Steve Jobs Biography Reviewed and Other Tidbits From the Book

bookcoverThe much anticipated Steve Jobs biography is officially launching on Monday, October 24th. Despite the official release date, many copies have already started circulating. The image on the right is from a book delivery from late last week (thanks Ernest).

The New York Times provides a positive review and nice overview of the book which was authored by Walter Isaacson.

“Steve Jobs” greatly admires its subject. But its most adulatory passages are not about people. Offering a combination of tech criticism and promotional hype, Mr. Isaacson describes the arrival of each new product right down to Mr. Jobs’s theatrical introductions and the advertising campaigns. But if the individual bits of hoopla seem excessive, their cumulative effect is staggering. Here is an encyclopedic survey of all that Mr. Jobs accomplished, replete with the passion and excitement that it deserves.

Several other interesting tidbits have emerged from the early copies of the biography. We've covered some of the big revelations in previous articles, but here are a few others that are notable.

- Jobs viewed textbooks as the next business he wanted to transform. He met with major publishers about it. Jobs also discussed 4G data capacity in a recent board meeting in August. - NYTimes
- Jobs described Microsoft as "mostly irrelevant" due to being run by salespeople. He didn't believe Microsoft would change as long as Steve Ballmer was in charge. - NYTimes
- "Jobs confided in Sculley that he believed he would die young, and therefore he needed to accomplish things quickly so that he would make his mark on Silicon Valley history. " - Huffington Post

Walter Isaacson will be interviewed 60 Minutes tonight and is also said to be showing interview tapes of Steve Jobs.

The book is available on Amazon and iBooks.

Top Rated Comments

Westacular Avatar
134 months ago
That statement to Sculley is surprising. I wonder how much more SJ would have been able to accomplish if he had continued leading Apple instead of getting forced out and going on the NeXT path.

It's impossible to say, of course, but I suspect (and perhaps the book will back this up) that the experience he gained from leaving Apple, running NeXT and Pixar, etc, and also the path that Apple took during his absence, might have been instrumental in turning him into the sort of leader he was for the last decade.

Not that he wasn't a visionary genius before that, of course, but I think that those experiences may have given him a different, more balanced perspective and an improved set of business and management skills that enabled him to be much, much more effective at (profitably!) bringing his visions into reality following his return to Apple.
Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)
vrDrew Avatar
134 months ago
That statement to Sculley is surprising. I wonder how much more SJ would have been able to accomplish if he had continued leading Apple instead of getting forced out and going on the NeXT path.

Steve Jobs sometimes remarked (and I agree with him) that getting fired from Apple was the best thing that ever happened to him.

The Steve Jobs who got fired from Apple wasn't a very good businessman. He was too immature. He was too mercurial. He was too impatient.

The time Steve Jobs spent with NEXT taught him about the realities of the computer business. About how hard it is to sell $10,000 machines to big insitutions.

Pixar was, if anything, more instructive to Steve. He thought he was buying a computer company. But as it turned out, he was buying a collection of very talented, very creative people: Guys very much like himself. And Steve learned first the value of patience, and secondly the value of letting very talented and creative people do their best work.

The Steve Jobs who returned to Apple in 1997 was an immeasurably more seasoned, mature, and accomplished executive. A guy who'd got a couple more succesful (sorta, in the case of NEXT) startups under his belt. That bought him an immense amount of credibility and respect when talking to people at Apple. (There were quite a few people who'd been glad to see Steve leave Apple back in 1985.)

People have commented about how rich Jobs would have been if he'd just held on to his Apple stock. That's silly: If Steve hadn't sold his Apple stock back in 1985, he wouldn't have had the money to start NEXT or buy Pixar. And Apple would have gone bankrupt or been bought out sometime around 1999.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
fermat-au Avatar
134 months ago
That statement to Sculley is surprising. I wonder how much more SJ would have been able to accomplish if he had continued leading Apple instead of getting forced out and going on the NeXT path.
If Steve Jobs had not left Apple he would not have started NeXT. Without NeXT there would be no OS X. Apple may have been forced to stick with OS9 that had many problems. One can predict what would have happened, but if Steve had stayed at Apple, Apple to day would be quite different.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
gnasher729 Avatar
134 months ago
That statement to Sculley is surprising. I wonder how much more SJ would have been able to accomplish if he had continued leading Apple instead of getting forced out and going on the NeXT path.

I'd say the person who left Apple and the person who returned were not the same. A major setback like being thrown out of the company that he started could have weakened him, but instead made him a lot stronger.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
adcx64 Avatar
134 months ago
Just pre ordered via iBooks. That's the way Steve would have wanted us to buy it. I can't wait to read this.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
the8thark Avatar
134 months ago
Anyone who wants the book to be a surprise when they read it should not be here on these forums. As these forums are not full of book spoilers. Sadly.


