Although Jobs cooperated with this book, he asked for no control over what was written nor even the right to read it before it was published. He put nothing off-limits. He encouraged the people he knew to speak honestly. And Jobs speaks candidly, sometimes brutally so, about the people he worked with and competed against. His friends, foes, and colleagues provide an unvarnished view of the passions, perfectionism, obsessions, artistry, devilry, and compulsion for control that shaped his approach to business and the innovative products that resulted.
Driven by demons, Jobs could drive those around him to fury and despair. His tale is instructive and cautionary, filled with lessons about innovation, character, leadership, and values.
Get A Copy. Hardcover , pages. More Details Original Title. Steve Jobs. Other Editions Friend Reviews. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about Steve Jobs , please sign up. Dear readers, after reading the first 30 chapters of the book, am I right to deduce that John Sculley was the one who chose to overprice Apple products?
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Summary and reviews of Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson
Community Reviews. Showing Rating details. More filters. Sort order. Steve Jobs was a damn dirty hippie. He didn't much like to shower or wear shoes. He believed his diet kept him from getting stinky, not true apparently. In fact he was quite odd and obsessive about his diets, he would go on kicks where he would eat nothing but carrots for long periods of time until he turned orange. This makes me wonder if these strange eating habits brought on his cancer. Who can say? Steve Jobs was an asshat. He was an ass to everyone, even Steve Wozniak, who by everyone's stand Steve Jobs was a damn dirty hippie.
He was an ass to everyone, even Steve Wozniak, who by everyone's standards is one of the nicest guys there is. Wozniak was Job's only friend at times, and looked up to him always, but Jobs screwed him over time and again. Jobs didn't even claim his first born daughter until much later as his own even though there was no doubt she belonged to him. He also was a very emotional man, lots of crying and snot when he wanted something. Impossible to please, even down to the color of things. I seriously don't know how anything got finished, I really don't.
Steve Jobs was a super genius. Despite of or because of all this he created the most amazing things. Because he demanded the impossible, he would get it. I love my Ipod and my Ipad. I'm very attached, I don't want to live without them. I use the Ipod for my audiobook and podcast addiction. I'm even learning how to draw caricatures on the Ipad Thank you Steve for being a damn dirty hippie, asshat super genius. Your creations have enhanced, and changed our lives.
Review also appears on Shelfinflicted Go and visit! View all comments. Oct 24, Lisa rated it it was amazing Shelves: non-fiction , autobiography-biography. There are three things necessary for a great biography: 1. A compelling subject 2. An engaging narrative 3. Accuracy Walter Isaacson's Steve Jobs has all three. Steve Jobs was a fascinating person whose powerful personality and extraordinary life make for a very compelling read.
He revolutionized many different technological and entertainment industries by successfully blending technology and the liberal arts, giving consumers products they didn't even know they wanted. He was able to defy reality by There are three things necessary for a great biography: 1. He was able to defy reality by simply refusing to accept it a phenomenon referred to as his "reality distortion field" , enabling him to do the impossible.
On a personal level, Jobs was a very sensitive and emotional man, yet he was unable to empathize with the feelings of others, which, along with his "reality distortion field," led to him act in unsavory ways towards people in both his personal and professional life. After reading this book it was easy to understand why Jobs is such a polarizing figure.
But whether you love or hate him, it's impossible to deny that he had a major impact on the world, or that he was an interesting person. Isaacson's narrative style is engaging. Rather than listing a bunch of facts and quotes, which would make for a very dull read, he uses them to construct a story about Jobs' life. The book is also structured in a logical fashion. Although largely chronological, the chapters do center around certain themes.
Isaacson also avoids getting bogged down by technological details, which can be a temptation in a book that features a computer company. Even when the technological aspects of a product are necessary to illustrate a point, they are explained simply so that even a reader who is not tech savvy can understand.
In terms of accuracy, I can only judge based on what I know from other sources as well as my impression after reading the biography. I do not have the resources or connections to go through every assertion made and verify them. I can, however, assess whether or not Isaacson appeared to be presenting an overly positive or negative picture.
I believe that Isaacson presents a realistic picture of Jobs that includes both the positive and negative sides to his personality. Jobs comes across as a real person with a lot of flaws and perhaps a mental illness, but who has also accomplished some amazing things. I did not get the feeling that Isaacson was trying to whitewash or defame him. This is not to say that Isaacson is unbiased, but I have yet to find a biographer who isn't. A biographer must be passionate about his or her subject in order to devote the time needed to write a thorough biography, and with passion comes bias, whether positive or negative.
