It seems fitting on the day that Adobe Systems announced it's giving up on Flash for mobile devices that we first opened up our review copy of I, Steve: Steve Jobs In His Own Words – a collection of direct quotes from the late Apple guru that recently landed in the No. 3 spot on The New York Times bestseller list.

Jobs responded to criticism for launching iPhone and iPad without Flash compatibility – rendering many websites useless on the devices – by saying it was a “battery hog” with security and stability issues, prone to crashing.

"Symantec recently highlighted Flash for having one of the worst security records in 2009. We also know firsthand that Flash is the number-one reason Macs crash. We have been working with Adobe to fix these problems, but they have persisted for several years now. We don’t want to reduce the reliability and security of our iPhones, iPods and iPads by adding Flash …" - Apple website, April 2010

Of course, his problems with Adobe ran a little deeper than the Flash issue, but in the end it would appear that Jobs was right.

I, Steve – a pocket-sized reference book of 200 Steve Jobs quotes, organized by subject and gleaned by editor George Beahm from three decades of public statements, interviews and media coverage – includes more of those nuggets about Apple, its products and its competitors.

And when it comes to his competitors, Jobs was never one to pull any punches.

"It’s curious to me that the largest computer company in the world [IBM] couldn’t even match the Apple II, which was designed in a garage six years ago." – InfoWorld, March 8, 1982

But while those snippets are entertaining, it’s probably more fascinating to see the philosophies that drove his vision for Apple.

"What are the great brands? Levi’s, Coke, Disney, Nike. Most people would put Apple in that category. You could spend billions of dollars building a brand not as good as Apple. Yet Apple hasn’t been doing anything with this incredible asset. What is Apple, after all? Apple is about people who think “outside the box,” people who want to use computers to help them change the world, to help them create things that make a difference, and not just get the job done." – Time, August 1997

It’s a curious collection to say the least. Are they his best 200 quotes? Who’s to say? An intensely private man, Jobs didn’t subject himself to many interviews.

For his life story, Steve Jobs, the biography by Walter Isaacson is probably a better bet but as an easy-to-digest reference guide, I, Steve is a good resource and amusing diversion.

Though as we we read it, we couldn't help but think that it would lend itself to a great iPhone app. When faced with a business question, ask it: 'What would Steve Jobs do?' And await your answer, "I, Steve ..."

ISteve_cover.gifI, Steve: Steve Jobs In His Own Words
Edited by George Beahm
Agate Publishing, Inc.
160 pp

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