'This is a riveting book, with as much to say about the transformation of modern life in the information age as about its supernaturally gifted and driven subject' - Telegraph
Based on more than forty interviews with Steve Jobs conducted over two years - as well as interviews with more than a hundred family members, friends, adversaries, competitors, and colleagues - this is the acclaimed, internationally bestselling biography of the ultimate icon of inventiveness.
Walter Isaacson tells the story of the rollercoaster life and searingly intense personality of creative entrepreneur whose passion for perfection and ferocious drive revolutionized six industries: personal computers, animated movies,music, phones, tablet computing, and digital publishing.
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.
If not the greatest of computer moguls, the late Apple Computer co-founder was certainly the most colorful and charismatic to judge by this compelling biography. Journalist Isaacson (Albert Einstein) had his subject's intimate cooperation but doesn't shy away from Jobs's off-putting traits: the egomania; the shameless theft of ideas; the "reality distortion field" of lies and delusions; the veering between manipulative charm and cold betrayal; the bullying rages, profanity and weeping; the bizarre vegetarian diets that he believed would ward off body odor and cancer (he was tragically wrong on both counts). Isaacson also sees the constructive flip-side of Jobs's flaws, arguing that his crazed perfectionism and sublime sense of design he wanted even his computers' circuit boards to be visually elegant begat brilliant innovations, from the Mac to the iPad, that blended "poetry and processors." The author oversells Jobs as the digital artiste pitting well-crafted, vertically integrated personal computing experiences against the promiscuously licensed, bulk-commodity software profferred by his Microsoft rival Bill Gates. (Gates's acerbic commentary on Jobs's romanticism often steals the page.) Still, Isaacson's exhaustively researched but well-paced, candid and gripping narrative gives us a great warts-and-all portrait of an entrepreneurial spirit and one of the best accounts yet of the human side of the computer biz. Photos.
Customer ReviewsSee All
How can you have never met a man, but miss him once he's gone?
Thank-you for everything, Steve.
You will be sorely missed.
* To those who are reporting formatting issues (and rating it based on that) just delete the book from your library and re-download it. It's possible some downloads are getting corrupted due to high demand.
As an IT guy whose career has lived inside open systems I've struggled over the years with many of the topics covered in this book. I also idolized Job's from growing up in the 70's but was dismayed with the closed system approach and his apparent need for his products to treat me & my peers like I we were stupid. But the flip side is that my career has been spent working for corporations that built products & systems without soul, without deep functional beauty and without clarity of purpose. Steve Jobs was right in most respects and now I'm sad that every one if us have witnessed the evolution of Apple but so few corporations have learnt the obvious lessons including those corporations I have worked and work for now. Like Steve says repeating in this book... we just didn't get it.
"Everything starts with a great product." changed everything. Here we go again.