Isaacson was positively biased towards Jobs, however, this did not prevent him from exposing the darker side of Jobs' personality. He also contradicts Jobs' own statements with both facts and other people's accounts. I appreciated that he included both sides of a story. However, he does tend to justify Jobs' obnoxious behavior and negative personality traits by reminding the reader that these behaviors and traits also led him to do great things, and achieve the impossible.
It often seems as though Isaacson is implying that the ends justify the means, although the reader is able to form his or her own opinion. If you can ignore Isaacson's apologetic tone, which is present throughout, the biography does present a balanced picture of Jobs. Overall, I really enjoyed this biography. I would recommend this book to anyone who is a fan of Steve Jobs, Apple, or is interested in particularly influential people.
Although Pixar plays a much smaller role, there are also some interesting stories about how Pixar came to be what it is today. I would not recommend this biography to Apple haters or Steve Jobs haters due to Isaacson's apologetic presentation of Jobs' negative traits, nor would I recommend it to fans who would rather remember an idealized version of Jobs. Also, I'd caution readers to remember that this is a biography about Steve Jobs, not about the history of Apple.
While Apple is featured in this biography quite a bit since it was a huge part of Jobs' life, more so than his other companies or even his family, there are pieces of Apple's story that are missing or glossed over, presumably because in the grand scheme of Jobs' life, they were not that important. If you are looking for a complete profile of Apple, this is not it, although it will give you some interesting insights into the company, and provide a detailed, though incomplete, history. Disclaimer: I think it's important to note my personal history with Apple.
I have been drinking the Apple koolaid for about twenty years, which is most of my life. In high school, I used to get into debates with people over whether Macs or PCs were better, often being the only Mac defender in a group arguing for PCs. Like any Apple fanatic, I've regarded Steve Jobs with a sort of reverence usually reserved for rock stars and actors. I was, therefore, deeply interested in reading about his life. Take what you will from my review given my feelings towards Apple, and the man who made the company what it is today. View all 23 comments. Feb 02, Petal X rated it it was amazing Shelves: biography-true-story , reviewed.
Update This is a very interesting view of Steve Jobs by the mother of his daughter, Lisa although he denied he was her father, despite paternity tests and his childhood sweetheart. She doesn't think the film goes far enough in depicting his character truthfully. Apple's lawyers would sue her out of all existence if there was even a word that they could latch onto.
But still Update This is a very interesting view of Steve Jobs by the mother of his daughter, Lisa although he denied he was her father, despite paternity tests and his childhood sweetheart. But still, her feelings and opinions are her own. Jobs great achievement was to marry an uncompromisingly zen creativity to electronically-advanced products when all around built boxes.
The art of form following function taken to its extreme, where even the innards are as beautiful as the case, has an authenticity that appeals to all even those who won't pay for an Apple product. They say that when you are dying you regret not what you did but what you didn't do. Jobs scarcely regretted a thing, his ego was so vast he could hardly contemplate that he might actually have been wrong and since a young age, he only ever did what he wanted and could not be swayed or persuaded by anyone else to even do something as small as hold his acerbic tongue.
I was once an electronics designer. I made quite a lot of money and essentially retired at Sir Alan Sugar, the originator of The Apprentice and a friend and business acquaintance asked me to come to work for him as his personal assistant. I didn't, I decided to sail around the world instead. More fool me. The book made me wish, and not for the first time and not because I am now quite poor all booksellers are, except the Amazon crew that I hadn't left electronics, because my head is again full of ideas and that is where they will have to stay.
So I have regrets even now. I took the road less travelled and it turned out to end up in a tropical mangrove swamp where I sit, pleasantly bogged down. Jobs took the highway, the one with a good surface and plenty of signs. He overtook everyone and reached his destination of unqualified success, excellence, money and credibility in a very short time, and the world would be a lot poorer without him. RIP Steve. You were a true artist and visionary. I haven't got a Mac myself.
Because, as the advert said, I'm just not cool enough Edit May I went to dinner on a 93' yacht with a chef, hostess and a couple of crew and the captain gave me an iPad for a present. He said it was only a first gen. I did't see the captain for about three or four months. We were in the same marina bar. He asked me how I liked the ipad and I said great and went to get it out of my bag. It was gone. Someone had stolen it from my bag within the last ten minutes I'd only been there that long.
But who It does everything that the ipad did but it isn't thin and cool. But then neither am I. Finished March 1, View all 87 comments. Nov 01, Lynne Spreen rated it really liked it. When I was at the halfway point I became struck by what a jerk SJ was. Yes, he was brilliant and all that.
But he seemed to view other humans as nothing more than ants in his ant farm, sub-biologicals that he could squish whenever he felt like it. And did. Some might say that his gifts to tech development, or the fact that he changed and invented whole industries, would compensate. Maybe the two things went together, cruelty and brilliance. But the lesson to be drawn here, future CEOs, isn't that his cruelty fed his brilliance.
