Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Elliot, Jay (2012): The Steve Jobs Way: iLeadership for a New Generation

What is it about?

The book basically tells the "story of Steve Jobs" with regard to his professional management career and accomplishments.

The author has worked at Apple and quite close to Jobs himself. Thus, the purported distinguishing feature of the book in comparison to most similar Apple/Jobs books is that the author actually knew and worked with Jobs.

While the book mostly covers Job's career, the author tries to highlight the practices, ways of working, principles etc., which "made Jobs tick" and so successful.

Was it good?

Frankly, the book is quite similar to several other Jobs/Apple histories -- and it pretty much has to, because the story is what it is.

The insider observations are to a degree interesting (e.g. what discussions the author had with Jobs "behind the curtains"), but the above-mentioned distinguishing feature of the book comes across (at least to me) more as a form of Jobs worship than distilled and dispassionate advise.

Moreover, such passages where the author attempts at generalizing worthwhile principles or practices for "the rest of us" adopt a rhetorical style which make me to call for a more critical and reflective treatment.

The main take-away for me?

Quite apparently, both this book and others on the same topic underscore the importance of having and maintaining principles -- in Jobs' case striving for excellence, elegance and simplicity.

However, on a meta level this book, like many other management books, made me think about the role of sheer luck in business performance. I'm very much of the opinion that this is a severely understudied phenomenon especially in management science.

Who should read the book?

If you are interested in Jobs/Apple and haven't read any Jobs/Apple book yet, I would recommend this book with the above-mentioned style-related reservations. However, if you have already read one or more such books, I'd guess that there is very little new in here despite the claims by the author.

The book on The Steve Jobs Way

No comments:

Post a Comment