Book Reviews

The Outsider Hero: How To Think Like Steve Jobs BOOK REVIEW

Book: How to Think Like Steve Jobs 

Writer: Daniel Smith

Type: Biography

Rating: 9.4/10

Comments: Anyone should read this book. It’s worth more than one thousand iPhone X’s. 😉


Anyone with an Apple product understands how prestigious and cool it is to be the coveted owner of either a Mac Book, an iPad or an iPhone. But not many an Apple product user would know that the now leading multinational company in 2018 actually started in the garage of Jobs’ house and was on the brink of dying out.

I was very moved by the story of Steve Jobs, the brains, and effort behind the makings of a solid technological giant. His personal story of commitment and perseverance proves to be a hallmark to anyone with the desire to delve into the competitive world of innovation and invention.

Here are a few pointers I picked out from Steve Jobs’ biography, How to Think Like Steve Jobs.  


For a kid who was placed on adoption by his birth parents and later rejected by his fosters, Paul and Clara Jobs must have been destined to rear the great mind that was Steve. Given the rough childhood, he yearned to pursue liberal arts in Reed College, Oregon (p.6).

His lifestyle also hinged on his strict focus on his fruitarian diet (p.7) as he liked to binge on fruits and certain vegetables. This certain dependence on fruits was what is thought to have influenced his pick on “apple” as the desired name of his company in 1976.


He connected with like-minded people who shared interests with him (p.19) such as Steve Wozniak with whom they co-founded Apple. Meeting Steve through his friend, Fernandez, he was able to foster a great relationship with Wozniak (or Woz) and it mattered a lot in the future. This goes a long way to prove further that the right company fosters the right mindset and encourages success. I wonder whether Steve would have become a renowned personality if he had ganged up with the wrong company.


While in Reed College, Jobs fell in love with calligraphy (p.35) and he used to sneak in the class to marvel at the elegant fonts used in the class. This surprisingly led him to adopt a unique font design in his Apple products decades later.

It is amazing how the experiences that we go through, as simple as they may look, can have a great and significant impact in your life. Is there anything you are taking for granted in life at this moment?

Jobs wasn’t the kind of person to dwell on successes. He was busy planning on his next move and laying strategies with vigor. It is recorded that once they released the Apple I and it went through astronomical growth, Jobs was quick to improve it and tweak the product (p.57). You can already tell how costly it can be for one to dwell on something they shone at and forget to make moves to better themselves. Tragic.

Apple CEO Jobs smiles after the Apple's music-themed September media event in San Francisco


Perhaps the greatest show of enthusiasm I noted from Jobs was his yearning to learn from the existing juggernauts in technology in order to lay a benchmark for Apple. (p. 88). He took lessons from IMD, Polaroid and even Microsoft. His vibrancy when stalking these big companies may teach us a lesson or two about finding mentors and apprentices to guide us in whatever path we choose to take in life.


There’s one fact that people don’t usually know about Steve Jobs. And that is his departure from Apple in 1985.(148) Being fired, in fact. Steve Jobs actually explained that the period he spent away was one of enlightenment. Once he was re-hired in 1997, he launched the Macintosh which raked in large amounts of money. Talk about a comeback!



However, Steve Jobs was also as sneaky and naughty during his times as an enthusiastic tech geek. His friend Wozniak partnered with him to sell “blue boxes” illegally to keep themselves going when they lacked money to go by (p.34). Despite being illegal, it still shows that Steve Jobs was a human as we all are and would do anything to keep his hustle up.

Blue boxes were illegal gadgets that were used to tap into communication network lines so that they would get free phone service illegally.


This last quality encompasses all that Steve Jobs stood for as CEO of Apple and as a businessman. He didn’t look to generate profits and jump ship as some money-hungry businessmen are fond of. His mantra was his value for personal experience over intellect (p.12) and that fostered a great relationship between himself and his Apple employees. Perhaps it’s because he dropped out of Harvard and didn’t think having a bulk of qualifications made you the creme de la creme.

Do you think a University degree assures one of a great future?

His mere presence in Apple after his re-hiring brought an infectious energy to the company and motivated people (p.107). Who wouldn’t want to have such an effect on a group of people? He also concentrated on selling dreams and ambitions more than he did his products (P.70).



The biography was a gem to read and I enjoyed the fact that it is a brief book with a simple font and short chapters. The beginning of every chapter had a Steve Jobs quote, some of which I was able to make posters of, or a quote from a famous person regarding Jobs.

apple logo

I may have not highlighted all that Steve Jobs did in his entire career – and that wouldn’t be a review more than it would be a re-telling of the story. Get the book and read the awesome story. Find out why the Apple logo is an apple that has a bite to it.Fetch inspiration from Jobs’ mentors. And most importantly, thanks for reading this review.



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Comment your favorite quote!


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