Two news stories grabbed my attention over the last few days. In my opinion both are indicative of a where we are with globalisation and the shifting powerbases of the global economy. First, Apple apologised for the perception that they showed arrogance to their Chinese customers. Secondly, The Indian Government refused to extend the patent of a cancer drug made by Swiss Pharmaceutical giant, Novartis.
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This is the hottest business book of the moment and Amazon’s best selling book of 2011. 577 pages look fairly daunting but there is a nice mixture of personal detail and professional development which makes it fairly simple to read. Jobs was adopted which made him feel “Abandoned”, “Chosen” and “Special.” He frequently got into trouble at school and then dropped out of Reed College in his second year. He had regular temper tantrums and big mood swings but also a remarkable gift for improving products and making them simple to use. He spent hours and hours fussing over tiny details including those legendary ‘spontaneous’ presentations.
The book gives a clear picture of a genius who was almost impossible to live with, a modern day Mozart, if you will. It gives an objective account of his ups and downs at Apple and shows both the strengths and the weaknesses of the man. There is an interesting side story of the rivalry between Jobs and Bill Gates including the latter complaining that while he was saving the world from malaria, the world was more interested in new products created by Jobs! It is an excellent read.
Some keys facts:
The name “Apple” was linked to Jobs’ strange diets. “I was on one of my fruitarian diets,” he explained. “I had just come back from the apple farm. It sounded fun, spirited and not intimidating. Apple took the edge off the word ‘computer’. Plus, it would get us ahead of Atari in the phone book.” Continue reading