on March 22, 2012
I already knew a fair bit about jobs but this book is a true biography of a true legend. His story had to be documented and documented well. I am glad Walter Isaacson wrote this book. I doubt anyone else could have told the story in a better way. It does not try to sugarcoat Jobs' personality and takes you on a journey through a brilliant yet crazy mind of Jobs. Oscar Levant once said 'There is a thin line between genius and insanity'. Nothing personifies jobs better.
Any person in business must read this book. The most successful CEO of all times - this is a story of how self-belief, tenacity and iron-will can change the impossible into possible. Focus and follow your vision rest is mere distraction. If you are sane enough you'll disapprove of him, if you are crazy enough, you'll understand him. Here's to the crazies...
on November 16, 2011
I read every page of this book, I felt very moved afterwards. This book has stirred up some profound thoughts about life, work, all the good and bad traits of human being. It laid out Steve's life in front of readers in the utter most honest manner, and I found the writing to be plain yet sophisticated (like an Apple product).
I have much much more respect for Steve and his work after reading this book, it helped me know Steve as a genius and a flawed human being.
on November 27, 2011
I didn't know anything about Apple and Steve Jobs but I did buy an Apple lap top just one year ago so I did have an interest in knowing about the inventor of the Apple dynasty. I found the book extremely interesting and informative. I have never read about a more diverse person before so it was incredibly interesting to learn the lifestyle of a man who is now acknowledged to have been a genius.
It was also very interesting to read about the "politics" of the computer world, the competition between the brands and the endless striving for perfection to be the very best in the world no matter what the cost to his health. He truly did give his life for his love of the challenge to be the very best in the whole world and thankfully, he will always be remembered for what he sought to achieve. He did achieve his aim and I feel so very sorry that he had to give the ultimate price to achieve it.
He WILL aways be remembered as the VERY BEST, he deserves this and his products will live on. It will be interesting to know if they can continue to be at the forefront of new technology. Time will tell but it will not damage his reputation. H was the FIRST and will always be remembered and revered for what he contributed to the computer world.
A most wonderful book that I have recommended to family and friends. Also, an amazing price at Amazon!!
on November 11, 2011
I found the book captivatingly brilliant. Isaacson gets a solid grade "A" for his homework, and the manner in which he structured his book. That said, the one thing that stood out to me like a sore thumb, perhaps because I'm a step father who hates it when people differentiate me as being something other than my daughter's "real" dad, is that a number of times in the book, when speaking of Steve's lifelong search for mentors, a reference is made to him "looking for a father figure". Nothing could be further from the truth. Indeed, the lessons he learned from Paul Jobs shaped him for life. He had a father. We all seek out mentors, but we never consider those mentors as parents unless we missed out on parenting. Jobs did not. That said, from one author to another, It is a solid work that will stand the test of time. Thank you for being so painstakingly thorough.
The best biographies plunge us into the life and times of the subject with the page-turning aspects of a novel. They convey the facts of a subject’s life in a compelling narrative, and with extraordinarily famous people, in such a way that we hardly notice we already know many of the details.
Steve Jobs is very much one of those extraordinarily famous people. We already know much of the chronology and the accomplishments of his life, and from media we already have a strong sense of his personality. All the more remarkable then, that noted biographer Walter Isaacson has delivered such a fascinating, compelling and moving portrait.
Jobs asked Isaacson to write the book - he had already written excellent biographies on Albert Einstein, Benjamin Franklin, and Henry Kissinger - and Isaacson has used his considerable biographical skills to produce a fascinating, compelling and moving picture. Unlike many authorized biographies it faced no revisions or restrictions by Mr. Jobs. What you see is what you get, and what you get is a truly remarkable tale of a truly remarkable visionary, innovator, and business leader.
The book unfolds chronologically, and from an early age Jobs is shown to have smarts, moxy, and unusual personality traits. His string of business successes (Apple, NeXT, Pixar), and his string of product successes (MacIntosh, iMac, iTunes, iPod, iPhone, iPad) is legendary, but only time will tell if he accomplished his primary goal - to build a company that would last, a company that would reinvent itself and remain an innovative leader.
Jobs’ odd traits permeate the pages, but Isaacson is non-judgemental, and the book never descends into the voyeuristic sideshow that is a hallmark of so many lesser biographers. For one of the most successful business leaders in history, Jobs also had an unusual indifference to money. When Apple purchased a plane for his use, it was not ostentation, but rather an attempt to give some balance to Jobs’ work and family life. A small detail in a grand life story, but like so many details Isaacson includes, a telling one. The jet, modeled after one owned by his close friend and Oracle CEO Larry Ellison, was modified to Jobs’ exacting design standards - the same standards he applied to Apple products. Ellison offers a telling comment about the jet’s completion. “I look at his airplane and mine, and everything he changed was better.” Not more bigger, not faster, not more gold plating ... just “better”, through design.
Isaacson’s biography will seem to the new, fresh minds of future generations even more remarkable than it does to us today. It is rare to have an authoritative and unvarnished biography of such a luminary, and it is difficult to imagine any other biographers adding to what Isaacson has written. Unsurprisingly, Steve Jobs is the best selling biography in history. A biography - the biography - that will be read for decades to come.
on December 3, 2011
I am a long-term Macintosh user and Apple supporter and Steve Jobs has always held a particular fascination for me. So it was with eager anticipation that I looked forward to the publication of his biography. I was not disappointed. Jobs was an extraordinarily complex man and it is no surprise that his life was full of twists and turns, reflecting his volatile personality. The book is almost 600 pages long but clearly his biographer had to decide what to leave out or otherwise the work could not have been contained in a single volume. Jobs' role in the founding of and subsequent involvement in the story of Apple was a case of the right person being in the right place at the right time.
Walter Isaacson's book has the hallmark of having been carefully researched and his writing style is such that once I started to read it I had difficulty putting it down.
on August 20, 2013
I'm not a super techie person and I'm not a long time loyal Mac user. My ipad is the first and only apple product I have owned. But reading this book (or listening to it on audio to be precise) has been a wonderful experience on many levels. Steve Jobs is a fascinating person. It takes a passionate a personality such to have accomplished all the things he did. This book is also an exciting history of the digital revolution. Told from the Apple perspective, changes in technology and consumer devices that happened in chaotic and unrefined fashion each culminate in an apple device that represents a mature manifestation of a technology. I find it interesting that the book, which often mentioned jobs' desire for simplicity was also able to tell the history of the era in similarly simple terms. This was a great book. I would come home from listening to it in the car and talk endlessly about it and be excited to go on a long drive so I could hear more. Kudos to Dylan Baker for great narration! The only downside to having read this book is I may now become an Apple only person... And I may have developed an unhealthy desire for great functional and aesthetic design.