Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson

Steve Jobs by Walter IsaacsonSteve Jobs by Walter Isaacson
Published: Simon & Schuster (2011), eBook, 630pg
Source: Scribd
Genres: Biography, Non-Fiction

From best-selling author Walter Isaacson comes the landmark biography of Apple co-founder Steve Jobs.

In Steve Jobs: The Exclusive Biography, Isaacson provides an extraordinary account of Jobs' professional and personal life. Drawn from three years of exclusive and unprecedented interviews Isaacson has conducted with Jobs as well as extensive interviews with Jobs' family members and key colleagues from Apple and its competitors, Steve Jobs: The Exclusive Biography is the definitive portrait of the greatest innovator of his generation.

I have a love-hate relationship with Apple in that I love their products when they work, but hate them when they don’t. More importantly, though, I’m super interested in the history of technology, especially computers! I’ve been wanting to read this Steve Jobs biography for a while now but got discouraged because the hardback is frickin’ heavy; luckily there’s an ebook version on Scribd, so I read it on my iPhone instead.

Steve Jobs was a total dingleberry. I would NOT have wanted to work for him. Not only did he refuse to wear deodorant or shoes for about 20 years, he yelled, belittled and was generally a huge pain in the rear towards everyone he met. He also didn’t like blinking and ate way too much fruit.

He ALSO lead the way to designing some really great devices and changing the way we interact with technology on a massive scale, so I guess it worked out.

Most of the fun of this book comes from all the weird things Jobs did during his life– I had a great time highlighting passages and going “omg WHAT” a lot.1

It’s also a very touching book, though. It’s not easy being super intelligent, and it’s even more difficult when you’ve got a tough personality like Jobs did. He may not have been the nicest person, but he got things done and his insistence on meeting technology and art in everything he did is admirable (even if it sometimes led to a bricked product).

Props to Walter Isaacson for keeping things repetitively unbiased, even though they were friends.2 It’s hard sometimes for biographers to keep from idolizing their subjects, especially when those subjects have legitimately changed the world. However, I’m not interested in reading piled-up praise; I wanted to know what it was really like being Steve Jobs (and working/living with him) and that’s why I read this book.

And that’s exactly what I got! Though Isaacson didn’t shy away from praising Jobs when Jobs did something awesome, he also wasn’t worried about calling him out when he did something weird or upsetting. It made it well worth spending several days and 600+ pages reading about Steve Jobs.

A fun thing about Steve Jobs is that I was alive and aware for some of the things that happened in it. I remember when the iPhone and iPad first came out; I remember when Pixar got bought by Disney; I remember when they came out with the first Macbooks. Reading about all that made me feel weirdly proud, like I accomplished something just by observing. I liked it!

Read: August 1-5, 2014

Question: I really want to read a biography and/or history about women in early tech fields. I can name, like, ten important men! But no women, and that’s wrong. Does anyone know of a good book about women and computers?

  1. For example: he was such a perfectionist that he couldn’t decide on furniture for his house for like TWO YEARS.
  2. Double props for not using Jobs’ family as emotional fodder, either.

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