Steve Jobs, by Walter Issacson
Overall, I liked this book. I give it a thumbs up 👍🏻.
I can’t remember when I really became aware of Steve Jobs. I was aware of Apple growing up, and was envious of friends who had iPod Minis in iPod Socks. But Steve Jobs was never really on my radar. I didn’t grow up idolizing him. Years later, I have learned more about him and grown to respect him and the company he built. Reading Steve Jobs gave me a much better understanding of who he was.
I’m a software developer. I write code. Some days, I like to pretend that I’m a designer too. I value well thought out details in the products I use and strive to put the same care into detail into what I build. I wish I had the time a resources available to get things just right every time, but that’s just not realistic. The whole point of design is working within constraints. And eventually you have to ship.
One story that really resonated with me was how distraught Jobs was when he discovered the CD drive in the new iMac was a tray and not a slot. So close to release, there was nothing to be done expect to delay the release. Those around him convinced him that it wasn’t worth delaying the release over. My wife and I are building a house right now. It seems like every day the builders do something that in my mind is incorrect, but it is too late or too expensive to change. It drives me crazy, and I know years from now I’ll look back and think “I could’ve gotten this right.” But ultimately, I would rather have a finished house than a perpetually incomplete house that will never meet my standards.
I doubt anyone else could’ve done what Steve Jobs did. But, of course, he didn’t do it alone. He surrounded himself with people who could execute his vision. No one gets everything right the first time every time, not even Jobs. Hopefully we get a chance to try again and improve.