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There have been many books—on a large and small scale—about Steve Jobs, one of the most famous CEOs in history. But this book is different from all the others.
Becoming Steve Jobs takes on and breaks down the existing myth and stereotypes about Steve Jobs. The conventional, one-dimensional view of Jobs is that he was half-genius, half-jerk from youth, an irascible and selfish leader who slighted friends and family alike. Becoming Steve Jobs answers the central question about the life and career of the Apple cofounder and CEO: How did a young man so reckless and arrogant that he was exiled from the company he founded become the most effective visionary business leader of our time, ultimately transforming the daily life of billions of people?
Drawing on incredible and sometimes exclusive access, Schlender and Tetzeli tell a different story of a real human being who wrestled with his failings and learned to maximize his strengths over time. Their rich, compelling narrative is filled with stories never told before from the people who knew Jobs best, and who decided to open up to the authors, including his family, former inner circle executives, and top people at Apple, Pixar and Disney, most notably Tim Cook, Jony Ive, Eddy Cue, Ed Catmull, John Lasseter, Robert Iger and many others. In addition, Brent knew Jobs personally for 25 years and draws upon his many interviews with him, on and off the record, in writing the book. He and Rick humanize the man and explain, rather than simply describe, his behavior. Along the way, the book provides rich context about the technology revolution we all have lived through, and the ways in which Jobs changed our world.
Schlender and Tetzeli make clear that Jobs's astounding success at Apple was far more complicated than simply picking the right products: he became more patient, he learned to trust his inner circle, and discovered the importance of growing the company incrementally rather than only shooting for dazzling game-changing products.
A rich and revealing account that will change the way we view Jobs, Becoming Steve Jobs shows us how one of the most colorful and compelling figures of our times was able to combine his unchanging, relentless passion with a more mature management style to create one of the most valuable and beloved companies on the planet.
The late Apple CEO changes from brilliant, erratic, insufferable jerk to steady, perspicacious, tolerable jerk in this shrewdly admiring biography. Journalist Schlender and Fast Company editor Tetzeli focus on the years after Jobs's 1985 ouster from Apple and then on his 1997 return to guide the company's resurgence with a string of hit iProducts. They depict a spiritual journey, with Jobs wandering in the wilderness at NeXT Computer, where his confused, tyrannical fiats almost sank the company, and then at Pixar, where he learned the art of not interfering with talented subordinates; he emerged a more patient man with a tempered strategic outlook and an ability to listen to underlings when they screamed back at him. Schlender and Tetzeli's account is unusually intimate thanks to voluminous interviews and Schlender's many personal encounters with Jobs over decades of covering him, and a reverential tone sometimes surfaces as when Jobs's lieutenant Tim Cook offered Jobs his own liver for a transplant in this corrective to Walter Isaacson's more jaundiced biography. But the authors are clear-eyed about Jobs's flaws and give lucid, detailed analyses of his maneuverings and product initiatives; theirs is one of the most nuanced and revealing assessments of Jobs's controversial career. Photos.