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Apple cofounder Steve Jobs (1955-2011) had such an enormous impact on so many people that his life often took on aspects of myth. But much of his success was due to collaboration with designers, engineers and thinkers. The Zen of Steve Jobs tells the story of Jobs' relationship with one such person: Kobun Chino Otogawa....
Apple cofounder Steve Jobs (1955-2011) had such an enormous impact on so many people that his life often took on aspects of myth. But much of his success was due to collaboration with designers, engineers and thinkers. The Zen of Steve Jobs tells the story of Jobs' relationship with one such person: Kobun Chino Otogawa.
Kobun was a Zen Buddhist priest who emigrated to the U.S. from Japan in the early 1970s. He was an innovator, lacked appreciation for rules and was passionate about art and design. Kobun was to Buddhism as Jobs was to the computer business: a renegade and maverick. It wasn't long before the two became friends--a relationship that was not built to last.
This graphic book is a reimagining of that friendship. The story moves back and forward in time, from the 1970s to 2011, but centers on the period after Jobs' exile from Apple in 1985 when he took up intensive study with Kobun. Their time together was integral to the big leaps that Apple took later on with its product design and business strategy.
Told using stripped down dialogue and bold calligraphic panels, The Zen of Steve Jobs explores how Jobs might have honed his design aesthetic via Eastern religion before choosing to identify only what he needs and leave the rest behind.
Posted August 18, 2013
Posted May 30, 2012
“The Zen of Steve Jobs” is a graphic novel by author Caleb Melby that is a must read of any Steve Jobs, or Apple fan. It’s short at only 60 pages and manages to fit in a lot of details about the life of Steve jobs during the mid-1980s when he was booted out of Apple and started another new technology company called NeXT. The novel focuses on Jobs’ interactions and relationship with a Zen Buddhist priest named Kobun Chino Otogawa. The novel is a re-imagining of the friendship between Jobs and Kobun. Like Jobs was to technology, Kobun was a rebel and nonconformist to Buddhism. This was the main trait that formed their decades-long relationship. Although the book is set in the period after Jobs left Apple and began intensive studying with Kobun, there are frequent flash-forwards in time all the way up to 2011. Melby uses this style of writing to show how Jobs applied what he learned from Kobun in the product design and business strategy of Apple which is responsible for making the company as successful as it is today.
Critique of content
“The Zen of Steve Jobs” gave me a completely new new perspective towards religions. In the past, I refused to care about religions because I did not like the idea of praying to a being that did not exist or no longer does. Reading this graphic novel made me realize that Zen Buddhism is actually very unique and its teachings can help you develop in life in a very special way. I particularly like how the author used flash-forwards to different times of Steve Jobs’ life where he applied the teachings that are talked about in the book.
Learnings about Zen Buddhism
Zen Buddhism focuses on the essence of understanding the meaning of life directly, without the distractions of logic or language. In the graphic novel “The Zen of Steve Jobs”, Kobun teaches Jobs the importance of meditation and focus. Meditation teaches focus and the ability to understand and appreciate simplicity and life itself. Practicing Zen Buddhism can help you do discover yourself and appreciate yourself, rather than to spend the effort to devote your life to a mythical or historical being like other religions. As someone who was exposed to Zen Buddhism for the first time after reading this novel, I can truly appreciate the uniqueness of this practice and it has dramatically helped me understand where Steve Jobs got his motive to do what he did in his life.
Posted January 29, 2012
Being this is a cartoon style book, I couldn't read any of the text on my iPad - even when enlarging it. I'm curious to hear if others are having this problem. I'd like to get a refund, but haven't had the time to check into it yet.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted January 14, 2012
This a lighthearted look at appreciating the space around us and at the same time profound thought provoking with its simplicity, will lighten your thoughts and bring a smile to your face. Well done!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted December 14, 2011