We've covered some of the big revelations in previous articles, but here are a few others that are notable.
My point exactly. These big points people want to discover in the book not be spoiled to them. If you had them in an area of the website - spoiler alert so we can avoid it. But no they are plain in view on front page of website. You can not avoid seeing the spoilers.

Would have been nice to be given the choice - to see the spoilers or not.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Popular Stories

iPhone 14 Mock pill and hole thumb

ProMotion Now Expected to Remain Exclusive to iPhone 14 Pro Models, Not Expand to Entire Lineup

Sunday January 16, 2022 8:56 am PST by
Continuing the tradition set with the iPhone 13 Pro, only the highest-end iPhone 14 models will feature Apple's ProMotion display technology, according to a respected display analyst. Ross Young, who on multiple occasions has detailed accurate information about Apple's future products, said in a tweet that ProMotion will not be expanded to the entire iPhone 14 lineup and will remain...
safari icon blue banner

Safari Bug Allows Websites to Track Your Recent Browsing Activity in Real Time [Updated]

Sunday January 16, 2022 3:37 pm PST by
A bug in WebKit's implementation of a JavaScript API called IndexedDB can reveal your recent browsing history and even your identity, according to a blog post shared on Friday by browser fingerprinting service FingerprintJS. In a nutshell, the bug allows any website that uses IndexedDB to access the names of IndexedDB databases generated by other websites during a user's browsing session....
ipad air 4 video

New iPad Air Rumored to Launch This Spring With A15 Chip, 5G, Center Stage Camera, and More

Saturday January 15, 2022 8:05 pm PST by
Apple is planning to release a fifth-generation iPad Air with similar features as the sixth-generation iPad mini, including an A15 Bionic chip, 12-megapixel Ultra Wide front camera with Center Stage support, 5G for cellular models, and Quad-LED True Tone flash, according to Japanese blog Mac Otakara. Citing reliables sources in China, the report claims that the new iPad Air could be...
Unlikely Products 2022 Feature

Six Rumored Apple Products You're Unlikely to See This Year

Saturday January 15, 2022 2:06 pm PST by
Much has been said about what consumers could see from Apple in 2022, but the company is also working on a handful of rumored products that aren't expected to be unveiled for at least another 12 months, and in some cases a lot longer. Of course, that's assuming they get released at all. Apple works on many potential products some of which ultimately never see the light of day. With that in...
AirPods Pro Gen 3 Mock Feature Red

AirPods Pro 2 Could Start a New Accessory Ecosystem

Friday January 14, 2022 2:34 am PST by
Apple's second-generation AirPods Pro could arrive alongside a new series of accessories, recent leaked images suggest. Alleged leaked photos of the next-generation AirPods Pro obtained by MacRumors showed a charging case with a metal loop on the side for attaching a strap. Apple has not used this design for any of its other AirPod models and it is unclear why it would be added in this...
netflix2

Netflix Again Raises Prices for All Plans, 4K Streaming Now $20 Per Month

Friday January 14, 2022 12:46 pm PST by
Netflix today updated the prices for its streaming plans, and all of its offerings are now more expensive. The Basic plan is now priced at $9.99 per month, the Standard plan is priced at $15.49 per month, and the Premium plan is priced at $19.99 per month. The Basic plan is $1 more expensive, up from $8.99 per month. This plan allows users to watch on just one screen at a time, and it limits ...
tesla carplay solution

Developer Showcases Apple CarPlay Workaround for Teslas

Monday January 17, 2022 7:24 am PST by
A Tesla Model 3 owner has resorted to a workaround to implement Apple CarPlay in his vehicle, amid no sign of official support from Tesla (via Tesla North). Apple CarPlay and Apple Music support are among the most-requested Tesla features, but with no indication that Tesla is willing to implement Apple CarPlay in its vehicles, Polish developer Michał Gapiński took matters into his own...
top stories 20220115

Top Stories: iPhone 14 Pro Rumors, iCloud Private Relay Controversy, iOS 15.2.1 Released, and More

Saturday January 15, 2022 6:00 am PST by
Hole-punch? Pill? Hole-punch and pill? Rumors about what the front camera system on the iPhone 14 Pro will look like are evolving rapidly, and it now appears we might be getting a novel but potentially controversial design later this year. Other major stories this week included some confusion and controversy about iCloud Private Relay being disabled for some T-Mobile customers, increasing...