Steve Jobsby Published 24 Oct 2011
|Publisher||Simon & Schuster|
From the author of the bestselling biographies of Benjamin Franklin and Albert Einstein, this is the exclusive, New York Times bestselling biography of Apple co-founder 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.
Steve Jobs Reviews
Steve Jobs, Walter Isaacson
تاریخ نخستین خوانش: روز یازدهم ماه سپتامبر سال 2016 میلادی
عنوان: استیو جابز - زندگینامه استیو جابز موسس و مدیرعامل شرکت اپل؛ نویسنده: والتر ایساکسون؛ مترجم: مهدی پاکنهاد؛ تهران، ستایش، 1390، در 703 ص؛ شابک: 9786005184419؛ موضوع: سرگذشتنامه استیو جابز از 1955 تا 2011 م - قرن 21 م
این دل میخواست کاش سرگذشتنامه ی ایشان را خود مینوشتم؛ اسطوره بودند، شاید آنگاه واژه هایم را میتوانستم با عطر گلهای سرخ نیز بیامیزم، و با آوای بلبل آجین میکردم، تا همیشه خوشبوی و شنیدنی باشند، از نخستین سالهای 1980 میلادی با نمونه کارهای سخت افزار، و سیستم عامل ایشان برای نخستین کامپیوترهای شخصی، یا همان پرسنل کامپیوتر اپل مکینتاش، و نرم افزارهای طراحی شده ی ایشان آشنا بودم؛ از همان روز نخست آشنایی، نیز برایم آسمانی بودند، آسمانی آسمانی. همیشه در خیالم بالای ابرهای پنبه عسلی بنشسته اند، و مردمان را از آن بالا مینگرند. روانشان همیشه و هماره شادمان. ا. شربیانی
so, we are having the event for this book at our store tonight. the number of people calling up to ask if steve jobs will also be present to sign is staggering. in other words, "i care enough about steve jobs to want to read a 600+ page book about him, but i am somehow unaware that he is deceased."
is what i hope. the alternative is ghoulish and i do not want to entertain it.
Steve Jobs was a damn dirty hippie.
He didn't much like to shower or wear shoes. He believed his diet kept him from getting stinky, not true apparently. In fact he was quite odd and obsessive about his diets, he would go on kicks where he would eat nothing but carrots for long periods of time until he turned orange. This makes me wonder if these strange eating habits brought on his cancer. Who can say?
Steve Jobs was an asshat.
He was an ass to everyone, even Steve Wozniak, who by everyone's standards is one of the nicest guys there is. Wozniak was Job's only friend at times, and looked up to him always, but Jobs screwed him over time and again. Jobs didn't even claim his first born daughter (until much later) as his own even though there was no doubt she belonged to him. He also was a very emotional man, lots of crying and snot when he wanted something. Impossible to please, even down to the color of things. I seriously don't know how anything got finished, I really don't.
Steve Jobs was a super genius.
Despite of (or because of) all this he created the most amazing things. Because he demanded the impossible, he would get it. I love my Ipod and my Ipad. I'm very attached, I don't want to live without them. I use the Ipod for my audiobook and podcast addiction. I'm even learning how to draw caricatures on the Ipad.....so frik'n cool.
Thank you Steve for being a damn dirty hippie, asshat super genius. Your creations have enhanced, and changed our lives.
Review also appears on Shelfinflicted....Go and visit!
Oops! The publishers forgot to include a subtitle, so I've taken the liberty of helping them come up with one. May I suggest:
Steve Jobs: Unrelenting Narcissist, Suspected Sociopath and Giant Fucking Asshole
Isaacson writes a great biography: He tells a coherent, cohesive story, he interviews all the players and most important he doesn't feel the need to hoist his subject on a pedestal with his pen. When it comes to carrying a story, our author did all the right things.
His subject, however, left much to be desired. It's startling to see how someone can be so immensely successful in one aspect of his life and such a complete, utter failure in virtually every other. To illuminate just a few of the many failings of Steve Jobs, allow me to expound upon my proposed subtitle:
Unrelenting Narcissist: It's true that if you're going to launch a business in a cutthroat industry and be willing to fight to the death to succeed, you gotta believe in yourself. Jobs, however, took a little positive self-esteem to a whole new level and chose to recreate truth to position himself in the best light. He steals the concept of the GUI from Xerox and it's collaborative sharing, but Microsoft does, well, anything and it's because they're thieves, and we have no respect for thieves. Good ideas? He took credit for them, even if he would veto them upon first review. The man truly believed he could do no wrong, and I can't help but think he probably, just before taking his last breath, was thinking, "Well there goes the future of Apple."
