Steve Jobs: A Biography

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Steve Jobs: A Biography

by Walter Isaacson

Simon & Schuster | October 24, 2011 | Hardcover

Steve Jobs: A Biography is rated 4.6667 out of 5 by 15.
FROM THE AUTHOR OF THE BESTSELLING BIOGRAPHIES OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN AND ALBERT EINSTEIN, THIS IS THE EXCLUSIVE BIOGRAPHY OF STEVE JOBS.

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.

Format: Hardcover

Dimensions: 656 pages, 9.25 × 6.12 × 1.9 in

Published: October 24, 2011

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 1451648537

ISBN - 13: 9781451648539

Found in: Biography and Memoir

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Reviews

Rated 5 out of 5 by from Jobs Changed the World! I am not a tecno-geek but I could not help but loving this bio of Steve Jobs and the rise of Apple. The man was an artist who believed that technology and humanity could merge into beautifully designed products. The book despite its many pages is a page-turner as we see the development of Apple's beloved product line. It will be interesting to see Apple's future growth without Jobs. Hopefully it will continue to live up to the legacy he left behind,
Date published: 2013-10-20
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Driven, Passionate, Obsessed As a dedicated, avid and long-time Apple user, I felt obliged to read this bio-retrospective of the man responsible for facilitating so much of my personal and professional electronic communications world. Unlike his products, which are intuitive and user-friendly, this intimate reveal of Steve Jobs provides a unique and often difficult-to-fathom glimpse into the compellingly private, emotionally complex existence of the man behind a global icon. Like so many truly renowned 'artists', defined so often by their proximity to madness, Steve Jobs: A Biography allows readers to feel the madness, the passion, the internalized fermenting turmoil that might just have been Apple's catalyst to becoming a global game changer in the fiercely unemotional industry of electronic communications ... and quite likely contributed to this great visionary's ultimate demise. His vision will likely never be replicated, but this must read, well-told page-turner should do much to keep a light on his legacy and never-ending spirit and drive to achieve simplicity in perfection.
Date published: 2013-08-22
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The Definitive Biography of Steve Jobs The best biographies plunge us into the life and times of the subject with the page-turning aspects of a novel. They convey the facts of a subject’s life in a compelling narrative, and with extraordinarily famous people, in such a way that we hardly notice we already know many of the details. Steve Jobs is very much one of those extraordinarily famous people. We already know much of the chronology and the accomplishments of his life, and from media we already have a strong sense of his personality. All the more remarkable then, that noted biographer Walter Isaacson has delivered such a fascinating, compelling and moving portrait. Jobs asked Isaacson to write the book - he had already written excellent biographies on Albert Einstein, Benjamin Franklin, and Henry Kissinger - and Isaacson has used his considerable biographical skills to produce a fascinating, compelling and moving picture. Unlike many authorized biographies it faced no revisions or restrictions by Mr. Jobs. What you see is what you get, and what you get is a truly remarkable tale of a truly remarkable visionary, innovator, and business leader. The book unfolds chronologically, and from an early age Jobs is shown to have smarts, moxy, and unusual personality traits. His string of business successes (Apple, NeXT, Pixar), and his string of product successes (MacIntosh, iMac, iTunes, iPod, iPhone, iPad) is legendary, but only time will tell if he accomplished his primary goal - to build a company that would last, a company that would reinvent itself and remain an innovative leader. Jobs’ odd traits permeate the pages, but Isaacson is non-judgemental, and the book never descends into the voyeuristic sideshow that is a hallmark of so many lesser biographers. For one of the most successful business leaders in history, Jobs also had an unusual indifference to money. When Apple purchased a plane for his use, it was not ostentation, but rather an attempt to give some balance to Jobs’ work and family life. A small detail in a grand life story, but like so many details Isaacson includes, a telling one. The jet, modeled after one owned by his close friend and Oracle CEO Larry Ellison, was modified to Jobs’ exacting design standards - the same standards he applied to Apple products. Ellison offers a telling comment about the jet’s completion. “I look at his airplane and mine, and everything he changed was better.” Not more bigger, not faster, not more gold plating ... just “better”, through design. Isaacson’s biography will seem to the new, fresh minds of future generations even more remarkable than it does to us today. It is rare to have an authoritative and unvarnished biography of such a luminary, and it is difficult to imagine any other biographers adding to what Isaacson has written. Unsurprisingly, Steve Jobs is the best selling biography in history. A biography - the biography - that will be read for decades to come.
Date published: 2013-06-08
Rated out of 5 by from " What small step can I take today that could change the world?" - Steve Jobs. This inspiring biography is well-written with humour and empathy. The research is excellent, the details are insightful. Walter Isaacson does an amazing job depicting the creative genius behind Apple, providing a comprehensive and informative perspective by interviewing Steve Jobs, his friends and enemies alike. The reader has the impression of knowing him and understanding his behaviour after reading the book. That earns the book five stars. No other book on Jobs has been based on first hand information from Jobs himself, his colleagues and his detractors. “Steve Jobs”, is a story of the man who aimed to put a dent in the universe. That’s exactly what he did. Well worth reading. This is a suspenseful and engaging journey into the life of an amazing individual. It is an encyclopedic survey of all that Mr. Jobs accomplished, replete with the passion and excitement that it deserves. This is Jobs' last gift to those of us who admired his vision of the world, but wondered about the spirit of the man behind it all. So who is the Steve Jobs? Isaacson presents Jobs life in an "authorized biography" which often thought to be a full-length PR piece but it is actually not. If you’re feeling uninspired leading your life, this book could help you find a new spark.
Date published: 2013-04-27
