Key Takeaways from Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson

by Hagana Kim

This chapter is a free excerpt from Quicklet on Steve Jobs By Walter Isaacson.

“A players don’t like to work with B or C players”

Steve Jobs believed strongly in recruiting the absolute best people he could, and he could be ruthless when it came to making sure “B” and “C” players did not survive at Apple. This came from his strong belief that the best employees only want to work with the best, and that settling for mediocre talent was the beginning of the end for great companies.

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“A players don’t like to work with B or C players”

Steve Jobs believed strongly in recruiting the absolute best people he could, and he could be ruthless when it came to making sure “B” and “C” players did not survive at Apple. This came from his strong belief that the best employees only want to work with the best, and that settling for mediocre talent was the beginning of the end for great companies.

“Insanely great”

Jobs’ approach to product development was different from the typical MBA approach to product development, which tries to strike a proper balance between cost, features and potential profit margins. Instead, Jobs insisted on making “insanely great” products that were great in a vacuum, not simply better in comparison to the competition. This insistence on making insanely great products often backfired, as it did during his tenure at NeXT, but it also produced revolutionary products such as the iPod, the iMac and the iPhone.

“Add to the flow”

When asked deeper questions about the meaning or purpose of his life, Jobs thoughtfully responded that he considered “adding to the flow” of human progress as the purpose of his life. Those close to Jobs say that he cared deeply about empowering the human race, and giving them powerful tools to be creative and expressive. Jobs added to the flow by innovating great technology products which ultimately improved the human experience.
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