He was brilliant, and he was cruel, and they weren't linked. He was aware of the pain he was causing other people, yet like so many other overbearing, thoughtless and petulant overlords, Jobs was thin-skinned. Also, I don't believe that his often-cited sense of abandonment, from having been put up for adoption, justifies his behavior.
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He was, as the author put it, "bratty. A thousand different variations of white weren't satisfactory. He wanted a new color to be invented, regardless of the damage done to the rollout of the new object. As I said, I'm only halfway through the book. Hopefully there'll be some positive info about SJ that will balance out some of the negativity I've spelled out. I'll finish this review when I finish the book. Here are the rest of my thoughts.
Isaacson makes an interesting point when he says Jobs was a genius. He means genius not in terms of a high IQ, but in terms of an ability to see things in surges of intuition, inspiration, and creativity. Because of his genius, I agree that Jobs deserves to be included in the company of Edison, Franklin, et al. Steve Jobs pushed everybody until they wanted to kill him, but the pushing yielded amazing, brilliant new products. His unique brainpower allowed him to see how things might align, merge, and serve each other, and how utility might be blended with art. That vision led to creations of whole industries.
His obsession with perfection and control led him to flirt with emulating the Big Brother that Apple was created to bring down. One of the fascinating threads of this book was the debate between proponents of closed and open systems. Was it better to manufacture a pristine, inflexible system or the messier free thinking open system?
And what were the implications of that belief on Jobs' view of his customers and his worldview? Yet he defined petulance. His food had to be just so. He would send back a glass of orange juice three times until finally satisfied it was fresh. He was vindictive, cruel and even Machiavellian.
He wasn't much of a family man, and he ignored his kids to a painful extent. Isaacson mused that Jobs' meanness wasn't a critical part of his success. He was totally aware of its effect on others, yet he indulged. In spite of my aversion to the man, I actually felt empowered as I came to the end of the book. Steve Jobs had lived by certain precepts, which in the current economy we could all benefit from: Know your value Have a skill you can sell.
Be really, really good at something. Unbending to the end, even the prospect of death didn't soften him up much, but he brought me up short on the last page of the book, because I am obsessed with the same question: "I like to think that something survives after you die. It's strange to think that you accumulate all this experience, and maybe a little wisdom, and it just goes away. So I really want to believe that something survives, and that maybe your consciousness endures.
Since we'd just had a serious storm, I declined to rinse it. View all 37 comments. Nov 10, karen marked it as oh-dear. View all 53 comments. Shelves: biographies , r-r-rs. Never expected to find this much enjoyment reading a biography. Isaacson has truly done a wonderful job with this book. For those who are too busy to read the entire book, please try to grab a quick read of the last two chapters of the book at a book store or airport or someplace - These chapters are a concise summary of the entire book as well as the thesis Isaacson builds up to throughout the book.
Besides, it will probably make you buy and read the whole thing anyway. To call this man a "Great Never expected to find this much enjoyment reading a biography. To call this man a "Great Marketer" is probably a great disservice to him and Steve would probably have had a fit about that. I used to think of him as an epitome of modern marketing as well, but he would probably classify marketing as 'evil' in his radar. He hated the idea of any company focusing on marketing and emphatically states that is the whole problem with most companies today.
This is probably a difficult idea to get to grips with, but is essential too. We could truly be in a better world if they do. Just to clarify, I am not a fanboy of all apple products though I am sure the Mac is the best tech device till date but I do I fall on the android side of the fence. But, Jobs' philosophy on running companies and driving innovation is the best in the modern age and should be copied shamelessly, if not their product features I am looking at you Samsung.
View all 11 comments. Nov 17, Peter added it. Executive summary of Isaacson's "Steve Jobs": - Remove everything that is unnecessary. But these are not spoilers. The drama of this biography is in the decisions Jobs made, the way he followed through on these ide Executive summary of Isaacson's "Steve Jobs": - Remove everything that is unnecessary.
The drama of this biography is in the decisions Jobs made, the way he followed through on these ideals. Read the book. In the same way that you understand a proverb much more after you've had a life a experience that demonstrates it, these will mean much, much more when you see them in the context of Steve Jobs' life. Plus, you'll also discover Jobs' equally as compelling character traits: from his idealism to his irascibility. View 1 comment. Nov 11, 3Jane Tessier-Ashpool rated it liked it. My background is as a post punk rocker.
So naturally I view all dope-gorging smelly long hair Dylan-worshiping hippies with a certain amount of suspicion and disdain. The author shows, on a page-by-page basis, what an insufferable asshole Steve Jobs was. I'm not exaggerating. But the book left me wondering: why? The book is fairly well researched, but except for a precious few anecdotes about his youth, very little is said about his upbringing.