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great Reading The Book opens with the quote, "The people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones who do." This about sums up Steve Jobs. He was crazy and he changed the world. He was mean and he was a genius. He brought about the personal computer revolution and he gave the world products we could love. The biography tells it like it is - no holds barred; it tells the good and the bad side of Steve Jobs and there were a lot of both. The book is a history of Apple as much as it is a biography of Steve Jobs and makes for very interesting reading.
Date published: 2012-06-25
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing I was really amazed by the live of Jobs. his drive, tenacity, and vision was really unique. Too bad he's gone and I hope Apple continues to give innovative products. RIP Steve.
Date published: 2012-03-30
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Modern day Edison I was very interested to know more about the legendary Steve Jobs - I knew he had started up Apple but that was about it. It was a real eye-opener to realize just how eccentric and manic he was with his co-workers. This biography is brtually honest at times and pulls no punches with Jobs and his antics. Keep in mind, however, that Jobs is visualizing something very specific and, more importantly, something no one has thought of yet (but he knows). That would be very frustrating for anyone - constantly waiting for people to catch up to your vision. Nonetheless, Jobs had his faults and this bio describes them in great detail. If you are interested in technology, computers and the recent history of both or if you want to learn about the origins of a man who is both regarded as an extremely succesful businessman and ingenious innovator, you will want to pick this up. At almost 700 pages, it is no lightweight but the author keeps the story going at a fairly brisk rate that you will get through this with minimal difficulty. Apple forever....
Date published: 2012-03-12
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Loved this book I absolutely enjoyed this book from start to finish. Was looking forward to it for some time and was not deceived. Being a big Apple fan and working in the marketing industry, it has always blows my mind as to how Apple has been able to gain and maintain such market share. This book will take your though the life of a genius that did so much to transform the world we live in.
Date published: 2012-01-25
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Couldn't put it down! I never would have touched a computer if it weren't for Apple. Although I always loved the company and its products, I didn't follow the history or Jobs. But upon his passing, I had to read this book and so glad I did. I look at all the Apple products now a little differently and with greater respect!
Date published: 2011-12-03
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Awesome! It was a great read. I learned a lot about Jobs that I didn't know, even though I started working in the tech industry in the late 80s. He was a unique individual with passion and drive. What I liked most is that he didn't start out wanting to make money, he just wanted to change the world. Highly recommend.
Date published: 2011-12-01
Rated 5 out of 5 by from For anyone running or thinking of opening a business a must read! A fine example of product trumping profit. If the product is great the profit will follow. The courage to go with your convictions when all around you tell you you are wrong. A testament to passion at all costs. My only disappointment is that I wish we learned even more about what made Steve Jobs tick - the man behind the man/persona. A worthwhile read about a truly historical figure. (composed on an iPad)
Date published: 2011-11-15
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Compelling This was a great read of Steve's personal work life. It does not go into any real depth on his family life or intimate interactions with his friends. For me it was a great read and one I found difficult to put down until I finished it. I was left with an admiration for his work ethic and his need to bring great products with great design to the customer. Makes me want to go out and get a Mac, the only Apple product I do not own yet :)
Date published: 2011-11-14
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Disappointing Isaacson received the exclusive chance of interviewing Jobs and the dozens of people closest to him. But at the end of the 600-some pages, offers up little analysis or depth into the real Steve Jobs. What made him tick? What gave him the razor sharp business acumen to predict consumer trends? Why WAS he so mean and pathological? Isaacson dances around main issues plenty of times and certainly offers some juicy anecdotal tales and guesses from friends and colleagues, but in the end, he himself never forms a composite answer. This biography reads like an never-ending interview as the interviewer moves from one quote to another and one source to another. That may have been fine as an interview piece for TIME (for which he used to write) but it's hardly enough for a lasting memoir. What upsets me the most is the fact that Jobs allowed Isaacson this rare chance into his personal circle so that he can understand Jobs like nobody can ever before. All this in order for Isaacson to write a biography that JOBS' CHILDREN CAN READ AND GET TO KNOW THEIR FATHER. Jobs himself admits that he's hardly the model father, more often than not neglecting their care for his companies, Pixar and Apple. This biography was suppose to be a chance for Jobs to show his children why he did the things he did and share his passion for his work. But Isaacson understands neither business nor Apple enough to fully capture this. Although the second half of the book is mostly about the growth of Apple in the last decade - relegating Jobs, the person, to a minute role in the book - Isaacson lacks the business capacity to fully analyze the full cause and effects of Apple's decisions, products and actions. So what you are left with is a hap hash mix of personal anecdotes on Jobs and rough dissections on Apple - not enough biography nor enough business case study. Even worse, what Isaacson wrote on the personality of Jobs is NOT a flattering one in the least. Even the most ardent Jobs/Apple fanatic will find it hard to like him after the picture Isaacson paints in his book. If the average reader is left wanting after reading this, I can only wonder what his children will think when they have a chance to read it.
Date published: 2011-11-09
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Book of this century. Steve Job is a character, truly change the human's habit and behaviour in this century, the whole world got influence by his innovation products, whether you like it or not, it happened! This book is a must read, really want to dig out the story of a legend. Chinese translation book also available in Asia the same day. Wow!
Date published: 2011-10-21
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Just ordered! Just ordered via Steve Jobs' iPad! Can't wait to read the book!
Date published: 2011-10-21
Rated 5 out of 5 by from You changed our world, our life. iPhone 4S - iPhone for Steve. You are hero in our times.
Date published: 2011-10-06

