Autor: Walter Isaacson', 2011 Simon & Schuster
El mayor interés de la biografía (en realidad, un reportaje extenso) reside en el conflicto entre los valores de la ética hacker y los valores determinados por el software y hardware propietario. El conflicto entre el control del producto informático (desde el hardware hasta los contenidos, pasando por el software) frente a plataformas abiertas o más abiertas (en este sentido, Windows estaría resultando ser un universo más abierto que Apple, una paradoja por cómo se formó la identidad de la marca en sus comienzos, una proclama contra el poder monopolístico de IBM).
Un debate que debe extenderse en la actualidad a la idoneidad de levantar negocios basados en la API de un tercero como es, por ejemplo, el de los creadores de clientes de Twitter.
Se debe señalar que, en el texto, el recurso al conflicto entre lo abierto y lo cerrado, el uso de la palabra open se refiere en realidad a la disposición del fabricante a licenciar el uso de su software y provocar efecto red y no al uso libre al que se refiere el software libre.
Adicionalmente, existen insights interesantes de la mirada de Disney hacia el negocio audiovisual debido a la relación de Jobs con Pixar y su posterior venta a la casa de Mickey Mouse.
Capítulo 5: The Apple I: turn on, boot up, jack in
In San Francisco and the Santa Clara Valley during the late 1960's various cultural currents flowed together. There was the technology revolution that began with the military contractors and soon included electronics firms, microchip makers, video game designers, and computer companies. There was a hacker subculture - filled with wireheads, phreakers, cyberpunks, hobbyists, and just plain geeks...
...There was the hippie movement, born out of the Bay Area's beat generation, and the rebellious political activists, born out of the free speech Movement at Berkeley. Overlaid on it all were various self fulfillment movements pursuing paths to personal enlightment: Zen and Hinduism, meditation and yoga...
...This fusion of flower power and processor power, enlightment and technology, was embodied by Steve Jobs...
...But the early 1970's a shift was under way. «Computing went from being dismissed as a tool of bureaucratic control to being embraced as a symbol of individual expression and liberation»...
...and the cyberdelic fusion was certified when Timothy Leary declared that personal computers had become the new LSD and years later revised his famous mantra to proclaim, «turn on, boot up, kack in». The musician Bono, who later became a friend of Jobs, often discussed with him why those inmersed in the rock-drugs-rebel counterculture of the Bay Area ended up helping to create the personal computer industry. «The people who invented the twenty first-century were pot-smoking, sandal wearing, hippies from the West Coast like Steve because they saw differently,» he said. «The hierarchichal systems of the East Coast, England, Germany and Japan do not encourage different thinking. The sixties produced an anarchic mind-set that is great for imaging a world not yest in existence»
«The theme of the club,» Woz said, «was Give to help others». It was an expression of the hacker ethic that information should be free and all authority mistrusted. «I designed the Apple I because I wanted to give it away for free to other people,» said Wozniak.
Capítulo 6: The Apple II: Dawn of New Age
Most hackers and hobbyists liked to customize, modify, and jack various things into their computers. To Jobs, this was a threat to a seamless end-to-end user experience. Wozniak, a hacker at heart, disagreed. He wanted to include eight slots on the Apple II for users to insert whatever smaller circuit boards and peripherals they might want.
Capítulo 13: The Launch: the journey is the reward
Jobs liked that. Indeed the ad had a special resonance for him. He fancied himself a rebel, and he liked to associate himself with values of the ragtag band of hackers and pirates he recruited to the Macintosh group. Even though he had left the apple comune in Oregon to start Apple corporation, he still wanted to be viewed as a denizen of the counterculture rather than the corporate culture. But he also realized, deep inside, that he had increasingly abandoned the hacker spirit. Some might even accuse him of selling out. When Wozniak held true to the Homebrew ethic by sharing his design for the Apple I for free, it was Jobs who insisted that they sell the boards instead. He was also the one who, despite Wozniak's reluctance, wanted to turn Apple into a corporation and not freely distribute stock options to the friends who had been in the garage with them. Now was about to launch the Macintosh, a machine that violated many of the principles of the hacker's code... It was a closed and controlled system, like something designed by Big Brother rather than by a hacker.
