Walter Isaacson discusses Apple and Steve Jobs

Steve Jobs biographer Walter Isaacson delivered a lecture at the Royal Institution in London on Wednesday evening

"There is no one person who can replicate Steve Jobs, but there is a great team that he left behind. There is Jony Ive who is the great designer and visionary artist, Tim Cook is great. I think it's a team that will serve Apple well."

Highfield goes on to criticise some elements of Apple and Jobs, the lack of philanthropy, concerns about working conditions in China, the green issues. In response Isaacson suggests we should give Tim Cook credit: "Steve never went to China, he wouldn't focus on the working conditions at Foxconn, he focused on what he wanted to do. Tim Cook goes there, talks to them, says change your ways. So the good thing about Tim Cook is he doesn't wake up every morning and say: 'What would Steve have done'."

Regarding Google, and going thermoneuclear

To explain the significance of the current dispute with Google, Isaacson told the story of how Microsoft stole Apple's graphical user interface back in the 1980s. Apple believed in the closed system, where you control the hardware to go with the software. Bill Gates takes the graphical user interface and that infuriates Steve. But what really infuriates him is he then licenses it out promiscuously, to Dell and Compac, and IBM, and all these other companies. Microsoft ended up being dominant."

"Jobs does the integrated system again, iPod, iPad, and it works, but what happens? Google rips it off. It's almost copied verbatim by Android. And then they licence it around promiscuously. And then Android starts surpassing Apple in market share, and this totally infuriated him. As he said, it wasn't a matter of money. He said: 'You can't pay me off, I'm here to destroy you'.

"Tim Cook will settle that lawsuit", Isaacson added.

Decisions about Cancer

Why did Jobs put off the cancer treatment was the final question of Highfield. In response Isaacson suggested: "There was always, throughout his life, two sides to Steve's personality. Jobs the misfit, counterculture rebel, romantic, hippy, vegan, I'm going to go to India and find my spiritual past. And the geeky scientific, techy, hard nosed business side. He decides he can treat it with spiritual healing and then goes on diets and everything else, but he also has his own genetic code sequenced fully, and has the DNA of the cancer sequenced. He has molecular targeted therapy done. The problem was it took a few months when it should have taken a few days for him to achieve the synthesis that the scientific approach should be the more dominant approach.

PAGE 1: Why write a biography about Jobs, and the Reality Distortion Field

PAGE 2: Why the Steve Jobs biography isn't a management bible; was Jobs 'likable'?

PAGE 3: Jobs the control freak; front cover of the Steve Jobs biography; personality defects; Apple's new management; Google and Cancer

This story, "Walter Isaacson discusses Apple and Steve Jobs" was originally published by Macworld U.K..

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