The Steve Jobs Way: iLeadership for a New Generation - Audiobook of the week

After a recommendation (in Polish) from a friend of mine - TesTeq I decided to read yet another book about Steve Jobs (I already read iCon, inside Steve's Brain and iWoz from his Apple co-founder). I'm a sucker for biographies of very successful people so I read it happily. My friend didn't like the book so much and I agree with him that the author was a little "over the top" about himself but the points he makes about Steve are worth noting:

Get this book on: Audible Amazon

"Cannot be done" doesn't exist.

Steve is like this mob boss. He doesn't listen to the word "No". He asked several times his engineers that the iPhone should have only one button. Every time they said "this can't be done" he asked them again. Well, look at the iPhone now. And there are even rumors that this only "Home" button will be removed in iPhone5. Time will tell.

It relates a lot to my last blog post about pushing people. I think Steve does it really well. He knows how to push his engineers to make great stuff. How to push his designers and his talented Jonny Ive to create even more beautiful products. (I should know, I'm typing this on my beautiful Macbook Air).

 Prototype Cars and tough reality

In the book Steve mentions how he's constantly disappointed by the car manufacturers. They build these beautiful prototypes, these "automobiles of the future"… and years later they manufacture cars that hardly resemble the prototypes they had in mind. I totally share Steve's point here. I'm a fan of the automobile industry and I'm so disappointed every time…

Steve explains: The designers show the prototype to the engineers and they say "it can't be done" and modify the design. Later the engineers show the modified designs to the manufacturing team and they say "it can't be done" and the design is being modified yet again… It's a shame.

What we can learn from Steve

To push ourselves and push people we work with. To dream fantastic products and focus on the details. We are about to ship the new beta version of our Nozbe desktop app and there are still many details to be worked on… and our team can't let them be like this. We love this product and we want it to be as close to perfection as possible. And we want it to be something so much different to what you've seen until now. So we push ourselves and we hope to make this happen. The Steve Jobs way.

By the way, can't wait for the OSX Lion from Apple :-)

And you? What did you learn from Steve? I mean, His Steveness? :-)

I'm Michael Sliwinski and I'm an entrepreneur who's also the...
.. Founder of - a time and project management web application
.. Editor of Productive! Magazine - a global PDF publication on productivity
.. and a blogger as well as a producer of a weekly 2-minute Productive! show.

Posted on Thursday, July 14, 2011 (books)

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Lukasz Dorosz
Jul 14, 2011 17:04
Hi Michael.
Nice post. Some time ago I thought about purchase of this audiobook.
Now I think I'll do it.
BTW, sometime I discuss with my friend and wonder If Steve would make a car, how it looked like. Think about it for second. Car in simple-apple design. Only steering wheel and one button ;) You schedule a meeting on your iphone and the car deliver you at the time etc;)
Best Regards.
Michael Sliwinski
Jul 14, 2011 18:30
I wonder if a car designed by Apple would really change everything... it sounds strange but it sounded like this when they announced the iPhone... and they did change everything there...
Lukasz Dorosz
Jul 14, 2011 19:46
I think yes. I remember when I bought my first macbook and after few months I wrote an email to my friend "it would be great if Apple made a phone.
And few months later they release iPhone 1st gen. :)
Jul 14, 2011 20:04
@Michael: I am glad that you've liked the book!

@Lukasz: Steve Jobs is designing buildings with not a single straight piece of glass now.

Lukasz Dorosz
Jul 14, 2011 20:29
Yes, I read about this building. 80% of all area are trees plants etc.
Nice place to work :)
Michael Sliwinski
Jul 15, 2011 10:27
I'm just glad Apple inspires other companies to focus their design around user experience. Companies shouldn't be just copying Apple, buy copying their obsession about the user.

That same obsession was the key to the new office building Apple is doing - to make sure the users (employees) get the best experience while working in an office that's surrounded by trees and built beautifully.

Jul 17, 2011 15:56
Hi Michael,

Stumbled upon your blog after reading a comment you made about the Mac air on Tentblogger ... love the way this kind of thing works :-)

I like your article. Wouldn't it be wonderful if everyone had the same kind of pursuit of perfection (Yes, I know Apple doesn't always get it right) and challenging oneself (Company) to do the impossible.

Unfortunately most accept less than their potential would allow ... and so we have Microsoft, hugely profitable for Bill G but something that I would be appalled to own up to being responsible for. That's not meant as a PC/Mac confrontation, but just a very real appraisal of what must motivate the originators.

A useful lesson for me, I must strive for and believe that the seemingly impossible is just a mental limitation, not a physical one.


Michael Sliwinski
Jul 18, 2011 17:36
That's exactly this - what seems impossible is a mental limitation, not a physical one. Great realization here. It's like these stories when the disruption in an industry happens: when every player knows what's possible and what's not possible... there comes a new player that just doesn't know what's impossible and does something remarkable and disrupts the industry.

Thanks for your fantastic observation Patrick and thanks for finding my blog! :-)