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Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson

Essay by   •  February 19, 2013  •  Book/Movie Report  •  4,000 Words (16 Pages)  •  1,154 Views

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Introduction

The book I chose for our review is the Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson.

The reason I chose this book is because I find the whole mystic surrounding the late Steve Jobs very interesting. The media coverage of what seems to be a portrayal of a man who is on the border of genius and insanity, while mostly the former he seems to sometimes fall into the latter category. I was interested to learn more about the man that everybody seemed to know of, yet people seemed to know very little about, even if you weren't interested in computers or technology chances are you have heard of him. Jobs had become a major Celebrity during his lifetime and successful leader in business at the same time; I find his somewhat oxymoronic mix of minimalist Zen Buddhism and extreme wealth with a penchant for German sports cars very interesting.

With the explosion in sales of the iPod, IPhone and iPad for the Apple Inc. Corporation over the last decade or so it has been thrust into the limelight and with it its leading figure in the form of Steve Jobs.

Although Jobs started Apple in the late 70,s people had only had small snippets into the life and mind of the Apple boss through magazine articles and the odd televised interview. During the 90,s and 2000,s due to the ever decreasing size of the world due to technological advances, people got to have a real insight on the man that some people worship as a god and others see as a false prophet.

Personally I had not heard of Jobs until the arrival of the iPod and even then just assumed he was just another "Fat cat" CEO of a multi-billion dollar company, but as it has been highlighted in recent years Steve Jobs is/was a bit different to your run of the mill CEO, s. Whereas his counterpart Bill Gates of Microsoft has always been seen as emotionally mature and the consummate professional, Jobs seems to be touted as quiet the opposite.

While he did share some of the obsessive and sometimes insane qualities that it takes to be in charge of a fortune 500 company these days, he had his own way of doing things.

Since his passing in 2011 due to cancer it has only served to heighten the mystery and legend surrounding Jobs.

This book is about his life and the events that shaped him along his journey. The relationship's he formed and some he destroyed over the course of his life.

It's hard to say what my expectations of the book were, I had worried that it was going to be a bit over technical and it might be difficult to understand.

I was expecting to get an insight into the life and mind of Jobs and to see if the stories you hear in the media about him were fabricated and/or blown out of proportion to create more hype around him.

Writers Credentials

The book is written by Walther Isaacson.

Isaacson is an accomplished author he is currently president and CEO of the Aspen institute and education and policy studies organisation, he is a former Chairman and CEO of Cable News Network (CNN) the largest and most successful media news company in the United States. He also was the managing director of "Time" magazine one of the most widely known magazine brands in the world.

Having written biographies on some of the greatest minds that ever lived like Benjamin Franklin, Henry Kissinger and Albert Einstein, Jobs had asked Isaacson to write a biography on him. Isaacson saw this as rather conceited that he would put himself as the next in line of these three great men.

It is for this reason he had turned Jobs down when he first approached him to write his biography.

Having been in charge of companies like CNN and time magazine Isaacson was up to date with the latest goings on in the business world and was more than qualified to write about Jobs and in time he did give in after being chased by Jobs for a considerable period.

He would have had a pre-conceived notion of Jobs before he started writing the book (as would the whole world), But when researching about Isaacson it would be fair to say it is only a matter of time before someone does a biography of him, he is on numerous boards around the united states and even works with the government. I think it was important that someone of Isaacson's status did this biography whereas a less experienced writer might have been consumed and controlled by Jobs.

Brief summary of the book

The book basically goes through Jobs life focusing on two main areas, Firstly and most predominantly is the relationships Jobs establishes with people throughout his life and then secondly it focuses on the business side of his life and how is own personality and relationships shaped his and in turn our world as we know it.

It is important to note that Jobs was in fact given up for adoption as a child, I say it is important because while he staunchly defies that this shaped his personality his friends and colleagues often make reference to this fact and believe it had a profound effect on him.

His adoptive Mother and Father never made a secret of the fact that he was adopted.

From a very young age Jobs was described as a bright, intelligent and energetic child with a thirst for knowledge that would stay with him for the rest of his life. Throughout the entire book you can see how jobs picks up traits he finds useful from different people at different stages in his life.

He chose these carefully and discarded the traits he had no use for, much like the way he kept friends and relationships going for as long as they were useful to him and again discarded these at will when they were no longer of use to him.

From a very young age he had developed a love for high quality craftsmanship and sleek lines of design as seen in the old cars his adoptive father used to work on in the garage of their Palo Alto home. His father would say to him that a great carpenter puts just as much work and detail into the back of a unit, even though it will never be seen he will know.

Jobs says of himself that from a young age he knew he was special and that's how his adoptive parents treated him, they sacrificed a lot for him to get the education he wanted.

When Jobs met Steve Wozniak as a teenager both their lives would change forever. Woz was a computing wizard and along with Jobs they started Apple.

Woz originally wanted to give the plans for the apple 1 away for free so everyone could have computers but Jobs said no. Separately they were very good at what they did, but with

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