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Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson
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Steve Jobs (original 2011; edition 2012)

by Walter Isaacson

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4,1471661,208 (4.16)50
Member:sperzdechly
Title:Steve Jobs
Authors:Walter Isaacson
Info:Mondadori (2012), Paperback
Collections:Your library
Rating:**1/2
Tags:leadership, management, innovation, history, genius, memoir, audiobook

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Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson (2011)

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Showing 1-5 of 151 (next | show all)
First off, regardless of how much you know about Jobs or Apple this is a really thorough bio. However, since I have followed apple and jobs since 1983, many of the stories in this book are well known to those who followed him and Apple. Also, most of the best bits have been put out in the media over the last several weeks. I was also struck by the fact that, as an apple watcher, how many of the "rumored" stories were either true or mostly true.

The real insight here is the fact that Jobs provided 40 interviews to Isaacson so you get to hear his take on his life. That said, I would have liked to see a bit more independent analysis from Isaacson. Its clear he likes Jobs but he never really takes a critical eye to Jobs' place in history. Isaacson is rightly critical of Jobs' personality flaws, but as to his technical and business decisions (many of which I think were right) - not so much. Perhaps that has to come when some more perspective has been gained by time and by someone more grounded in technology. That said, definitely worth the read. ( )
  dham340 | May 10, 2015 |
I really loved this book and I love Steve Jobs. It's true he was a bit of a narcissist, or a lot of one, but I guess I have a bit of a soft spot for narcissists. He was like one of those villains in a book that you're surprised to find yourself rooting for. I saw his "reality distortion field" as vision and faith in the impossible. Which I admire greatly. If it wasn't for him, and that belief, our world would be a very different place! He was a flawed person, but also had many strengths. And it's inspiring to see how many of his flaws became a strength. It was also interesting to get a history on how it all happened. ( )
  KR_Patterson | Apr 28, 2015 |
Sometimes, the distance between the author and the subject is a little lacking. Also, whilst one learns a good deal about external factors, it still does only a raw job at explaining the way his mind worked. ( )
  KonradN | Apr 19, 2015 |
This was a great read about a deeply flawed man with incredible vision and drive. ( )
  CeliciaS | Mar 15, 2015 |
The best biography I've read in a long time. Jobs was a genius, an artist, a bully and a narcissist. The unsung heroes are the people who worked for such a monster. ( )
  KerryD1971 | Jan 25, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 151 (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
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(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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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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