42nd Street Company (#42stc)

Steve Jobs – Genius and Asshole

By on January 6, 2014

Bought Walter Isaacson’s bibliography ‘Steve Jobs’ last Christmas and finally got a chance to read it this Christmas.

One fascinating aspect of the story is that Jobs appears as both a genius and an asshole (at times).  The genius didn’t really need the asshole and the asshole wouldn’t have gotten far without the genius – the interesting question is if the genius could have prevailed without the asshole?

Steve Jobs - Genius and Asshole

Steve Jobs – Genius and Asshole

Isaacson comments on this in the very end of the book (p. 565): The nasty edge to his personality was not necessary. It hindered him more than it helped him. But it did, at times, serve a purpose.

You often hear Apple described as a very successful company and likewise Steve Jobs as a very successful leader. Apple is #1. So was Steve Jobs. The interesting part is that there are no contemporary #2s – nothing compares. To find equals you must leave our time.

One more observation. For Nokia, Apple was the worst nightmare as a competitor from about the time of the release of the iPhone or very soon thereafter, if not already way before. Isaacson does not mention Nokia with a single word in his book – at least I did not find any mentioning. I wonder if that really reflects the reality – that there were no actual encounters between Jobs/Apple and Nokia – and special awareness in Apple about Nokia as a player in the smartphone category and with an ambition in the eco-system game.

The book is great. Buy it and read it. I recommend the paper version 🙂