Sunday, December 4, 2011

and one more thing

The other day I finished listening to the audio of this book:

Image from here.

In the past, I've described Apple products as phenomenal (iPod, iPad), smug (iPhone), too rich for my blood (Mac), and a necessary evil (iTunes). After listening to this biography, I've gained a great respect for Apple's integrity in the creation these products. Steve himself described it best:

My passion has been to build an enduring company where people were motivated to make great products. Everything else was secondary. Sure, it was great to make a profit, because that was what allowed you make great products. But the products, not the profits, were the motivation.

Interestingly, Apple -- a company with little concern for profit, supposedly -- is one of the most valuable enterprises in the world. (I wonder what would happen if we applied that same integrity, passion, and outlook to everything we undertake in our lives.) And while I'm not about to go out and buy a brand new Mac or switch my Droid for an iPhone, my general opinion for these products has certainly increased.

Steve Jobs' commencement speech at the 2005 Standford graduation has become somewhat legendary. Walter Isaacson said of this address:

The artful minimalism of the speech gave it simplicity, purity, and charm. Search were you will, from anthologies to YouTube, and you won't find a better commencement address. Others may have been more important . . . but none has had more grace.

If you haven't heard it yet, you owe yourself the 15 minutes it takes to listen:

"Because believing that the dots will connect somewhere down the road will give you the confidence to follow your heart, even when it leads you off the well worn path. And that will make all the difference."

P.S. I went the audiobook route on this one because:
a. I can't say that I've ever completed a biography, so I thought I'd have better luck listening to this one rather than reading.
b. I don't have time to read right now (I don't really have time for blogging either, but here I am); but I can always listen to audiobooks while driving, working, cleaning my apartment, walking my cat, making dinner, etc.
c. I was able to score a free version from

P.P.S. I don't really walk my cat (though I daresay she could benefit from it).

P.P.P.S. It's only fitting that I finish writing this post on my new iPad (the acquisition of which was more a coincidence than a result of having pseudo-read this book).


  1. when i first listened to that speech it profoundly impacted me. my favorite quote is the one about remembering that you'll be dead soon, and "there is no reason not to follow your heart." but really, i loved most of it. i could be interested in this biography you speak of.

  2. I really wish you walked your cat ...on a tiny leash ...and I would happen to drive by.