#265 Becoming Steve Jobs: The Evolution of a Reckless Upstart into a Visionary Leader

Episode Summary

What I learned from rereading Becoming Steve Jobs: The Evolution of a Reckless Upstart into a Visionary Leader by Brent Schlender and Rick Tetzeli.

Episode Notes

What I learned from rereading Becoming Steve Jobs: The Evolution of a Reckless Upstart into a Visionary Leader by Brent Schlender and Rick Tetzeli


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[3:11] His mind was never a captive of reality.

[5:16] A complete list of every Founders episode on Steve Jobs and the founders Steve studied: Steve Jobs’s Heroes

[7:15] Steve Jobs and The Next Big Thing by Randall Stross (Founders #77)

[9:05] Steve Job’s Commencement Address

[9:40] Driven and curious, even when things were tough, he was a learning machine.

[10:20] He learned how to manage himself.

[12:45] Anything could be figured out and since anything could be figured out anything could be built.

[14:10] It was a calculation based on arrogance. — The Fish That Ate the Whale: The Life and Times of America's Banana King by Rich Cohen (Founders #255)

[18:00] We were no longer aiming for the handful of hobbyists who liked to assemble their own computers. For every one of them there were a thousand people who would want the machine to be ready to run.

[17:40] He was a free thinker whose ideas would often run against the conventional wisdom of any community in which he operated.

[19:55] He had no qualms about calling anyone up in search of information or help.

[20:40] I've never found anybody who didn't want to help me when I've asked them for help.

I've never found anyone who's said no or hung up the phone when I called. I just asked.

Most people never pick up the phone and call. Most people never ask.

[21:50] First you believe. Then you work on getting other people to share your belief.

[24:55] All the podcasts on Edwin Land:

Land's Polaroid: A Company and the Man Who Invented It by Peter C. Wensberg (Founders #263)

A Triumph of Genius: Edwin Land, Polaroid, and the Kodak Patent War by Ronald Fierstein (Founders #134)

Land's Polaroid: A Company and the Man Who Invented It by Peter C. Wensberg (Founders #133)

The Instant Image: Edwin Land and the Polaroid Experienceby Mark Olshaker (Founders #132)

Insisting On The Impossible: The Life of Edwin Land and Instant: The Story of Polaroid (Founders #40)

[25:00] My friend Frederick’s newsletter I was interviewed for

[30:20] He was an extraordinary speaker and he wielded that tool to great effect.

[31:00] Never underestimate the value of an ally. — Estée Lauder: A Success Story by Estée Lauder. (Founders #217)

[32:50] If you go to sleep on a win you’re going to wake up with a loss.

[33:00] Hard Drive: Bill Gates and the Making of the Microsoft Empire by James Wallace and Jim Erickson (Founders #140)

[34:20] Software development requires very little capital investment. It is basically intellectual capital. The main cost is the labor required to design and test it. There's no need for expensive factories. It can be replicated endlessly for practically nothing.

[38:10] He cared passionately and he never dialed it in.

[39:45] To Pixar And Beyond: My Unlikely Journey with Steve Jobs to Make Entertainment History by Lawrence Levy (Founders #235)

[42:58] Time carries most of the weight.

[43:30] People that are learning machines and then refuse to quit are incredibly hard to beat. Steve jobs was a learning machine who refused to quit.

[44:17] Steve Jobs and The Next Big Thing by Randall Stross (Founders #77)

[49:40] Creativity Inc by Ed Catmull

[50:30] There were times when the reactions against Steve baffled Steve.

I remember him sometimes saying to me: Why are they upset?

What that said to me was that he didn't intend to get that outcome. It was a lack of skill as opposed to meanness. A lack of skill of dealing with other people.

[55:50] Creative thinking, at its best, is chalk full of failures and dead ends.

[56:40] Successful people listen. Those that don’t listen don’t last long. —Michael Jordan: The Life by Roland Lazenby. (Founders #212) 

[58:40] You can't go to the library and find a book titled The Business Model for Animation. The reason you can't is because there's only been one company Disney that's ever done it well, and they were not interested in telling the world how lucrative it was.

[1:01:20] The company is one of the most amazing inventions of humans.

[1:02:25] The only purpose for me in building a company is so that the company can make products. One is a means to the other.

[1:04:00] Personal History by Katherine Graham (Founders #152)

[1:10:11] Creative Selection: Inside Apple's Design Process During the Golden Age of Steve Jobs by Ken Kocienda

[1:11:12] What am I focusing on that sets me apart from my competitors?

[1:13:00] The channel? We lost $2 billion last year. Who gives a fuck about the channel?

[1:15:21] Time carries most of the weight. Stay in the game as long as possible.

[1:16:41] The information he'd glean would go into the learning machine that was his brain. Sometimes that's where it would sit, and nothing would happen. Sometimes he'd concoct a way to combine it with something else he'd seen, or perhaps to twist it in a way to benefit an entirely different project altogether. This was one of his great talents, the ability to synthesize separate developments and technologies into something previously unimaginable.

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