskin’s vision was to create a small computer with a keyboard and screen for only $1,000 each. Jobs told him to create the Macintosh, and not consider the cost.  
Eventually, Raskin lost Macintosh. Jobs was able locate an engineer to make the device run on a faster, but more expensive, microprocessor. Mac had a better mouse and graphic interface that Lisa. 
Jobs was more than an intelligent engineer. He was also a brilliant designer. He considered product design a work of art. Apple and Mac as a whole adopted the motto “Simple but sophisticated”. 
He wanted Mac to come in a small box and look high-tech from the outside in. 
Jobs signed the entire design team on a piece paper after countless revisions and proposals. Jobs had all 50 signatures engraved into every Macintosh. They shared a toast to celebrate Mac’s complete design. 

Steve Jobs and Bill Gates reached an agreement to release Microsoft software in bundles with the Macintosh. The Apple Logo must be displayed on the programs. However, this partnership was never implemented. During the talks, Gates and Jobs personalities’ would often clash. 
Gates was born from a completely different background to Jobs. His father is a lawyer, and his mother is an activist. He was the tech geek at his elite private school, but unlike Jobs, he never took part in pranks. Gates was a Harvard student when he decided to start his own software business. 
Jobs is a perfectionist with an intuitive mind, who can sometimes be rude. Bill Gates, however, is a practical, disciplined, and methodical individual. Both men were born in 1956. Both men were college dropouts and helped revolutionize the world personal computers.
Gates wanted Microsoft software to work on multiple platforms. Jobs wanted Apple to be exclusive. In the end, it was IBM’s personal computers that benefitted from their disagreement. 
Microsoft released the operating system DOS and later on, Windows 1.0.Jobs was quoted to say, “The only problem with Microsoft is they just have no taste…in the sense that they don’t think of original ideas and they don’t bring much culture into their product.”

Jobs was also made a non executive member of the board after the Lisa project failed. He owns only 11% of Apple shares but has lost most his power. In 1985, he made it clear to John Scully that he wanted to start a new company. Jobs stated that it would be a separate entity from Apple, but not a competitor.
Jobs named his new company NeXT. Scully asked Jobs if he could recruit five low-level employees to help him transfer to NeXT. Scully received the names but was upset at Jobs because they were not low-level. The board members believed Jobs was acting disloyal towards the company and in violation of his duty as chairman. They were ready to declare war against Jobs. 
Media outlets reported that Jobs was fired as Chairman. He had already expressed his intention to resign with NeXT. Finally, he wrote Mike Markkula his resignation letter. 
Part of Jobs’ resignation letter read, “Subsequently the Company appears to be adopting a hostile posture toward me and the new venture…As you know, the company’s recent reorganization left me with no work to do and no access even to regular management reports. I am but 30 and want still to contribute and achieve.”

Pixar & Toy Story
George Lucas was looking for a buyer for his computer division. Jobs was suggested by a friend that he meet Ed Catmull (head of the Lucasfilm computer division). Jobs was interested in combining creativity and technology. He was blown away by the division when he visited it.
The division sold software and hardware to create digital images. It also has animators who create short films. John Lasseter led the small animation group. Jobs was able to seal the deal quickly and now holds 70% of the shares. 
Pixar Image Computer is the most important product in the division. Pixar was born. Pixar’s 3D graphics imaging software was a popular choice for Disney. The animation department at Disney was then in decline. Pixar’s software was first used in Disney’s The Little Mermaid.
John Lasseter, Steve Jobs and others were creating a story about objects that have feelings. Lasseter, a talented animator, graduated from the California Institute of Art. When Toy Story became a huge success, there was a confusion whether it’s a Disney film or a Pixar film. Jobs and Disney reached an agreement on Toy Story’s equal ownership.  
Mona and Lisa
Jobs secretly hired detectives in the 1980s to find his biological parents. He eventually tracked down his mother Joanne Schieble at Los Angeles. Joanne separated from AbdulfattahJandali, his Syrian biological father. Although she never had a happy marriage, she told Jobs that her half-sister Mona Simpsons was his.
Jobs met Mona in New York. He was thrilled to discover that she is also a novelist. Mona became a close friend of his because they both love art. Jobs supported Mona’s book release. They loved each other and became close friends. 
Chrisann Brennan lived with Lisa in a house that Jobs had bought. When Lisa was three years old, Jobs began to visit them regularly. Jobs said, “I didn’t want to be a father, so I wasn’t.” When Lisa was eight, Jobs’ visits became more frequent. He discovered that Lisa was both very intelligent at school and very artistic. He was a bit influenced by her high-spirited nature. 
Jobs surprised his colleagues by bringing Lisa to Apple one day. He would sometimes pick up Lisa and once he took Lisa on a business trip in Tokyo. Jobs can still be very cold at times. Their father-daughter relationship has been a roller-coaster ride over the years. 

