Jan 30, 2012

Intersection of Artistry and Technology

I was too sick to go to work today so I spent the first half of my day finishing the biography of Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson, and I can say that the story of Jobs' life knocked me out! He's one hell of a genius whom I know will greatly influence me in my decisions in business and my career.

"Was he smart? No, not exceptionally. Instead, he was a genius. His imaginative leaps were instinctive, unexpected, and at times magical. He was indeed, an example of what the mathematician Mark Kac called a magician genius, someone whose insights come out of the blue and require intuition more than a mere mental processing power. Like a pathfinder, he could absorb information, sniff the winds, and sense what lay ahead.

Steve Jobs thus became the greatest business executive of our era, the one most certain to be remembered a century fro now. History will place him in the pantheon right next to Edison and Ford. More than anyone else of his time, he made products that were completely innovative, combining the power of poetry and processor. With a ferocity that could make working with him as unsettling as it was inspiring, he also built the world's most creative company. And he was able to infuse into its DNA the design sensibilities, perfectionism, and imagination that make it likely to be, even decades from now, the company that thrives best at the intersection of Artistry and Technology."

- Walter Isaacson

What I find most notable in the book is that Isaacson didn't end it with the death of Steve Jobs.

     "I like to think that something survives after you die," he said. "It's strange to think that you accumulate all this experience, and maybe a little wisdom, and it just goes away. So I really want to believe that something survives, that maybe your consciousness endures."
     He fell silent for a very long time. "But on the other hand, perhaps it's like an on-off switch," he said. "Click! And you're gone."
     Then he paused again and smiled slightly. "Maybe that's why I never liked to put on-off switches on Apple devices."

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