Walter Isaacson’s talk in London, talking about the last person he wrote about, “steve p jobs”
Present for the event; Host – Robert Highfield, Jimmy Wales (founder of Wikipedia) and if course Walter Isaacson.
Isaacson talks about the theatre where we all sat, originally the dissecting theatre at the Institute of Great Britain, hosted some of the famous people history, the likes of who include, Albert Einstein, Ben Franklin, Isaacson was in awe by what was created in this room, from the great talent of the past 200 years and what was created here.
To Isaacson’s delight, one of his all time hero’s, Jimmy Wales was a spectator, the founder of Wikipedia, Isaacson started the evening with a brief chat with him then got straight into the man who is Steve Job’s
The first 30 minutes Walter recollects from the autobiography which many already had read/listened to, however hearing it from Isaacson gave insight into his real thoughts about Jobs and of course Apple. At the end of the summary, Isaacson mentions the last meeting encounter with Job’s, this will be at the end of this article.
Quote - After the passing of Job’s – 31 members of the original team joined Laurene Jobs, Laurene had invited them and at the end of the evening she asked a question, “did they like Steve Jobs” everyone said yes……… then a “but” would follow. he concluded that the meeting went on for an additional 2 hours.
Quote – “No body will read your book, but they will look at it” a quote from Steve about Walters book – a reference to job’s only input to the book, the front & back cover.
Question & Answers to the audience, the most interesting bit…..
Question - Jimmy Wales – Now that Steve has gone, what’s missing… What question would you ask him now.
Answer - Steve was open, very intimate. Places that Walter tried to “get him to go” and Steve would resist. however Isaacson agreed that he felt he asked most of the important questions to Job’s. One thing he did know was that Bill Gates wanted to meet with Job’s before his death, however he was afraid that Gates would try to convince him to donate half of his fortune. Huge amount of laughter from the crowd at this point.
Question from anon – Will apple be as Innovative as it was, without him ?
Answer – Great people working for Apple producing groundbreaking content, Steve didn’t just transform Apple, he transformed 7/8 businesses in his lifetime, he nailed publishing, the digital film industry,
Firstly – He wanted to revolutionise digital photography, he felt it was lacking, people not seeing the true potential in digital photography.
Secondly – Isaacson was very coy about the next ambition of Job’s… this was the television, Job’s wanted to incorporate hardware and software in unity and felt within two years he could achieve this.
Thirdly – Which we now know is in the making, was textbooks, the way we can be taught differently, different from the general publisher, but anyone who could explain it better than the next person. The iBook store would allow this.
Question – What were Steve’s emotions after leaving apple and starting at next, being cast out by his own and left to defend for himself.
Answer – People from Apple said Steve learned from them, however Steve indulged in his instincts, like he used to at Apple, everything Steve did, he did because of his passion to achieve perfection. In the made a great machine, real artist don’t compromise.
Question – Greatest mistake and greatest achievement
Answer – Greatest mistakes were his daughter, not getting to know her sooner, being a father figure to her. Treating the cancer more aggressively. Great achievement was creating a company and the whole process in-between, encouraging people to make the best, then push them to make it better. Apple was the greatest achievement to Job’s.
Additional to the above Q&A – Job’s was spend afternoon’s, everyday…. wander around the design studio. walking along the 8 grey metal tables, Steve loved tactile experiences…. He would walk around and fondle, feel and the designs on the table.
Question – Steve Lacked empathy, mentioned a lot in the book, was the a requisite for a genius!!!?!?!
Answer – Isaacson agrees with the question, however Job’s priority was not being kind to people, his key priority was his success, the passion and intensity. So being focused was not allowing Steve to think about people’s feelings etc
Quote - ”Steve would have been a better king of France than president of the united states”
Question – really enjoyed the book, even shared with others. Compared to Ben franklin and Einstein, will he stand the test of time in future.
Answer – I think that there are people, when he died that were comparing him to such and such. To Job’s, Beauty mattered and connected to commerce, Technology, & desire. to make sure they endure the test of time. I think that 100-200 years from now, Job’s will at least be there, “be in a higher orbit that Gates” Because what Steve did, he will stand the test of time because the way he, transforming the internet, mobile devices. So because of Job’s, more than anyone else, he will be up there with Edison and Ford.
Question – after writing for apple for 10 years, do apple have Isaacson over an NDA from 2006/7 onwards. It seems the book tails off at the end very quickly.
Answer – Someday, perhaps speaking with Jimmy this evening. I would look at creating a Wikipedia version for all to tell their tales, however currently Isaacson is already working on another book, about the digital revolution.
Question – What was your best and worst moment with Steve
Last visit and feeling elated he won’t read the book for 6/12 months, everything with Steve was contradictory. Emotional person, good and bad. Loved taking walks, and couldn’t walk anymore. Truly heart wrenching, so much more he could have done, the last interviews were such a mix of motions.
Isaacson was applauded by a full house this evening, the one and only evening in London to talk about the legend that is Steve Job’s