Laurene Powell and Steve Jobs met in October 1989. Jobs was invited to give a lecture at Stanford University, where Powell was a fresh graduate of the business school. They ended up sitting next to each other during the lecture. Powell attracted Jobs immediately. They spoke for a while, and Jobs invited Powell to dinner. 
Laurene Powell is smart, educated, and independent. She has a great sense of humor and is a vegetarian. Powell was Powell’s first love. Jobs had dated several women before Powell. The couple went on vacation to Hawaii in December 1990. Powell was officially proposed to by Jobs on Christmas Day.   
They were married in Yosemite National Park on March 18, 1991. Jobs was 36 and Powell was 27.  Around 50 people came for their wedding, including Jobs’ father Paul and his sister Mona. The couple settled in Palo Alto in a two-story house. Laurene and Steve had three kids, Erin Siena, Eve and Paul Reed.

It took a while for Microsoft to figure out Mac’s graphical user interface but eventually, the company came out with Windows 3.0. Microsoft was the dominant player in the market following the release Windows 95, at the time the most popular operating system. Apple sales are falling in parallel. 
Jobs believed that Scully had made Apple profit oriented. He failed to make Mac more affordable and upgrade it. Apple’s market share dropped to 4% in 1996 from 16% during the 1980s. Jobs approached Gil Amelio (the CEO of Apple). He told Gil Amelio about his plans to save Apple, and create a new product. 
Amelio announced Jobs’ return to Apple in December 1996 as an advisor. Jobs was able to succeed him asCEO thanks to his charisma and business instincts. The first year of Jobs’ return is tough. He had to resign from his board and find a replacement. Apple lost more that 1 billion.
In 1997, Jobs pushed forward Apple’s “Think different” campaign. He thought of great marketing and advertising strategies. He managed to balance his time between Apple, Pixar and his family. Apple had recouped $309 million in profit by 1998. Both Jobs and the company returned to the game. 
Jobs was in his thirties when Apple kicked him out. He was focused on his family and Pixar, and NeXT. He was forty when Toy Story came out and he was able to re-enter Apple. He would prove that people over 40 could do more in the following years. Steve Jobs, in his twenties reinvented personal computers. He would continue to do the same for music, mobile phones and tablets, apps, books, journalism, and even music. 

Apple Stores and iMac
Jobs reinvented Macintosh in 1998 with the iMac. It was an all in one computer with a monitor and keyboard. The iMac was designed for home use and was ready to go. Jobs transformed product launching into a new type of theatre with Macintosh. He did it again for iMac. iMac was the fastest-selling Apple product ever, selling at $1,299 
1999 saw no tech store on the main streets or in the mall. Jobs thought that “you can’t win on innovation unless you have a way to communicate with the customers.” He came up with the idea of Apple retail stores. A colleague asked him one day, “Is Apple as big of a brand as Gap?” Jobs answered Apple is even bigger. 
On May 2001, Virginia opened the first Apple store.  It is home to all Apple products and features white counters and hardwood floors.  Apple stores set a record in the retail industry with $1.2 million in 2004. The Fifth Avenue store opened in Manhattan in 2006. It has Jobs’ trademark of minimalist design from glass, cube to staircase. There are 326 Apple stores around the world by 2011. 
iTunes and iPod
In 2000, there were 320,000,000 blank CDs in the US. People used to love to take music off CDs and put it into their computers. Jobs has yet to invent in the music industry. Jobs wanted an easy way to transfer and hear music, even though he had CD burners for Mac. 
He believed that the music software, such as Windows Media Player, was too complicated. SoundJam was created by two former Apple engineers. Apple bought them back and renamed SoundJam iTunes. Jobs launched iTunes in January 2001 with the slogan, “Rip, Mix, Burn”.
Jobs discovered that a portable device could be paired with iTunes to play music. While in Japan, Jobs learned about a new product being developed by Toshiba. It was as small and portable as a silver dime, and it can hold 5GB of music equivalent to 1,000 songs. Toshiba didn’t know what to do with it and so Jobs seized the opportunity. 
Jobs wanted Apple products easy to use as always. He figured that iPod is small enough to allow for other functions such as making a playlist. The iPod will then be synced with iTunes. Jobs later spoke to the major music companies regarding copyright and the iTunes Store. 

