Thursday, May 23, 2013

Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson

"If a man does not keep pace with

his companions, perhaps it is 
because he hears a different drummer. 
Let him step to the music which he hears, 
however measured or far away."

Henry David Thoreau

Before I start to talk about this biography titled Steve Jobs, I think that is is very important that I talk about the writer of this book, Walter Isaacson.

Walter Isaacson

Steve Jobs asked Walter Isaacson to write his biography to tell his story to his children. And after reading this book, I know that Jobs only works with people whom he consider to be the very best, and Walter is a gifted storyteller.

He tells the story of Steve Jobs in a manner that is completely captivating. I must admit that this quite lengthy book was on my mind quite a bit until I finished it. I spent many nights, while extremely sleepy, trying to read one more page. This biography is quite thought provoking.

You know how most people are raised to be nice and respectful, to think about the feelings of others, be assertive but with caution, have empathy, and all of those other good qualities that many of us think helps to make us great people. Well, Steve Jobs was painted in this book as having none of those qualities.

He fathered a daughter whom he refused to acknowledge for part of her life; he was at times distance with his two daughters that he later fathered with his wife, Laurene; he was extremely rude to people; would speak whatever was on his mind with no regards to how it would make people feel etc. BUT...

He was a genius who realized at an early age that he was much smarter than his adopted father, whom he thought was quite intelligent, and this revelation seemed to cause Jobs to turn into a very cocky, strong-willed guy. Other factors such as being given up by his biological parents seemed to cause Jobs to lack empathy, be self-centered, and really have attachment issues. From reading this book, it appears that he had no one, outside of perhaps his wife and son, Reed, whom he called friend. People respected him, but I am not sure if many called him friend.

Steve was extremely gifted and self-assured, and he seemed to go with his gut quite often, and most of the time, that worked for him. He knew that he wanted 1000 songs in his pocket and along came the iPod; he knew that he wanted a cellular phone that was easy to use and did a lot of stuff and along came the iPhone; he wanted to create movies that used digital technology and along came the movie Toy Story and others. He would dream a dream and would make it happen "By Any Means Necessary!" (The man had heart!)

The iphone: a dream that became reality!

You know what else makes this book so intriguing? 

Jobs' legacy took place during our lifetime. I own some of the products and the key players who help to create Jobs' legacy is breathing the same air as me. Most books that I have read about people who influenced the world, are about people who are long gone. But Jobs' story happened during our lifetime, and we know many of the stories about Apple first hand. (We are living during a great time in history for so many reasons, and I am soooo happy to be here.)

The only thing that I felt was left out of his book is how did Jobs' wife, Laurene, lived with a man who was mercurial? Also, I would have love to hear more about what his children thought about him and his impact on their lives.

Other than those few things, it seems like Isaacson basically summed up Steve Jobs' life, which happened to be his career, and leaves the reader loving him, and at the same time, wondering about his complexity.

I HIGHLY recommend this book!

My next read is Eugene Onegin by Alexander Pushkin.

I've been doing a lot of reading this month; school must be almost over.......


Tracy Ricks said...

I am also Iooking forward to reading this book! Thanks for sharing!!

Jacqueline said...

You are going to love it!

Carole said...

Jacqueline, I agree that this is a must read book. I am going to start reading his biography of Einstein soon. Cheers

Jacqueline said...

Carole, I'm definitely planning to read other books by Walter.

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