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Inside Steve's Brain, by Leander Kahney

Inside_steve_brainInside Steve's Brain was a fun and fast read.  Author Leander Kahney did a fantastic job summarizing the thought processes Apple CEO Steve Jobs has gone through over the years.  Whether it was the start-up period with Woz, when Jobs got tossed out of his own company, his time building NeXT and his subsequent return to Apple, it's all covered here.  This is particularly remarkable given the small size of this book (less than 300 pages).

I'm not an Apple fan but this is the second Jobs-related book I've read in the past several months.  The other one was Option$, the parody by Fake Steve Jobs.  While Option$ was more entertaining, of course, Kahney's book is quite engaging as well.  His writing style makes you feel you were right there in the garage, the office or the boardroom setting he's currently describing.

Here are a few of my favorite excerpts:

British comedian Charlie Booker said..."If you truly believe you need to pick a mobile phone that 'says something' about your personality, don't bother.  You don't have a personality.  A mental illness, maybe -- but not a personality."

Regarding Apple employees...Despite the zeal, employees are distinctly un-cultish.  They consciously avoid the cultish types.  At a job interview, the worst thing a prospective employee can say is: "I've always wanted to work at Apple," or "I've always been a big fan."

To explain why employees and coworkers put up with him (Jobs), critics invoke the Stockholm Syndrome.  His employees are captives who have fallen in love with their captor.

The (Apple) stores are insanely profitable.  One Apple store can make as much money as six other stores in the same mall combined -- and can pull in almost the same revenue as a big Best Buy store, but with only 10% of the floor space.

"We said, we want our stores to create an ownership experience for the customer," explained (Apple's Ron) Johnson.  The store should be about the lifetime of the product, not the moment of the transaction.


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