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 - Walter Isaacson Summary

Steven Paul Jobs (; February 24, 1955 – October 5, 2011) was an American business magnate, entrepreneur, industrial designer, investor, and media proprietor. He was the chairman, chief executive officer (CEO), and co-founder of Apple Inc., the chairman and majority shareholder of Pixar, a member of The Walt Disney Company's board of directors following its acquisition of Pixar, and the founder, chairman, and CEO of NeXT. Jobs is widely recognized as a pioneer of the personal computer revolution of the 1970s and 1980s, along with Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak. Jobs was born in San Francisco, California, and put up for adoption. He was raised in the San Francisco Bay Area. He attended Reed College in 1972 before dropping out that same year, and traveled through India in 1974 seeking enlightenment and studying Zen Buddhism. His declassified FBI report states that he used marijuana and LSD while he was in college, and once told a reporter that taking LSD was "one of the two or three most important things" he had done in his life. Jobs and Wozniak co-founded Apple in 1976 to sell Wozniak's Apple I personal computer. Together the duo gained fame and wealth a year later with the Apple II, one of the first highly successful mass-produced microcomputers. Jobs saw the commercial potential of the Xerox Alto in 1979, which was mouse-driven and had a graphical user interface (GUI). This led to development of the unsuccessful Apple Lisa in 1983, followed by the breakthrough Macintosh in 1984, the first mass-produced computer with a GUI. The Macintosh introduced the desktop publishing industry in 1985 with the addition of the Apple LaserWriter, the first laser printer to feature vector graphics. Jobs was forced out of Apple in 1985 after a long power struggle with the company's board and its then-CEO John Sculley. That same year, Jobs took a few of Apple's members with him to found NeXT, a computer platform development company that specialized in computers for higher-education and business markets. In addition, he helped to develop the visual effects industry when he funded the computer graphics division of George Lucas's Lucasfilm in 1986. The new company was Pixar, which produced the first 3D computer animated film Toy Story (1995). Apple merged with NeXT in 1997, and Jobs became CEO of his former company within a few months. He was largely responsible for helping revive Apple, which had been at the verge of bankruptcy. He worked closely with designer Jony Ive to develop a line of products that had larger cultural ramifications, beginning in 1997 with the "Think different" advertising campaign and leading to the iMac, iTunes, iTunes Store, Apple Store, iPod, iPhone, App Store, and the iPad. In 2001, the original Mac OS was replaced with a completely new Mac OS X, based on NeXT's NeXTSTEP platform, giving the OS a modern Unix-based foundation for the first time. Jobs was diagnosed with a pancreatic neuroendocrine tumor in 2003. He died of respiratory arrest related to the tumor at age 56 on October 5, 2011...

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Steve Jobs - Walter Isaacson Book Reviews (22,011)


Best Biography Ever5 star

My dad gave me this book about Steve Jobs and I’m very interested In Steve and I can tell you this book is amazing because it tells you all about Steve Jobs and his lifetime.Its definitely worth it to get this book. 55


Amazing looking into the life of a Genius !5 star

This book inspired me to do great things in this world. It shows the life of a genius both good and bad and how to maneuver around obstacles in life. It trains you to think long term and to not focus on the everyday mundane things that life throws at us but to focus on long term and ultimately you will prevail. Great read. Thanks !!! 55


So he was crazy but genius. And smelled bad. Ok4 star

What a weirdo. Definitely will go down in history but man. I don’t think I could stand to be around him 45

JA Canty

Outstanding5 star

A fantastic biography of a formidable man who helped shape the modern economy. 55


Love the book5 star

Probably one of the best favorite biographies I have read. Do not stop Isaacson keep the biographies rolling! 55


Best book on Apple Books5 star

Worth 55


Jobs fan warts and all5 star

Loved an insiders view of the amazing man. 55


Must Read5 star

Well Written 55

Show Improve

To do list5 star

Read this book 55

Wake & Bake Breakfast Club

Re-invent The Coffee Shop : By Wake & Bake5 star

Young Innovators dream to create change in the world. Gives you new energy and outlook in the work. Great work of literature. 55

