Jobs by Walter Isaacson

Walter Isaacson’s Steve Jobs Biography


As the person appointed by Steve Jobs himself to write his biography, Walter Isaacson is surprisingly candid about the infamous entrepreneur, billionaire – and control freak. This raw take on Jobs’ life is bulky, to say the least. Isaacson pays great attention to minutiae like a detailed account of how Jobs went about choosing a washing machine and how, after his liver transplant, he demanded to have his sedation mask replaced, because the design is not up to his high standards. Although it makes it quite a long read, the weight of this biography is a clear indication of the admiration held for Jobs by his biographer.

What’s to like about Jobs?

One of the words recurring throughout the book is ‘passion’. From ‘passion for perfection’ to ‘passion for products’, Jobs certainly comes across as one passionate guy. But then again, how do you start an empire like Apple without having excessive amounts of the stuff? On the down side, Steve Jobs was also a complete control freak and often insufferably rude. He cheated his friends out of money and abandoned his pregnant girlfriend. He was not a talented engineer or even much of a visionary when it came to technology.
What Jobs was, was an exceptional business man, a marketing genius and almost psychic about what customers want even before they know what that is. The biography gives a balanced view of the many facets of this strange but magical man and adds some interesting facts that keep you reading, despite the bulk.

Did you know?

The legendary Apple Macintosh was meant to be named the Apple Bicycle. The biography also makes it clear that when it comes to big numbers, Jobs was the man. When iTunes store was launched it was predicted that around a million songs would be sold in six months – in reality it sold a million songs in only six days. And, of course Apple’s flotation turned young Jobs into a 25-year old multi-millionaire. Another interesting titbit in the book was that Jobs used to break computers by painting them bright colours because he had an idea to have his factory looking swanky with white walls and bright machines. That is passion for you…