It was all going to be hell.
His followers were abandoning him. His friends no longer believed him. The press, which had adored him for so long, now excoriated him. His money was running out. An awesome fortune – nearly squandered. He had made a hundred millions in a handful of years, and now he was blowing it just as quickly on his failing startups. …. In a meeting, at the Next’s headquaters on the shore of San Francisco Bay, he looked around at the besieged refugees of his thinned-out executive team and he told them, in a tone of bitterness and envy: “Everyone can leave- except me”.
So starts the gripping book of Alan Deutschman. That ‘he’ in the previous paragraph was Apple‘s own, Steve Jobs. The book, The Second Coming of Steve Jobs. With such a personality in context Deutschman creates magic throughout this gossipy biography. Yeah, at first the book seems like you are sitting in a road-side McDonalds of Silicon Valley, gossiping the whereabouts of Steve Jobs. But as the book unravels the fall and the rise of this complex personality, one is forced to develop a liking towards Steve. Yeah, that same Steve. That Steve who was THE guy behind launching the historical Apple’s Mac PC back in 1984, that Steve who was thrown out of Apple in 1985, that Steve who managed a computer start-up in 1986 called Next which eventually closed in 1993, that Steve who instrumental in revolutinizing the digital animation with Pixar, that Steve who cameback as Apple’s interim CEO in 1997 and brought back Apple from doldrums with inroducing the most famous iMac, that Steve who made Apple’s share propell from $13 to $118, raising the market valuation from less than $2 billion to $20 billion. An extraordinary rise and fall and rise of an extraordinary hippie called Steve Jobs documented in the most complelling manner by Deutschman.
The above is just the summary of what the book has to offer you. The most intricate details sketches the early rise of the Pop culture icon Steve Jobs who instrumented the introduction of Mac PCs. That early rise, though was relatively easier than others, describes the strict disciplinarian/perfectionist/elitist and so on in Steve. It shows the Good Steve and the Bad Steve. The Good Steve could possibly use all the available strategies to inspire people, creatively. He could woo prospective employees or business partners with his power of speech and his charming personality. The Bad Steve, when it comes to realizing the vision, could resort to intimidating or humilating the his employees. He could possibly walk out of a meet when a reporter could ask a reasonable question that could make him angry. And as Alan says the Bad Steve was an integral part of Steve’s success just as Good Steve was. Both these personalities mixed and matched the life of this tech savvy hippie.
Alan also tells us the background of the rise of Pixar Animation Studios and how Steve Jobs wooed it for just $10 million from George Lucas, the maker ot Star Wars, who was struggling to keep it going. And how Steve Jobs wanted to be the Walt Disney of the Digital Animation Era. Also how Bill Gates, once during the early days, called up Steve Jobs number when he was drunk and left an anonymous message in Steve’s answering message saying “…Mac Sucks “. Interestingly Steve Jobs met Bill on Panel discussion, at an industry conference, when they reached the dias, Steve reached out to his pocket and took out the tape and showed it to Gates, saying “This is the tape”. Both these icons then made it big in the forthcoming years.
Steve Jobs is a personification of the Silicon Valley, for all the values it holds today. The plethora of emotions, one goes through, while reading this amazing tale of a man who tries continously to change the world, is just because Steve Jobs is an unforgettable face of modern tech industry.