FROM THE AUTHOR OF THE BESTSELLING BIOGRAPHIES OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN AND ALBERT EINSTEIN, THIS IS THE EXCLUSIVE BIOGRAPHY OF STEVE JOBS.
Based on more than forty interviews with Jobs conducted over two years—as well as interviews with more than a hundred family members, friends, adversaries, competitors, and colleagues—Walter Isaacson has written a riveting story of the roller-coaster life and searingly intense personality of a creative entrepreneur whose passion for perfection and ferocious drive revolutionized six industries: personal computers, animated movies, music, phones, tablet computing, and digital publishing.
At a time when America is seeking ways to sustain its innovative edge, and when societies around the world are trying to build digital-age economies, Jobs stands as the ultimate icon of inventiveness and applied imagination. He knew that the best way to create value in the twenty-first century was to connect creativity with technology. He built a company where leaps of the imagination were combined with remarkable feats of engineering.
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. But his personality and products were interrelated, just as Apple’s hardware and software tended to be, as if part of an integrated system. His tale is instructive and cautionary, filled with lessons about innovation, character, leadership, and values.
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
Fascinating topic, poor writing. Needs an Update!
I love Apple and Steve. Because of this, I pre-ordered this book from iBook Store months ago. The book is interesting because the subject is riveting. However, the writing is very poor. There are numerous grammatical errors, paragraphs don't flow, and chapters end abruptly. (E.g. "His father was calm and gentle, traits that his son later praised more than emulated. He was also resolute." and " He walked into the room of the student who had offered to buy it only to discover that he was having sex with his girlfriend." Who's he, whose son, whose girlfriend?!) I realize the book was rushed, but it really needs some editing. I would love to get the updated 1.1 version.
Worth the wait.
Have been waiting for Steve's official biography since the early 2000… My patience finally paid off with this great book, this is the day I have been waiting for. Thank you Steve for leaving behind this wealth for us, RIP... and thank you Walter for the great mastery in translating Steve's thoughts in words for us. :)!
Amazing, inspiring, incredible.
This biography by Walter Isaacson was well done. It clearly reiterates one of Steve Jobs' most famous quotes.
"Stay hungry. Stay foolish."