Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson

If you are not familiar with the name Steve Jobs, you are familiar with the name brand Apple as in Apple Computers, or I Pod, Or I Phone, or I Tunes… all are associated with Steve Job.  While Steve was not the lone creator, not even really the mastermind behind actually making these things work, he is indeed the mind that made them what they are today.

Steve dared to dream things that no one thought could be, or should be dreamed.  He pushed the envelope as far as it would go, nay sayers be dammed, and in some cases friends and family too… nothing stood in his way. 

No one ever would claim that Steve was a layed back easy-going guy.  No.  He was temper mental, known to cry when he did not get his way, insist that things did go his way including color of products, and how to advertise.  While you can easily argue that he was an impossible man…

he was also a brilliant man.

In this audio of Steve’s life from adoption to billionaire, Dylan Baker narrates this audio to a perfection even Steve would have to approve of. 

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.

Although Jobs cooperated and encouraged this book, Jobs waved all rights to read or approve what people said of him in this book.  A no holes barred telling of an incredible man who fought his own demons all his life, dying of cancer in October 2011.

Steve Jobs in the beginning with the apple, years later, the IPAD

When this book first came out I did not know if I wanted to read it.  I had heard that Steve was not a very likeable man and I did not want to commit the time to read or to listen to his story.  Yet, it was the story itself that drew me to the book.  Steve, and people like him, fascinate me.  The big dreamers.  The ones who step out of the box no matter what people say – see the vision and make it happen.  It’s the same reason I appreciate JK Rowling so much.

I finally downloaded the audio and once I turned it on I had a hard time shutting it off.  From the beginning Jobs story grabbed me, while he was rough and cruel at times, It seemed he always felt he had something to prove.  And brilliant?  On my word! 

I was particularly fascinated by the part where he introduced the 1984 ad.  It was his vision, it was risky and it only aired one time on tv, at the 1984 Super Bowl and to this day is one of the most popular commercials of our time.  The clip I have below is when Steve showed the video the one time before the Super Bowl and while it is a 6 minute clip I highly encourage you watch it.  It is amazing to see a young and enthusiastic Steve.  He sure could bring out confidence in himself and his products. 

I loved this audio and am looking for the book now to have in my collection.  Brilliant and informative, I learned a lot about how the I products came to be, the ideas behind them, the Pixar/Disney battle for the top and how Steve was involved, and more.  I encourage you to check this one out.

29 thoughts on “Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson

  1. As a long-standing Apple devotee, I have always loved Steve Jobs. This book is on my list, but after reading your review, I think I’ll buy the audio!

  2. I knew nearly nothing about Jobs or Apple before I read this biography. But the book converted me. Jobs, though difficult, was also totally brilliant! I’m glad you enjoyed it.

  3. A good friend listened to this book earlier in the year and called it a must listen. Your rec along with hers has me putting it on my audible list. Loved the video. I remember seeing that ad (real time!).

    1. I wonder what Carl didnt like? Sometimes that happens to me with books too and then audio saves me:) I thought Steve looked really young too, its amazing to think of all those years he was invested in Apple.

  4. I got engrossed in this book too — much to my surprise. I think a lot of the attraction of it was realizing just how much Apple (and Jobs) influenced modern life and the way we use computers and iPods and technology. And I do think his insistene on doing things right and controlling the user experience made a superior product. I do think that, since his death, Apple has been making mistakes and going downhill a bit — and I do think it is because Steve Jobs isn’t there.

  5. I have a bio of him that just came into my Middle School library. A student checked it out but I think it may be worth reading. Regardless of what anyone may think of him personally, there’s not denying that he changed the world!

  6. I’m just about finished listening to it. I can remember when most of the Apple products were introduced and it’s fascinating to learn about what when on behind the scenes. I’ve never been an Apple fan because I like open products that I can configure and change, but I admire Steve for what he created. This is my December book club pick and I’m hoping for some great discussion.

    1. I think it would make a wonderful book club discussion Leslie – you could all think back to when we did not have lap tops, out I Phones, I tunes… we really have become so dependent on the instant connections. Whatever did we do with our time before we spent it on network sites, phones, texting, etc… I would love to hear more about how your review goes 😀

  7. A friend of mine read this and just ranted and raved about it. He has since passed me the book but I have yet to read it. He told me that although it’s a long read it’s so well written that it’s easy to read and hooks you from the start.

  8. Sounds like a fascinating book. And I loved the old clip!! I have been a Mac fan since 1987…still am! I really should read this book – thanks for the great review!


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