I'd really like to k My background is as a post punk rocker. I'd really like to know more about his family dynamic. What was his parents' parenting style? Anyone who has grown up with siblings can attest to the influence of siblings on their personality. To me the lack of insight into his teen and pre-teen life leaves a glaring hole in understanding the man.
My opinion of Steve Jobs: The ends don't justify the means. I don't care how creative or driven you are; you're not allowed to be an asshole to your fellow human beings. View all 18 comments. This is an amazing inside view into the life of one of the great businessmen of our era. A must read. The thing that struck me most about Steve Jobs was that he was an incredible perfectionist. He was a craftsman, and wanted the computers he built to be beautiful and amazing and useful.
He believed that computers were "at the intersection of technology and liberal arts" - a phrase he used a lot - because he realized computers weren't just for geeks. They are for everyone, and needed to be able t This is an amazing inside view into the life of one of the great businessmen of our era. They are for everyone, and needed to be able to be used by everyone. Steve put design at the top of product pyramid at Apple - above engineering. This means they spent a lot of time trying to fit the hardware into the beautifully designed cases the designers came up with, and the designers and engineers had to work together closely.
This can backfire eg Antennagate , but largely it worked really well. It produced amazing computers that were visually distinct from everything else in the market, and that "just work". If I learned anything from this book, it's that Apple believed that design is paramount, and spending extra time and engineering resources to make a beautiful design work is worth it. Apple's design philosophy is to "make it simple.
Really simple". You still see this today - go to Apple. Now try Amazon. According to the book, Jobs learned this from Markkula, who taught him that "A great company must be able to impute its values from the first impression it makes". Steve's ethos was basically that if you are going to do something, do it right. The book is full of examples of Steve doing this. When the iMac first came out it looked like no other computer. It was interesting to hear how difficult it was for the engineers to accommodate a handle on the computer - but it ended up being a defining feature of the computer.
I also loved the story of how Steve was obsessed with quality glass, and ordered the highest end stuff he could find for his Apple Stores. Steve's management tactics got a lot of scrutiny in the book - and many other reviewers use words like "jerk" to describe him.
Thoughts on the man
It sounds like Steve could definitely be a jerk to work for. His management style was to push people as hard as he could, and to let people know when they didn't perform. When pushed like that, a person can have one of two reactions: they either resent it, and end up quitting or getting fired B-players - or they accept the challenge to do better, and come back the next week with something even better. Win-win for Steve - he filters out the b-players and gets his a-players to produce the best work they can.
But, as was pointed out in the book, if Steve was nothing but a jerk, he wouldn't have built a company full of loyal employees - Apple has one of the lowest turnover rates in the valley. Jobs only hired people who "had a passion for the product". I also liked how he motivated by looking at the bigger picture; such as the story of how he convinced his engineer that saving 10 seconds off the boot time was worth it because across 5 million users that would save lifetimes per year.
The book was full of references to Steve's dynamic personality; his "reality distortion field" is a great descriptor. Steve believed he could do anything - and he was so persuasive that he could convince those around him that they could whatever it was too. I think this is one of the most defining qualities of an entrepreneur - believing something can be done against all odds. Not being afraid to tear down walls or think outside the box. I loved the description of Steve that "whatever he was touting was the best thing he ever produced. He is always using words like "best", "amazing", etc to describe whatever he's launching.
A big theme that the author made was that especially early on, Steve viewed Apple as "counter-culture" rebels. They were hippies who thought they could change the world. And they did - but not only that - I think they embedded their can-do attitude deep in Silicon Valley, which is probably highly correlated with why it is the center of the technology revolution today. This quote is classic: "The people who invited the twenty-first century were pot-smoking, sandal-wearing hippies from the West Coast like Steve, because they saw differently.
The hierarchical systems of the East Coast, England, Germany, and Japan do not encourage this different thinking. The sixties produced an anarchic mind-set that is great for imagining a world not yet in existence.
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- Steve Jobs Biography | Book Review?
- Steve Jobs.
When Jobs came back to Apple from his hiatus the biggest innovation he made was to focus the company onto just the few products that were working or had potential. Microsoft didn't have that problem, and that's why Windows dominated. I think it's also the reason that Windows is in trouble today.
They have spent a decade making their code work across hundreds of different hardware configurations. Their code is now full of backwards compatibility support that just makes it messy, and bloated. Worse, their focus is on maintaining all that instead of innovating and improving it. The platform vs integrated approach is being tested again with the iphone vs android. It will be interesting to see if history replays itself, or if Apple's lead and ability to make a superior product because of their full stack control will prevail.