– More About This Product –

Steve Jobs: A Biography

by Walter Isaacson

Format: Hardcover

Dimensions: 656 pages, 9.25 × 6.12 × 1.9 in

Published: October 24, 2011

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 1451648537

ISBN - 13: 9781451648539

About the Book

From bestselling author Walter Isaacson comes the landmark biography of Apple co-founder Steve Jobs. In "iSteve: The Book of Jobs," 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, key colleagues from Apple and its competitors, "iSteve" is the definitive portrait of the greatest innovator of his generation.

Read from the Book

Excerpt 1 His personality was reflected in the products he created. Just as the core of Apple’s philosophy, from the original Macintosh in 1984 to the iPad a generation later, was the end-to-end integration of hardware and software, so too was it the case with Steve Jobs: His passions, perfectionism, demons, desires, artistry, devilry, and obsession for control were integrally connected to his approach to business and the products that resulted. The unified field theory that ties together Jobs’s personality and products begins with his most salient trait: his intensity. His silences could be as searing as his rants; he had taught himself to stare without blinking. Sometimes this intensity was charming, in a geeky way, such as when he was explaining the profundity of Bob Dylan’s music or why whatever product he was unveiling at that moment was the most amazing thing that Apple had ever made. At other times it could be terrifying, such as when he was fulminating about Google or Microsoft ripping off Apple. This intensity encouraged a binary view of the world. Colleagues referred to the hero/shithead dichotomy. You were either one or the other, sometimes on the same day. The same was true of products, ideas, even food: Something was either “the best thing ever,” or it was shitty, brain-dead, inedible. As a result, any perceived flaw could set off a rant. The finish on a piece of metal, the curve of the head of a screw, the shade of blue on a box, th
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From the Publisher

FROM THE AUTHOR OF THE BESTSELLING BIOGRAPHIES OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN AND ALBERT EINSTEIN, THIS IS THE EXCLUSIVE BIOGRAPHY OF STEVE JOBS.

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.

About the Author

Walter Isaacson, the CEO of the Aspen Institute, has been chairman of CNN and the managing editor of Time magazine. He is the author of Einstein: His Life and Universe; Benjamin Franklin: An American Life; and Kissinger: A Biography, and the coauthor of The Wise Men: Six Friends and the World They Made. He lives in Washington, D.C., with his wife and daughter.
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