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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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4,1071641,226 (4.16)50
Member:MAKBerlin
Title:Steve Jobs
Authors:Walter Isaacson
Info:Mondadori (2012), Paperback
Collections:Your library
Rating:*****
Tags:biography

Work details

Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson (2011)

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Showing 1-5 of 148 (next | show all)
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 |
This is a wonderfully written book on a very complex individual, Steve Jobs, the co-founder of Apple and of Pixar. Apparently, he's one of the greatest geniuses in history, revolutionizing entire industries and changing billions of lives. Among his revolutions include the personal computer (Macs), graphic design, the music industry and how we get our music (iTunes and iPods), cell phones, and tablets, as well as computer animated films. I mean, he was an amazing genius, a once in a century person. However, at the same time, he was the most narcissistic, entitled, ASSHOLE in the history of the universe, with a monster temper, no filters for other people, and the greatest DICKWEED on the planet. I couldn't believe what I read about him. He screwed countless people over, including Steve Wozniak, his partner at Apple and one of the nicest people around, his CEOs, his board members, tons of his employees, his enemies -- everyone. He viewed himself as a counterculture revolutionary, yet become a monstrously rich multi-billionaire with his own jet plane and mansions. He got pulled over for doing 100 one day on the highway. The cop told him if he got pulled over again, he'd go to jail. As soon as the cop left, he resumed doing 100. He never had a license plate on his cars. He thought he was above that and that standard rules didn't apply to him. Instead of parking in the CEO spot at Apple, he parked in not one, but two (straddling) disabled parking spaces, just to be a jerk. When he was getting his liver transplant at a hospital in Memphis, he ordered something like 18 smoothies for him to taste test before finding one that was decent and sending the rest back. He'd order fresh juice at a restaurant and send it back relentlessly because it wasn't fresh enough. He screwed some of his original Apple employees over (and best friends) by giving some stock options and others none. He'd go to restaurants when they were closed and demand they open and serve him and then he'd order something that wasn't even on the menu. He was a bulimic, lifelong vegan who made everyone cater to his tastes. He drank carrot juice for months and ate nothing but carrots and turned orange. He initially thought his fruit diet was good enough to ward off body odors and didn't use deodorant or anything like it and stunk like crazy until Apple went public and the board forced him to start showering once a week. He thought in terms of black and white. Everything was either a winner or total shit. Most everything was total shit and he would tell you that to your face. No filter. He was envious of Woz and was responsible for him leaving the company. He fought with people all the time. He was given up for adoption as a baby and always felt abandoned, but when he and his girlfriend had a baby girl, he turned his back on them completely until the state of California forced him to take a paternity test which proved he was the father and then forced him to start paying alimony. He was an obsessive design freak who believed in completely closed and integrated systems, which made for great products, but hurt his market share and his company's bottom line. He had to have the best of everything. He never did anything people told him, not even as a child. His educators gave up trying to force him to do his schoolwork and let him do whatever he wanted. He went ballistic when Bill Gates ripped Apple off with Windows and then with everything else (like the Zune -- remember that?), yet he himself ripped off the geniuses at Xerox PARC, getting from them three things -- the graphical user interface (GUI) look of the operating system, the mouse, and networking, which he put into the Mac, transforming personal computers forever. I could go on and on, but I don't have to. Isaacson already did. Just read his book. Jobs was a fascinating person and he created amazing things, but at what cost? Burned, tortured lives, careers thrown away, people discarded, no rules observed. I felt sad upon reading of his early passing, but if there is a hell, he's definitely in it now. And I don't feel too badly about that. I, for one, won't say "RIP" to Steve Jobs. I'm glad to have and use and enjoy his creations, but I'm also glad he's no longer on earth. Highly recommended book. ( )
  scottcholstad | Jan 12, 2015 |
I have to hand it to Walter Isaacson. He was commissioned by Jobs to write a warts-and-all biography, and he absolutely followed through. The portrait of Jobs he paints here is that of a man who somehow managed to combine some of the worst traits of capitalist and hippie, a man who was, frankly, a colossal ass. Although, admittedly, a colossal ass with with a real eye for design and a certain amount of vision. (And I can't deny it, I do love my iPod.)

As I was reading this, especially the earlier chapters, in which the focus was more on Jobs's personality than his not-yet-fully-realized technology empire, I kept thinking that I was going to end up rating this book lower than I actually have, just because I found spending time with its subject, however vicariously, to be simply too unpleasant. But in the end, I couldn't do it. Isaacson's skills as a biographer are so good, and the details of Jobs's career are so interesting, that it turned out to be an entirely worthwhile read, after all. ( )
1 vote bragan | Jan 10, 2015 |
Wow! Isaacson captures the essence of this most complicated, gifted, forward looking genius. For me, Steve Jobs was to modern technology what Mozart and Beethoven were to music, what Einstein was to physics, what Michelangelo was to art... a fantastic read! ( )
  junebedell | Jan 2, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 148 (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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