In the end, this was the best quote of the book: Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish. View all 24 comments. Oct 24, Barbara rated it it was amazing. I downloaded the e-book on my iPad quite fitting Sun. Isaacson's writing style is very engaging and, at least so far, he seems to be embarking on a no holds barred, honest portrayal of this very admired, feared, respected, despised, controversial titan of industry.
A master, bar none! Can't wait to finish the book and learn more about what drove this amazing man to do all that he did. View 2 comments. Nov 03, Katie rated it liked it Shelves: allow-myself-to-introduce-myself. The publishers forgot to include a subtitle, so I've taken the liberty of helping them come up with one.
May I suggest: Steve Jobs: Unrelenting Narcissist, Suspected Sociopath and Giant Fucking Asshole Isaacson writes a great biography: He tells a coherent, cohesive story, he interviews all the players and most important he doesn't feel the need to hoist his subject on a pedestal with his pen. When it comes to carrying a story, our author did all the right things. His subject, however, left m Oops! His subject, however, left much to be desired. It's startling to see how someone can be so immensely successful in one aspect of his life and such a complete, utter failure in virtually every other.
To illuminate just a few of the many failings of Steve Jobs, allow me to expound upon my proposed subtitle: Unrelenting Narcissist : It's true that if you're going to launch a business in a cutthroat industry and be willing to fight to the death to succeed, you gotta believe in yourself. Jobs, however, took a little positive self-esteem to a whole new level and chose to recreate truth to position himself in the best light. He steals the concept of the GUI from Xerox and it's collaborative sharing, but Microsoft does, well, anything and it's because they're thieves, and we have no respect for thieves.
Good ideas? He took credit for them, even if he would veto them upon first review. The man truly believed he could do no wrong, and I can't help but think he probably, just before taking his last breath, was thinking, "Well there goes the future of Apple. The man - Jobs, not Wong; Wong is amazing - fit the profile to a T: Despite having the ability to charm someone's head off when he needed to, Jobs had an absolute lack of genuine regard for almost everyone around him - his wife, his employees, his poor, cast-aside daughters his son seemed to escape his scorn, which is a charmingly sexist detail , even his supporters I can't bring myself to call them friends who were there for him from the beginning.
If a person could not - or could no longer - provide a benefit to Jobs, he would cast them aside Giant Fucking Asshole : There are seriously almost too many examples of this to count, but let me curate a sample for your consideration. He screwed one of the founding members of Apple out of founders stock that would now be practically priceless. He thinks he can explain away the abuse he doled out to employees by saying that was "just who I am.
Do you not think that the people around you want to rip your head off every single day? They do, I assure you. But you know what? It's undeniable that Jobs was fantastically talented and will go down in the books as one of the great visionaries in history. I'm writing my review on my MacBook, and both my iPhone and my iPad as well as a slew of iPods, Nanos and Shuffles are nearby, so I guess the guy was doing something right. Still, I don't believe that being an asshole is the answer, and I don't believe it gets better results; it may not get worse results, but if today's Apple is what he created with vinegar, then I'd love to see what he could have done with honey.
View all 9 comments. Aug 18, Diane rated it really liked it Shelves: design , technology , audiobooks , innovation , business , biography. I had to be convinced by a GR friend to read this book, similarly to how Isaacson had to be convinced to write it. Back in , Steve Jobs approached Isaacson and asked if he was interested in writing Jobs' biography. Isaacson declined several times, thinking that it was too soon to write one and that it would be better to wait a few decades.
It wasn't until when Jobs' wife bluntly told him that Jobs was seriously ill from cancer and that there was little time to lose. Isaacson said he hadn I had to be convinced by a GR friend to read this book, similarly to how Isaacson had to be convinced to write it. Isaacson said he hadn't known Jobs was sick; she said few people knew and that Jobs had been trying to keep it a secret. Isaacson finally agreed to write the biography, and Jobs agreed that he wouldn't have any control over the book, which was rare, considering how controlling and demanding he had been over all the various projects at Apple.
I had been reluctant to read this book for several reasons. First, because Jobs was a known jackass and I wasn't that interested in reading the various examples of his jackassery. Second, I am not a techie, and while I like and use Apple products every day, I was hesitant to spend my precious reading time on a tech book. Thirdly, this bio is more than pages long! That seemed excessive. A solution was found in an audiobook read by Dylan Baker , and I am glad I gave it a chance. I was won over early on in the book, when Isaacson included a quote from Jobs in the introduction: "'I always thought of myself as a humanities person as a kid, but I liked electronics,' he said.
