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Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson
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Steve Jobs (original 2011; edition 2011)

by Walter Isaacson

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3,9471541,300 (4.17)47
Member:halsteadt
Title:Steve Jobs
Authors:Walter Isaacson
Info:Simon & Schuster (2011), Edition: 1, Hardcover, 656 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:****
Tags:None

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Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson (2011)

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English (140)  Spanish (4)  Dutch (3)  French (3)  Danish (1)  Finnish (1)  German (1)  Piratical (1)  All languages (154)
Showing 1-5 of 140 (next | show all)
Genie und Wahnsinn liegen eben (nicht nur im Volksmund)nah beisammen.
Ich fand es faszinierend, "Interna" aus dem Silikon Valley zu lesen.... wer wen kennt und wen mag usw.
Die vielschichtige Persönlichkeit von Steve Jobs wird sehr gut beleuchtet. ( )
  muehlpfordt | Oct 14, 2014 |
I really enjoyed this book.

I know that most will say that it only details the victims of Jobs' depraved nature. If you stick with it, and if you have the capacity for such an uncommon activity as introspection, there is much to be learned here. Not only do we observe how a man of singular genius sets out to make things he bears an ineradicable passion for, we see a sample of something everyone on this earth wants desperately to possess, whether or not they wish to admit it to themselves or not. What they want, what I want (and you for that matter) is greatness. To have our brains and bodies function in such a way that we produce things we can be proud of. An undying love for something (anything) that we desire to reside in our existence to the degree that whatever we decide we love, we love it so much that it, in the processes that are not exclusive to Steve Jobs, becomes great in our eyes. That our passion manifest itself in some tangible way that we can observe it and benefit from its existence which was begotten the depths of our mind where lay the seeds of our passion.

Yes, I learned much about Steve Jobs by reading this, but I think that I may have learned more about myself.

Maybe this is not a great review, but it's how I felt about it. ( )
  DanielAlgara | Sep 26, 2014 |
As Steve Jobs' biography has been extensively reviewed by other people, I am going to try to limit my own review to insights that I believe were largely absent in the discussions about Isaacson's work and Steve Jobs' life.

First, I have to recognize the research that went into this biography. At the same time, the material was limited. Isaacson dug deep, including hundreds of interviews with Jobs and the people close to him, yet only a relatively small amount made it into the book. As I read the book, and particularly toward the end, I kept wondering how much ended up on the cutting room floor. Probably enough to create another bio of Jobs, plus assorted studies of specific products or the people around him. I would be very interested to see a book about the relationship between Jobs and Ive, as well as Jobs and Lasseter (the creative genius at Pixar)

Speaking of Pixar, I was very excited to see that Isaacson explored the history of Jobs at Pixar, and how he helped grow the company. The section about Jobs and Eisner, and the Disney acquisition, were fascinating. As a technology journalist from the late 1990s until 2010, I really felt that the Jobs/Pixar story was neglected by the media in favor of Jobs/Apple, but Isaacson really helped shed some light into the Pixar connection.

The coverage of certain Apple products was uneven. For instance, the author dove into the iTunes/iPod/music industry story, but barely scratched the surface of the App Store and its impact. There were also a number of Apple hardware products that were notable but were barely mentioned. I'm not just talking about obscure iMac upgrades, Xserve, or various product flops, either. For instance, the MacBook Air marked a milestone in laptop design, but I don't recall seeing it mentioned.

However, the small number of negative issues should not detract from Isaacson's accomplishment. He had to write about an incredibly difficult topic, and the result is a portrait of a flawed, yet brilliant man. ( )
  in30minutes | Sep 25, 2014 |
A fascinating biography of a fascinating man. Acknowledging that Jobs was a genius, Isaacson--describing the cruelty and insensitivity that Jobs so often displayed--says the "technical term" for this is "asshole." Although he denied it, Jobs was a control freak, and again and again his personal vision was proven to be magical and incredibly popular. He made a fortune on products but was not as rich as other Silicon Valley CEO's; money, per se was not his goal. What was vital to him was creating products (Isaacson repeatedly uses the word "elegant") that enabled customers to do what they had never done before. In addition, it was critical to Jobs that Apple become an enduringly organization that did not rely upon him to thrive and postioned itself at the nexus of technology and the humanities. The company went from its invention by Wozniak and Jobs in the latter's garage to being the most valuable company on the planet. Jobs, in many ways, embodied the counterculture: he valued his LSD experiences; he was a devotee of Zen for his entire life; he was a vegan. Yet, he also skewed toward policies which multinationals adopted to avoid taxes and he railed at any government regulation. He loved Dylan as he dodged the SEC. One of my favorite Dylan lines is "To live outside the law you must be honest," but Jobs refined this by having what someone quoted in the book describes as narcissistic personality disorder. It was Jobs' version or nothing, and he was almost sadistic in imposing his will. He also had an ability to deny what he did not want to contemplate; this incuded his children and his cancer diagnosis. Isaacson has interviewed dozens of individuals, from old friends to tech CEOs, and has crafted a wonderfully dimensional and satisfying conversation in which the reader is introduced to a legend. The book is honest and at time critical of Jobs--and that too is a definite plus for readers. ( )
  neddludd | Sep 24, 2014 |
This is how I see Steve Jobs:

