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iCon-Steve Jobs

Arjunkumar Shastry
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Joined: Feb 28, 2005
Posts: 986
I just finished reading this book on Steve Jobs .Very interesting to read.Some of the interesting facts:
1)Steve Jobs never did programming.
2)He was very good at designing hardware.
3)Macintosh was not his idea but one San Diego professor whom Jobs fired later.
4)The project he started or based on his original ideas always failed,like LISA,Apple 2.
5)Basic groundwork was always done by his friend Steve Vozniak who never got any credit.
5)Its not just technology or passion but you have to do lot of things(including politics) if you to become very successful or iCon.!!


Namma Suvarna Karnataka
Ulf Dittmer
Marshal

Joined: Mar 22, 2005
Posts: 41817
    
  62
I haven't read the book, but a few of your points need clarification.

He was very good at designing hardware.

I don't think he is/was a HW engineer, so "design" can only mean making the outside pretty and user-friendly, not the technical design.

The project he started or based on his original ideas always failed, like LISA, Apple 2.

He got plenty of successful products started (iPod and iMac come to mind). The Apple 2 in particular was a phenomenal success.

Basic groundwork was always done by his friend Steve Vozniak who never got any credit.

It was never disputed that Woz did most of the HW and SW work on the Apple 2, and some for the Mac, for all of which he got plenty of credit. I don't know where you are getting this - does the book actually state that? Then it's a piece of junk.


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Henry Wong
author
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Joined: Sep 28, 2004
Posts: 18825
    
  40

He got plenty of successful products started (iPod and iMac come to mind). The Apple 2 in particular was a phenomenal success.


Agreed. The Apple 2 was nowhere even close to a failure. The book actually called it a failure? As for the Apple LISA (which I think is a cool name), it was the precessor to the Macintosh -- it may not have done well, but it eventually lead to the launch of a big success.

As a side story, I remember Steve Jobs presenting many years ago, talking about computer animation -- and actually showing a small clip of a snowglobe. At the time, there was nothing like it. I clearly remember how cool it was, and even today, am kicking myself for not buying any Pixar stock after it IPO'ed.

Henry


Books: Java Threads, 3rd Edition, Jini in a Nutshell, and Java Gems (contributor)
marc weber
Sheriff

Joined: Aug 31, 2004
Posts: 11343

I'm looking for a good Apple history book -- something well researched and well presented. I'm considering Apple Confidential 2.0. Any advice?


"We're kind of on the level of crossword puzzle writers... And no one ever goes to them and gives them an award." ~Joe Strummer
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Cameron Wallace McKenzie
author and cow tipper
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Joined: Aug 26, 2006
Posts: 4968
    
    1

Look at the title of the book - iCon

I think the title implies that Jobs is a Con-artist, or a con-man. I'm guessing that the title pretty much sets the tone for the book.

It's amazing how a person can have an incredible or great success, and then all people ever do is harp on subsequent failures. It's like saying "sure, he got a #1 billboard hit, but what has he done lately?" Well, the fact is, not many people get that #1 hit in the first place.

Shadenfrude, as the Germans say.

-Cameron McKenzie
David O'Meara
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Joined: Mar 06, 2001
Posts: 13459

Not quite, but certainly "Tall poppy" syndrome.
Cameron Wallace McKenzie
author and cow tipper
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Joined: Aug 26, 2006
Posts: 4968
    
    1

Yes, Shadenfrude implies Jobs is in a downfall, or going through a tough time. That's hardly the case.

I like the 'tall poppy' analogy from down under. Never heard of it before.

It's amazing what you can learn on the JavaRanch.

-Cameron McKenzie
David O'Meara
Rancher

Joined: Mar 06, 2001
Posts: 13459

The tall poppy is very common 'round these parts I was interested in reading the similar concepts from other cultures (eg I know your father)
David O'Meara
Rancher

Joined: Mar 06, 2001
Posts: 13459

Just for other, the spelling of Schadenfreude caused me some issues.
marc weber
Sheriff

Joined: Aug 31, 2004
Posts: 11343

Originally posted by Cameron W. McKenzie:
...I think the title implies that Jobs is a Con-artist, or a con-man...