The creativity that can occur when a feel for both the humanities and the sciences combine in one strong personality was the topic that most interested me in my biographies of Franklin and Einstein, and I believe that it will be a key to creating innovative economies in the twenty-first century. I love the idea of combining artistry and technology, and it's true that Jobs and Apple excelled at creating innovative and beautiful products.
Despite my hesitation, I ended up enjoying the stories of how Jobs got his start in computers, and how he met and started collaborating with Steve Wozniak, and the evolution of products at Apple over the decades. Growing up in the 80s, I frequently used those early Apple computers. My friends and I played games on them, and I wrote my school reports on them. Apple computers were just so cool. I liked learning the details of how Jobs helped design the products, including his emphasis that even the parts that are not seen should be beautiful and well-built.
He had learned this at a young age from his father, who was a mechanic and a craftsman, and he taught Steve to make sure that the back of something was crafted just as well as the front, even if no one saw it. Jobs took the spirit of artistry very seriously, and always insisted that the designers at Apple were making art with their products.
Steve Jobs Biography | Book Review
He even had his design team sign the inside of the computer frames, just as a painter would, even though no one but them knew it was there. Another part of the book that I found interesting was Jobs' history with Microsoft founder Bill Gates, with whom he had a fiercely competitive but mostly respectful relationship. The two men had very different ideas about system design, and computer techies will probably enjoy the debate of open vs. A lot has been written about what a jerk Jobs could be, including telling people to their face that they sucked, that their designs sucked, and that they should be fired for their suckitude.
It is also true that he was a dirty hippie, and in the early days of Apple, colleagues had to beg him to take a shower. Jobs thought that because he was a vegetarian, he didn't need to bathe. At certain points, I was infuriated with Jobs, both over his treatment of others and later, over his refusal to deal with his cancer diagnosis. When he first learned he was ill, he defied his doctor's advice and delayed having surgery to remove the tumors, giving them months to spread. While impossible to prove, it is likely he could have greatly extended his life had he not been so stubborn in avoiding modern medicine.
In the end, I admit I was fascinated by Steve Jobs. He had a remarkable life and career, and while it is a cliche, his products helped change the world. I would highly recommend this biography. Update April Last night I watched the "Steve Jobs" movie that is based on this book starring Michael Fassbender , and I have to give a shout-out to screenwriter Aaron Sorkin for creating such a compelling film out of this sprawling biography.
I was happy I had read this book before watching the movie, because I understood more of the context of the arguments between Woz and Jobs, and Jobs and his ex-girlfriend, and Jobs and everyone else. I highly recommend the film. View all 21 comments. Oct 30, Jeffrey Keeten rated it it was amazing. I was a little surprised when Steve Jobs died that I actually had an emotional reaction of loss. He was always such a warrior for technological evolution, conceiving products that we didn't know we needed until we held them in our hands. I didn't know I needed an iPod, now I can't travel anywhere without slipping 13, songs into my pocket.
I now have a playlist for any situation, a wedding, a long drive, robbing a bank, meditation etc. What was so unique about Jobs was that he was a creative p I was a little surprised when Steve Jobs died that I actually had an emotional reaction of loss. What was so unique about Jobs was that he was a creative person who also had the power to bring a progressive product to life. Good ideas did not die in committee at Apple or Pixar. For some reason conservative leaning people elevate to the highest positions in business in this country.
Apple also went through a period of time when Jobs was too radical for a board of directors who wanted to make Apple more like other companies. After reading this biography, I know now that Jobs deserved to be ousted, and what a great occurrence for the world because Pixar would have never been created. He benefited from his time away, learning lessons of consolidating power.
When Apple floundered and Jobs was brought back he was much better equipped to lead a company I have always been mystified by the divisions in the country between Apple and Microsoft. I have owned a lot more Apple products than I have PC based products. So without even realizing I guess at some point I joined team Jobs. I used Apples and PCs without really thinking I was being disloyal to a brand, but I have been on the periphery of many heated arguments discussing the merits of PC versus the merits of Macs. I always felt that Jobs was the guy with the concepts and ideas and Gates was sitting around twiddling his thumbs waiting for Jobs to come up with the next "great thing" so he could clone it.
There is more truth in that statement than fervent PC believers would like to admit. One of Jobs ex-girlfriends happened to read in a psychiatric manual about Narcissistic personality Disorder and decided that Jobs perfectly met the criteria. One of his favorite lines when looking at a new concept was to say "this is shit". He was a ranter, skilled with skewering insults, contemptuously rude, and yet so sensitive to any slight. When faced with a fond memory or a beautiful concept that he loved he would burst into tears. To say the least, being in the Steve Jobs orbit would have been not only stressful, but confusing.