Capítulo 18: NeXT: Prometheus Unbound
Perot... took Jobs to a black-tie dinner dance in San Francisco that Gordon and Anne Getty gave for King Juan Carlos I of Spain. When the king asked Perot whom he should meet, Perot inmediatly produced Jobs. They were soon engaged in what Perot later describes as "electronic conversion", with Jobs animatedly describing the next wave in computing. At the end the king scribbled a note and handed it to Jobs. «What happened?» Perot asked. Jobs answered «I sold him a computer».
Capítulo 30: The Digital Hub: From iTunes to the iPod
«My primary insight when we were screwed by Adobe in 1999 was that we shouldn't get into any business where we didn't control both the hardware and the software, otherwise we'd get our head handed to us»
«If you need slides it shows you don't know what are you talking about»
Capítulo 31: The iTunes store: I'm the pied piper
«From the earliest days at Apple, I realized that we thrived when we created intellectual property. If people copied or stole our software, we'd be out of business. If it weren't protected, there'd be no incentive for us to make new software or product designs. If protection of intellectual property begins to disappear, creative companies will disappear or never get started. But there's a simple reason: It's wrong to steal. It hurts other people. And it hurts your own character.»
«There's a flow to a good almbum,» said Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails. «The songs support each other. That's the way I like to make music.» But the objections were moot. «Piracy and online downloads have already deconstructed the album,» recalled Jobs. «You couldn't compete with piracy unless you sold the songs individually.»
Capítulo 33: Pixar's Friends... and Foes
At his first meeting as the new CEO, he presented the analysis to the board, whose members expressed some anger that they had never been told this. «As animation goes, so goes our company» he told the board. «A hit animated film is a big wave, and the ripples go down to every part of our business-from characters in a parade, to music, to parks, to video games, TV, internet, consumer products. If I don't have wave makers, the company is not going to succeed»
Capítulo: 38: The iPad: Into the Post PC-Era
«There is no excuse to be closed", wrote Michael Copeland. But his colleague John Fortt rebutted, «Closed systems get a bad rap, but they work beautifully and users benefit. Probably no one in tech has proved this more convincingly than Steve Jobs. By bundling hardware, software and services, and controlling them tightly, Apple is consistently able to get the jump on his rivals and roll out polished products"
Wozniak, who had once been a proponent of making hardware and software as open as possible, continue to revise that opinion... A reporter asked him about the closed nature of Apple's ecosystem. «Apple gets you into their playpen and keeps you there, but here are some advantages to that,» he replied. «I like open systems, but I'm a hacker. But most people want things that are easy to use. Steve genius is that he knows how to make things simple, and that sometimes requieres controlling everything»
«We can't depend on bloggers for our news. We need real reporting and editorial oversight more than ever. So I'd like to find a way to help people create digital products where they actually can make money»
There he showed off the iPad and explained how important it was to find a modest price point for digital content that consumers would accept.... «And that means that your digital subs should be very cheap and simple, one click and $5 a month at most»
«If you don't like it, don't use us. I'm not the one who got you in this jam. You are the ones who've spent the last five years giving away your paper online and not collecting anyone's credit card information»
Capítulo 39: New Batles: And Echoes of Old Ones
«...Revolutions ara about freedom».... «Yep,» he said «freedom from programs that steal your private data. Freedom from programs that trash your battery. Freedom from porn. Yep, freedom. The times they are a changin', and some traditional PC folks feel like their world is slipping way. It is.»
Capítulo 42: Legacy: The Brightest Heaven of Invention
The young Wozkiak was on that camp: The Apple II he designed was easily opened and sported plenty of slots and ports that people could jack into as they pleased. With the Macintosh Jobs became a founding father of the other camp. The Mackintosh would be like an appliance, with the hardware and software tightly woven together and closed to modifications. The hacker ethos would be sacrifice in order to create a seamless and simple user experience.