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Wired: “Is it really worth being like Steve?”

Sections: Apple News, Steve Jobs

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This month’s issue of Wired Magazine discusses the late Steve Jobs’ management style inside of Apple, how he managed to change the world  of technology, and the impact he had on the industry as a whole. The story covers a few untold stories and anecdotes about his leadership tactics within the company and also recounts a few examples from the Walter Isaacson’s biography.

The article brings a new perspective via interviews from several business and tech leaders, and talks a lot about Jobs’s legacy and how he was able shake the tech community with his innovative and aggressive management style, bringing Apple from the brink of bankruptcy in 1997 to the world’s most valuable tech company.

Excerpts from the article:

So what, then, is Jobs’ real legacy as a human being? “It’s his passion,” Isaacson says, after some deliberation. “We all want to lead the passionate life. We want a life of emotional connections. If that’s what you get by saying, ‘I will be more like Steve Jobs,’ then that’s not bad.”

The gospel of Steve Jobs has spread far from Silicon Valley to touch people in every field of business. My cousin Jason is a yoga entrepreneur in Asheville, North Carolina; he makes foam accessories to help people stretch more ergonomically. When he came to visit not long ago, he brought his copy of Steve Jobs along with him. “I care about all these tiny design details no one else does,” he says, nodding at the book as it sat between us on my dining room table. “I get frustrated, catching myself telling people who work for me that their ideas are shit.” Our respective children in the next room celebrated their reunion by putting on a succession of princess and monster costumes. Motioning toward them, Jason said he now accepts that traveling constantly and spending less time with family is a necessary trade-off if he, too, wants to produce a great product. “When your karma and your lila meet, you find your dharma—your one true path,” he tells me, citing a precept that might have sat well with Jobs, a devotee of Eastern religions. “It’s a beautiful concept. You discover your way to contribute to the world. That’s what Jobs found. He contributed so much to humanity with his products.”

In the end, that remains the paradox in the life of Steve Jobs. He put his uncompromising and sometimes brutal personality into the creation of products that strike us as beautiful, even uplifting. But the historical moment that he helped to create—a magical intersection of technology and commerce and culture, as our computers and computerized gadgets matured from purely functional items to expressions of ourselves—is unique to his life story. Without his unyielding approach to design, we might never have had our iPods and MacBooks and iPads. But most of us don’t need, or want, to take such an unyielding approach. We don’t operate Apple-sized corporations and redefine industries. Our employees, if we have any, will quit or undermine the company if they are repeatedly called shitheads who suck. Family members will find ways to administer payback if persistently ignored or mistreated. Jobs operated on an entirely different plane from just about anyone else. For the rest of us, trying to behave like him will make us and everyone around us miserable.

Read [Wired Magazine]

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