K. Cee

The amazing Steve Jobs!5 star

I totally loved this book. Actually read it twice. The movie “Jobs” doesn’t give it justice. Myself, having worked at Apple for a couple of years, I totally fell in love with its products, its trademark of quality, and the man’s thoughts that made Apple a fantastic company to work for and a great reality. I would still be working for Apple today, if I didnt pursue my own dreams becoming a flight attendant for a major air carrier. However, Apple (and Steve Jobs) will continue to still have my loyalty in regard to technology, computers, and mobile devices as long as Apple is in existence. Love Ya, Steve!!!! RIP 55


Updated version5 star

Thanks for adding the epilogue from the paperback 55


Must-Read5 star

This book should be mandatory reading for anyone in business school. Isaacson eloquently and succinctly recounts the life and times of a mostly autodidactic visionary that changed the way of life for the developed world. 55


Missing the epilogue from the paperback edition (fixed)5 star

Otherwise a 5 star biography 55


Truly Amazing.5 star

Wonderful. Just wonderful. 55


The Shortest Lengthy Book I've Read5 star

I want more! There. I said it. I want to learn more of both Steve Jobs's life as well as the reflections of those whom he encountered. At six hundred pages (roughly), it read like a two hundred page book. There is simply far too much "stuff" to address. I suppose one of Jobs's hallmarks was to shed the unnecessary with his laser focus, but perhaps in doing so you shed of all nuances as well. I suppose what I am saying is that I don't want just the essence, I want the flavor and spice as well. Perhaps more people close to Steve Jobs--both professionally and personally--will write companion biographies. Maybe my interest in Steve Jobs's story is stronger than that which most people hold. Jobs was my contemporary. He attended one of my high school's rivals. I knew San Jose as it was transitioning from an orchard-based community to Silicon Valley. I went to Berkeley just a couple of years after Jobs and Woz sold their blue boxes there. Indeed, I remember as a freshman someone who came into the dorms and tried to sell me one. My first computer was a Lisa. I was a BMUG member and championed the cause of the Macintosh as an easy to use and therefore more economical (and productive) alternative to a PC. That drive and zeal contributed to enormous problems I encountered at work. (The Mac vs. PC wars were real and serious then--at least to PC users who were afraid; Mac users just wanted freedom and choice.) In a world of degrees of separation, one of my best friends in high school ended up being the garden/housekeepers at Jobs's estate. We remain friends. She hasn't yet read the book and seems to have a lot of emotions wrapped up in that phase of her life. I suppose what I appreciate most about this book is that it gives me pause to understand the ups and downs of life. The parallels and the tangents. The definitive and the murky. I am thankful that I never worked for Steve Jobs, based on all that I have read both in Isaacson's book and others, such as Any Hertzfeld's "Revolution in The Valley: The Insanely Great Story of How the Mac Was Made." However, I share many of Jobs' philosophies (but not working styles) on the purpose or mission that organizations should hold. For example, I have always held that companies, organizations, and governments should always focus on producing great products and services, ignoring the financials, because the profits will flow if our souls are in the business. That must be one of the keys to real long-term success that is so at odds with today's "what are the next week's billings looking like?" mentality. Yes, the book is filled with hope and sadness, thrills and disgust, certainty and ambiguity. In short, it's about a set of extraordinary lives focussed primarily on one extraordinary life. Yes, you should read this book. Oh, and one more thing: please don't mess up the movie too much! 55


Forever5 star

This is my hero. Although he's gone,he's my best hero forever.Think you,Jobs, Think you Apple. 55

Carlos cuttingedge

Even my Ipad and iphone enjoyed it...5 star

I have never read much biography's before, but this book sometimes make you feel is all fiction about someone both hero and anti-hero. Great read , history book at his best, the author opens a window in Jobs life and let you peek inside, he deserves a medal. 55


Captivating, inspiring and emotional5 star

It captures the life Steve lived and the legacy he left behind. It gives credit where credit is do and shows how hard everyone worked. You can only imagine the sacrifices everyone gave to be a part of this amazing company and the sacrifices his family gave so he could do what he did best. I think it was written very well. Even Steve would have agreed. One of the things I learned was that no matter how perfect one tires to be, there will be failures and its the perseverance that defines greatness. Thank you Steve, Steve's family and all the hard working people who helped change the world and put a dent in the universe. 55

Pradyuman Grewal

Great book5 star

This is a great book and New York Times best seller of 2011 55

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