Suspected Sociopath: To be clear, I'm using the term "sociopath" like I would if I were Wong's junior psychologist on SVU: that is, to define someone with an anti-social personality disorder. The man - Jobs, not Wong; Wong is amazing - fit the profile to a T: Despite having the ability to charm someone's head off when he needed to, Jobs had an absolute lack of genuine regard for almost everyone around him - his wife, his employees, his poor, cast-aside daughters (his son seemed to escape his scorn, which is a charmingly sexist detail), even his supporters (I can't bring myself to call them friends) who were there for him from the beginning. If a person could not - or could no longer - provide a benefit to Jobs, he would cast them aside...but not before cruelly shitting mounds of aggression and abuse all over their bare heads. See? Sociopath.
Giant Fucking Asshole: There are seriously almost too many examples of this to count, but let me curate a sample for your consideration. 1). He screwed one of the founding members of Apple out of founders stock that would now be practically priceless. 2). He thinks he can explain away the abuse he doled out to employees by saying that was "just who I am." Seriously? Do you not think that the people around you want to rip your head off every single day? They do, I assure you. But you know what? They hold it in, because collaborative, encouraging environments are better for everyone (unless you're a narcissist and/or a sociopath, in which case, see above). 3). There's something atrocious about a multi-multi-multi-billionaire who can envision how personal computers/GUIs/the mouse/touchscreens/computer animation/digital music/tablets/etc. can change the world for rich consumers, but who can't see that a fraction of his wealth could have changed the world for people who don't have water.
It's undeniable that Jobs was fantastically talented and will go down in the books as one of the great visionaries in history. I'm writing my review on my MacBook, and both my iPhone and my iPad (as well as a slew of iPods, Nanos and Shuffles) are nearby, so I guess the guy was doing something right. Still, I don't believe that being an asshole is the answer, and I don't believe it gets better results; it may not get worse results, but if today's Apple is what he created with vinegar, then I'd love to see what he could have done with honey.
When I was at the halfway point I became struck by what a jerk SJ was. Yes, he was brilliant and all that. But he seemed to view other humans as nothing more than ants in his ant farm, sub-biologicals that he could squish whenever he felt like it. And did.
Some might say that his gifts to tech development, or the fact that he changed and invented whole industries, would compensate. Maybe the two things went together, cruelty and brilliance.
But the lesson to be drawn here, future CEOs, isn't that his cruelty fed his brilliance. He was brilliant, and he was cruel, and they weren't linked. He was aware of the pain he was causing other people, yet like so many other overbearing, thoughtless and petulant overlords, Jobs was thin-skinned. Also, I don't believe that his often-cited sense of abandonment, from having been put up for adoption, justifies his behavior.
He was, as the author put it, "bratty." Jobs would fiddle with design changes to the point of driving his team mad. A thousand different variations of white weren't satisfactory. He wanted a new color to be invented, regardless of the damage done to the rollout of the new object.
As I said, I'm only halfway through the book. Hopefully there'll be some positive info about SJ that will balance out some of the negativity I've spelled out. I'll finish this review when I finish the book.
Nov. 8, 2011: I finished the book. Here are the rest of my thoughts.
Isaacson makes an interesting point when he says Jobs was a genius. He means genius not in terms of a high IQ, but in terms of an ability to see things in surges of intuition, inspiration, and creativity. (BTW here's an interesting rundown of the smartest people on the planet: http://www.businessinsider.com/the-sm...) Because of his genius, I agree that Jobs deserves to be included in the company of Edison, Franklin, et al.
Steve Jobs pushed everybody until they wanted to kill him, but the pushing yielded amazing, brilliant new products. His unique brainpower allowed him to see how things might align, merge, and serve each other, and how utility might be blended with art. That vision led to creations of whole industries.
His obsession with perfection and control led him to flirt with emulating the Big Brother that Apple was created to bring down. One of the fascinating threads of this book was the debate between proponents of closed and open systems. Was it better to manufacture a pristine, inflexible system or the messier free thinking open system? And what were the implications of that belief on Jobs' view of his customers and his worldview?
Yet he defined petulance. His food had to be just so. He would send back a glass of orange juice three times until finally satisfied it was fresh. He was vindictive, cruel and even Machiavellian. He wasn't much of a family man, and he ignored his kids to a painful extent. Isaacson mused that Jobs' meanness wasn't a critical part of his success. He was totally aware of its effect on others, yet he indulged.
In spite of my aversion to the man, I actually felt empowered as I came to the end of the book. Steve Jobs had lived by certain precepts, which in the current economy we could all benefit from:
---Know your value
---Have a skill you can sell. Be really, really good at something.
---Things can turn around if you persevere, but don't be afraid to walk away.
Unbending to the end, even the prospect of death didn't soften him up much, but he brought me up short on the last page of the book, because I am obsessed with the same question:
"I like to think that something survives after you die. It's strange to think that you accumulate all this experience, and maybe a little wisdom, and it just goes away. So I really want to believe that something survives, and that maybe your consciousness endures."
I closed the book with a bit more compassion for this difficult man and went outside to pick cilantro for that night's dinner. Since we'd just had a serious storm, I declined to rinse it. I simply cleaned it, thinking, “Organic and pristine from the garden. Steve would’ve approved.”