i finished reading the iWOZ (steve wozniak’s story) and iCON (steve job’s story). i’m no apple fan (sourgraping because i cannot afford them). i find them overrated (apple fan, i don’t mind you throwing tomatoes at me). but i love steve wozniak since i read about him on ‘Founders at Work,’ book by Jessica Livingston, which somehow gave me a new respect to apple because it made me realized there is more to apple than steve jobs.
iWoz is authored by Steve Wozniak, and has Gina Smith as contributor. i wish steve woz got Jessica Livingston to do this book as she was able to present woz character in a more ‘human’ sounding story. while woz tells his story in a very technical manner like how he wired the inside of the apple, how he created the floppy driver, those kind of things. well, what can you expect, he’s the kid who always won in science fair during his school days.
some chismis from the book:
* woz was a fan of Tom Swift books (i guess they’re the geek version of sweet valley) when he was young. this made me realized why i can not be a genius because i adored sweet valley.
* woz values honesty. before woz and jobs created the apple company, woz was with HP and jobs was with ‘atari’ (imagine family computer), jobs asked woz to build a game for atari and that they would split the money he’d make from atari. jobs presented the game as his creation to atari, which i guess woz knew about it. after jobs get paid, he then gave woz his share. he told woz he got paid $700.
anyway, after a year, he saw the atari founder in an airport. being an honest man, he confessed that he made that game jobs sold to them some time ago. then, atari guy had then mentioned that they paid jobs $1000 for that game. of course woz felt bad. =) he could not comprehend why jobs had to lie to him, he could have given jobs all the money.
* steve jobs is famous for his statements. i guess one of his popular statements was when he convinced john scully (then CEO/president of pepsi) to join apple which goes something like, “do you want to make sugar(ed) water for the rest of your life or come with us and change the world.”
and, the line that convinced woz to create apple company was, “Well, even if we lose our money, we’ll have a company. For once in our lives, we’ll have a company.”
*but even when jobs and woz already created the apple company, woz still works for HP. for their company to take off, jobs wanted woz to leave HP.but woz did not want toleave HP because he just wanted to be an engineer forever. woz did not like the idea of going into management.
despite jobs’ marketing genius, he never was able to convince woz to leave HP. it was Allen Baum who convinced him by telling him that he can be engineer forever and he does not need to be in the management. =) ain’t woz cute? Allen Baum and woz are friends (forgot the details) but woz mentioned somewhere in the book that allen baum seems to be there every life-chaging event in his life.
* he left apple after he had a plane crashed but he remains an employee of apple and is still receiving salary aside from his share.
* he met his 1st wife thru his ‘dial-a-joke’ (it’s a number people can call where an answering machine would answer them with a recorded joke). one thing about woz is his love for pranks and jokes. =)
and, on to iCon (steve jobs) written by jeffrey s. young and william l. simon. i don’t know if this is black propaganda against jobs, or this is the best of jobs they can give. i guess the first 3/4 of the book, you’d feel nothing but hate against jobs.
there’s a line in the book that somehow summarizes steve jobs, probably the old steve jobs, ‘…basking in someone else’s sunshine.’ steve job’s story will not be a story without mentioning steve wozniak (woz is mentioned at the start (prologue) and at the end of the book (epilogue), Ed Catmull and Alvy Ray Smith (ed and alvy were the people who made the software for pixar animations. alvy was fired from pixar because he touched job’s white board), John Lasseter (the animator of pixar. created all pixar stories.), Jonathan Ive (designer, i think both mac and ipod), and etc too many to mention (the pepsi president John Sculley which he hired because he believed he can manipulate him. there’s Gil Amelio who hired him back to apple which he later fired and replaced him as the CEO).
steve jobs ‘was’ an insecure person. but i guess his insecurity was his driving force to be what he is now. he was so insecure with woz because apple 1&2 were known as woz’s creations. so to prove that he is also great, he created ‘Lisa’ (after his first child who he never claimed as his before) but i guess it was never released because it simply did not work. at the same time, a group of tech people in apple created Macintosh, which got steve jobs attention so he left ‘Lisa’ as he saw a better potential with Macintosh. but the head of macintosh later on quit because he simply could not get along with jobs. because of jobs unreasonable demands for macintosh, it ended up as not-that-hot-selling product because it was not that great (i guess mostly because of the lack of working software. correct me if i’m wrong). so apple was mostly living on woz apple 2’s profits. until they fired jobs. but jobs did not left without bringing some key people from apple. he then created Next which was a flop but due jobs richness and investments from Canon and some rich people who has nothing better to do with their money. Next stayed afloat. then, some time, jobs acquired Pixar from George Lucas (lucas had to sell it to pay his ex-wife after the divorce). then, apple company was like struggling, gil amelio came on board who hired jobs back or who jobs convinced to put him back on apple. so after 10 years, at age 40, jobs was finally back to apple. then, jobs fired amelio. then, they lived happliy ever after – pixar was doing great (merged or bought by disney which made jobs as the biggest shareholder of disney) and then came the overrated ipod. =)
so you can see that it took 10 years, after leaving apple, for jobs to finally make it good this time. but of course with the help of talented people. aside from charisma, one thing jobs has is his great eye for talented people. only he ‘had’ not that healthy ego before to deal with people smarter than him.
steve jobs is strictly vegeterian. but he smoked weeds, and did some drugs. then he got cancer ( a rare kind of cancer). weird combination.
*this draft has been sitting here for a long time. i did not have the time to finish it. so have to rush it, and be done with this. gawd, have to accept that i suck at this book review thingy.