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Steve Jobs – Apple founder

These were Steve Jobs‘ good things. This content was found in Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson.

What are some good things you’ve read?

Autobiography of  a Yogi.  It was the only book Jobs downloaded to his iPad. He first read it as a teen, then when he visited India and each year since.

The Innovator’s Dilemma by Clayton Christensen.  The book influenced Jobs but Christensen had doubts about the iPod, saying “If Apple continues to rely on a proprietary architecture the iPod will likely become a niche product.”

Moby Dick.

What are some good things you’ve watched?

Prior to a 2011 trip Kona Village he put Chinatown, The Bourne Ultimatum, and Toy Story 3 on his iPad.  Three movies that all young people may want to watch.  His thoughts on globalization:

I had a real revelation. We were all in robes, and they made some Turkish coffee for us. The professor explained how the coffee was made very different from anywere else, and I realized, “So fucking what?” Which kids even in Turkey give a shit about Turkish coffee? All day I had looked at young people in Istanbul. They were all drinking what every other kid in the world drinks, and they were wearing clothes that look like they were bought at the Gap, and they are all using cell phones. They were like kids everywhere else. It hit me that, for young people, this whole world is the same now. When we’re making products, there is no such thing as a Turkish phone, or a music player that young people in Turkey would want that’s different from one young people elsewhere would want. We’re just one world now.

Bob Dylan concerts.  Meeting Dylan made Jobs was nervous, really nervous “because he was one of my heroes. And I was also afraid that he wouldn’t be really smart anymore, that he’d be a caricature of himself, like happens to a lot of people. But I was delighted. he was as sharp as a tack.” when he sat with Dylan in 2004.  The next time Dylan played near Jobs he asked his favorite song, sang it that night and then as Jobs was walking out, Dylan’s tour bus “came by and screeched to a stop. The door flipped open, “So, did you hear my song I sang for you?” Dylan rasped. Then he drove off.”

What are some good things you use?

501 Jeans and New Balance 992 shoes.  Jobs wanted to create a corporate culture like he had seen at Sony but was “booed off the stage” when he tried to introduce a vest to Apple’s staff.  Instead Jobs got the designer to make some of his signature black turtlenecks – he made and gave Jobs one hundred of them.

Apple products.  What drove him to create them?

What drove me? I think most creative people want to express appreciation for being able to take advantage of the work that’s been done by others before us. I didn’t invent the language or mathematics I use. I make little of my own food, none of my own clothes. Everything I do depends on other members of our species and the shoulders that we stand on. And a lot of us want to contribute something back to our species and to add something to the flow. It’s about trying to express something the only way that most of us know how – because we can’t write Bob Dylan songs or Tom Stoppard plays. We try to use the talents we do have to express our deep feelings, to show our appreciation of all the contributions that came before us, and to add something to that flow.  That’s what has driven me.

Brian Williams – television reporter

This is Brian Williams and these are his good things.

What are some good things you’ve read?

Isaac’s Storm.  “I think it may be the perfect short work of nonfiction. Wherever you’re reading it, the air suddenly turns humid and dank and charged. I’ve given it more than any other book as a gift.”

The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid.  A book Williams’ wife gave him and one that might help his biggest fear.  “My biggest fear in life is being on a plane with nothing to read. I look at these people who take the free magazine out of the seat back pocket and I shake my head and I say what did you not know about your day today that you weren’t going to need reading material? I get shaky when I think about the prospect of a plane flight without a book. There is always a book with me.”

“I think What It Takes by Richard Ben Cramer is one of the great books on contemporary politics. It followed a campaign a few cycles back. You have to read it in his tongue, in his vernacular as he imitates Gephardt and Dole and it’s a brilliant, Wolfian piece of writing about nonfiction.”

What are some good things you’ve watched?

The Godfather parts 1, and 2 but documentaries are also big in the Williams house.

Community, 30 Rock, and Parks and Recreation are “some of the best comedies in the business.”

He did see Pygmalion with Claire Danes on Broadway.

What are some good things you use?

For the travel Williams uses Ambien “by the bushel” and reads on the plane with his iPod “blasting”.

Williams’ fast food suggestion is Arby’s. “Two Beef and Cheddar, apple turnover, large Coke, that will fix your wagon.”

Levi’s Jeans.