BOOK REVIEW: ‘The Innovation Secrets of Steve Jobs’ Is Apple’s CEO the Company’s Irreplaceable Person?

Note: This review ran on Dec. 1, 2010 and is relevant today in the wake of the latest iPad introduction, in San Francisco on Wednesday, March 7, 2012, and my review of the latest book on Apple Inc., “Inside Apple” posted on this site.



Reviewed By David M. Kinchen

People don’t want to buy personal computers. They want to know what they can do with them. In the Apple store, well show them. — Steve Jobs

Nothing is original. Steal from anywhere that resonates with inspiration or fuels your imagination. Devour old films, new films, music, books, paintings, photographs, poems, dreams, random conversations, architecture, bridges, street signs, trees, clouds, bodies of water, light and shadows. Select only things to steal from that speak directly to your soul. If you do this, your work (and theft) will be authentic. Authenticity is invaluable; originality is nonexistent. And don’t bother concealing your thievery — celebrate it if you feel like it. In any case, always remember what Jean-Luc Godard said: “It’s not where you take things from — it’s where you take them to.”

–Jim Jarmusch, American independent filmmaker (“Down by Law,” “Stranger Than Paradise,” “Mystery Train,” “Ghost Dog,” “The Limits of Control”)

After reading and reviewing (link: http://archives.huntingtonnews.net/columns/101130-kinchen-columnsbookreview.html) “The Talent Masters”, a book about creative corporate human resources departments, I had to wonder after finishing Carmine Gallo’s “The Innovation Secrets of Steve Jobs: Insanely Different Principles for Breakthrough Success” (McGraw-Hill, 256 pages, $25.00) if a latter-day Steve Jobs could even get an interview at Apple Inc., formerly Apple Computers.

Jobs, born in the San Francisco Bay Area in 1955, was a drop-out at Portland, Oregon’s Reed College and he didn’t even invent Apple’s first computer: His pal and Apple co-founder Steve (Woz) Wozniak did that. Woz is five years older than Jobs, born in 1950 and had more formal education, at the University of California at Berkeley.

Still, it was Jobs who was welcomed back to Apple in 1996 to save the company from going under, not Woz. Jobs is the visionary, the innovator that every company needs and that Apple especially needs to thrive in a fiercely competitive arena. For those who’ve been living in a cave for the past 30 or so years, and for those who’ve forgotten all about the Apple story, a little background information is in order:

In the late 1970s, Jobs, with Woz, Mike Markkula and others, designed, developed, and marketed one of the first commercially successful lines of personal computers, the Apple II series. In the early 1980s, Jobs was among the first to see the commercial potential of the mouse-driven graphical user interface, developed by Xerox’s PARC division and adapted by Jobs, Woz and their team to power the Macintosh computer. After losing a power struggle with the board of directors in 1985, Jobs resigned from Apple and founded NeXT, a computer platform development company specializing in the higher education and business markets. Apple’s subsequent 1996 buyout of NeXT brought Jobs back to the company he co-founded, and he has served as its CEO since 1997.

In 1986, Jobs acquired the computer graphics division of Lucasfilm Ltd, which was spun off as Pixar Animation Studios, legendary as the producer of “Toy Story,” “Cars” and other hit feature animation films. Jobs remained CEO and majority shareholder until its acquisition by the Walt Disney company in 2006. Jobs is currently a member of Disney’s Board of Directors and he’s the largest individual stockholder of Disney.

In his previous book, “The Presentation Secrets of Steve Jobs,” Gallo laid out a simple step-by-step program of powerful tools and proven techniques inspired by Steve Jobs’s legendary presentations. In “The Innovation Secrets of Steve Jobs” he shares the Apple CEO’s most famous, most original, and most effective strategies for sparking true creativity — and real innovation — in any workplace.

Gallo shows how companies can learn how to RETHINK their business, REINVENT their products, and REVITALIZE their vision of success – -the Steve Jobs way. Just look at Steve Jobs’ record of innovation since his return: the iPod, which revolutionized the music industry; the iMac all-in-one computer and a line of stylish Macintosh laptops, including the Macbook Air; the wildly successful iPhone, used by many people who persist in using Windows-based computers; the iPad, introduced this year and already a best-seller. Another Steve Jobs innovation, the Apple Stores, have been paid the ultimate compliment by being copied by Microsoft, which is opening a chain of stores that bear a remarkable resemblence to Apple’s retail outlets.

When it comes to innovation, Apple CEO Steve Jobs is legendary. His company slogan “Think Different” is more than a marketing tool. It’s a way of life–a powerful, positive, game-changing approach to innovation that anyone can apply to any field of endeavor.

These are the Seven Principles of Innovation, inspired by the master himself:

1. Do What You Love. Think differently about your career.

2. Put a Dent in the Universe. Think differently about your vision.

3. Kick Start Your Brain. Think differently about how you think.

4. Sell Dreams, Not Products. Think differently about your customers.

5. Say No to 1,000 Things. Think differently about design.

6. Create Insanely Great Experiences. Think differently about your brand experience.

7. Master the Message. Think differently about your story.

Gallo says that by following Steve Jobs’s visionary example you’ll discover exciting new ways to unlock your creative potential and to foster an environment that encourages innovation and allows it to flourish. You’ll learn how to match and beatthe most powerful competitors, develop the most revolutionary products, attract the most loyal customers, and thrive in the most challenging times. Gallo interviewed hundreds of successful professionals — from CEOs, managers, and entrepreneurs to teachers, consultants, and stay-at-home moms to get to the core of Steve Jobs’s innovative philosophies.

Still, I wonder if Apple or any other company would hire a guy like Jobs. I certainly hope so!

About the author

Carmine Gallo is the author of “Presentation Secrets of Steve Jobs” and has been a featured contributor to major Web sites including Businessweek.com, MSNBC, Military.com, Always On, AOL and Yahoo Finance. Carmine personally coaches leading executives for: Keynote speeches, media interviews, investor presentations, IPO road shows, product launches, book tours, conference speeches & panels, public presentations of any type.

Publisher’s website: www.crownbusiness.com

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