Thursday, July 3, 2014
Steve Jobs' Life by Design by George Beahm
George Beahm is an unabashed fan of Steve Jobs and has written a previous book called I, Steve: Steve Jobs In His Own Words. Beahm takes publically available information and quotes from Jobs and gives them depth and context. It is painstaking work, and Beahm treats Jobs more like an oracle than a man. But the book does what good nonfiction should do: it whets ones appetite for more information.
Just to be clear, we never actually get the text of Jobs’ only graduation address to Stanford University students in 2005, though we get a web link to it. Beahm “builds on what Steve Jobs said in his address and sheds light on its explicit and implicit themes.” He picks out the threads of that short speech and shows us how those themes played out in Jobs’ life. Beahm calls it “Connecting the Dots” as Jobs does in his commencement speech. “You can't connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards,” Jobs told his audience in 2005.
Jobs speech was a good one. It told his audience that although he is lauded today as a success, he did experience failure. He tells them if they have something they love to do, failure is just part of the process, and necessary. And he says love is central to the meaning in our lives.
Finally, Jobs tells us Memento mori: Remember that you will die. You don’t have long on earth, so take advantage of your time and don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Be daring.
In the bibliography, Beahm cites Walter Isaacson’s biography called Steve Jobs as the standard against which all other works will be judged. I am most interested to start that as soon as possible. Beahm’s book reminds us that a man of great creativity was once among us, and impels us to glean lessons from his life.
I received an advance of this title from librarything.com in exchange for an honest review.
You can buy this book here: Tweet