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The most intriguing bit of contemporary technological history is easily the rise of Apple Computer, and so of course, the most fascinatingly controversial person in that history is CEO Steve Jobs. A company doesn’t grow so large so quickly without stepping on a few toes, making the story of Steve Jobs’ rise, fall, and return to power at Apple a hotly debated topic among industry geeks as well as ordinary consumers. Particularly with the publication of William L. Simon’s unauthorized best-selling biography, iCON Steve Jobs, which notoriously skewered Jobs as a cutthroat overachiever, the debate over whether the “Stevian” style of leadership is worth emulating has become increasingly polarized.
Jay Elliot, former Senior Vice President of Apple who was responsible for corporate operations and overall business planning, reported directly to Steve Jobs during the company’s original boom and its subsequent renaissance. He is therefore in a unique position to dig into the truth behind the mythic man, and does so with the gleefulness of someone who has long been “drinking the Kool-Aid” of how awesome the Apple working environment is. Steve Jobs’ management style and his legion of loyal customers have often been compared to a cult, and Elliot has firmly bought in. In many ways, the subtitle for this book ought to be “A Staunch Defense of Micro-Management”. From his understanding of Jobs’ nit-picky methods as “attention to details” to his dismissal of innovations made during Jobs’ temporary absence from Apple, Elliot’s positive spin never wavers.
At first, it seems surprising that William L. Simon co-wrote this book. As the listen progresses however, similarities between The Steve Jobs Way and iCON become clear. The anecdotal evidence is largely the same for both books, and the main distinction is that Simon previously used these stories to vilify Jobs, whereas Elliott and Simon’s joint effort here glorifies Jobs. When it’s merely a matter of tone that separates these two perspectives on the same history, the choice of narrator is particularly important.
Christopher Hurt is a very solid choice, as most of his voice work is in classics and nonfiction. What could have been a very shallow and sugary take becomes in Hurt’s audio a beguiling and ultimately fairly persuasive portrait of a misunderstood guru. Entrepreneurs looking for insight will enjoy a very sensible-sounding listen, while Apple devotees will still feel that Hurt is on their side. He is careful to keep both feet on the ground, even when the text itself seems to be veering into the territory of simply singing Jobs’ praises. The Steve Jobs Way successfully tips the scales back against the recent spate of Jobs-bashing, but it’s the way Christopher Hurt takes this Apple love-fest with a grain of salt that makes it a worthy listen. Megan Volpert
In iLeadership, Jay Elliot gives the listener the opportunity of seeing Steve Jobs as only his closest associates have ever seen him, and to learn what has made him - and the mystique of his management style - capable of creating tools so extraordinary that they have remade three industries and have transformed the way we create, consume, and communicate with each other.
Jay Elliot worked side by side with Steve as Senior Vice President of Apple and brings us his deep insider perspective of Steve's singular iLeadership style - which encompasses four major principles: product, talent, organization, and marketing.
Jay shares the lessons that come out of Steve's intuitive approach to show how the creative and technological brilliance of iLeadership can be utilized to drive breakthroughs in any organization, irrespective of size.
Unlike most other books about Steve Jobs (I have read or listened to most of them), this one is written by someone who has actually worked with him. Bringing out a more human side of Jobs. Prior to this book, from movies like Pirates of Silicon Valley and other biographies (like iCon and the 2nd coming of SJ), I've always thought of Jobs as an egotistic monster in the early days of Apple, this book painted a different kind of young Jobs, filled with good intentions and high minded ideas, and states that it was actually Jobs himself who decided to leave Apple instead of being fired by the Apple board. I find Mr. Elliot's approach of tying Steve's action with his iLeadership best practices points slightly distracting. Still overall, I highly enjoyed this book, and recommend it to all who is really fascinated about Steve Job.
28 of 28 people found this review helpful
There is no substitute for working with a genius on a daily basis. Everything I have read about Steve Jobs is from the outside - from somebody who has done interviews and research. This book is from a man who observed the daily working habits and decision making process of one of the most creative and brilliant men of our generation. Until the authorized biography of Jobs is released in 2012 - this is the best book about the man himself.
14 of 14 people found this review helpful
This is an excellent book about an icon in the technology and consumer products world. I have watched Apple and Steve Jobs since I bought my first Apple product in the 80's (Apple IIC & Macintosh). A few of the items discussed in the book clarified misconceptions and questions not only about Steve Jobs but about Apple and its products and services. Overall, not only was it enjoyable but it was enlightening. In addition, I learned different key points about entrepreneurship and leadership.
It is written from the perspective of a friend, employee, and co-worker. Much different than other books and articles that were written from a media perspective only.
The book held my interest to the end and I highly recommend it!
29 of 30 people found this review helpful
This is my favorite audiobook so far as it brings us up close and personal on how Apple runs its business and particularly how Steve Jobs waves his baton as the ultimate conductor of Apple.
The details & lessons one can pick up from The Steve Jobs Way is helpful to aspiring entrepreneurs of all races and ages.
The Steve Jobs Way has great insights on leadership, the value of the customer, human relations and the importance of a business vision to name a few and is definitely a must listen and a must read.
Most of us aspire to have an organization of Apple's caliber and quality and this is the measuring stick we should level up to.
I will definitely be listening to this over and over again as a reference.
Great job Jay Eliot!
