A Pinoy (techno) illiterate’s 5 minutes on Steve Jobs


Do you want to spend the rest of your life selling sugared water or do you want to change the world?Steve Jobs, recruiting PepsiCo president John Sculley to join him as CEO of Apple Corp

AS A PRE-TEEN and for the rest of his life, his parents, and later everybody else, treated him as somebody special.  Of course, it started with his parents, so you can credit (or blame) them, but because he almost always lived up to the hype and expectations, he became one of the true geniuses, gamechangers, and icons of our generation.

That’s just one of the many factoids presented in epic fashion by Walter Isaacson in his book eponymously entitled Steve Jobs.  Just like his post-mortem / eulogy, I don’t think a near-illiterate (tech-wise) layman like me is qualifed to do a good job (though I tried anyway) reviewing or at the very least commenting on the book, but because he has defined our era so much, technologically, culturally, economically and every other -ally, I thought I could at least mail in my two cents, at your expense of course.

His garage-to-Silicon Valley saga of developing the personal computer, famously adopting the graphical user interface that allowed computer power to be tapped by any transient being with eyes and digits; his devotion to vegan diets, fasts, periodic aversion to bathing, and Zen Buddhism, the stares of laser like intensity that he used to win arguments and ram through his decisions, his sometimes bitter rivalry and later collaborations with Silicon Valley legend Bill Gates, his maniacal drive to use software-hardware integration in all products, and his history-shaping products Macintosh, iPod, iPad and iPhone, as well as the groundbreaking breakthroughs in both Pixar and iTunes.

Every feat of near-Biblical proportion is true, and is discussed in conversational fashion in the easy-to-read book.  I’m sorry to say that with my weak grasp of the even the most basic I.T. precepts, it was a chore for me to digest the book, and it would even be harder to communicate the little that I absorbed.

So why am I doing this?  I just want to tell, in my own little way, what gifts a singular entity like Mr Jobs had to radically change the PC (personal computer) industry, the music industry (through the iPod), the animation industry (through Pixar), the publishing industry (through the iPad and Apps Store) and even retailing (the Apple Store), not by himself for sure, but through the strength of his vision and the intensity of his focus.

And in a nutshell, that’s what drove Steve Jobs to do so many of the incredible things he did.  Again and again throughout the book, he proved that with his vision (sometimes dubbed his reality distortion field) and his focus, where would drive design and engineering teams to hell and back in order to produce the perfect Apple product, he could literally, change the world.

There are so many other catchphrases that he lived by, too numerous to mention, but it’s probably apropos to mention just two, as this little blog is ending.  The first is, paraphrasing him, it’s a mistake to start a company by thinking you’ll earn a lot of money.  The best way is to start a company that will last forever, and create products people will love to use (or something like that) The second speaks for itself :

Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything — all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure — these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.

Res ipsa loquitur.

Thanks for reading !

Noel

PS.  Hope this didn’t take more than 5 minutes 🙂

And just to show that the post-apocalyptic future will STILL be fun :

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