Ironically, that interpretation might be applied to the book's author -- tossing something together simply to cash in on Apple's (Jobs') success.
Sayak Banerjee
Ranch Hand

Joined: Nov 28, 2006
Posts: 292
Not quite, but certainly "Tall poppy" syndrome.

You bet!!!
I don't understand how he manages to get more number of detractors than admirers....He is a man with a vision....If anybody has watched the eMac commercial(probably 1984 stuff), the lady in it had something, that very much resembled an iPod, hanging on her waist.....but the Apple iPod was released in 2001....it shows to what extent he can foresee future technologies
[ January 03, 2007: Message edited by: Sayak Banerjee ]

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Jeroen T Wenting
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Joined: Apr 21, 2006
Posts: 1847
Originally posted by Cameron W. McKenzie:

It's amazing how a person can have an incredible or great success, and then all people ever do is harp on subsequent failures. It's like saying "sure, he got a #1 billboard hit, but what has he done lately?" Well, the fact is, not many people get that #1 hit in the first place.


jealousy. Think Bill Gates as a prime example. Most "Microsoft hatred" is pure jealousy, people who can't stand the fact that the company and its products are so successful.

But Jobs might just be a fraud. It appears he's given himself million of stock options without approval by the board (which is mandatory), and he's now under investigation by authorities for that.


42
Arjunkumar Shastry
Ranch Hand

Joined: Feb 28, 2005
Posts: 986
The words such as 'Software Mugul','IT visionary' for Steve Jobs might be misleading.After reading the book,its clear that he had a great business acumen but media hype about Jobs in early 80s and late 90s onwards was not based on facts.Book authors(Apple users sice 1983 and Mac fans) show the evidences that Steve Jobs got the credit based on somebody's else work.
I am not sure about Bill Gates etc.
May be the ranchers who were in IT from 80s can throw more light on this.
[ January 04, 2007: Message edited by: Arjunkumar Shastry ]
Unnsse Khan
Ranch Hand

Joined: Nov 12, 2001
Posts: 511
Have you guys ever watched the TV Special, "Pirates of Silicon Valley"?

Both Jobs and Gates found their ideas from others but the important thing is that both of them actually contributed to the world! Lots of people have ideas which never ever become implemented.

Here's a clip of a very young Steve Jobs demoing the NEXT operating system. Many of the features shown here are now in Macintosh OS X. This was a very advanced computer and operating system, back in the day! Doom and Quake were written on it. Its funny on how in this clip, Jobs kind of competes with Apple by stating how his vision is better. I'm really glad that he brought these features to OS X. Now, Windows Vista is also incorporating a lot of these features.

Check it out here.

BTW, he did work for Atari so it wasn't as if he was non-technical. In addition, CEOs jobs encompass everything (marketing, finance, strategic planning, etc.) and Jobs' marketing acumen is unsurpassed!

Cheers,
Jeroen T Wenting
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Joined: Apr 21, 2006
Posts: 1847
Bill Gates started Microsoft from his home, writing (with Paul Allen) software deep into the night.
He made his breakthrough when he was able to purchase a small insignificant operating system for 8088 processors and, after fleshing it out a bit, sell a license to distribute it to IBM. That operating system was DOS.
Nathan Leniz
Ranch Hand

Joined: Nov 26, 2006
Posts: 132
It's also interesting the his original business model was to sell programming languages, not operating systems and the subsequent empire of software.

As far as Steve Jobs or Bill Gates go... if either of them did anything wrong, perhaps more people need to act wrong? If there was blatant stealing or infringement on intellectual rights that is one thing, but let's be honest, how many people have heard someone 'toss and idea out there' and thought to themselves that it was a great idea and explored it further if the generator of that idea never did?


The very existence of flamethrowers proves that at some time, some where, some place, someone once said to themselves "I'd really like to set those people on fire over there, but I just can't get close enough".
Unnsse Khan
Ranch Hand

Joined: Nov 12, 2001
Posts: 511
Bill Gates and Paul Allen left the Boston area and started Micro-Soft (as it was originally coined) in New Mexico.

He was programming a lot longer before that...

Cheers,
 
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