The people that did the best with him were the people that pushed through the "distortion field" that Jobs was nestled in his whole life. For all his failings as a human being and as a boss he was also a talented communicator inspiring people way beyond what they thought they were capable of accomplishing. He firmly believed that nothing was worth doing unless it was going to change the world and that belief was infectious to those that worked with him. When Steve Jobs was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer I can remember thinking to myself that no one had ever beaten that form of cancer, but I also thought to myself if anyone can it would be Steve Jobs.
His money bought him time. They were able to map the gene of the cancer that was trying to kill him and better target chemo and drugs that would most effectively control the growth of the cancer. Walter Isaacson is an excellent biographer, I enjoyed his Benjamin Franklin bio very much and intend to read the Einstein biography as well. Steve approached Isaacson to write his biography and Isaacson asked him if he wanted him to write it because he associated himself with Einstein and Franklin.
Jobs didn't deny it. He was well aware of his place in history. I liked Steve Jobs more before reading this biography. I have a deeper understanding of how and why he was so successful. I can not emulate his management style nor would I ever want to. He was a destructive personality that inspired creativity. I feel we are diminished by his absence from the ranks and I can only hope there is a young person in a messy garage, tinkering with the concept that will be the next "thing" that will change our lives.
View all 10 comments. Aug 09, Matt rated it it was amazing Shelves: audiobook. Isaacson has taken on the incredible task of documenting the life and times of Steve Jobs, a herculean venture if one did exist. Speaking in the introduction about how Jobs sought him out to pen the biography and wished to have no input in its creation save for the hours of interviews he would give , Isaacson admits that the task was as unconventional as it was enthralling.
Isaacson divides Jobs's life into three major themes throughout the book: the man of countless ideas, the innovator, and t Isaacson has taken on the incredible task of documenting the life and times of Steve Jobs, a herculean venture if one did exist. Isaacson divides Jobs's life into three major themes throughout the book: the man of countless ideas, the innovator, and the emotion-filled genius.
Isaacson uses these themes to advance the book, but also details some of the most popular pieces of technology and cinematography attributed to Jobs to entertain and educate the reader alike. Isaacson succeeds at his task of telling this powerful story, which, at times, the unfocussed reader may think is a biography about APPLE. This only goes to show how Jobs had Apple woven into his moral fabric and took the company as seriously as anything he did in his life.
Steve Jobs was a man of countless ideas as early as his teenage years, where he build small gadgets in his father's garage, always wanting to tinker and modify all that he found around him. Jobs, who grew up with a great deal of curiosity, sought to bring these ideas to fruition. From his early years, where he could not stay out of trouble, through to his passion for all things electronic, Isaacson presents Jobs as being a man whose curiosities fuelled his ideas.
Some of these ideas proved pardon the pun fruitless, especially his fruitetarian lifestyle, while others sought to expand what was happening at the time, such as the introduction of Atari gaming consoles in the early s. Jobs thought up ideas around making computers less of a cumbersome leviathan and more a means of catering to the consumer, both in the workplace and at home.
Working with partners to develop some of the early Apple products, clunky and highly obsolete nowadays, Jobs sought to dream up new and imaginative ideas, all to make the consumer's life more simple, even if it meant a larger financial investment at the time.
Jobs made strides to bring these ideas to life, no matter the effort required. When at the height of his career at Apple, Jobs was forced out by those who thought profit should supersede ideal development to appease the consumer, he did not despair. Jobs chose to tap into more of his computer-centred ideas in cinematography, creating PIXAR and tried to move animation away from the literal drawing board and into the age of computer-generated drawing. These ideas helped to forge strong relationships with Disney, after some early disagreements, and exemplifying his imaginative success with a string of box-office hits.
The coup that brought Jobs back into the Apple fold only fuelled his desire to be innovative and imagine the future one product at a time. From his early talking Macintosh to his slew of futuristic products, Jobs took the future into his own hands and let his ideas guide him along the path to technological success, while making Apple a household name. Segueing from ideas to the innovative side of Jobs, applying his ideas brought about technological shifts never seen to that point and which proved to live outside the box.
Isaacson makes this innovative side of Jobs a key theme throughout the book, as far back as his circuit board creation in the s, through to his launch of the Mac line of Apple products, many of which are found in households today. Butting heads both with those within the Apple fold and its strongest competitors, Jobs sought to rise above all others and let the industry judge his successes.
Throughout, Isaacson shows how the likes of Bill Gates and Michael Eisner flexed their business muscle, but Jobs continued to forge ahead, making the best of what he could, while also striving to outdo himself. Jobs never shied away from calling his competition 'stupid' or their duplicate products items that truly 'suck'. Innovation and technology, which lacked in the dozen years was away from the company, returned in spades and left the competitors in the dust, at least according to market analyses.