9 of 9 people found this review helpful
This was my first audio book in years, I started a 45 minute commute to work and needed something other then endless drone of the radio. I picked this book because of the reviews and because I wanted to learn something of Jobs and Apple. What I gained was an insight into the way Jobs thinks and his leadership style, his attention to detail and his unique understanding of the customer. I am self employed and have been the opposite of a detailed person for most of my business life, but after listening to this book I realize
that I need to get more detailed, for the details are what make a product good or just mediocre.
Hurt was a good narrator, I enjoyed his style but the book seemed to jump around sometimes, wondering off if different directions but I was sorry to come to the end of it, as I am with any good book and I will listen to it again.
I would recommend this to anyone who is in business, or just has an interest
in Apple. In fact, I am typing this on an iPad that I just got after listening to the book. I had wanted the iPad since it first came out but after listening to this book I wanted to visit the Apple store and see how they did things, how they
merchandise the store and how the whole thing integrated with the customer. I felt I could learn from what they did.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful
This a very well written book, and awesomely read by Mr. Hurt. Every chapter is a learning experience for your business. I've been entertained by anecdotes and been applying them for my business every day.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful
I felt that this was a very good depiction of Steve Jobs and on how his way of thinking! I felt like I got a inside look of the Man behind Apple!
4 of 4 people found this review helpful
you really get a sense of who Steve Jobs is and how much details he puts into his products. Made me want to purchase an Apple product!
3 of 3 people found this review helpful
I was intrigued by this title because of the author's early connection with Jobs at Apple. I hoped for some new and seldom-before-heard information. There is some of that here, but hardly what one would wish for and often frustratingly short of details. The book seems dashed off with little to no editorial oversight and is consequently rife with errors that even the most cursory fact-checking would have brought to light. Steve Jobs gave the Commencement Address at Stanford University in 2005, yet the author repeatedly refers to this event as having taken place in 2009. Video of that address was uploaded to YouTube by the 'StanfordUniversity' account on March 7, 2008, so draw your own conclusions. Just one example, but it seriously undermines the author's credibility. If he can't get this right, what else is just plain wrong? I had to keep fighting off the feeling that this was just an opportunistic exercise intended to cash-in on the well-deserved fame of Mr. Jobs by way of a long-ago association. Had it been released subsequent to his death, my distaste at this would have kept me away. As it was, it nagged at me throughout. Also, worth noting that the book is fawning toward Mr. Jobs in the extreme. It borders on the saccharine throughout.
Finally, worth noting that the narration is only adequate. Sometimes I felt the reader's intonation or cadence was jarringly different than what I perceived the writer's tone to be.
All-in-all, a mediocre affair and a slight disappointment.
6 of 7 people found this review helpful
Being a novice enterprenuer, I have listened to every bit of this audio book. It has changed my present attitude towards approaching a task. Steve's comments like "pirates not navy" have really thrilled me. His detail-oriented style has resulted in fantasitc 'i' products . His "Blue Fish" dinner with Sony chief was exciting!. Current management style needs a re-vist by following Stevian approach. Thanks to Jay Elliot such a marvelous book.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
Steve leads his industry with creativity, energy and courage. He keeps creating new products and generating new ideas, eventhough he is already very wealthy and probably doesn't need the additional income. Computing and telecommunication is so much more fun with his company Apple intensifying competition with new products such as i-tune, touch phone and tablets.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
I really enjoyed this book which gives a good insight about the roller coaster career of Steve Jobs.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
Being an Apple product user as well as being aware of Jobs' status as an inspirational leader, I thought I would use one of my Audible credits on this and was not disappointed. New to management and leadership, I found the insights into Jobs from someone who knew him well and worked with him closely fascinating. Despite not being in a product-producing company (I work in Education), I was made to re-evaluate my approach to my role, its significance and my attitude towards it. The performance of the book was excellent too, making it a great purchase.
The title obviously suggest that there will be "Steve worshipping" (so not for those allergic to Steve) but there are some valuable lessons to be learnt here, which I think can benefit everyone who manages a brand/ product, even if it is open source..
I disagree with author's minor android and windows bashing though.
Any additional comments?
I only knew the headlines about Steve Jobs - but wanted to know more about how he came to be so successful - one of the best non-fiction audiobooks I have listened to.<br/>thoroughly recommended !!
This book has very good content. It gives you good overview how Steve Jobs build Apple and become a market leader. Ups and down of Apple….I really enjoy listening this audio.
This book has great content. It is very interesting to see the intensity and attention to details that Jobs put into his work and how that affected the outcome of his product. His unrelenting drive to deliver a product that he himself and his customers would love is what has made Apple the success it is.
The downside of this book is that it is a worship book about Steve Jobs. Several times while listening I almost gave up and stopped listening because it made me sick to keep hearing this man praised over and over. He does deserve a lot of credit for persevering but to go on and on over how wonderful he is was way over the top. Have a listen to this book but be sure to keep a bucket nearby!
1 of 2 people found this review helpful
Because this book is an overview of how Steve Jobs build Apple to be one of the largest companies in the world it is interesting for the entire book. I find books about leadership principles can get very repetitive very quickly.
Jay Elliot, a former Apple executive, takes us along on the intriguing journey of Apple's growth. We learn from observing Steve Jobs' charismatic leadership style, his successes and his failures along the way. Definitely worth a read/listen for some inspiration on how you will "make a dent in the universe" (as Steve Jobs would say).