Steve Jobs was diagnosed with cancer in October 2003. Because of his history with kidney stones, he just wanted to get his CT scans. His doctors discovered that Jobs had a tumor in the pancreas. They performed a biopsy on Jobs and found that the tumor could be removed to prevent its spread. 
Jobs was determined to have the surgery, however. He kept on eating a vegan diet, and he underwent acupuncture. He was convinced by his wife and close friends, but it took him 9 years to realize that he needed the operation.
Jobs did another CAT scan in July 2004 to confirm that the tumor had grown. He proceeded with the surgery to remove a portion of his pancreas. He was determined to be back at work by September, but the cancer spread. Jobs was able to start his chemotherapy. 
Jobs announced his cure when he was invited to Stanford for the commencement exercises. His wife hosted a surprise birthday party in 2005 for him. He celebrated his 50th anniversary with his family, friends, and coworkers. 
People all over the globe went crazy for the iPod. By 2005, it was making 45% of Apple’s total revenue. Jobs was still innovating as usual. He shared his ideas with the board about how what happened to digital camera can happen to iPod. Apple must develop its own phone with a built-in camera and a music player. 
He tried to negotiate with a tie-up with Motorola but Jobs wasn’t satisfied. He thought the current market for cell phones was a mess. Jobs was also motivated primarily by the potential market. 
Jobs knew a man who was working on a tablet computer for Microsoft. The thing is, the engineer kept sharing this classified information with everyone. The Microsoft tablet includes a stylus. But Jobs asked his engineers if they could make Apple’s product touch screen. When the design of iPhone was finally presented to him, Jobs declared, “This is the future”.

Cancer recurs
Jobs cancer got worse in 2008. Jobs’s eating disorders are causing him pain. Jobs has been doing extreme fasts and diets since he was a teenager. He was very selective about what he ate even though he was fighting cancer. Jobs lost 40 lbs that year.
The media was more interested his weight loss than his iPhone 3G presentation. Apple stock fell significantly in a matter of months. Jobs finally agreed that he would be on medical leave by January 2009. He received a liver transplant in February 2009. His doctors were concerned though when they noticed tumors in the liver. 
Meanwhile, arrangements have been made in Apple’s management during Jobs’ leave. The stock price eventually recovered. On a conference call, operations manager Tim Cook said, “We believe that we are on the face of the earth to make great products, and that’s not changing. We are constantly focusing on innovating…regardless of who is in what job, those values are so embedded in this company that Apple will do extremely well.”
Jobs was unstoppable, though. He still has the fight in him. He was able to recover and returned to Apple in 2010. He developed iPad, iPad 2 & iCloud. 

Last Board Meeting
By 2011, Jobs’ doctors found out that the tumours has spread through his bones and other organs. Jobs is suffering from mood swings, pain, weight loss and eating disorders. Jobs was forced to stay home with his family, despite the many projects he still wants. 
Jobs contacted Walter Isaacson in August to arrange a visit. He wanted to show Isaacson photographs for his biography. He shared the stories behind the photos and spoke about the people Jobs knew, from Bill Gates to President Obama. Jobs was too weak to get out of bed but his mind is quick. 
Jobs shared his concerns about Isaacson’s biography as he was leaving. But then he told the author, “I wanted my kids to know me. I wasn’t always there for them, and I wanted them to know why and to understand what I did. Also, when I got sick, I realized other people would write about me if I died, and they wouldn’t know anything. They’d get it all wrong. So I wanted to make sure someone heard what I had to say.”
Jobs’ last board meeting happened in August 24. He read the letter he had been working on for weeks. It said, “I have always said if there ever came a day when I could no longer meet my duties and expectations as Apple’s CEO, I would be the first to let you know. Unfortunately, that day has come.”


Steve Jobs can be intense. His colleagues were either heroes or shitheads. Competitors were either completely sucky or perfect. He was also brutally honest. Jobs was also brutally honest with his employees. 
Jobs can be a dictator. Jobs wanted the Mac operating system to be exclusive for Apple. Jobs was more interested in improving the products than he was losing profit to Microsoft. He wants to control everything, from product design to customer experience. He strives for perfection. 
Jobs predicted what the market needed before anyone else. He was the one who led Apple to innovation. As the company motto goes, “Think different.” Steve Jobs may be crazy at times but he made himself one of the best innovators of the digital age. 
Jobs believed that companies fall because they are more focused on profit after creating a great product. He believed that real companies are the best because they stand for something. That’s what he wants for Apple. 
Jobs worked for three decades. He created all-in-1 and ready-to-use personal computers using Apple II and Macintosh. Pixar was the catalyst for revolutionizing animation. iTunes and iPod saved the music business from piracy. The iPhone and iPad combined business and entertainment on a single device. Data syncing is possible with the iCloud. 
Although Steve Jobs may be gone, his legacy is still felt. Apple and Pixar continue combining technology and art. One of the lessons that can be learned from Jobs’ biography is to keep moving, keep improving and good returns will come back naturally.Thanks for watching.

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