Deutschman, Alan. (200) The Second Coming of Steve Jobs. New York, Doubleday.
For those individuals with short memories, Steve Jobs of Apple Computer is the technical guru who led his company to prominence with the iMac and the iPod. But this recent success is the second act of a business career that has spanned many highs and lows over its long course. For Alan Deutschman, author of The Second Coming of Steve Jobs, the tile subject is the comeback kid of the technical business world. Jobs began his Macintosh Company as a rival to IBM. His company remains the greatest rival to Bill Gates' behemoth company Microsoft. How did Jobs accomplish this? What is his leadership style that enabled him to scale such heights?
Deutchman, a great storyteller, begins his text with Jobs expulsion as leader of the company he founded in 1985 and ends with Jobs' return and success. Rather than merely lauding his subject, the author looks into why Jobs was evicted by the company as well as his decision to lead the company again. He tells a story of a corporate fall from grace and a return, rather than merely calling Jobs a great leader. The reader understands why Jobs' occasionally dark, but always charismatic style of dominating whatever organization he becomes a part of can be ineffective at times and effective at others.
The author examines Jobs' difficulties creating the Next computer company after leaving Apple and how Jobs managed to turn his previous failures into successes with the Pixar animation system deployed to such acclaim in the two "Toy Story" movies. The climax of the book is Jobs' ultimate, successful reclamation of the Apple crown of leadership. Throughout all of these experiences, it becomes clear that innovation and vision is key to Jobs. One of the funniest and most classic illustration of Jobs offbeat 'California' ethos is when Jobs announces that the new iMac will be available to consumers in fruit-flavored colors. Bill Gates, writes Deutschman, is perplexed-who cares about the color of the computer, so long as it works? But innovation and customization have become the wave of the future, thanks to Jobs.
Jobs openly based his iMac's advertising on image, rather than function, an unheard-of focus in the computer industry. He used a $100-million dollar a-year advertising campaign that mimicked example of Nike that communicated the ethos of what Nikes as a brand represented -- youth and athleticism, rather than…