The innovative side of Jobs, and, in turn, Apple, spurned others to try to keep up in a market where one wrong turn can cost millions while making items obsolete in the blink of an eye. Isaacson throughly examines Jobs as innovator throughout the book and gives not only examples, but wonderfully narrated anecdotes to better understand the man behind the technology.
These technological advancements have become so ingrained in the consumer's psyche that they need no definition or explanation in daily parlance. While stoking the fires of technological advances and doing battle with some of the top CEOs in the business world, Jobs could be known to show an emotional side to him that is sure to alarm the reader.
He makes to qualms about showing his emotions, going so far as to justify some of his off the wall behaviours as being precisely what the person on the receiving end needed to strive higher thereafter. Throughout, Isaacson insists that Jobs's passion for his work led him never to settle for second-best. He would not accept a half-ass effort, nor would he allow others to dilute his ideas. In the latter part of the book, when health concerns began to plague Jobs, the emotional roller coaster continued to play a role, sometimes as unpredictably as the ideas he brought to the table at APPLE.
Not afraid to buck trends or offend others, Jobs used these emotions to his advantage. While portrayed as spoiled in his inability to let others imbue the conversation with ideas of their own, Jobs was quick to cut, only to take the ideas as his own in an emotional turnaround days later. While emotion surely fuelled his inventive side and the ability to forge ahead, Isaacson does not skirt the issue that Jobs was ice cold when it suited him and impassioned when the need arose. As I mentioned above, some readers may get lost in the narrative, which recounts the life of Steve Jobs, and get caught up in the detail-heavy sections discussing upcoming product launches and the gizmos he sought to bring to the consumer.
This attention to detail and smooth flowing narrative bring these items to life and help the reader to understand precisely what hurdles they overcame, even after product launch. Jobs was so wrapped up in the creation and development that Isaacson cannot pare the story away from iPods and iPhones to tell the Steve Jobs story. They are simply too interconnected. Taking a step back and looking at Isaacson's work on the whole, it is apparent that he took a great deal of time to bring the best possible take on Steve Jobs. His attention to detail and thorough interviews led to a wonderful biography that is sure to open the eyes to many with an interest in technology and those who want to know more about this mover and shaker.
Leaving no stone unturned, Isaacson airs the dirty laundry Jobs' daughter at age 23 as well as his largest successes toppling the Microsoft-cornered market , giving the reader a thorough and all-encompassing view of the man and the legend. Perhaps one of the most informative biographies I have read in years, Isaacson hooked me in the early chapters and left me wanting to know more, with his silky narrative style and wonderful anecdotes. Kudos, Mr. Isaacson for this wonderful view of a man who shaped the future, putting the consumer before profit-margins and ease of use before stardom.
I am hooked and will have to look for some of your other work to sate my ever-growing thirst for knowledge. View all 8 comments. May 13, Amir Tesla rated it it was amazing Shelves: autobiography. Well, The mighty Steve Jobs that we have so much to learn from. You can see the Full review here.
The book Walter Isaacson the author is a well-know writer Einstein, Franklin are his other biography books has covered all the aspects of Job's life from his childhood, family, friends, to founding apple with Wozniak, each product design Macintosh, iphone etc. The book has benefited a lot from articulation of Walter Isaacson and the content are precise with ri Well, The mighty Steve Jobs that we have so much to learn from. The book has benefited a lot from articulation of Walter Isaacson and the content are precise with rich details as he has interviewed all the people he's named in the book as well as Steve Job.
The best thing about reading biographies and the very reason why I love biographies is the lessons you can learn from the bests.
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Having a business guru like jobs as a mentor is a blessing not everyone can have and fortunately enough, biographies makes this dream come close to reality. Jobs was an abandoned child, and when he asked his mom and dad if his real parents didn't want him, they repeated slowly: " We specifically picked you out ". So, abandoned, chosen, special, became part of what Jobs regarded himself of. From early in childhood, his dad who was a skilled mechanic would take him to show him how repairing is done.
He would point out to him the detailing of the designs, lines, vents etc. Jobs also watched his father a lot using his skills in negotiations when bargaining the parts he wanted to purchase. These experience with his father instilled within him persuasion skills and attention to details that came in handy later in his career. Isaacson, the author of Steve Jobs , used the 6, word essay to try and boil down that biography to the most essential and salient aspects of Steve Jobs as a leader for those who may have missed the message in the full book.
Isaacson wrote. Isaacson pointed out that managers who have decided that the path to greatness is to be a jerk like Steve are missing the point. More importantly, the bigger part of the equation is to have the vision and skills to back it up. He broke down his observations about Mr. Jobs and his leadership into 14 separate categories.
Related Summary: Steve Jobs: Review and Analysis of Walter Isaacsons Book
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