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Passion can change the world

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Steve Jobs: Life by Design
By George Beahm
Jaico Publishing House
Review by Ashok Jainani

There are many things worth celebrating, but the greatest gift Steve Jobs gave us is a way to design our own lives. Jobs observed that life’s grand design, the pattern of life, can (only) be discerned by looking back with the perspective that only time can provide. He described his company: “Apple, at the core, its core value, believes that people with passion can change the world for the better.”

The book “Steve Jobs; Life by Design” by George Beahm does not contain the text of the famous 2005 commencement speech by Jobs. The author takes that speech as a starting point and tries to illuminate various sections with additional information and anecdotes from Jobs’ life. Jobs is undoubtedly a visionary and a brilliant inventor. In 2005 Steve Jobs gave his first and only ‘commencement address’ – a lecture given to the graduating class at Stanford University in the US, an audience of 23,000 students. Millions of people have watched it on YouTube and millions would continue to read about it and get inspired in the years to come.

IE&M Take
“Beahm takes publicly available information and quotes from Jobs and gives them depth and context. It is indeed painstaking work.”

The book is based on this lecture. The author examines Steve Jobs “Last Lecture” in three parts that Jobs organized his address: Connecting the Dots; Love and Loss; and Death and provides the examples, context and perspective from Jobs’ life to expand on each lesson.

George Beahm takes publicly available information and quotes from Jobs and gives them depth and context. It is indeed painstaking work and Beahm treats Jobs more like an oracle than a man. The author uses many one liners from Jobs’ one and only speech and builds a narrative on them. “Wisdom does not come with age; it comes from learned experience,” and “Learn from your mistakes, and constantly work to improve your life.

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