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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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3,7751471,381 (4.18)44
Member:mcleanbooks
Title:Steve Jobs
Authors:Walter Isaacson
Info:New York : Simon & Schuster, 2011.
Collections:Your library
Rating:****1/2
Tags:Biography, Apple

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Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson (2011)

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Showing 1-5 of 134 (next | show all)
Over the years I have read many books about Steve Jobs and about Apple Computers. Some are good, and some are great. This book goes over much information that has been previously published and despite Isaacson's proclaiming often that he was not going to do a puff piece on Jobs, an Iconic figure of our times, he has not given us all that we should see of Jobs.

Several places when Jobs inhumanity to his employees has been noted and thoroughly documented, Isaacson found the time to spin it. "Jobs is the way he is" says Isaacson and allows Jobs to explain away his harsh treatment to others so. That he sometimes apologizes years later to those who he attacked, is to make up for it.

That does not. However. Perhaps Jobs needed to divorce himself from Eastern Religion, which aided in allowing him to die instead of allowing him to embrace western medicine that might have saved him from death. Yet even what he embraced in Eastern Religion should have taught him to seek enlightenment through treating people better.

Aside from that, belittling how badly he did treat others, we see and learn a lot about the man, and get some validation of the spin cycle he purported. At other times we don't seem to have as much authentication as Jobs said there was.

He was flawed and now that he is gone we have many who say his spirit changed the course of many things. It is probably true and worth a read so you can judge for yourself. Yet if the world was full of men who acted as Jobs, it would be a lessor place.

There can not be a world full of people pushing hard to make great products in the sphere of Technology with no regard for those who actually have the science and understanding to build the products. There can not be a world full of those who think they are doing great things and step on those who are also doing great things but get in their way.

We have some great advances to thank Jobs for, and he made sacrifices at times so that we got them. He also had a terrific life getting us those items that change all of our daily lives. What makes the read then so fascinating learning of his life is the dichotomy that he presents us with. And that we can benefit from the early end he went to as the price he paid for us to have the lives that most of us who never worked with the man have. ( )
  DWWilkin | Jul 20, 2014 |
It is hard to dismiss the influence that the Steves Jobs and Wozniak have had on current product design and technology. As Walter Isaacson writes in the introduction to this absorbing biography: 'This is a book about 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.' Isaacson explores the nooks and crannies of Steve Jobs' contradictions. After initially resisting the author's advances, Jobs granted him more than 40 interviews. His own input - along with that of his friends, enemies and co-workers - makes for a well-rounded portrait of a unique man and the entrepreneurial drive.
  newtonco | Jun 24, 2014 |
Highly detailed account of a perfectionist fanatic who drove innovation in technology and design creating great wealth and hundreds of thousands of jobs for people in and connected with Apple.

I have never been fond of their products and this book hasn't changed my mind. I prefer functionality over design and while Apple products have both you pay a premium price for the design that adds little value, at least to me.

Still the book is a good read if you enjoy stories of how people can come together and create something innovative almost from scratch and succeed beyond their wildest dreams. ( )
  mrluckey | Jun 17, 2014 |
I am not much into reading biographies, but I took up this book just because I was tired of seeing this unread hardbound copy on my shelf for about 3 years now (thanks to my husband who purchased it & is also a HUGE HUGE fan of Steve Jobs and Apple products!!!). Now that I have read this book I feel it's worth it. Especially if you are die hard fan of apple products then you should know the passion, the zeal and all the history behind its creation. Its quite intriguing to know a famous person's life inside-out and Steve Job's life was definelty more than interesting, actually it was better than any fiction! Author Walter Isaacson has done a tremendous job in giving the right vision on Job’s both personal and professional life and his behavior towards them (although he never differentiated between these two much) with the right amount of sincerity and openness. Wherein in the end even though one comes to know what kind of a flawed and eccentric person Job really was yet one can never fail to admire him or appreciate him for his passion towards everything in life, which is outstanding!
( )
  Versha.Bharat | May 30, 2014 |
This truly impressive biography was unputdownable. I was fascinated reading how Steve Jobs' disagreeable, "asshole" personality and intuitive genius were so important to the start-up and ultimate success of Apple. Walter Isaacson did an amazing job in bringing this story to life.

I loved reading about all of the individuals, both Jobs' friends and foes, who were so important in bringing the computer age to life. I liked the way Isaacson delved into Jobs' personality in order to seek psychological insight into the man himself and how Jobs flattered, cajoled, charmed, screamed, chastised, and forced his way into control of all aspects of his life...even trying to maneuver out of his ultimate demise. I was throughly saddened when I finally read about his death.

For me, this book was quite the page-turner. The subchapters were short enough to allow me to stop and start reading at pretty much any point. This was important since the entire volume, consisting of over 600 pages, is not the type of book I usually pick up for a "fun read". I got hooked, however, after I started listening to this biography on CD and becoming thoroughly absorbed in it. It's probably one of the best biographies I've ever read. It makes me want to read Isaacson's other works simply for the engaging way he wrote this book. It also makes me sad that I never before bought any stock in Apple! :) ( )
  SqueakyChu | May 21, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 134 (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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