He was such a lucky bastard. Truly a bastard and truly lucky. A man one hates to love. I can, however, respect that with his amassed wealth, he rose to the challenge and responsibility.

And the book? Interesting. ( )
  waelrammo | Sep 14, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 140 (next | show all)
Steve Jobs dreamed of a legacy that awed people. He wanted to be in the pantheon of great product innovators, indeed surpassing Edwin Land and even his early icons William Hewitt and David Packard. But, Jobs created more than great products. Just as significant was his ability to create great companies with valuable brands. And, he created two of the best of his era: Apple and Pixar.
 
Isaacson’s book is long, dull, often flat-footed, and humorless. It hammers on one nail, incessantly: that Steve Jobs was an awful man, but awful in the service of products people really liked (and eventually bought lots of) and so in the end his awfulness was probably OK. It is not Isaacson’s fault that Jobs from early on had a “admixture of sensitivity and insensitivity, bristliness and detachment,” as Isaacson describes it, or that Jobs abandoned friends, thought almost everyone else was a shithead, showed little interest in his daughters, and made life generally miserable for anyone who had to provide a good or service to him. But it is Isaacson’s fault that the biography is so narrowly focused on one moral theme. The reader is left to judge, with plenty of evidence both ways—and a clear idea of where Isaacson’s sympathies lie—whether Jobs deserves the Artist’s Exemption.
added by Shortride | editn+1, Gary Sernovitz (Dec 20, 2011)
 
As Walter Isaacson says in this incisive biography, Jobs behaved like a Nietzschean superman, using his will – transmitted through an unblinking stare – as a remote-control device that compelled others to do his bidding.
added by SqueakyChu | editThe Guardian, Peter Conrad (Oct 30, 2011)
 
While Jobs was a vigorous competitor, he also came to view himself as an elder statesman with a responsibility for giving advice to Google’s Page, Facebook Inc. CEO Mark Zuckerberg and other emerging technology executives, according to “Steve Jobs,” an authorized biography by Walter Isaacson and published by CBS Corp. (CBS)’s Simon & Schuster. It goes on sale Oct. 24.
added by Serviette | editBloomberg, Adam Satariano (Oct 22, 2011)
 
Mr. Isaacson treats “Steve Jobs” as the biography of record, which means that it is a strange book to read so soon after its subject’s death. Some of it is an essential Silicon Valley chronicle, compiling stories well known to tech aficionados but interesting to a broad audience. Some of it is already quaint. Mr. Jobs’s first job was at Atari, and it involved the game Pong. (“If you’re under 30, ask your parents,” Mr. Isaacson writes.) Some, like an account of the release of the iPad 2, is so recent that it is hard to appreciate yet, even if Mr. Isaacson says the device comes to life “like the face of a tickled baby.”
added by LiteraryFiction | editNew York Times, Janet Maslin (pay site) (Oct 21, 2011)
 
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Epigraph
The people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones who do. -- Apple's "Think Different" commercial, 1997
Dedication
First words
(Introduction - How This Book Came to Be) In the early summer of 2004, I got a phone call from Steve Jobs.
When Paul Jobs was mustered out of the Coast Guard after World War II, he made a wager with his crewmates.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Book description
À partir d'une quarantaine d'interviews exclusives et de multiples rencontres avec sa famille , ses proches , ses collaborateurs , ses amis comme ses adversaires , l'auteur a constitué d'une façon magistrale et passionnée la vie , l'œuvre et la pensée d'un des plus grands innovateurs et visionnaires de notre époque .

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.
Haiku summary
Steven P. Jobs/Innovative, genius mind/Rough around the edge(njvroom)

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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, the author 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. -- From publisher.… (more)

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